Have You Played… Far Cry 2?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

I don’t have a single favourite FPS and find such conversation boring but if someone asks and I want to test their mettle, I’ll tell them it’s Far Cry 2. If they say they prefer Far Cry 3, I know they – as a person – are wrong. Far Cry 2 is a game about plans and contingency plans, then desperate makeshift plans when those both go wrong, then finally, after a crucial grenade rolls back down a hill towards you, hoping that your buddy will come pull you out the fire – and that you can cover them. “Far Cry 3 is for babies,” I’d probably declare, because I’m like that.

Far Cry 2 is an open-world FPS set in a nondescript African country mid-civil war, where you’re out to kill a notorious and elusive arms dealer. Whatever. That doesn’t go to plan, and nor will most other things you intend to do.

The interactions of a few simple elements – flammable flora, stealth, a health system requiring DIY first aid in the field (gruesomely resetting broken fingers, cauterising wounds, and wrenching inexplicable lengths of rebar out of arms), disorienting malaria flare-ups, AI patrols, large landscapes, and our dear friend physics – lead to all sorts of mishaps.

A plan to sneakily mortarbomb a target from afar might see you narrowly miss and spark a wildfire blowing back towards you, leap into a jeep to chase them down, crash, swap your pristine long-range weapons for some short-range crud an enemy drops, hidebehind a shack to heal yourself, have your swiped shotgun jam (the animations are splendid) and eventually blow up, then finally nail your target by detonating an IED in their path. It’s pretty great.

When everything goes well, you feel godlike.

I usually roll with the bolt-action rifle (I prefer the chaos opportunities its noise provides over the silent tranq gun), flare pistol, and mortar, since you asked. Backup loadout? Silence MP5, grenade launcher, and tranq gun – but it’s a little too well-balanced for my liking.

The problems some complain about – malaria, jamming weapons, NPC outposts respawning with silly frequency, and so on – are what make Far Cry 2 so much fun, creating more opportunities for unexpected cockups for you to triumphantly recover from. That’s where Far Cry 2 shines.

88 Comments

  1. drumcan says:

    Fantastic summary of what makes this game so great, Alice. If there was co-op I’d probably never play anything else.

    • King_Rocket says:

      It felt like it was designed for co-op and it was dropped at some point in development. Things like the turrets on the vehicles were basically useless playing solo as it took so long to swap between driving and shooting.

      • Ross Angus says:

        I used the “switch to turret” key as a panic button, when driving. It worked well, apart from if the jeep had enough momentum to tumble down a cliff.

  2. int says:

    Yes I have played the gun failure and diamond searching simulator.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      Oh! You mean the “Dear God Why Are You Shooting Me I Don’t Understand I Only Just Got Here And Have Not Done Anything To Indicate Any Form Of Allegiance This Really Makes No Sense And Doesn’t Really Fit With The Established Fiction Thus Far And Why Are You Still Shooting At Me Because I am Sure I Literally Just Checked This Entire Place And There Was No One Here Then But Hey Presto Here You Are to Launch Bullets At My Face Without So Much A By Your Leave And Now I Come To Think Of It Why Am I The Only One You Seem To Want To Be Murdering In Such A Meaningless Waste Of Life” Simulator

    • Philopoemen says:

      it was all about the respawning checkpoints for me.

      • Lord Byte says:

        It was ridiculous. I must have depopulated half the African continent by the time I just uninstalled it. There was no repose, no pause, just endless patrols, turn around and another pops up, walk a meter out of a camp and it’s filled to the brim with cold-blooded killers again.

        It just felt so incredibly silly, and eventually, a waste of time. If I want endless respawning enemies I’ll sit somewhere behind a wall in a random COD. At least if I move forward they’ll stop respawning there.

      • Premium User Badge

        DuncUK says:

        I’m a big defender of this game, Far Cry 3 and 4 have lost something that made FC2 great. As frustrating and immersion breaking as the respawning checkpoints were, they did add a real sense of danger to the game. They actually forced you to plan your route to each mission, in that you tried to minimise the number of checkpoints you’d have to go through to get to your intended target. My tactic was usually something like:

        – Is the target nearer to a bus station than you and can you get to one easily? If so, take the bus. The bus company is immune to the civil war.
        – Are you and the target connected by river? If so, take a boat to the target… the rivers were much safer and combatants could be spotted a mile off.
        – Can you get to the destination by offroading? Checkpoints are always on roads, if you avoid them you avoid the checkpoints.
        – If you have to take a road, can you simply drive around the checkpoint? Given a wide enough berth, they’d never even spot you.

        That said, the respawning checkpoints were still annoying… at least the game had the good grace to wait for you to leave before respawning anything. It’s a shame as they really could have made this more of a deliberate gameplay mechanic than they did, for a example:

        – The checkpoint respawn should have happened in real time, with reinforcements driving to the checkpoint in an (interceptable) convoy.
        – Newly reinforced checkpoints should be on high alert, making them dangerous enough for you to consider avoiding them.
        – Finally, the two warring factions should have had random conflicts outside of the main story. It was absurd that they spent the entire game chilling in their checkpoints, only firing a gun when you alone strayed too close.

        I for one liked the gun jamming. If you looked after your weapons and replaced them regularly, they worked 99% of the time.

        • Skeletor68 says:

          @DuncUK well put!

          Diegetic UI was such a big thing in FC2. I was very sad when they took it out of FC3 for the most part.

          Nice Idle Thumbs reference Alice! Search for Chris Remo Far Cry 2 ambush on YouTube!

          • dangrak says:

            You can’t just say they took the immersive HUD elements out of Far Cry 3. There was so much HUD in that game that I’m not convinced any of them worked on FC2 at all

      • tomimt says:

        The respawning rate killed the game for me as well. No matter how short time you spend on other location and roll back, the spawnpoint is just full as ever. That wasn’t fun, it was tedious. I guess some people like it, but it was just lazy game design.

  3. J. Cosmo Cohen says:

    Far Cry 2 is great. I do enjoy FC3, and I can objectively say they improved several crucial elements. Now, in a perfect world, I would combine some of the improvements of 3 with 2, and I do believe I wouldn’t need another FPS for quite some time.

  4. ArthurBarnhouse says:

    It was the best game.

    IT WAS THE BEST GAME and some people literally don’t even care about it. They just want to tell you about how great Blood Dragon was because it invented irony apparently.

  5. gabrielonuris says:

    “Have You Played… Far Cry 2?”

    Oh man, I literally said YES from the bottom of my heart now! Even the problems people usually complain about, like jamming weapons, were the reason why I loved this game. TBH, it was the closest I’ve ever felt of playing a true Stalker sequel. If just Ubisoft could develop the idea, and make the latest installments in that franchise as close to FC2 as possible, I would never play another shooter. But no, let’s make a UI fustercluck and get rid of all the mechanics that made FC2 an awesome experience.

    • snugglez says:

      If only Ubi had incorporated the AI spawning that STALKER had. At the beginning of the game, the bases you encounter are all pre-populated, but every few minutes patrols are spawned on opposite sides of the world by the two warring factions, and slowly make their way through the “friendly” bases towards the unfriendly bases. When they encounter an unfriendly base, they battle it out, and whoever wins, takes the base. Next friendly patrol will walk through and go to the next further base etc. Wandering monster groups could also attack–even during battles between AI humans, adding randomness. All this meant that as you wandered the world, you’d hear or see battles going on from a distance, and you could engage or not, as you wished. Sometimes you’d come across just the bloody aftermath of a battle, with no one left alive. What happened? Who knows, maybe one guy was left after a fight and then some monsters showed up, killed him, and moved on.

      The reason Ubi hasn’t incorporated something like this must be that it requires the game to keep track of hundreds of AI creeps all across the world while you play. I have to assume that the way they’ve created the FC games is that if you get a certain distance away from the bases, they just reset, and when you come (back) into range of them, they just randomly place creeps. Much less memory and CPU intensive. But much less awesome, too.

  6. King_Rocket says:

    People love to complain about the the gun jamming mechanic, Graham has been vocal about it saying that it’s completely random. But Isn’t it directly related to the condition of the gun?

    Once I stopped jumping in and out of rivers with all my weapons (as getting wet effects them) I found they stopped rusting up and never really had jamming issues. Grabbing a fresh weapon when your at the gun store helps too.

    I thought it was a little bit of brilliant realism, treat your guns poorly and they will let you down.

    • Philopoemen says:

      Treat them poorly over a period of time would make sense; treat them poorly in one firefight was a bit of a stretch.

      That said, I just put it down to the quality of arms available in the civil war. Been using the wrong gun oil in the desert.

  7. Jason Lefkowitz says:

    Far Cry 2 is an almost-very-good game that is unfortunately cut off at the knees by a couple of intensely bad design decisions, the biggest one being the infinite respawning of enemies at checkpoints after you clear them out. This makes traveling across the map a matter of wading through multiple waves of generic bad guys just to get from point A to point B, which gets really tedious really quickly. There’s all this interesting stuff to do, but you can’t get to any of it without killing the same group of bad guys you’ve killed 37 million times already one or two or three more times.

    • jezcentral says:

      Agreed. It is utterly undermined (for me) by some awful design. How Clint Hocking managed to get lionised for the good stuff in this game, without being held responsible for the multiple blatant mistakes, I will never know.

      I tried it, and was utterly bored by it.

    • Doubler says:

      The lack of respawning outposts are the reason I stopped playing FC3 and 4 after I finished the story. Capturing outposts made wandering about painfully uninteresting, having to avoid killing all enemies in outposts to dodge this problem was a pain, and having to capture every single outpost on the map so I could reset them was a chore.

      Thankfully I found a mod for FC3 that lets me choose whether to capture an outpost or not. The lack of such a mod for FC4 is the reason I never play it anymore.

    • Arglebargle says:

      There are a ton of bad design decisions made in FarCry 2. And the worst part was that they knew about a lot of these problems by the beta, i.e. that the spawn rates were off, etc. But they just couldn’t get around to fixing it before release. Or apparently after release either.

      I was just happy that I only wasted $5 on it.

  8. Premium User Badge

    basilisk says:

    FC2 will always remain special. The game got so many things perfectly right, and was so ahead of the curve and unique and amazing. Flawed, yes, mightily so, but the highs are so high that the lows, despite all their efforts, can’t quite manage to bring them down.

    It’s probably naïve to hope FC5 could return to something like this after the manic duo of 3&4 (which are lovely experiences in their own very different way), but I still do.

    • snugglez says:

      FC2 was interesting, but if you had played STALKER before you played FC2, you’d be really let down. All the cool things FC2, STALKER did, and did (IMO) better. STALKER was a towering game that has never come close to being matched. Unfortunately: BUGS. So, so, SO many bugs.

  9. BirdsUseStars says:

    Man, I tried to love this game. I love individual bits of it, like your weapons and machinery letting you down, the map that you actually carry as a big piece of paper, having to pop the hood on your broken cars…

    But after a while I couldn’t get over the AI that could spot you through 10 miles of leafy brush. If they spotted you once, there was no losing them and once one of them sees you, they all do. No sooner do you deal with one threat than does a jeep spawn and fly in from nowhere and hit you in the back. I put serious time into this game, but the frustration wore me down and I had to give it up.

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      If they spotted you once, there was no losing them and once one of them sees you, they all do.

      Both of these are incorrect. If an enemy spots you once, they call out to alert their friends who will—if nearby—look towards the spot you were seen, and probably also see you; and if not nearby will move towards the spot.

      If you are seen, and then retreat out of sight (behind trees, rocks, and so on), the enemies will move towards your last known location, spreading out and looking around as they do to try and spot you again. You can flank them or even try to get behind them with a little care, though very often one of them remains behind at the camp and may also spot you.

      They do see you far too easily through foliage—that is a flaw. But that aside, the enemies make for interesting, challenging stealth encounters.

      • drinniol says:

        I thought it was completely realistic. You just have to unlearn what games have taught you about hiding. You’re not wearing camouflage (unless you buy the suit) and you’re a white guy in a brown and green landscape. You stand out like dog’s balls.

        Even with the suit, you have to be careful and all bets are off after the first shot. Again, completely realistic. Don’t wait around. Shoot a gas tank next to an ammo box then move in with your shotgun.

        And the checkpoints – you could just drive through them. Jeeze. Complaining about those led to FC3 camps being cleared for the whole game.

  10. Jericho says:

    I’ll never forget that time I was just trying to take out the vehicle convoy and hid in the tall grass with a rocket launcher I had found. I missed with my first rocket and set the grass on fire with the backblast. While I was trying to put the fire out on my jeans the convey got away and sent a gun jeep my way, but the fire spread and set them on fire too. Before I knew it the whole area was just a huge brushfire and my buddy had to come in to rescue me. They pulled me away but the fire just kept spreading and then they were down too and I was out of morphine syringes, so I had to put a round in their heart from the very pistol they gave me to put them out of their misery…

    So I guess the lesson is, always watch your backblast when you’re setting up to fire a rocket launcher.

    This is a very dark game at times…

  11. Freud says:

    I never had a big problem with the checkpoints. Just stop your car, move to the machine gun and kill them. It takes 10 seconds.

    • Milos says:

      Even that’s generous, it’s 4 seconds if you’re not a complete scrub. Maybe 2 once you get used to the controls.

  12. Stardog says:

    The crappy one that wasn’t even made by the team that made FC1?

  13. DizzyCriminal says:

    When they announced FC4 I really hoped they were going to do a Far Cry greatest hits of 2 and 3. Minimal HUD and paper map, wonky weapons and deadly diseases, all with the improved movement and character progression from 3.
    Instead we got Far Cry 3 + Eagles.
    Far Cry 2 was a game that wasn’t afraid to kick your arse and tell you to suck it up. Not in the Dark Souls “You can do better” way, but the real life “Shit happens”.

  14. Bishop149 says:

    Ah FarCry 2, I mostly hated it many others seem to think its the best! game! evah!. . .
    Yes it was mostly the inifinigrind insta-respawn checkpoints that did it. . . . oh and the “intercept convoy” missions in which the convoy just drove in a circle forever waiting for you to kill it, and the oh so predicable enemy AI.
    It was all so incredibly artificial, I mean all games are by their very nature but FC2 never felt like anything more than fighting algorithms, predicable ones at that.
    Anyway long ago learned to agree to disagree on this one.

  15. Iskariot says:

    FC2 is one of my favourite open world shooters and I have played through it several times.
    I loved the fact that malaria made you feel vulnerable.
    I was stunned by the beauty of the landscapes, the detail of the world and that sunset over the African savanna was just mind blowing.
    I could almost feel a breeze in my hair and could smell the land.
    I loved the solid feel of the weapons and the gunplay.

    FC2 was not a perfect game, but it was a game experience that was unique and mind blowing. I own the collectors edition and bought the game again on Steam, just to be sure I could play it again in the near future.

    • Guvornator says:

      I think it and F.E.A.R are really my 2 games which should should have beaten HL2 if they hadn’t fallen over their own feet. FC2 had big, big problems even after they finally patched it into full working order- it needed a GTA2 style gang system, it needed the opposing factions to be further away from each other than a brisk walk and to actually BE opposing factions, it needed a second half that wasn’t essentially the first half in a different place and plot that wasn’t a pretty shameless purloining of Heart Of Darkness (just because you’ve read a classic doesn’t mean you can replicate it in any but the shallowest fashion).

      But when I’m bouncing across the savannah in battered car, glancing at the map in my hand while keeping an eye out for lions or enemy vehicles, there’s nowhere I’d rather be. And that M79…so much fun!

  16. Risingson says:

    “The problems some complain about – malaria, jamming weapons, NPC outposts respawning with silly frequency, and so on – are what make Far Cry 2 so much fun,”

    NO. The game has great qualities, as the incredible visual design, but these are design flaws here, in China and in Mars. Please.

  17. anHorse says:

    Respawning was fine, 3’s big problem is how sodding empty everything becomes once you take over an outpost
    Malaria however was just rubbish

  18. gunny1993 says:

    I loved it mechanically but the world was largely devoid of life and the story was so incredibly dull, dieing from malaria would have been a blessing.

    Also Malaria, I distinctly remember having super powers in far cry 1, why the fuck do I now have Malaria, that’s not a good mechanic, its a dodgy plot device at best, like goddamn Dying light with its inexplicable destruction of antidote for no conceivable reason.

  19. Gap Gen says:

    Benny Hill: The Game

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      But Jim, Nathan, and John are babies. Alec knows the score.

      • Premium User Badge

        Aerothorn says:

        And we got rid of two of the three, so such a mistake will hopefully never happen again.

    • Freud says:

      RPS sometimes get things wrong and to be fair they get to hear about it a lot afterwards (Fallout New Vegas, Far Cry 3) so the system of checks and balances functions as it should.

  20. Chaz says:

    You forgot to mention the ace boats and coasting up and down the jungle rivers like a character from “Heart of Darkness”, which I believe the game was heavily influenced by. See also “Aguirre, the Wrath of God” and “Apocalypse Now”.

    Burning villages by the riverside at night, it was so atmospheric. Admittedly it was probably me that set fire to them.

  21. Sin Vega says:

    Definitely the most interesting in the series. I still think that some of its big criticisms are valid, but they needed toning down a touch, not totally removing. The weapon jams in particular should have stayed in, just not been so constant that they made most weapons worthless, and they should also have applied to enemies. And definitely the health system needed to stay as it was, that was great.

    The net result for me was too much frustration, though. The friendly NPCs and their cocaine-high “we clearly told the voice actors to rattle it out to keep the audio file sizes down” deliveries were undercooked, and the enemy AI, while great in combat, desperately needed a less frenzied omnicidal mode to keep the world alive a little. And it would have been great seeing the two sides fight each other so that it actually felt like an existing civil war rather than everyone being at war only with you.

    It’s a pity the series filed away some of those edges. I like 3, but it’s a very different kind of game.

    • Sin Vega says:

      Also also: mods. Ubi made Far Cry 2, I’m told, ridiculously hostile to player modding, which may make it one of the biggest lost modding opportunities ever. Just look what modders did for the already excellent Jagged Alliance 2, and imagine what people could have done with Far Cry 2. It’s tragic.

    • Guvornator says:

      I never got the guns jamming thing. Past a certain point you just pick up shiny new guns all the time. It’s not even that far in. And it’s not like you don’t have other guns on you. Improvise, Goddamit! ;)

      • Sin Vega says:

        Yeah, but the “past a certain point” was after about 20-90 shots, and getting a new one meant yet another tedious slog back across the map and then another back to where you were going. It was just more repetitive busywork.

    • drinniol says:

      I liked the fast talking. Only game where I wasn’t constantly wanting to skip the dialogue because I’ve read the subtitle already.

  22. BorgiaCamarones says:

    FC2 is a weird game, which is mostly why I think it’s a wonderful AAA title (as Clint Hocking’s games tend to be).

    If any of you want to try to push through that game one more time, I highly recommend Dylan’s realism mode. It makes the game deadlier for both sides, which is a good thing because enemies tend to soak up lots of bullets (more than they should) and this is what makes shooting them down a chore. Whereas this mod makes it quick and dirty. I tried to finish the game twice before installing this mod, but I was always burnt out when you get to the Leboa Sako (the southern part of the country). However, with this mod I finally enjoyed it enough to complete it.

    It doesn’t fix any other of the game flaws. There is so much padding to this game! Lengthy travel time (even with nonsensical magic buses), hordes and legions of international mooks, very long storyline (too long), side-missions with very little actual rewards… it’s a game that unfortunately overstays its welcome. It’s too big and even though its systems can create thrilling emergent gameplay, it’s like small oasis(es?) in a vast desert.

    That Buddy system though. Glorious gloriousness. The stories! The drama it creates! Truly wonderful. A real shame no other game has attempted such emergent storytelling with its supporting characters.

  23. Endsville says:

    A great, short elevator pitch for one of my favourite games, perhaps also my favourite FPS, if I had to really pick one. Gonna have to try out some new mods the next time I play. When I played it last year I used a realism mod which made the game even more horribly intense and I’d probably use it again along with a new one I see someone made that makes the map less magical.

    One thing I always rather liked, even though people tend not to mention them or the story, are the characters you can choose to play as. Although they only have dialogue and side missions as buddies, I always liked that you had a selection of diverse characters to pick from (although neither of the female characters) with just enough background info for you to roleplay as them accordingly, if you wished to do so.

    Although Ziggy’s Mod helped somewhat, I was still really disappointed with Far Cry 3 when I played it for removing so many of the good things about this game. In fact, I was actually surprised when I discovered some of the things they removed, like the ability to sleep for a certain period of time at a safe house and how that affects enemies, or changed poorly – such as the fire propagation system, which is terrible in the third game – because I thought these things were rather unique and made for a more interesting and thrilling experience. Probably most disappointing of all was the A.I., which rush head-first at you and don’t do much but repeat the same tasks over and over as well as the same lines (I liked how in this game, by comparison, as your reputation increases, you can hear enemies exchanging stories about you or recognising who you are). They were so much more interesting in this game, often unpredictable when you were trying to be sneaky, and I did love how they could be found to have dropped their guard, boxing each other for example. Oh, and if you didn’t kill them off, they could surprise you by having taken shelter somewhere. Can’t imagine why they’d change or remove that kinda stuff when it’s what equates to a more unique experience for everyone. A good way to look at, I think, is to imagine how many times things went wrong and turned into utter chaos as you played this game and how many times that happened in Far Cry 3, which in my experience was very rarely and caused a lot of the game to feel repetitive. When you turn the tide of the battle in this game or indeed pull off a successful plan it was always much more satisfying because the rest of the time was mostly spent fucking up – your plan to be stealthy backfiring horribly, your guns being destroyed at critical times, buddies dying trying to save your sorry ass, et cetera – and I always appreciated that.

    • Sin Vega says:

      Defining good moment for me in Far Cry 2: winging a patrolling dude with the bolt action rifle (always), then taking out a few others and running in to find the first one and finish him off, then take the others out. I realised where he’d gone when I heard someone behind a wall saying “I don’t want to die. I want to go home, I want to go home, I want to go home”. A few minutes later I found him, dead.

      The AI behaved like ridiculous kill crazy lunatics to a man, but even despite that, that guy made me feel terrible.

    • Freud says:

      The buddies were terrible people, trying to make you do worse and worse things. I think they were a more successful test of player agency and morality than Bioshocks big reveal, which really just was a storytelling trick.

  24. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    You know the absolute worst thing about FC2?
    It won’t bloody run on my current PC :(
    Otherwise I’d be back there again, getting shot at by everyone all the time. Getting malaria at the worst possible time. Having RPGs drop just in front of me when fired, then spinning round and round until they explode. Physically sweating as my character slogs through the desert. Swearing as my buddy rings me up at just the wrong time yet again.
    And maybe, just once in a while, managing to have a plan actually work. Sniper shot on that guard, then another to the gas bottle next to his mate, starting a fire blocking off the exit, and finally a couple of grenades through the door and oh shit I missed that one round the corner oh fuck now there’s a jeep arriving run-away!

  25. DeepFried says:

    I enjoyed Far cry 2 more than far cry 3. there. I said it.

    • Guvornator says:

      I think a lot of the animosity is (probably correctly) based around the pissing awful state it was kicked out the stable in – quests didn’t work, I got game breaking bug at 70ish% in that would only be solved by going back to 23%. It wasn’t really ready until about 2 years after it was released, which is pretty unforgivable.

  26. El_MUERkO says:

    I’ll just copy and paste my comment from a previous article:

    Far Cry 2 could have been awesome but for the horrendous pandering to the CoD crowd.

    An intro should give you an idea of how the game plays, in FC2 you get off a plane and are driven past people and other vehicles and arrive at a checkpoint, a conversation ensues, a deal is struck and you get to drive on. No one tries to kill anyone.

    When you’re playing for yourself and you arrive at a checkpoint something very different happens, the people there become homicidal nutters, a pattern that is repeated throughout the game by everyone you meet.

    If you see a jeep on the horizon you know with absolute certainty they will race toward and attempt to kill you, Why? I have no fucking idea!!!

    So everyone is insane… OK… well I’ll kill them and move on. EEEE RRRRR!!!! As soon as you move away that bloodbath they all respawn like it never happened. Brilliant. Just Brilliant!
    Add to that the rather bizarre idea of removing all the pauses for breath from the dialogue. I mean… What. The. Fuck?!!

    Far Cry 2 to had all the mechanics of a great game, but is spoiled by some unfathomable design choices. It’s honestly like someone walked into a meeting and sat there crying “BOOOOOORRING!” every time the player did anything other than shoot stuff and so they changed the game to suit that retards need.

    GGGAAHHHH!!! It’s so annoying!

    /stomps off in a huff

  27. Det. Bullock says:

    Yeah, the checkpoints were annoying but I never had any problem with searching for diamonds and the breaking weapons, usually I swapped the old weapons for new ones whenever I had the chance so no problem there.

    I also loved how missions weren’t generally railroaded, with a few assassination missions I just went with a sniper rifle, offed the target from afar and them jumped on my jeep/buggy/whatever and ran away.

    Hell, I did the same with the mission between the two areas with a handgun, I had to get closer of course but I did it anyway.

  28. Dave Tosser says:

    The game in which every one of your weapons can be a grenade launcher, in which you can mask the rapport of your rifle with a louder explosion, in which the backblast of your weapon can start a brushfire…

    Everyone has really humourless, gruff voices and there’s absolutely no lightness anywhere to be found. It looks hot and sticky and unbearable in every location. A neverending brown bloodbath in the land of psychotic motorised murder tribes where everything is unreliable and also out to kill you. Yet it’s somehow not as dry or boring or dumb as the new Tomb Raider or Thi4f or something like that. It’s got actual personality, probably because it’s a mainstream crack at the Stalker/Xenus/Midwinter sort of game from an era where shooters were horribly, horribly constrained. It’s got a lot of immersive sim about it from a time before anyone putting games on consoleboxes remembered what that meant. It’s actually impressive it turned out as open as it is.

    Has touches of genuine brilliance (Like FEAR, its AI will hide in terror) but as everyone says it’s also got some beyond stupid ideas. I always associate it with Bloodlines even though they’re nothing alike cos they both used Massive Attack’s Angel in promo stuff.

  29. Day0ne says:

    In my last sessions with this game I went total sneaky, using only a stealthy arsenal and had some of the most intense and memorable play I’ve e’r had. Especially combining it with a self imposed ‘Ironman’ mode (which was new to me at the time, having not ran into rogue-likes).

  30. Chaoslord AJ says:

    I didn’t quite like the game that much but I can live with the verdict.
    As the universe approaches total entropy all games begin to look like clones of assassin’s creed.
    Had some innocent entertainment with FC3 but wouldn’t count it as a great and memorable game…

  31. Premium User Badge

    heretic says:

    I definitely had more fun playing this one despite all it’s annoyances than Far Cry 3, so underwhelming that was – just felt like a recent Assassin’s Creed game, just not fun.

  32. piedpiper says:

    Best Far Cry game so far. I still gotta play 4th, but I am almost 100% sure it is identical to 3rd one which is too stupid and user friendly for my taste.

  33. Barberetti says:

    Yes, for about 2 hours. The only good bit was when I pressed “M” and my character actually pulled a map out.

  34. Ace Rimmer says:

    I thought Far Cry 2 had some interesting ideas, but was let down by none of the supposed dangers being all that dangerous. The much-vaunted malaria mechanic boiled down to ‘press button to get better’, the respawning checkpoints didn’t add danger as much as another tedious minute or two of mowing down Africans before you could get to the set pieces. Weapon breakages did gum the works slightly now and then, but as long as you picked up a fresh loadout between each mission they were a negligible factor.

    There was a certain challenge in plotting a route to avoid as many checkpoints as possible, I guess (my heavily armed merc sure rode the bus a lot), but not because they posed any particular danger.

    I suppose you could get more challenge out of it by deliberately choosing a suboptimal loadout (camo suit, dart rifle for soft targets, IED’s for vehicles, MP5 or shotgun for the very occasional close-up work); haven’t played it like that so wouldn’t know.

  35. 10min says:

    Far Cry 2 is the best in the series.

    Whinnies whine because they can’t use their brains for anything else than trying to run over each outpost, take the most obvious routes and play Call Of Duty on their consoles.

    It was also the prettiest one, and the most realist. You could spend time just waiting and enjoying the nature.

    FC 3 and 4 are too cartoonish, too arcadish, and don’t encourage to explore, because you get the maps of everything, and picking the collectables turns into a job, a generic job, instead of enjoyment.

    I spend time waiting in the lake shore in FC2, like I would do in real life, but in 3 and FC4 it felt like wasting my time. I didn’t felt rewarded for staying there.

    FC4 was overpowered. You get the grenade launcher early, and an helicopter to freely move in 3D. You can walk an elephant to an outpost and just observe how the NPC kills everybody.

    The game makers don’t get it. The joy of a game is not in being too powerful, neither in being hand holded. It is in getting an advantage in a way you are “not supposed” to do. In being capable of “inventing” a solution instead of having it already pre cooked by the programmer. I enjoy planning a solution instead of following the rails.

    I do not say that FC2 was perfect, and that FC4 had nothing. I enjoyed trowing rocks to make a meeting between an enemy and a predator in FC4, but I felt more immersed in FC2, and I would like to play a new history in FC2 instead of FC4.

  36. Carcer says:

    FC2’s single most egregious flaw to me was that the story asks you to choose between two sides, but then both sides still want to kill you all the time. I’m not sure if you could even differentiate between them. It would have been so much more interesting and immersive a game if only it had some kind of territory mechanic and the different sides had actually meant something.

    It also suffered in that it was extremely repetitive, especially if you had a preferred playstyle. I had fun with it for a while, but I stopped playing probably about half-way in when I realised I was doing the same things over and over again and it had begun to feel a chore rather than entertainment.

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      I’m going to spoil an old game for you now, but the fact that everyone tried to kill you was part of the point.
      Far Cry 2 is trying to get across the point that the player character’s position, in the middle of a civil war, is doing nothing but making things worse.
      The further through the game you get, the more screwed up the country is, and in the end, that’s all your fault.
      At the end your choices are between sacrificing yourself so that refugees can leave the country that you fucked up, or spending all your money so the refugees can get out.
      By then end of the game, if you hate everything you’ve become then it did what it was supposed to do.

      The downside of this approach to game making of course is that it’s not always fun to play, and it only reveals this to you right at the end, so you have to play 95% of the game being made miserable (kill someone from team A, ok that made things worse, now go kill someone from team B, worse again!) before it plays it’s hand plot-wise.

      • Sin Vega says:

        While the idea is sound, it doesn’t really hold up when the people trying to kill you are the exact same people hiring you, in person, to do all this stuff in the first place. If they want you dead, they have you unarmed and alone, surrounded by guards, hundreds of times, and dozens of soldiers on both sides see you wandering in and out of both HQs, so it’s not like this can possibly be a secret. Soldiers gossip like fishwives.

        And even without that, there’s “wanting to kill some guy”, and “magically identifying him from a mile away, while moving, and instantly entering a frothing berserker rage that can end only in death.” It just felt like a video game with really high-strung AI.

      • Carcer says:

        I fully understood thematically that there was the message that neither of these sides are good guys and by traipsing around murdering everyone I was not making anything better. I mean, this is a game where conflict diamonds are your primary currency, it’s difficult to make out that you’re the good guy in this scenario. However, you can portray that message without making the world frustrating to play in. “Everyone wants to kill you 24/7” is not the only way to paint people as bad guys…

  37. elderman says:

    I really liked FC2 game, but the unexpected cockup that pushed me away was a save corruption bug. And I found the game didn’t like my backup saves. I never got to see the second area.

    The design worked fine for me. The only choice that really bothered me was the unskippable opening animations. That was especially annoying when I was troubleshooting the aforementioned corrupted saves.

  38. Monggerel says:

    Like STALKER but instead of Roadside Picnic it’s Heart of Darkness.
    Which unfortunatley means that FC 2 does not actively attempt to dipserse a living part of your soul into the infinite void above.

    Still pretty good tho

  39. jonahcutter says:

    Playing it while imagining the whole thing as a malarial fever dream, and the sometimes strange gaminess of it (respawning checkpoints, gruesome insta-healing, blood-diamond treasure-hunting, magically appearing friends to bail you out) actually fits rather well.

    Though the respawning checkpoints can still be just plain tedious.

    Playing it also re-emphasizes for me how much I’ve hated where the series went, with it’s hunting for skins for crafting for larger bags system. It feels like such tedious hoop-jumping I lose interest almost almost instantly. I didn’t mind the blood-diamond treasure hunting in FC2 though. I think it’s because the diamonds make far more sense thematically than the random killing of x-amount of wildlife.

  40. Premium User Badge

    DelrueOfDetroit says:

    I played 27% of it.

  41. Golden Pantaloons says:

    The guy who did those weapon jamming animations deserves a bloody medal. Look at the amount of emotion conveyed just by hand motions. I mean, it’s not the prettiest graphically but it communicates exactly the right state of mind (ohgodmygunisjammedfixitfixitfixit)

  42. vence333 says:

    Not about to play a game that support the ” white man save the world ” narrative, the noble savage and the magical Negro, or the gratuitous slaughtering or endangered wildlife.

    • Premium User Badge

      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      It’s not that at all. It is “this place would be a whole lot better if the white man would fuck off already.”

      From the amount I have played you weren’t required to kill any wildlife. It’s not like 3 or 4 where you have to in order to craft your weapon upgrades. I imagine there are missions where you do, but FC2 never paints anything you do as noble or in any way worthy of respect.

      This more Spec-Ops: The Line than Call of Duty/Battlefield.

      • Sin Vega says:

        Got to agree with this. While I overall felt Far Cry 2 didn’t work, it was very much about you the player being the villain.

        Also, you could choose from several player characters, including a black guy and an Indian (I think? Possibly Bangladeshi, I forget) guy. They all play identically, mind, and the only difference is that the AI “buddies” take up the other slots. But they too are very much the villains

    • elevown says:

      There is no white man saving anything – all the white men including you are mercenaries who are just out for themselves and screwing stuff up more- and basically all die anyway – you are no kinda good guy really in this one. Nor do you have to kill any animals outside saving yourself now and then if you don’t want to.

      Try actually knowing something about a game before slagging it off for things its not.

  43. Arglebargle says:

    If you like the engine, the Avatar (movie) game used it too. So it’s playable in a different context there.

  44. Tourist says:

    Far Cry 2 was the best one in my opinion. That’s not to say there weren’t some design flaws. The respawning checkpoints to name the most glaring. The missions also tended to be very repetitive.

    But the other design features were terrific. The location was beautiful, brutal and tragic. I liked how the story, really just occurred around you, you were not pivotal… just another merc in a land awash with them. Because of this the story did not handhold you.

    In the same way, the lack of a minimap coupled with the foldout map was genius…. I don’t know why more games don’t use the same approach, too often with open world games you spend so much time with your eyes glued to the corner of the screen, and miss so much of the world. I wish the Witcher had such a thing (and don’t get me wrong, I love the Witcher).

    The Jackal was awesome too…. not a mustache twirling caricature bad guy (or really the bad guy). The bad guys in III and IV are just a little too over the top, or badly used. The use of the Jackal was subtle.

    2c deposit, complete.

  45. Wowbagger says:

    Theme and narrative were certainly the best in the series, mechanically it was half arsed.

  46. goettel says:

    No lethal headshots killed it for me.

  47. Stevostin says:

    It’s the best game, agreed. Only serious cons are the silly respawns that break immersion. Essential tip: cut the music, only play with the sound, that is totally amazing.

    Also, it’s one of the very few FPS with an *appropriate* story. Whether you like this kind of vignette over storyline pretty typical of video game you may actually see it or not as brilliant, but at worse it doesn’t pretend you’re young, nice, handsome. Also you see yourself become a legend, people thinking you’re a whole gang etc. But the end, oh, the end, made me thinks this is kind of the apocalypse now of video games.

    I loved jamming, I loved malaria although I thought it weighted too little in the gameplay.

  48. Dave Tosser says:

    You can play as a black man. Or an Asian man. Or a Hungarian-Israeli, an ex-IRA type, a Sinkh, a Slav, a Brazillian or an Algerian. That’s some fucking social justice diversity right there. That not good enough? Do your research before you load your ire cannon with bollocks.

    • Dave Tosser says:

      This was in reply to Vence333 above who whinged about white men or something.

  49. TT says:

    Kids!
    FC2 was ok, it might been good if there wasn´t FarCry, the first. FC set the bar so high that nothing surpassed it not the Uby ones, not he Crysis re-enactments.