Review by Ofisil
"Far from excellent"
Far Cry is a FPS developed by Crytek. This is supposed to be the true next-gen FPS, with outstanding graphics, great characters and plot and most of all innovative gameplay that gives you total freedom. The truth is that it is just an average shooter with a beautiful wrapping
Why try thinking something original when you can use the usual cheese found almost in every mindless action movie\game\comic? We have one macho, always cool and confident hero who was an ex-special mercenary or something who is now retired and makes boat rides for tourists in tropical islands. One day while you give a ride to ze very sexy ze very toight Valerie Constantine, who is a simple reporter, (yeah right!), something bad happens and you are blown away from a missile of unknown origin. Of course you are alive and end up in the island where a PDA is so conveniently there waiting for you to pick it up from which you will be informed of what's going on here. From there on you start killing guys for absolutely no reason and find out that the island holds some secrets. Now time for a spoiler, but don't worry the plot is so boring that you can read anyway, I won't destroy the game for you. Apparently some secret experiments are being made in the island and some creatures have been created yes, the typical evil mad scientists, creates biological weapon recipe. After the first hour I knew this game had boring plot but my main complain isn't this, my big problem is the presentation which made me feel I was watching a J.I. JOE episode and the characters which where so damn shallow. I know most modern gamers don't care about that but for me, in order to truly feel into the game I need a descent if not good plot and characters that I like
Even if you haven't ever play Far Cry you have surely seen a screenshot or two and said, Wow!, since graphics is the main reason for this game's popularity. Far Cry graphics are simply perfect. The main theme of Far Cry is a large tropical island that looks real and is full, (and when I say full I do mean full), of vegetation creating a realistic jungle, of course at long distances trees look a bit different but who can complain about that? Another thing is the water dear God!!! After playing this game I'd always have an urge to take a bus and head for the nearest beach. I can assure you that you haven't see water like this. The island doesn't have some sort of extra design, it is just a big rock in the water with trees on it, but although not original it looks perfect. In order to add a bit off variety we have levels that take place in the sunset or in the night, (wait to see the night sea!), end all look great. Great work in lighting and special effects in general, I specifically enjoyed the way light passes through the jungles trees. Good work on the models of the game too, although they aren't as great as the level design is. 2 small pieces of complain though we have a perfect graphic engine and all we see in the game is the same, a tropical island with a simple design, yes it looks great but it could have a more distinctive look, like more lakes structures and many, many more and finally the interior areas. When inside a building you forget you're playing Far Cry because of the extreme simplicity of the level design. Simple textures, no innovative design and generally nothing special, but of course that's nitpicking!
Good quality in the sound section too, although not so groundbreaking as the graphics. Music as long as I remember has that ambient-like style so its quite forgettable and in my opinion not needed since the atmosphere in this game is better when no music is heard. Good work on the ambient effects but most of all very good work concerning the special effects and especially the gun sounds which sound very realistic and especially your basic pistol and the M16 rifle. There is one problem though and that is of course the voice acting. As I've said the characters are Uber lame and if things weren't bad already they talk like total morons. Jack, (why all American heroes are Jacks and Johns???), is a typical Stalone\Schwarzenegger cretin and Valerie the usual sexy-spy-femme-fatale-ice queen. Cheesy action movie humor, stupid script and villains that talk as if they are at a Batman movie casting
The game is supposed to be very non-linear and a mix breed of pure action and stealth. Lets analyze the total freedom part that exists only in the exterior area. You are in one realistically large group of tropical islands where you can go everywhere you want apart from places where only lizards can climb. Yes, you can travel where you want, either by walking or by using a boat or by swimming, you truly can go anywhere you want SO WHAT??? Yes you can ride a boat and park in any side of the island you want but the building you want to enter is still in the other side and approaching from there has absolutely no strategic value. You can swim to a veeery distant and small island only to be shot by a helicopter or find out that the island has nothing apart from trees, no secrets, no nothing! Finally most of the time the only way to reach your target is to follow path #1, yes you can kill some time in path #2 but in the end you'll get bored and follow path #1 like you should in the first time. Generally the game gives you some freedom but not so much as it first promises.
The game takes place indoors and outdoors with the outdoor section being the best. When outside in the open this is how you usually play, you move in a stealthy fashion in order to avoid alerting enemies and always use your special goggles to see them from a distance or at night but also hear them! The fact that you can hear them with your goggles doesn't add something to the actual gameplay but is a good addition. It's not actually a stealth game though, since stealth in Far Cry only means hiding crouched behind a bush and shooting from a distance, this however although sounds simple is the true fun in Far Cry. Roam freely in the island, (as freely you can that is), avoid or kill enemies from afar or if you want do some mindless killing from a short distance. So far so good and although not innovative at all the game manages to be entertaining.
But what about the indoor part of the game? This is the main problem here and unfortunately these levels are the 2/3 of Far Cry. Boring areas with uninspiring level design where all you do is open a door and shoot, open the next door and shoot and nothing more. The AI is quite good but it was designed specifically for the outdoors since it is based in maneuvering and surrounding, you hiding in the jungle and ambush you where you least expect it. Another bad thing is the friendly AI the results of which can fortunately be seen in rare occasions. In some parts of the game you will fight alongside Valerie who either stands right besides you and does nothing or runs towards the enemy as if she wants to die. I also must complain about the main monster in the game, a creature which can make distant leaps towards you and severely damage you even if you are some steps far from it, you see I like a challenge but when I avoid an enemy I don't like to be damaged by an invisible hit. My final complain is about the final 30-60 minutes of the game where the difficulty raises from easy-medium to hard-unfair. Rooms full of enemies who can kill you in a matter of seconds with no place to hide, (and no save function) and monsters that need a gazillion of bullets to go down. Generally apart from the first 1/3 of the game, which takes place out in the open, the game becomes quite a tedious thing later on. Finally the Multiplayer is there but doesn't have something special, (at least its there).
-Gameplay in the outdoors is quite good
-Perfect graphics that create a beautiful tropical paradise
-Very good weapon sound effects
-Good AI but only in the outdoor areas
-Extremely boring indoor levels
-Bad friendly AI
-Unnaturally hard towards the end
-Lame voice acting
Doom 3 (PC)
Some final words for the game. The game is your average FPS with great graphics and ok gameplay but is greatly damaged by its many faults, which make you want to get over with it and play something else. A bit linear in many occasions and quite short, it won't last long even for the casual FPS player.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 10/13/08
Game Release: Far Cry (EU, 03/26/04)
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