Review by ergwhyamihere

"Brief Review: It's not what it could've been."

Far Cry 2 looks fairly good.
But not as good as it could've looked.
Far Cry 2 is fun.
But not as fun as it could've been.
Far Cry 2 has an interesting and mature story.
But it can't really be followed or enjoyed without serious effort.
Far Cry 2 has some neat-o gameplay mechanics.
But they aren't all very neat-o.
Far Cry 2 is worth buying.
But it isn't worth more than thirty bucks.

Giraffe-ics: Long view distances that blend high-quality and low-quality models and such rather smoothly. Shadows look rather sharp. Ragdolls are pretty darn realistic; better than any other game I've seen. Textures look rather high-resolution.

View distances are cut off by awkwardly placed cliffs, that also detract from the sense of freedom. (Darn you, invisible barriers! Darn you to a sock!) Player-controlled light sources are practically non-existent: no flashlights, or even night vision goggles; just headlights, and only when it's dark and you're in the car. Character models are repetitive and seem somewhat unrealistic; your legs and torso magically spawn in front of you when you step into vehicles and cutscenes, and vanish when you get out.

Game-zebra-play: You're free to go pretty much anywhere, with some exceptions. (Darn you, invisible barriers! Darn you to a sock!) Weapon variety is nice. Fire propagation is new. Vehicles are fun to play with. Locations are fairly varied. The immersive map system is neat, if occasionally irksome.

That freedom is more illusory than it seems at first: you HAVE to advance through the main storyline to unlock certain weapons, missions, and locations. Those weapons can be purchased once, and replaced an infinite number of times, for free: African economics are rather strange. The fire doesn't look very good, or propagate past a certain limit, which, err, limits its effectiveness. Those vehicles are going to get boring as you repetitively drive back and forth through swathes of barren wilderness; you also have a magical super wrench that is the only thing capable of stopping spontaneous explosion. Locations may be varied, but enemy behavior isn't; they're all rather stupid and not terribly threatening. While the map works well, the health bar and ammo counter kinda make it pointless.

Wildebeas-sound-t: The voice actors seem to know what they're doing. Music is subtle, but good. Sound effects and ambient noise are pretty snazzy.

The voice actors are practically inaudible, because of a rather complicated issue that involves the game supporting no more than 2 audio channels for MOST sounds, while others awkwardly (and LOUDLY) use all eight. In fact, all the sound does. Oh yeah, and the NPC's sound like they don't need to breath, as if somebody removed all the pauses from the audio to make the files smaller.

Summar-I'm too lazy to think of any more African wildlife-y: This game would be great, but there's a bunch of problems that stem from being ported to the Xbox and PS3, and then back again. The pointless 'save point' system is evidence of this. If you can put up with the problems, and don't want the bleeding edge of graphical performance, then you might like it. I'd buy the console version, if I had one, but the PC version is lacking, for a PC game. It's still fairly entertaining, though. Wish it had co-op.

7/10 - Buy it if you feel like it, but try not to spend too much. It ain't worth full price.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 10/31/08

Game Release: Far Cry 2 (US, 10/21/08)


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