Far Cry Instincts Review

As the addition of the word “Instincts” to the title implies, Far Cry Instincts is not the same game that was released on PCs last year. The word “Instincts” is more than just something used to differentiate versions of the game, though; it refers to a fundamental change you’ll go through during the game as you go back to nature, so to speak. But before I get into that let’s take a look at how the biggest disaster to hit a tourist junket since the wreck of the S.S. Minnow got you into that mess in the first place...

You are Jack Carver, a retired Special Forces commando who now earns his keep captaining a small boat and running tourists to small islands in the South Pacific. On one of these tours a beautiful client ignores your better judgment and insists on getting a closer look at mysterious island. While you wait for her on your boat, a short nap is rudely awakened by helicopter gunships that blow your boat out of the water. You survive the attack only to find yourself on a tropical island teeming with well-armed mercenaries, and you’ve got to survive long enough to rescue your client and get the both of you off of the island alive. This whole opening sequence occurs in first person, so all of the action is played out as seen through your eyes.

You'll need to keep low and out of sight.
In fact, all of the cutscenes are played out from your point of view, and this is only one of the mechanisms the game uses to create a very immersive experience for the gamer. Another is the lack of load screens as you move around the island - you’ll never be jolted back to reality by being forced to sit through a black screen after turning a corner or entering a new valley. As you move around the island you’ll also see helicopters and boats go by on patrol, you’ll hear chatter coming over radios as you pass by them, and you’ll hear the mercs engaging in conversations when they’re not aware that you’re lurking nearby. It all works to bring the island, and your enemies, to life, which makes for a more compelling experience.

The idle chitchat of the mercs is not just for atmosphere, it is also a component of the advanced AI that the developers have created for your enemies. If they hear a noise or catch sight of you, they’ll stop what they’re doing, call out to each other, or even make a call for back-up support. When you’re discovered and the shooting begins, they’ll never stand in place or charge straight at you. Rather they’ll try to maneuver to get a better shot at you or work together to come at you from more than one direction. It certainly makes the gunfights more exciting ... but not as exciting as they could have been. Unfortunately the game gives you an unfair advantage in that your aiming reticule turns red while over an enemy. You can stay in the brush, check your radar to see which direction to face, and then sweep the screen until the reticule turns red. After that it’s a simple matter of firing off a shot or two and the enemy will be dropped even though you never had to look at him. Of course you can’t shoot through walls or trees, but in the brush you can be deadly without ever laying eyes on your targets.

For the most part, though, it is prudent to avoid firefights when you can. The AI is very adept in calling in additional help and you may soon find yourself way outgunned. Stealth is a key to surviving, and it is best to stick to the thick jungle brush or swim underwater past sentries. You can sneak up on foes to perform a silent and swift knife kill, but the really cool way to take out an unsuspecting enemy is by setting a trap. Pressing the Black button will enable “Trap Mode” and you’ll prepare a trap for setting. Find a good tree to which to attach your spike-covered whip branch, pull the trigger, and the trap is set. You can even lay multiple traps to set up a killing field if you’d like. The next step is to slink away to hide in the brush and then toss a rock to grab the guard’s attention. If he comes to investigate and stumbles on your trap, he’ll be dispatched in an instant before he even has a chance to yell for help.