Games For 2008: Far Cry 2

Despite some rumbling in the games industry jungle about the status of Far Cry 2, we have every reason to believe that this could be one of the finest games of 2008. The team have already shown off some aspects of the open-ended world, reminiscent of Just Cause, Stalker, or those opening islands of the original Far Cry game, and that alone is enough to get my non-linearity glands swollen with anticipation. I think it’s clear that after the various degrees dissatisfaction we’ve all expressed with last year’s batch of shooters, we all need a big, bold, freeform explosion to clear our conscience. Far Cry 2 could well be the game that provides it.

Far Cry 2 is set in an African savannah valley – unusual enough for having large, open spaces – but also astonishingly detailed and remarkably non-static. We’ve already seen demonstrations of fire and physics in the game world, and you can expect to lay waste to a pretty large tract of this savannah environment as you go about your business. You can shoot leaves and branches off trees and, at least at the pre-Alpha stage that was shown last year, they would regrow as time passed. No word on whether the mud huts collapse realistically, however.

What could also be interesting to those of us who played Stalker and then suggested that a survival/navigation/exploration FPS would be an engrossing possibility is that it’s been suggested that Far Cry 2 will feature a far more limited HUD than most FPS games, and rely on gamers getting around with a map and compass. I’d love to see this work at a broad level – finding yourself having to navigate the wilderness, bandits and African plains animals to achieve a particular objective. The idea of a roaming game where you and jeep take on enemies over an expanse of terrain is so much more appealing than another corridor shooter, no matter how prettily it’s dressed up.

Nor does it look as if the story will be boxing you in to a single pre-determined character, like the original game, since you can choose to take on the role of a number of mercenaries operating in the area. The other chaps become NPCs once the game is running, and you will apparently encounter them in the game world as you play. Let’s pray that Ubi don’t over-write this one, or include the barrage of cutscenes that made the start of Assassin’s Creed so awkward. If this is going to work then we’ll want to leap into the sandbox and start throwing stuff about, hopefully without encountering mutants too early in the proceedings. (Real world opponents only, reportedly.)

Perhaps what’s most interesting is that last year’s commentary would have had us believe that Crysis was the “real” Far Cry 2, what with it being made by the same devs and set on another tropical island. But perhaps the fact of the matter is that this sequel could end up being far more interesting than the Crytek game simply by virtue of not trying to recapture what the original game had achieved. From what we’ve seen so far, this is one of those sequels that is very much its own game, and we can’t wait to see what the Ubi team have done with it when it when they show it off later this year.


  1. WCAYPAHWAT says:

    Okay…. I have to say it. that, is a ridiculously large scope for an AK. It’s just…..wrong.

  2. Phil says:

    I find it strangely pleasing.

    Also – does anyone know if there are any mutants/aliens/zombines/other enemies that are less fun to fight than standard humans in this one?

  3. Jim Rossignol says:

    I believe that’s a version of the Dragunov sniper rifle.

  4. Morris says:

    No aliens, mutants or superpowers \o/

    “Many people seemed to feel the game suffered a bit with the introduction of the Trigens, and the fantastical story that they brought with them. We agreed.”

    After just a glance, the different focus is clear. There are no nanosuits in Far Cry 2, and no mutant, alien or magical powers. “Neither the player nor the enemy have any ‘powers’ other than those that any individual human can summon up in extreme circumstances,” says Pharand.

    Quote from link to

  5. Meat Circus says:

    Mmmm, mud-hut-tastic.

    Because all Africans live in mud huts, right?

  6. Piratepete says:

    I’m getting a bit tired of devs claiming “it will revolutionise this, and do this amazing thing and that amazing thing” when in reality the scope (pardon the pun) is bound to narrow due to software hardware contstraints, I am not stupid enough to believe that to get the ‘snowball of hype’ rolling downhill you need to give the snowball a great big shove. But a bit of realism wouldn’t be amiss. Stalker is probably the best example of this but the whole games industry seems to suffer from it at the moment.

    I will personally give £1 to every member of RPS if all the features muted in Far Cry 2 actually appear in the full game EXACTLY AS DESCRIBED (big caveat)

  7. Thelps says:

    That’s part of the nature of hype though: description never truly reveals all the natural limitations inherent in each feature. Our imaginations tend to run wild with possibilities revealed when a developer says something like you can meet other neutral NPC mercenaries, or set fire to fields or whatever. In reality, being a game, you have to really TRY to be creative with these features to realise them, otherwise they pan out as considerably more mundane than they sounded coming out of an excited dev’s mouth.

  8. Piratepete says:

    That may well be the case as I am not a dev, merely a consumer.

    However in terms of features game evolution is very slow, and I am beginning to wonder if that is just the nature of the standard set up of Pc’s rather than limitations of imagination. (The Wii i think demonstrates the need for hardware innovation as well as software evolution.) Note that for this argument increased graphics power doesn’t add up to better gameplay for me.

  9. yns88 says:

    Bloom: check
    Brown: check
    Blur: check

    This will be a true next-gen game. Anyway, I don’t particularly like Ubisoft that much, but most would agree that their games typically consist of several good ideas and bad blunders. As such, my feelings toward this game are lukewarm, though I’d love to be pleasantly surprised.

  10. Schadenfreude says:

    Let’s pray that Ubi don’t over-write this one, or include the barrage of cutscenes that made the start of Assassin’s Creed so awkward.

    The start? Surely you mean the entire game?

  11. Jim Rossignol says:

    Once I was into the cities I was quite happy with it. The entire game needed stripping of cutscenes, granted, but it was the first 40-minutes that was really excruciating.

  12. Evo says:

    Far Cry 2 is looking really good, I just hope they don’t blow it with over writing it, that would really suck!

    Looks much better than the ‘spiritual successor’ Crysis for me

  13. Meat Circus says:

    Was Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Ubi’s last game that was unqualifiedly great?

    They seem to have a habit of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, mainly caused by a sudden failure of nerve over their games’ ideas.

  14. Jockie says:

    “The idea of a roaming game where you and jeep take on enemies over an expanse of terrain is so much more appealing than another corridor shooter, no matter how prettily it’s dressed up.”

    “I think it’s clear that after the various degrees dissatisfaction we’ve all expressed with last year’s batch of shooters, we all need a big, bold, freeform explosion to clear our conscience. Far Cry 2 could well be the game that provides it”.

    This sounds a bit like crysis minus the nanosuit, the same nanosuit which has been described as perhaps the best feature of the game (bar the graphics obviously), giving you the freedom of an expansive area, but also the freedom to approach the world in whatever manner you choose.

    So… basically Far cry then?

    Sure the graphics will be prettier, but personally i would prefer to play a game like COD4 where everything maybe meticulously planned towards having fun, or Crysis, where you are set loose on the world with abilities which allow the player some freedom to do as they will, whether it be shoot, hide or punch people in the face.

    A map and compass sounds good if you approach it romantically – looking for a survivalist experience. But i cant help feel that in a computer game, such features are more likely to annoy gamers who usually have a radar and clear objectives.

    However, if you added in some stalker-esque rpg (or going further deus ex-esque) elements and a truely original setting (rather than farcry in africa) , then it might be worth looking at. As it stands and from the supposed industry reports and underwhelming press releases, this is barely on my radar.

  15. Radiant says:

    Bloom is this decades lens flare.
    I kept rubbing my eyes at mercenaries in a misguided effort to see clearly.

  16. Radiant says:

    Also who’s willing to bet against the likelyhood that somewhere beneath the savannah lays a set of tunnels and an underground lab?

  17. Janek says:

    I can’t really see map and compass making it into the game, except maybe just as an option. Stupid people would be all “mewf mewf rubbish” and the game would sell about four copies.

    Did work really well in Flashpoint, though.

    (Actually with the old Soviet gear I like to look at these screenies and just sort of pretend it’s a sequel with a super new engine. Ah, happy dreams)

  18. Seth Tipps says:

    @JR, you would be quite correct.
    And the scope is of a rather common design (obviously for a right-hander, the bit off to the right fits to the edge of the face to keep out glare).

  19. Sum0 says:

    I thought Far Cry 2 would just be the Championship Manager 5 to Crytek’s FM2005 – the “oh well, we own the rights still, let’s make the best of the brand” game that wouldn’t be as good as the real thing. Now I’m reconsidering.

  20. Ghiest says:

    Crysis was on rails … sure slightly bigger rails but it still was pretty much go here kill this … do that, if you wanted to go forward in the game you would go down the small valley lined with a few hundred mindless bots, sure there were some wide open areas with a few hundred spread out mindless bots … but it’s still the same thing in the end.

    I play a game to challenge my skill and to entertain, Crysis did neither, Far cry was boring to say the least … I have very little hope for Far cry 2.

  21. Jives says:

    I think they should sneak in some trigen, or at least some kind of reference to them. otherwise its not realy far cry except in name.

  22. malkav11 says:

    I’m all for keeping the enemies pretty much humans with various tech to play with – I don’t mind aliens, but the scope for interesting interactions seems to be higher with human enemies, simply because you have a familiar frame of reference.

    But I don’t know that I want to be likewise confined. The thing that most interests me about Crysis (the thing that I don’t recall being particularly hyped in the early previews before I got bored with reading them) is the nanosuit. I don’t care if my *enemies* have access to super-science or magical powers or whatever, but I want them. Being some sort of super-operative makes a lot more sense for the standard lone wolf FPS character anyway.

  23. Irish Al says:

    I enjoyed the indoor parts of Far Cry, apart from the very end. I don’t know why people moan about them.

  24. Fumarole says:

    “Ghiest says:

    Crysis was on rails … ”

    Obviously not a CoD player.

    I’m trying not to get hyped about this game, as I loved Far Cry but have come to dread Ubi’s renditions of my beloved titles. I really want it to be good, but I am afraid it’ll just be another title Ubi runs into the ground. Here’s hoping I am wrong.

  25. James T says:

    But will enemies still scream inane, occasionally homoerotic threats at me?





    And my favourite…


  26. Rock, Paper, Shotgun: We’ve Reticulated More Splines Than You » Blog Archive » Far-Fetched? says:

    […] I did have to giggle at the GIANT LETTERS stating the game uses the DUNIA ENGINE -no doubt a result of Ubisoft getting a little fed up of people presuming they’re using the first Crytek engine. And why not? It certainly looks like a sexy bit of pixel-tech. More thoughts on Far Cry 2 in Jim’s preview. […]

  27. Xaero says:

    This game will be shooter of the year 08

  28. trigen says:

    […] […]