How To Make Far Cry Look Like Crysis. Ish.

By Alec Meer on August 11th, 2008 at 9:40 am.

Once upon a time, Far Cry was the great hope of modders everywhere. Its paint-like world-building tool appeared joyously easy to use, and its incredi-graphics seemed malleable to all sorts of visual experimentation.

That didn’t really happen. Half-Life proved a more suitable mod-foundation, and any number of mooted Far Cry efforts didn’t make it far past the drawing board. So it’s great to see one finally make it out the door (though worth noting we’ve had two other splendid FC mods in the last year.)

The Delta Sector is both a single and multiplayer mod, but its main goal – and its greatest accomplishment – is to squeeze every last drop of pixel-juice out of Crytek’s now-aged first engine. The results are incredible:


(Click on the pic for a big’un).

Actual, honest to god screenshot. Promise. OK, it’s not quite Crysis-level but it makes a damned good try at it. Perhaps more importantly, it runs beautifully. If you’ll allow me a lapse into stat-speak for a moment – this is running at 50fps on a GeForce 8800 GTS at 1680×1050, with the HDR tweak enabled (add -DEVMODE “r_hdrrendering 7″ to your Far Cry shortcut, though you’ll need to turn off anti-aliasing).

The trees are sadly not destructible, but the tall grass waves prettily and there’s a ton of incidental detail such as falling leaves, flocks of birds and butterflies. I left the mod running during a quiet scene while I went to make my fourteenth coffee of the day, and upon returning found my normally manic kitten sat motionless in front of my monitor, mesmerised by the gentle sway and flutter of the verdant vista. I’ll confess to having done the same myself for a few minutes.

As a game, it’s an odd’un. Of course it’s an FPS using Far Cry’s mechanics, and a narratively bankrupt one at that (plus talk of ‘aircrafts’ makes me wince), but the substitution of FC’s tropical beaches for Euro-forests changes the play-style quite a bit. There’s not much call for stealth – enemies fall, somewhat mercifully after Crysis’ ultro-Koreans, after just a couple of well-placed bullets – but the challenge is spotting them in the first place. The vegetation is so dense and their armour so tree-coloured that you’re forced into a unfamiliar and often thrilling degree of awareness and caution. The AI isn’t really aware this is the case, but it does mean you can apply curiously effective backwards logic as to why an enemy is standing stock still. The constant paranoia of whether each new clump of trees might hide an Angry Machinegun Man makes it almost a Vietnam game. A shame it doesn’t ditch Far Cry’s ‘orrible checkpoint save system, though.

It’s only three singleplayer levels and thus more an experiment than a full game, but it wrings so much out of Far Cry. With crushing modteam inevitablity, the menu music is hideous, but once you’re in the game it’s just you, your guns and the genuinely incredible scenery. Honestly, you won’t believe it’s running on a four-year-old game.

Grab the Delta Sector from here. If you don’t already own Far Cry, the ad-supported free version should work.

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56 Comments »

  1. Skalpadda says:

    Ripley is a brilliant name for a kitten. The mod looks nice too, I’ll have to download it later :)

  2. MetalCircus says:

    I’m very skeptical of this…

  3. Mr. Tea says:

    what an informative review. lets play games on their graphical prowess alone, sod whether it’s actually a good game with decent gameplay mechanics! And no, I don’t call 2 sentences a worthy review of gameplay

  4. Alec Meer says:

    It’s not a review, sir. It’s just A Post About A Mod.

  5. Jim Rossignol says:

    And, indeed, there are very few “reviews” at all on RPS.

  6. MetalCircus says:

    Sceptical I meant of course ;)
    Still though, it’s a reason to reinstall Far Cry

  7. Pavel says:

    So, the graphics aside, is it worth playing for the gameplay as well? Story?

    I will reinstall FC just to see it, but I wanna know if there is more to it : ).

  8. Alec Meer says:

    /me cries softly

  9. Philip says:

    Sounds good to me. Then again, I am the kind of person who installed Oblivion + various mods just to look at something pretty.

  10. Stuk says:

    It appears there is some
    The point -------------> *whoosh*

    Comments ---> *
    going on here.

    And colour me impressed.

  11. marxeil says:

    So, is this a full game? How many single player levels are there?

  12. Thiefsie says:

    Reading is lost obviously…

  13. ape says:

    Spot on, Stuk.

    Really pretty and certainly impressive considering the engine.

  14. Stuk says:

    @marxeil
    *jaw drops*

    *blinks*

    It….err….did?….*gives up*

  15. Del Boy says:

    Has everyone gone blind?!

  16. phuzz says:

    awww kitty!
    erm , sorry, er quick, say something less sappy
    Pixelshaders!
    there we go, don’t think anyone noticed…

    I think I’ve still got a copy of far cry lying around somewhere, shame I never got beyond the level where you’re dropped into a valley with just a shotgun and a couple of shells for company vs a trygen (trigen?).
    Quite a fun game but bastard hard in places.

  17. Legandir says:

    If you don’t already own Far Cry, the ad-supported free version should work.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/276392/Email-from-Ubisoft
    Its not able to install anymore unless someone’s found a way to make it work that i didnt hear about

  18. Flint says:

    And I just happened to uninstall Far Cry. Dunno if I can be arsed to reinstall it for a mod.

  19. Sax says:

    Forget the mod! Sweet kitten.

  20. FreezerBag says:

    Don’t worry Alec, I read your post!

    Those screenshots look very nice, how does that compare to Oblivion in the fancy woodyness stakes?

  21. Okami says:

    What a bad review. There isn’t even a score posted. From the screenshot I’d say it’s a 7.4, but maybe it’s only 7.2 or even 7.8. I need to know this, before I buy this game, because I would never buy a 7.2 game.

  22. CheeseMuffler says:

    7.4?

    Are you insane?

    7.349 *TOPS*

  23. iainl says:

    Didn’t you get the memo, Okami? 8 is the new 7.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with Ripley, of course, but Jones is the name of the cat in the film.

  24. karthik says:

    I played this a couple of months ago, and was totally blown away by the atmosphere.
    Surprisingly, it ran very poorly. (worse than Crysis)
    On an 8800GT at 1280×1024, I never got more than 30 fps.
    About time RPS picked it up. Matto4 is the only other mod that comes close in terms of quality, although it plays almost entirely indoors.

  25. Ian Dorsch says:

    Wow, that is some really impressive work from those guys. What the heck, I’ll reinstall Far Cry to check this out.

  26. marxeil says:

    Also, where can I get this mod?

  27. Zuffox says:

    This has turned out so something resembling a Dickensian tragedy for Alec and his poor widdle article.

  28. PleasingFungus says:

    I thought 7 was the new 8?

    Also, I like cats. You should change the statistics at the bottom (which have been the same since, what, February?) to include more Ripley.

  29. spd from Russia says:

    karthik: any more info on how it played, besides being slow as crycsys ?

  30. TychoCelchuuu says:

    More cat pictures!

  31. Mman says:

    Wow, I’ll have to check this out.

  32. Pseudonym says:

    The main question is, who would win in a fight: Dexter or Ripley?

  33. Alec Meer says:

    It wouldn’t be much of a fight, what with her only being 13 weeks old. She can still fit inside a hat, for goodness’ sakes.

  34. rehashbodash says:

    I didn’t read this post on RPS but I love Alec. :)

  35. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    @ Stuk: I think marxeil was being less than serious, as further evidenced by his subsequent post. If not, I worry for the guy.

    @ Alec: Google concurs. Also, awww…

  36. Gap Gen says:

    That kitten looks a lot like our cat, who is evil incarnate. She was a tiny kitten, but regularly brought back dead stoats that were slightly bigger than her.

  37. Fumarole says:

    This is either the best comments thread on RPS or the worst. I’m not sure which yet.

  38. Erlam says:

    “Not that there’s anything wrong with Ripley, of course, but Jones is the name of the cat in the film.”
    Jones_Y_. Jonesy.

    Sorry, had to.

    And I’ll just toss in a random nitpick – for all the ‘pretty graphics,’ that’s one ugly-ass scope.

  39. DSX says:

    More kitty pics x 2! Because if more of those cats gets posted here then that will be all! Then all this – this bullshit that you think is so important, you can just kiss all that goodbye!

  40. Alex says:

    She can still fit inside a hat, for goodness’ sakes.

    Oh god she’s adorable.

  41. Urre says:

    Judging from the two screenshots, it looks like a perfect example of how little new tech actually matters when it comes to visual style and sometimes just pure prettyness and “realism”. It’s so much more about the art than it is about the amount of polygons, or resolution of textures you’re pushing about. Will need to check this out when I have time, definitely better looking than the rather washed out Far Cry. Cool stuff :)

  42. kenoxite says:

    Amazing stuff…
    Will those cats run on my laptop?

  43. Erlam says:

    “definitely better looking than the rather washed out Far Cry.

    Gears of War?

  44. Pavel says:

    The mod doesnt work :( . Freezes during loading, and freezes when I hit options.Patch 1.4 for FC as well as 1.1 for mod installed.

  45. FooAtari says:

    “It wouldn’t be much of a fight, what with her only being 13 weeks old. She can still fit inside a hat, for goodness’ sakes.”

    Wanna bet. My 9 week old kitten terrorized the 1 year old cat when we let them meet up. (im guessing Dexter is a cat?). They get on fine now, but still fight quite a lot and the 4 month old kitten who is still about half the size of the cat gives as good as she gets and some.

  46. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    Hark! A kitten!

    What this site would be like if John and Alec decided to turn RPS into their cat-gallery for a day.

  47. Sucram says:

    GRaphiks! KiTtenS1

    This site delivers.

  48. pirate0r says:

    More pictures of the kitten!!

  49. iainl says:

    Kitten pics for the win, definitely. I always thought the cat was officially “Jones”, and referred to as “Jonesy” the same way that one might “Meery” were he a footballer. But never Gilleny. Not that.