FarCry2 2008-11-16 14-59-40-77

By now I’m sure most of you have heard that Far Cry 2 has nothing at all to do with the Far Cry we’ve come to know and love, to some that might be a good thing and to others it might not be. Far Cry 2 is a gritty,  set in the real world, adventure type first person shooter that has the hallmarks of an award winning game, the good things about this game are boundless, but it has one glaringly annoying downfall, that takes the game and just makes it not fun to play at times really: malaria. I’ve never had malaria, and I don’t want  it anytime soon, but this whole character having malaria thing is just downright annoying, and there are a few choice words that I don’t think I should type out here that I have for my feelings for this whole thing. I mean I can understand having some ailment, making the game somewhat more interesting or more lifelike, but malaria? why? You’re playing along, happily gunning down bad guys and everything goes a funky, pukey, green, you’ve got to stop and take your meds, then of course for 5 more minutes, what seems like an hour really, the screen goes from clear to blurry at regular but frequent intervals. It might not be so bad in the game, but me, myself, it actually bothered me physically, my eyes anyway and my head really, I sat and played for over three hours straight one night and went to bed with a headache. I found myself squinting at the screen when it was blurry trying to focus, it’s an automatic response so I couldn’t help but to do it, but it was like why did they do this?!? Ok, so that was my rant about FC2… really though it’s an awesome game that any FPS lover should grab!

Far Cry 2 is a visually stunning and action oriented masterpiece of a game that any gun loving geek will be thrilled to spend hours at a clip playing. The visuals and graphics are nothing short of amazing, you can easily just get lost driving around Africa looking at the sights and admiring the scenery, from the rocks, trees and water, to how the sun shines through those same trees. The wide open, free roaming nature of Far Cry 2 tends to allow the player a lot of freedom when it comes to how to play the game, most likely everyone will have a different experience with it. If you don’t have a mission you can just drive around and explore a bit, and maybe shoot a few people along the way, this style of gameplay leads to a game that could last forever really.

The fire in Far Cry 2 was one of it’s hyped features, it does look good, but it falls a bit short of realistic, quite a bit short really. There are some other small quirks with the game as well, but overall it’s a great game.

So continue on to check out a couple movies and a whole slew of screenshots, along with performance as well running on my Diamond Radeon HD 4870 1gig at 1680×1050 resolution..


First up we’ve got some box shots, it’s your standard game box with cardboard slip cover.
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Specifications:

Far Cry 2

INTRODUCTION
Far Cry 2, the next-generation first-person shooter from Ubisoft, will take you deep into the most beautiful but also most hostile environments in the world: Africa! More than just a visual and technological achievement, Far Cry 2, the true sequel to the award-winning PC game, will provide you with an unprecedented gaming experience. Caught between two rival factions in war-torn Africa, you are sent to take out "The Jackal," a mysterious character who has rekindled the conflict between the warlords, jeopardizing thousands of lives. In order to fulfil your mission you will have to play the factions against each other, identify and exploit your their weaknesses, and neutralize their superior numbers and firepower with surprise, subversion, cunning and, of course, brute force.

Features:

OPEN WORLD
The extensive artistic research combined with the next-gen engine will allow you to explore over 50Km2 of seamlessly rendered African landscape. No game has ever provided such freedom of movement!

DUNIA ENGINE
The Dunia Engine was built specifically for Far Cry 2 by the award-winning Ubisoft Montréal development team. It delivers the most realistic destructible environments, amazing special effects such as dynamic fire propagation and storm effects, real-time night-and-day cycle, dynamic music system, non-scripted enemy A.I. and so much more…

Real-Time Immersion
Real-time story telling, systemic auto-healing, minimal in-game interface are just few of the features that will make you feel the tension of being alone against barbarous warlords that threaten thousands of innocent lives.

Weapons of Choice
Choose from a wide range of weapons to make your way to your primary target. Meet the fight head-on with your machine-gun, go berserk with your machete or make stealth kills as a Sniper. If you feel that the atmosphere is not warm enough, light up your flamethrower and let your enemies and everything around them feel the heat.

Vehicles
Fly, Drive, Run, slide and hover over the huge open world with your glider, trucks, cars, boats and much more.


Ok, one of the quirks in the game is the AI, it’s not that bright really, sure some of them will make an attempt to hide, or duck and cover, but most just run in a straight line firing at you. Speaking of those characters, the damage that they can live through sometimes is quite amazing, I’ve sniped guys dead center chest to have them just keep running along. Other times I’ve thought I killed a guy, shot him near point blank range, only to have him get up and shoot me in the back, I learned real quick to shoot everybody twice, even though I do find it fun to walk around with my pistol after a fire fight and put one or two of them out of their misery with a nice head shot.

A guy comes running up looking like Joe Cool with his shirt unbuttoned, bare chested and I fire my pistol at him square in the chest, you’d think he’d fall down, but no, pump 4 or 5 rounds into him and he finally falls down, I could see if the guy had armor on or something, but he’s like bare chested here. My guess is that everyone or character has the same amount of hit points no matter what they’re wearing or not wearing.

Another small quirk that kind of irks me is that you can’t kill the animals, I saw water buffalos, zebras, buzzards, and antelope (or whatever they are) running around, I figured why not have some fun and go hunting, but I shot them numerous times and they just keep running, some tough animals they are…

Gameplay is fine, though I did find I had to jack up the DPI on my mouse to make it a bit more responsive. The map feature is very cool, though the GPS in every vehicle is kind of useless as it’s so small it’s hard to tell what’s going on, I found myself driving around with the map out most of the time to figure out where I was going.

Gameplay can get repetitive at points though, and you’re going to be doing a whole lot of driving around, I think half of the time I played I spent driving from place to place. The missions can get repetitive, three times in a row I had to help the gunsmith take out his competition, and it was usually on the other side of the map, so I had to drive for 30 minutes just to get there, only to be run over by someone and start over again. Save your game often, there’s nothing fun about driving for 30 minutes only to get out of the vehicle, get run over, and have to start all over again…

Here’s a 3 minute in game video of gameplay and it ending with me getting run over by the truck I’m supposed to destroy to finish the mission

I mentioned the fire effects in the intro, they are nice, but they just look fake really, fire isn’t really clear as it is in the game, but it does look cool, and I like how you can burn things to defend yourself, toss a couple molotovs in a grassy field with your enemies and hear their screams of agony.. fun-fun!

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The lighting effects are very nice, the sun glistens off of the water realistically, and even the water looks very real, albeit a bit dirty.

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I like all of the vehicles in the game, and as we can see apparently Jeep did a bit of product placement as well. You can drive dune buggies, Jeeps, generic Jeeps, boats, and even hang gliders as well.

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I did run into a small glitch, plants growing in my Jeep! As far as I know I wasn’t transporting any Shrubbery…

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The details in FC2 are very nicely done, but I still can’t quite figure out why everything in newer games tends to be all shiny, like you have a beat up leather seat in your car, but it’s shiny like metal almost.. it’s not just FC2, it’s most any other game as well, you’re in a war torn battlefield, everything is grimy and dirty but yet it’s still all shiny. Oh well.

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For actual raw performance I used FRAPS to benchmark while I played, I tried both DX9 and DX10, and I played both for many hours overall. I ran FC2 at 1680×1050 resolution using my Diamond Radeon HD 4870 1gig video card, all of the settings were very high or high, and anti-aliasing was set to 2x, as any higher resulted in a performance hit at such a high resolution.

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Here’s the results in graph format:

fps graph

As you can see while running DX10 there is a slight performance hit, but not as much as I expected or have seen in other games. The average though is about one frame higher, but that could just be an anomaly. In DX10 is mostly playable, but the minimum FPS does drop below the magic 30 at times, so some adjustments need made to the settings to keep it above 30 at all times for fully smooth and playable gaming.

Finally here’s a longer gameplay video, it’s about 10 minutes long a little less than that, but I tried to cover quite a bit with it, like the interface, and fire and blowing things up:

Screen Shot Gallery:
FarCry2 2008-11-05 21-41-21-62 FarCry2 2008-11-05 20-53-56-99 FarCry2 2008-11-05 20-57-13-11 FarCry2 2008-11-05 21-41-11-74 FarCry2 2008-11-05 21-41-20-79 FarCry2 2008-11-16 14-45-53-84 FarCry2 2008-11-16 14-45-56-04 FarCry2 2008-11-16 14-48-39-70 FarCry2 2008-11-16 14-48-42-86 FarCry2 2008-11-16 14-48-48-61 FarCry2 2008-11-16 14-56-48-05 FarCry2 2008-11-16 14-56-49-37 FarCry2 2008-11-16 14-56-52-27 FarCry2 2008-11-16 14-59-47-82 FarCry2 2008-11-16 15-23-36-11 FarCry2 2008-11-16 15-31-23-01 FarCry2 2008-11-16 15-31-23-66 FarCry2 2008-11-16 15-31-24-64 FarCry2 2008-11-16 15-31-26-44 FarCry2 2008-11-16 15-31-29-17 FarCry2 2008-11-16 14-59-34-52 FarCry2 2008-11-16 14-59-40-77 FarCry2 2008-11-16 14-59-47-25 FarCry2 2008-11-16 15-37-05-94 FarCry2 2008-11-16 15-41-26-81 FarCry2 2008-11-16 15-41-31-13 FarCry2 2008-11-16 15-41-36-39 FarCry2 2008-11-16 15-43-08-08 FarCry2 2008-11-16 15-43-09-04 FarCry2 2008-11-16 15-45-56-75 FarCry2 2008-11-16 15-45-57-63 FarCry2 2008-11-16 15-46-00-18 FarCry2 2008-11-16 15-46-01-01 FarCry2 2008-11-16 15-46-06-42 FarCry2 2008-11-16 15-46-08-48 FarCry2 2008-11-16 15-54-03-68

Conclusion:
Despite the few quirks in the game, Far Cry 2 is a great game really, it’s a lot of fun and it’s very aesthetically pleasing.

Though I think it’s one of those games that people will either love or hate, I don’t think there’s any middle ground with this game. I’ve paid attention to the forums about FC2 and it’s like 50/50 love to hate ratio, people either love it or hate it, I haven’t seen anyone saying that it was just ok, or mediocre.

Pros: 
Huge world 
Game can continue on almost endlessly
Nice graphics 
Don’t need to upgrade system to play

Cons: 
Malaria is annoying 
Can be repetitive  at times
AI is rather stupid 

Grades:  
Overall score-9-10
Design score-10-10
Performance score-9-10