I didn’t want to go for such a fanboyish title, but I got FarCry 2 on PC a few days ago and I’ve spent the past two days destabilising a fictional African Country and loving it.
The graphics are absolutely breathtaking- it’s the most realistic game I’ve ever seen. The designers have gone to great lengths to keep you “In the game”- there’s almost no HUD (a health and ammo bar flashes up when you get injured, heal yourself, reload, or switch weapons), and when you’re driving all the cars have functioning GPS units in them to help you navigate- you or can drive around with the map in your virtual hand and look down as you drive; even if it does make you feel like the lost foreigner you so clearly are.
There are lots and lots and lots of guns in the game- everything from Makarov pistols to AK-47s to FN-FALs to M79 Grenade Launchers to flamethrowers (yes, an effective, functioning flame thrower!) and more.
In fact, FarCry 2 is a Pryromaniac’s dream- one of the best tactics involves sneaking up on militia outposts and then lobbing a molotov cocktail or firing a flare into the grass nearby and watching it all light up like bonfire on Guy Fawkes’ Night.
You really do feel like you’re a Mercenary in the centre of an African conflict- the best way I can describe the plot is as a cross between the Frederick Forsyth novel The Dogs of War and the Leonardo DiCarprio film Blood Diamond.
The game has it faults- the militia outposts keep respawning despite the fact that you might have killed everyone there three or four times over, and you’ll sometimes get attacked in the middle of nowhere by randomly spawned baddies, and the quests start to tend a little too much towards “Go here, kill this guy, come back”, but the overall experience more than outweighs these minor criticisms, IME.
I’ve been playing for two days and I’m still only halfway through- Fallout 3 is out tomorrow here and I have to go out of town for a week for work on Sunday, which is as frustrating as hell- but I strongly recommend that anyone looking for a great free-form FPS with an incredibly immersive setting, more guns than a Soviet Arsenal’s Warehouse, and some breathtaking graphics should look no further than FarCry 2.