Far Cry Review

We tackle this new FPS franchise from Crytek and Ubisoft.

Review by Tracy Bosworth
Published 18th March 2004

Far Cry

  • Developer: Crytek
  • Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Release Date: 26th March 2004

Admittedly I’m not a fan of first person ‘kill everything that moves’ shooters, I wasn’t keen on Halo and shock horror, I was no fan of Half Life. By now you’re probably wondering why on earth I am reviewing Far Cry and I wondered this myself whilst the game was loading for the very first time. However two hours into the game and I was fully immersed into the realistic atmosphere and addictive gameplay that is Far Cry, why all the praise from a former non FPS fan? Well, Far Cry is just different.

It all starts when ex marine and current boat skipper Jack Carver is hired to take a young lady to an uncharted island in the South Pacific. Once there Jack is suddenly attacked by mercenaries and wakes up alone in the middle of nowhere. All he knows is that the mysterious woman he took to the island is somewhere among the mercenaries and who else is there to rescue her but the guy that took her into there in the first place.

The gameplay mostly takes place in a first person perspective and sees you, as Jack Carver wondering around huge environments picking up weapons and various other items whilst taking care of numerous mercenaries. The controls are very easy to master and the first few minutes of the game lets you test out each move at your disposal acting as a mini tutorial.

Unlike most games the bad guys in Far Cry really do have a mind of their own so its not just a case of running through and popping the odd enemy here and there, the mercenaries in this game are highly clued up and will detect you whether you move slowly, take cover or simply make them paranoid, you will not get past these guys easily. To make things even more of a challenge they do what they can to protect themselves from you too including crouching behind shrubs, standing behind trees and hopping into a vehicle if you get too far way. It’s all very tense, and I can only assume having never been in this kind of situation, realistic.

Thankfully the bad guys are not the only ones who get to uses the vehicles, you can steal or if you prefer ‘borrow’ numerous vehicles to travel around in whether it be on land, in air or on water and thankfully all of them handle well and give the option of switching into a third person view for easier control. My major gripe with the land vehicles is that they exploded far too easily, sometimes even just for going too far into the water. Considering the majority of the game is so realistic it’s a shame that the vehicles have had a very video game feel implemented into their damage system.

Also on the realism scale are the weapons which include a decent selection of real world guns from the Falcon 357 to the trigger happy M-4 assault rifle, along with the odd grenade, Machete and rocket launcher you are never short of things to kill with and of course, most vehicles have a way of taking down the bad guys whether it’s the mounted weapons or the basic ability to run people over. Guns in general are accurate to a realistic degree that means that if you don’t hit them where you meant to, chances are you’ll miss completely. Different parts of the body also react differently to gunshots, shoot them in the leg and they will collapse to a side in a highly realistic manner but the majority of the time they don’t die, they’ll soldier on for as long as possible. Shooting in the stomach can be a waste of time too since you’re not the only one that can fit the body armour, you’re only sure fire hit is the head which lets face it, is never going to be an easy target from afar.

One thing that truly stands out about Far Cry is the fact that what ever you can do to your enemies you know that they can do the same to you. They will try and run you over, if they get their vehicles stuck on tree’s they won’t just sit ‘being stuck’ they will abandon their vehicles and come to face you on foot. Enemy helicopters will search for you from the skies, running along a beach may result in you been hounded with bullets from a nearby boat, turn your back and an enemy may suddenly rise from the shrubbery behind you and quickly take you out, even on the easiest level the game is very much a ‘search for the health packs’ kind of game and no amount of slacking will be tolerated by the enemies.

Graphically Far Cry is amazing; the action takes place in a huge, brightly coloured environment with dense jungle style shrubbery, peacefully quiet beaches and large indoor areas. The excellent shadow effects simply bring the game to life with reflections on walls and even on your own weapons as you creep through the trees it’s like something straight out of a movie, helped along by the lighting and tight, crisp textures. Character models too are of a very high standard with varying facial characteristics, body physiques and overall animation. Other little touches in the game help to achieve the overall realism such as floating dead bodies with blood seaming into the water, non fatal injuries in enemies maintaining recognition until death such as the shot legs and the way items fall over or move as you walk into them make you feel like you have a real presence in the environment.

The audio in Far Cry is very atmospheric with the peaceful nature of the beach and jungle turning into an almost horror film silence with the odd noise coming from animals, the ocean or oncoming mercenaries. Vehicles from afar can be heard in the distance as can the low key conversation of enemies whilst your immediate surroundings appear quiet and calm, somehow the developers have managed to create almost life like realistic sound effects for the game which I personally have never witnessed to this level in a video game.

So what has Far Cry actually achieved? Well apart from the amazing graphics and atmospheric audio the game excels as a first person action game with enemies that provide more of a challenge (albeit a little too much at times) than most games in its genre. The game makes you want to use stealth just to avoid confrontation. Far Cry is difficult but highly addictive game and any video gamer will probably like something in this game, if not all of it.

Review Score: 9.6/10

Please note, this review was scored using our old system. For more information please see our review policy.

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