Far Cry

Review

posted 4/7/2004 by Charles Husemann
other articles by Charles Husemann
One Page Platforms: PC
The first thing you notice about the game is the visuals, they are drop dead gorgeous. Like the forestation effects in Battlefield: Vietnam, in there and better implemented. Grooving on the lightening effects in Unreal Tournament? Again we have ownage by Far Cry. Right now Far Cry is the game to show off what your video card can do. The jungle environments of the island are exceedingly well done and are amazing to move through. Once you get past the jungle you might notice the water…the water textures are excellent but what really completes the effect is the waves as they hit shore. Cry Tek has amazing job with the water effects (to the point that you can actually see fish swimming below you) and it’s without a doubt the best looking game currently on the market.

I’ve already mentioned the shadows and lighting effects but it bears saying again that they rock hard. You can knock a light and then watch your shadows jump around as the light moves. There are also some nice effects with the shadows as you’ll sometime see the shadows of an enemy before you actually see them which is nice touch.

What makes the graphics more impressive is that you have almost unlimited freedom to move around the island. Any place you can see you can go and that includes swimming underwater. This freedom allows you to approach different situations from different angles allowing you to try different techniques to defeat the denizens of the island. This is exceedingly cool as a full frontal assault will usually get you killed very, very quickly.

The other thing you’ll notice about the game is the physics engine behind the game. I couldn’t tell if they were using the Havok 2.0 engine that Half-Life 2 and Painkiller are using but it is just as impressive and the developers have done a great job of building it into the game. You can use barrels and other destructible objects as weapons in the game which can be a lot of fun (nothing like dropping a bunch of barrels on some unsuspecting mercenaries). The game also uses a ragdoll system for the bodies so when you blow something up with some badies near buy you do get the satisfaction of watching their bodies hurtle through the air.

The sound is likewise solid, everything from the gunfire to the noises in the jungle are top notch and add to the realism of the game. While this is all good what really completed the audio side for me was the music of the game. The soundtrack is almost movie-like in it’s execution and it does a great job of setting the mood in the game. Any time you are spotted by an enemy the game will up the tempo of the music until either the enemies are pushing up daisies or they can’t se you any more. It’s a good system that really helps to draw you into the game.
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