Review by conkersurround5
"This is why I play video games, now I'll never have to go to Africa - or blow up a rebel camp."
Although I have not beaten the game yet, I thought it necessary to give an overview so as other gamers can get the scoop.
Yes, the sound in Far Cry 2 is below average. I am playing it on a 5.1 setup with an X-Fi processor and this is below par. FEAR, Bioshock, Mass Effect, all sound better. The ambience sounds very impressive: wind, grass, wildlife; the effects are crisp, and the voiceovers are decent. The problem lies in the levels and options. If you turn the volume to the point where the ambience sounds good, then the voiceovers are way too low and the effects (gunfire, explosions, etc.) are way too loud. The crazy thing, and I actually laughed when I saw this, is that when you go to the Sound options there are two options ready for this? master volume and subtitles on/off. Are you kidding me? I don't think I have played a PC game since before 2001 that had less options. In fact, you can't even have less options, it would be called Sound Option. I play the game with headphones now, and keep that volume control handy.
The graphics are top notch. Unfortunately I cannot review the DX10 options at this time but I have it running with all bells and whistles, only turned down the resolution a little. A big issue I don't like is that I had to turn off the bloom effect. I mean, I assume Africa is bright during the day, but with the bloom effect on you can't even appreciate the graphics it's so bright. You can adjust the brightness level, but after playing around it doesn't change the effect the bloom has on the graphics. I turned the bloom off and accredit it to my character buying a pair of sunglasses.
What I really like is how easy it is to get going and playing. The game does a good job of slowly (but not too slowly) bringing up situations to use new controls and explaining their use. Another thing I liked was that they didn't over-complicate the controls. There really aren't that many controls, in fact compared to other FPSs it is quite straight forward. There are a lot of cool little things you can do, such as scouting for example, but they are not complicated control-wise.
I do not like the journal. You can see your mission objective, but in most other games it keeps somewhat of a record of your last NPC conversation. Not so here, which is irritating since they talk very fast. I like the dialogue because they talk like normal people but if you miss something it's done, there is no record of it.
There is a pretty cool system with weapons and ammo. Guns you grab off of dead enemies may be used or old and may jamb up or whatnot. New guns you purchase are always new and you can buy upgrades and can load up on ammo. There is a lot of cool transitive gameplay think Half Life 2 that change up the action; vehicles and gun turrets, etc. The healing system is really cool, especially how you see your character heal himself, for example digging a bullet out of his leg with his knife and wrapping the wound.
When I read the introduction in the instruction book my first thought was, all this did was describe a situation going on in a country in Africa, but doesn't really tell me where I fit in. This is what you'll never figure out so do yourself a favor and have fun playing the game. A plot has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Sometimes in real life things happen and it makes a good story, but doesn't consist of a plot. That's kind of how Far Cry 2 is. As if after the game your character is going to be like, That was some crazy %#^*! In a way it is kind of engrossing since the game takes place in present day. As I mentioned, I have not finished it yet so I can't comment too much on the story but I wouldn't say it's above average.
The open world FPS is a great idea and worked out perfect. There are many ways to achieve an objective: You can go in guns blazing, flatten it with explosives, pull out your sniper rifle from afar, or light the brush on fire and watch the wind spread it towards your enemies. Ubisoft made a great game that took First Person Shooters to a new level and they did it right. I'm hearing the same things about this game from everyone that has played it: Great game, sound is a little weird, graphics are tight, story is scarce, gameplay is phenomenal. If you are reading this then you are most likely thinking about whether you should get this game. You are safe with this purchase, plenty to do and lots of fun.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 10/31/08
Game Release: Far Cry 2 (US, 10/21/08)
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