Far Cry 2 Review
This gorgeous sandbox shooter can be engrossing and entertaining, although pacing issues and often repetitive gameplay hold it back
The original Far Cry was a fantastic first person shooter released by the now famous German game developers Crytek, who have a reputation of releasing graphically cutting edge game engines and high quality first person shooters. After the original Far Cry was released back in 2004, the rights to the ip were sold outright to Ubisoft, who proceeded to develop a number of pseudo-sequels of the excellent original. Eventually, Far Cry 2 was made, and while it is pretty much up to the standards of Crytek in terms of graphical quality, it lacks the wallop and polish of Crytek’s Crysis, which is in fact more of a sequel to the original Far Cry than Far Cry 2, which is totally unrelated in every aspect except for that it is a sandbox first person shooter.
While Far Cry was set on a small tropical island, the sequel (once again in name only) will take you to Africa, and while there is still a good deal of Jungle, there are also desert environments and grassland plains. Unlike its predecessor, which took place in a number of sandbox style levels, Far Cry 2 takes place in one massive level akin to Oblivion. There is no fast travel system, instead you have to drive from place to place, or take the busses, which travel from station to station, but there aren’t enough of them to eliminate the driving altogether.
The story of the lengthy single player campaign is rather convoluted, but the main plot line is fairly straightforward; find and kill the infamous gun runner who goes by the name ‘the jackal.’ The plot is not the games strength in any way shape or form, but it does serve to move the game along, which it does in a rather inconsistent fashion. The game is divided into three acts, at the very beginning and end of each act the missions are longer and more interesting, the game is at its best here, things move along very quickly and the game is generally very fun. In the middle of each act the pacing slows to a crawl as you complete mission after meaningless mission, drive for hours on the almost overly large world, and try to progress through the game.
The missions themselves are hit and miss. Some are pretty standard assault "x" base and blow up "y" piece of equipment; others are more interesting, like defending a ferry as it crosses a huge lake. Some are just plain annoying, like the missions you complete to unlock new guns; there is a convoy driving around the map, and you have to intercept it and stop it, the only problem being that getting ahead of the convoy and laying a trap can be difficult because driving around in the game is made a chore thanks to the plentiful enemy checkpoints populated by enemies that seem to respawn the second you leave them.
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