Review by Kowbrainz

Reviewed: 11/26/07

I want my vengeance on Jack Carver...

When a top shooter franchise is ported over to the Wii from the PC and 360, there are a few things that can (and will) generally happen. First and foremost, the graphics will be scaled down a notch to fit in with the Wii’s limited capabilities. This is a given, and it happens with almost all Nintendo’s ports from third-party developers. How bad the graphics are compared to its competitive-console cousins is up to the developer.

The second thing which is going to change is the control system. Developers have taken a liking to the Wii for its slick control system – especially for first person shooters. Pointing on screen is great for pin-point accuracy, just like the traditional mouse and keyboard control gamers have grown to love.

Whilst Far Cry Vengeance is true to both of these changes, they aren’t the only ones Ubisoft has made in taking the franchise across to the Wii. Unfortunately for the Nintendo fan, most of these changes are actually for the worse.

Wiiload and fire
The controls for Vengeance are mainly what you’d expect from a Wii shooter. The analogue stick on the nunchuk lets you move, and the Wii remote lets you look around, using an on-screen pointer as a target reticule to give you pin-point accuracy. This would have been fine, but if you move your pointer too far off the screen, you’ll lose aim of your target and control of your character. Jack, being the clumsy idiot he is, will send himself into a downward spiral towards the ground.

It gets even more frustrating, though. To zoom in when sniping an enemy from afar, shove the wii remote towards the screen. When you feel you have the enemy in your sights and want to get a closer look just to make sure, you’ll probably end up using this and losing sight of your target altogether. Wonderful.

If this wasn’t enough, grenades have also been implemented to be used with the Wii’s motion sensing technology. When you have grenades with you, hold the Z button and lob the nunchuk with your left arm (making sure to keep hold of the grenade in your palm this time). The real problem is that Jack will always throw the grenade in the same arc towards the enemy, leaving me wondering whether the simple press of a button would have been a better idea.

Jack’s still got a nice little trick up his sleeve for baddies, though. Once you get enough kills racked up and enough blood flowing through those veins, you can go into predator mode. Predator mode puts away the guns (the shooty kind, anyway) and reveals Jack’s inner beast. Your speed is doubled, and you’ll be able to rip any stray enemies in your path to shreds with clawing fingers. Although the control may be a bit too fast and jerky, it’s a nice feature and is certainly a satisfying way to take down your foes.

A far cry from beauty…
I agree, I did say that Wii games are generally uglier than those on the Playstation 3 or Xbox 360; but this isn’t even acceptable for the Gamecube, let alone the Wii. The first cut-scene alone is enough to make eyes burn, with large and fuzzy textures reformatted for the Wii with a lot of quality being lost. Chances are you won’t even understand the story being told through the cinematic either, seeing as the game’s a sequel to a title on the Xbox 360, Far Cry Instincts.

The terrible graphics don’t stop at the cut-scenes, either. Levels are made up of bad texturing and large, ugly polygons. Another thing you’ll notice as you move through the jungle landscapes are the trees and bushes (and other textures, too) which suddenly pop-up when you come within a few metres. Pop-up textures fazed-out during the N64 era – even Banjo-Kazooie used draw-in techniques for its textures. It really annoys me that Ubisoft thought they could get away with such laziness on the Wii. What’s worse, is that even with its nauseating graphics, Far Cry is still a victim of lag during play – and by laggy, I don’t mean a few frames when going through areas with lots of textures. I mean, every time there’s a big explosion or a lot of enemies on screen at once, the frame-rate will drop down to 30 frames a second, and sometimes even worse.

AI: Artificial Idiocy?
Well, graphics and visuals don’t matter, right? They don’t make a game, says hundreds of Nintendo fanboys when comparing Wii to something like the PS3. Okay, well, I’m going to ignore the graphics for this little moment. The one thing I truly hate about Far Cry Vengeance, graphics aside, are the enemies. AI in this game are the stupidest people I have ever come across. Don’t worry if you accidentally make a few stray gunshots in the air – the guards don’t care in the slightest. You’ll often find you’ll be able to walk right up to the enemies before they notice anything – and sometimes you’ll be able to stroll right past their eyes without a thing. Not even huge explosions don’t worry these troops, as they’re all off in their own world whilst you do as you wish.

There’s always multiplayer…
No. Not even good multiplayer can make up for this game. That isn’t to say the multiplayer’s good – because it’s absolutely rubbish. Two players are able to fight it out in a split screen mode, and the predator mode of the main game is ruined by the fact that levels were designed with lots of terrain and cover, forbidding a player from being able to rush around at high, adrenaline fueled speeds.

That said, the level design isn’t spectacular in any way. Whilst some are small and cramped even by two-player standards, others were designed in a way to allow the player to abuse the rocket launcher from a single point in the level and kill the opponent every time he or she re-spawns. It isn’t fun, and it gets tired quickly.

Closing comments
Far Cry Vengeance isn’t a game you want to buy. Even though the prices may have dropped significantly since its launch date, it isn’t worth purchasing. Renting alone will leave you with a sickening taste in your mouth. Ubisoft should never have been trying to kick this one out the door in 2006 like any old port. With time Far Cry could have proven to be a good title, however it will always be proof of what happens when you try to rush a game to the market; even if it was one of the Wii’s first shooters.

Final Scores:
Presentation: 2
Visuals: 3
Audio: 2
Gameplay: 5
Replay Value: 1

Overall: 3

Rating:   1.5 - Bad

Product Release: Far Cry Vengeance (AU, 02/28/07)

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