I have to admit that Far Cry
snuck up on me. Maybe it was the distraction/anticipation of Half Life 2
and Doom III
that has this one under my radar. It could have been the multiplayer mayhem of Unreal Tournament 2004
and Battlefield: Vietnam
that distracted me from this game but whatever it was I was certainly surprised when I fired up the game for the first time.
The plot of the game is fairly straightforward; you are Jack Carver, an ex-marine boat pilot who’s hired by a beautiful journalist to check out some ruins on a mysterious island. As soon as you get in range of the island she jets off in a jet ski and then your boat is hit with a missile. You swim to shore and now up to you to figure out what’s going on the island and how the heck you are going to get off in one piece. You do have some help in your quest in the guise of a mysterious stranger who helps guide you through the island.
The game play in Far Cry
is typical FPS fare, you wander about shooting things, finding keys, driving vehicles, swimming through cool looking water, while trying to stay alive. The game isn’t revolutionary in how you play the game but the developers do give you several options on how to approach each problem. You have a pretty nice variety of weapons to dispatch your enemies with, everything from a pistol to one of the best sniper rifles ever put into a game (it rates a 9 on the Skinner Sniping Scale). The weapons are all well rendered and well animated and they all have a nice feel to them.
The game also features some cool gadgets to help you get by. The most important is the set of binoculars you pick up early in the game. These allow you to scan ahead and see what bad guys are waiting for you. The binoculars then tag them to your radar which allows you to see all of the enemies you’ve found and if they’ve spotted you and are pursuing you. This allows you to scan the area ahead of you and see where the potential traps are and allows you to figure out the best way to take them all down. The binoculars also have a microphone in them so you can listen to conversations from a distance to learn what they are up to. The side benefit is that sometimes you may not be able to see a bad guy but you will be able to hear them conversing amongst themselves or their walking noises. The game also allows you to have fun with night vision goggles and a flashlight, both help you in certain key situations but are not nearly as useful as the binoculars.
While Battlefield 1942 wasn’t the first game to introduce vehicles into the game, it was certainly the one that made them a requirement and the folks at Cry Tek have incorporate some really cool pilotable vehicles in to the game. You have the opportunity to pilot a hang glider, inflatable raft, and several wheel vehicles. All of the them are well rendered and have their own feel to driving them (especially the glider which takes a bit of time to master). The vehicles are well positioned in the game and do not feel out of place as they do in some other games.
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