Have You Played… Far Cry?

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

I have a confession: I’ve never played as far as the mutant stuff in Far Cry.

I feel like I played a lot of Far Cry. I know it was certainly a game where I was so blown away by the graphics that I invited interested chums over to come and see it running. I remember hand-gliding from the tops of mountains into luscious forests, driving cars into trees, and shooting mans in their faces. I remember having a tremendous amount of fun and being certain I loved the game. And I remember something about some crates containing some enemies that were weird-looking and zero fun to fight, so went back to the jungle to play.

So, for me I suppose, the series makes chronological sense in the direction it eventually took, focusing entirely on mans-face-shooting and being entirely mutant free.

I guess I can’t have played that much of Far Cry.


  1. Rinox says:

    The mutant stuff was fun in the beginning, when the stealthy and jumpy guys appeared. They made for a nice change in pace from the armed humans you’d been fighting before.

    But then…that final fight…lord have mercy! At some point the game turned from a sandbox shooter into some sort of Quake Arena. To say that it did not work well would be an understatement.

    So yeah, if you got enjoyment out of the first part you didn’t miss too much by not doing the mutant part.

    • klops says:

      Yeah! The mutants were very scary for over 20 years-old me (I’m a wimp), but they did give a nice, and most likely necessary, change of pace. I sort of hated them but sort of think they were needed in the game.

      But the final fight… During that time of my life I usually finished what I started and don’t see games hard usually. But even that riot shield alley before the hopping mutant bastard required countless reloads, as well as the helicopter much earlier. I just gave up with the final fight …until Youtube revealed that the fight still continues in a crater after that.

      Great game, I’d still say.

      • Cyrus says:

        The final fight, or the small corridors leading to it were devilishly hard on the highest difficulty. God damn.

        Regarding the game itself, awesome gameplay and controls. Surpassing anything else in those days.
        HL2 can get bent.

      • TheSplund says:

        Agreed. Great game spoilt by a stupidly difficult ending that I couldn’t finish on first playthrough, and didn’t bother with on 2nd and 3rd playthroughs (though I seem to recall that I did try a godmode/zero gravity/noclip approach just to see what lay inside) – one of only 3 or 4 games I never bother to finish due to a silly end of game boss level that was out of place (last one was Styx: Master of Shadows)

      • Premium User Badge

        Qazinsky says:

        I am not too easily spoked in games, but Far Cry has one of those scary moments that stuck in my mind far after I played it. It’s a series of rope bridges hanging over some ground covered in vegitation. There is definitly something alive and hungry down there below the surface, but you can’t exactly make out what or where it is. Of course you’ll eventually have to cross the ground to continue on…

        Other similar scary moments is that Hotel in VTM:Bloodlines and an open two-story office landscape in F.E.A.R when you get properly introduced to those invisible monsters.

    • fish99 says:

      Can’t remember what the difficulty settings were called, but I played it on something like ‘very hard’, and that end crater fight was absolutely ridiculous. I literally had to kill several of those big rocket mutants by getting them to clip through the door (run in, aggro, run out before door closes). There’s no way they tested that, and of course no saves, just checkpoints.

      I’m grinding my teeth just thinking about it.

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      There was a bit where you’re dropped out of a chopper, with a shotgun and about six shells, and you have to hike about half a mile down a valley, infested with bloody mutants.
      Neither me nor my brothers could get past that bit so we just gave up.
      I think I use find an infinite health cheat and still found it difficult because I was just getting rocketed from every direction and couldn’t see a thing.

    • Rumpelstiltskin says:

      It was possible to stay behind the main door and snipe some of mutants in the final room from a safe distance. Putting an object (like some chair) in the doorway prevented it from closing.

  2. A Gentleman and a Taffer says:

    Hah, yeah, same as everyone else I played til the mutant part and then never went back. This game had the best graphics, is that really what it looks like? The passage of time is frightening. Just going back to BF4 after the BF1 beta is jarring, how can BF4 look blocky!? Scary

    • Rodman1_r2 says:

      I never thought BF4 looked that good (I mostly played single player). I actually think BF3 looks better. This has more to do with the art direction, though. BF4 has a lot of filters and post process effects, but they’re so heavy it almost makes the game look like a cartoon. BF3 had more detail in the environments, IMO, and has a look more towards realism. That’s just my opinion, after the fact; I never went back and played BF3 after BF4, so I could be wrong.

      • syndrome says:

        True dat. I thought I was the only one to notice it.

        To me BF4 is the first and quite obvious EA manifestation — something every large software producer regularly does — having two separate teams alternatively working on the same franchise.

        This is done to simply test the market by making small deviations to the tried formula, as well as to maintain a secure presence every two years or so, which gives perceived market value to a franchise label.

        Therefore BF3 was a true milestone product, while BF4 feels like a proxy. Like Microsoft Vista, Call of Duty 5 (World at War), BF4 was also supposed to buy some time and try some detours to engage different demographics. Though it never works on me, I can smell it from afar. It’s not the franchise I’m after, it’s the je ne sais quoi that pours from the heart. Noone can fake the sincerety of such creation.

    • gsilver says:

      It’s a shame that so many people dropped the game when the mutants showed up. The best (and mutant-free, to boot) level is Island, which is towards the end of the game.

      As for me, Far Cry is easily one of my favorite games of all time… Even if the monkey mutants can take an entire clip of shotgun shells to the face.

  3. FurryLippedSquid says:

    Pretty much sums up all of Crytek’s work. Fun until the monsters/aliens show up.

    • Grizzly says:

      Hmm. Crysis 1 was certainly a case for this, but Crysis Warhead greatly improved the alien bits to great effect. Crysis 2 had fun aliens too, although they kinda cheated by making them bipedal :-P

    • Rodman1_r2 says:

      my god, crysis games are not that fun.

      • FurryLippedSquid says:

        The first few hours of the original were an enormous amount of fun. A playground of possibilities that Deus Ex could only dream of. Proper good.

      • fish99 says:

        Crysis and Warhead and both enormously fun games. Crysis 2 wasn’t bad by any means either.

        Crysis had some of the best open levels and stealth gameplay I can remember. It’s a shame the last few levels abandoned that design, but the first 75% of the game was fantastic. It might even be my favourite pure shooter, certainly from the modern era.

    • Turkey says:

      Interestingly it’s the best part of their Mount Everest VR climbing game.

  4. Carra says:

    Hah, same here. Stopped playing after the first mutants showed up.

  5. geldonyetich says:

    Played and beat Far Cry. I was looking forward to seeing what happened to Jack Carver after his nifty tropical adventure. Apparently nobody else did, because the only thing Far Cry 2 had in common with the first game is the big tropical maps.

    Thanks to the magic of Steam Sales, I own Far Cry 3. I never booted it up. Steam also allowed me to get Far Cry 4 on the cheap, but I can’t see the point considering I can’t get around to playing Far Cry 3.

    • Havalynii says:

      It’s a bit of a conspiracy theory, but there are some strong indications that the Jackal in FarCry 2 is Jack Carver. I always liked that option, it seemed like a suitable close for a character who had certainly seen enough of human nature to become as cynical as the Jackal.

  6. eeguest says:

    I played even when mutants appeared, but I must confess I used cheats then, that part was then barely bearable, but I wanted to see the finish.

  7. LennyLeonardo says:

    Yes, and it was incredible. I even liked the mutants. Is there something wrong with me?

    • klops says:

      No. It was very well received at its time as far as I remember, and one part of it were the mutants.

    • Geebs says:

      The first Far Cry was the only really good one.

    • SBLux says:

      I played it for the first time last year and I loved it from start to finish.

  8. Goodtwist says:

    Does anybody know whether it’s possible to apply the FCAM patch to the German localisation of Far Cry 1? Last time I tried it my game reverted from German to English.

    The reason I’d like to keep Far Cry 1 in German language is that Jack Carver is a badass beyond comparison in German while in English he just sounds like a mediocre dude.

  9. CartonofMilk says:

    The mutants made the game a little worse but at the time i considered it the best FPS of all time (despite having a shit story but who cares?). It’s still anyway the best non open-world FPS i’ve played. At the time it was lightyears ahead of every other FPS i feel. I was very disappointed with Crysis AND Far cry 2. Crysis was good until the aliens showed up at which point it turned to utter garbage. Far Cry 2 was just not very good all around mostly because the AI was ridiculously unfair, i didnt play this for more than maybe 6 hours. Far cry 3 was great gameplay wise but i coulnd’t stand the story even though i tried not to care, but it wouldn’t be until Far Cry 4 that the series would become truly great again in my opinion.

  10. LewdPenguin says:

    Never played FC1 but sounds as if the experience is somewhat similar to that I’ve had in 2 and 3. Things start off pretty fun after the inevitable tutorial railroad and I have a pretty good time screwing around exploring the world and shooting lots of manface, then as the game wanted to get on with the serious business of telling its story the fun would drop away until eventually I’d end up getting distracted by something else and never feeling any desire to go back.

    • Catterbatter says:

      I don’t disagree about the later Far Cry games, but for the first one Crysis is a better point of reference. The second half isn’t as bad as Crysis’s, though. It’s not the mutants; the level design just isn’t as good when the action moves indoors, which it does for a while around the time the mutants first show up. The story shouldn’t put you off at all. It’s standard action movie stuff, and it keeps out of the way.

  11. Premium User Badge

    particlese says:

    I think I played the demo back in the day and stopped either because it was too hard or because my computer couldn’t handle it.

    Years later, after enjoying Crysis a heck of a lot, I gave the McDonald’s version of Far Cry a go (Ubi was trying weird platform stuff or something), and I bounced off it again, due to difficulty. Death by barely-visible people is not fun unless I’m the non-visible people rather than the one dying.

    • cockpisspartridge says:

      I remember the demo playing OK for me on my Geforce3 ti500 until the caves and then in turned into a slide show. i don’t think i got to play it until the gefore 5 series of cards. still awesome, though.

  12. InfamousPotato says:

    It looks… different from how I remember it.

  13. Kaldaien says:

    No, because I did not have a GPU powerful enough back in the day. Which, looking at the screenshot now, is somewhat laughable.

  14. vorador says:

    Yes, yes i did. And like almost everybody else, once the mutants showed up i stopped playing.

    Both this one and Crysis are amazing at their best, when you’re given an open world and freedom on how to tackle objectives. Once they’re funneling you on corridors and adding hard to handle enemies it stops being fun.

  15. Werthead says:

    Yes. I’ve played it from start to finish at least five times, and each time I was still finding new routes to each objective, different ways of approaching missions and so on. For a game with no real stealth mechanics that’s actually pretty impressive. The game had a raw focus on combat and you doing what you needed to do to complete your mission that was quite refreshing at the time, and hasn’t entirely been matched since (certainly not by it’s kleptomaniac sequels). Of the three big 2004 shooters (this, Doom 3 and HL2) this is the one I return to the most. HL2 was certainly better-written and more atmospheric, but its linear approach massively restricts replayability compared to this game.

    The mutants are mildly irritating, but also a relatively minor part of the game. They dominate the level where you first encounter them, then show up a couple of more times later on and then form the bulk of the final battle of the game. And that’s about it. I’d estimate that for a good 75% of the game your primary (and often only) enemies are the mercenaries and human enemies, who are far more interesting to fight.

    The final battle in the crater is hardcore, but not stupendously difficult, especially as you can choose your weapons loadout for it in the area just before. Stocking up on the heavy machine guns, the rocket launcher (for the big brute guys) and the sniper rifle (for the jumping cloaked guys bouncing around in the distance trying to suppress you) should see you through it with no problems.

    I was quite interested to see the characters from this game referenced in Far Cry 4, which makes me wonder if they’re preparing to take the FC series in a more SF direction again or bring Carver back directly. That would be interesting, based on the somewhat ambiguous note the first game ended on.

    • Ericusson says:

      Nice memories, have pretty much the same ones.
      I could never understand the glorious reviews of subsequent far cry game made by Ubisoft when compared to the first episode. Then again, I think Ubisoft games are mostly bring and the same formula with different assets.
      Though I kinda appreciated Far Cry 3 6 hours end game on acid … it was special.

      • Ericusson says:

        (ok ok Crysis was the successor and the name Far Cry was taken etc. but still !)

  16. Konservenknilch says:

    I’m not into FPSeses, but I played it in godmode just to check out the sights. Like in Crysis. Good game.

  17. montorsi says:

    As impressive as Far Cry was, I remember it for it’s fun and goofy protagonist. Sadly, FPSes sank into the gruff and monotone after Jack.

    • Harlander says:

      The voice work for Far Cry’s protagonist remains some of the hammiest voice acting I’ve ever heard.

      Don’t you think Rico from Just Cause is a worthy successor though? “Try transporting oil now, you pipeline jerks!”

      • Catterbatter says:

        What about the enemy taunts? Those were great, too. “Your ass is grass!” “I’m gonna shoot you in the face!”

  18. Thulsa Hex says:

    I loved it, and at the time it seemed almost unbelievable that a game could look that good on contemporary hardware (and it seemed quite scalable, if I recall correctly). As for the mutants, they did play a significant role in the reasons why I never got tot he end, but it wasn’t until years later that I found out that this was “a thing!”

  19. Michael Fogg says:

    I think it’s one of the cases of the demo being superior to the full product. It had a mission where you start on a boat not far from the shore and have to hike up the mountain defended by multiple WW2 era gun emplacements. Really fun stuff, suitable for a dozen replays, that captures the essence of the game. Then the full version had a lot of instant deaths and other irritating issues.

  20. dethtoll says:

    Easily one of the worst games I’ve ever played. It was so bad it’s put me off on the series forever.

    • fish99 says:

      Honestly you shouldn’t let Far Cry put you off Far Cry 2-4 because it’s a different developer and a completely different game design. The only connection is the name.

      • polarnomad says:

        Funny you should say that. My memories of Far Cry are overwhelmingly positive. I felt it was a very engaging game, even after the aliens started showing up. Far Cry 2 I never played. Far Cry 3 and Far Cry 4, however… They, along with Assassin’s Creed, prevent me from going near anything from Ubisoft. Maps full of icons with repetitious things-to-do that squelch all the life out their games.

    • Jay Load says:

      Wow. I can allow for people having different experiences to me, but really? That’s difficult to comprehend. For me, Far Cry ranks as one of my favourite shooters, surpassed only by the STALKER games. So many great gameplay moments and some brilliant levels. I must have played the demo a hundred times or more before I got the full game. One of the all time greats and still my choice as best in the series (although I’ve not played 4 yet).

      Different strokes, I guess.

  21. skorpeyon says:

    The amount of time I spent in the starting area was immense. I remember swimming, piloting boats around, staring at the water, trying to find other approaches into the main area, etc. Just generally screwing around a LOT the first time I ever played it, being impressed by the graphics and all. I honestly cannot believe that screenshot above is from the game. Times really have changed a lot.

  22. MOOncalF says:

    I remember it like this, DOOM 3 was three months out and grabbing all the attention. Suddenly a salvo of unanticipated awesome hits and everyone’s scrabbling to adjust to the new normal, because we went to bed waiting for a shinier DOOM and woke up on an island fps paradise with vehicles and physics laughs. The last two levels though, Bland Valley Corridor and the Caldera Of Poo, yeah, can’t say if they ran out of time, budget, ideas or a combination thereof.

  23. El Mariachi says:

    I couldn’t get off that fucking ship! Guys ahead of you on the prow taking cover behind indestructible crates, guys up on the overhanging second deck waiting to headshot you if you tried to advance and flank, and the crate guys would kill you if you went backwards trying to whack the upstairs guys.

    And that after finally getting through a part where every enemy has perfect vision and aim no matter how much undergrowth you think you’re hidden in. Literally smashed my mouse and rage-uninstalled.

    • Simplex says:

      “every enemy has perfect vision and aim no matter how much undergrowth you think you’re hidden in.”

      I remember that aspect of the game, horrible.
      I tried replaying recently, game was unbelievably hard to me (and that’s with a quicksave mod!). I can’t fathom how I was able to finish it with checkpoints ten years earlier.

    • TWChristine says:

      I remember reading in a review about how you could use the underbrush to sneak around/flank badguys and they would do the same. “Cool!” I thought. So one time I’m driving around through the jungle, getting shot to pieces, so I think “I’ll jump into the brush, and sneak around and pick them off one by one, Predator style and then go back and get my car!” Only thing was, no matter how sneaky I was, they always knew exactly where I was. I couldn’t see any of them, but headshots were no problem on their end.

      • GameOverMan says:

        The latest update patches broke some things in single player. The 1.4 version introduced a bug that made the AI see through some objects as it made a few surfaces invisible to them. The 1.33 version didn’t have the problem. Alternatively, you could download an unofficial fix for v1.41.

  24. dahools says:

    Played it as far as I could if I remember. Got to quite a large rusty shipwreck and remember being stuck trying kill some blond bloke in a helicopter who kept killing me. I emptied everything into it to no effect. Tried on several loads kept running out of ammo. This chopper seemed invincible so quit after that. Don’t know how far in that was but remember it putting me off so much I never played far cry 2, 3 or 4

  25. Marclev says:

    “So, for me I suppose, the series makes chronological sense in the direction it eventually took, focusing entirely on mans-face-shooting and being entirely mutant free.”

    Well, that somewhat depends on what you consider the “series” to be. UbiSoft’s Far Cry 2/3/4 have nothing in common with 1 apart from the name. Crytek went onto work on Crysis, and that definitely follows the same format of semi-open-world fighting soldiers and then eventually aliens.

    I seem to remember bouncing off the original Far Cry hard though when the mutants showed up (and that was in fact already after 3 or 4 levels, the fun infiltration bits aren’t that long lived, but were massively impressive at the time). I persisted until the last level (using cheats), but that was ridiculously hard and I gave up at points. The mutants are etched into my brain as on-hit-kill no-fun bullet sponges.

    They fixed that in Crysis by making the aliens less difficult to fight. I don’t know why people above say that the ones in Far Cry were better than the ones in Crysis, I found Far Cry pretty unplayable without cheats after it moved away from human opponents, and that seems the general consensus.

    Unlike Far Cry, the change of pace with the aliens in Crysis (zero-G fighting, jump jets, icy landscapes) is brilliant in my opinion, just goes to show that everybody’s taste is different.

    • klops says:

      It’s not a general consensus.
      link to metacritic.com

    • Werthead says:

      Far Cry 3 and 4 share some characters and 4 references Jack Carver directly, so they do take place in the same world. 4 also has side-missions set in a Buddhist parallel universe with you as a mystical superhuman. So the notion that the series became more realistic as it went along is somewhat questionable.

      The sore thumb is Far Cry 2, which feels like someone dropped Blood Diamond into the middle of the Austin Powers series.

  26. warenhaus says:

    Games I played until the monsters appeared:

    Far Cry
    Return to Castle Wolfenstein
    Doom 3

  27. mrpier says:

    I finished Far Cry without cheats*!

    *Except for the console Quick save command…

  28. Iainn says:

    This was one of the earliest games I remember that had a 64-bit patch/version available. I was an early adopter of XP64, and this is one of the few games that benefited from it. As far as I can remember, it offered marginally better framerates and a higher draw distance.

    This game took me two attempts to get in to, the first time I just didn’t really like it for some reason. The second time, I think I got quite far, certainly well past the mutants appearing anyway. Then probably got stuck somewhere because I remember it being very difficult.

  29. Durkonkell says:

    I got Far Cry bundled with a graphics card!

    Unfortunately, the graphics card in question was incapable of running it at a reasonable frame rate. This pissed me off so much that I never played it again.

  30. TWChristine says:

    Like so many others, I had a lot of fun with the first bits of the game. I’ve always been interested in abandoned fortification type things (I grew up near some, and every now and then my dad would take us kids into them to explore), which is also my favourite part of the Tomb Raider re-boot. Anyway, as much as I hated how over-deadly the AI was, I still had a lot of fun exploring the island. I really wish that had continued, but like so many others, once it got to these weird enemies I finally just had enough. I’d like to go back to it again sometime (and possibly play with some cheats to focus on exploring), but I had bought it at one of those early online-only sites which has since shut down (I want to say they were associated with Gamespy, but it’s been so long I have no idea). Ah well, I still have some fun memories!

  31. GameOverMan says:

    I played it, finished it (without cheats) and eventually played almost all the single player maps and mods that appeared, such as the popular (at the time) Matto series. The Delta Sector has spectacular graphics and a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. vibe.

  32. Jalan says:

    I still get upset over the last patch Crytek left for it. Giving the enemies built-in wallhacking and the ability to spot you what seems like the length of half an island away from where they actually are was just absolute crap.

  33. Amazon_warrior says:

    Yep, all the way to the end. Don’t really remember much about it now, though, other than really wishing that Jack would change his damn shirt for something that didn’t show up like a beacon against the jungle, and some blurry recollections of a fairly horrible escort bit and That Last Fight. The openness of the island was fun, though.

  34. Chaz says:

    I always liked the bit where you got to the broken mutant pens and complex. It has a real Jurassic Park vibe to it. If they’d replaced the mutants with dinosaurs then folks would still be hailing this as one of the best FPS’s ever made.

    Anyway I didn’t mind the mutants so much, made a change from just gunning down military types all the time and I liked the sci-fi angle of it.