A complete dearth of quality shooters this year has had many of us reaching back into the dusty alcoves of our hard drives to replay old favourites.
I've played most of the greats so much I just can't face 'em any more. Nano suits, nazis, even Russian nationalists, they bore me like my big brothers old old porn collection. But there is one I still love. A place I can go to blow s!#t up; a happy place with beautiful graphics, wide open scenery & game play with endless bad guys to euthenize. Far Cry 2.
I know, most of you hated it, not worthy of the title blah blah..I've read it all. But for me this is the best shooter in years. For me it lived up to the hype. There was a degreee of maturity in the subject matter that made a refreshing change - perhaps because I spent some time in Africa. Perhaps because I'm an old git. Who knows?
The graphice are some of the most beautiful I have seen; the sun rising over the horizon, the intensity of light increasing or diminishing. Brilliant. No game I have ever played created such a sense of place. The environment is just breath taking, and highly varied given it's one huge map.
Anyone who says stealth didn't factor in Far Cry 2 must be high. Tripping over their ammo belt high. This game had great stealth, realistic stealth. It knew the difference between concealment & cover (look it up). It has subtlety. By the bucket load, which, I guess, is an un subtle metaphor.
And that is the main point of my review - the subtelty of this title was all pervading. And completely lost on most gamers. Which is a tragedy because I truely believe this game to be a little bit revolutionary. I think it actually evolved the shooter genre. This is an open world, sand box game that worked. As in it didn't break. You could get tooled up, head out, on a mission or not, and random stuff would happen. Yes, random stuff within constraints of the game world, but still random. Each fire fight was different.
The AI on higher difficulty was ruthless. The physics were insane. Your arsenal was immense & not ruined by too many weapon slots. Controls were pitch perfect tight. You could slide into or out of combat. You got malaria - I've had malaria. It blows. For the record if you spend time in Africa you WILL get malaria. Realism - love it. Weapons degrade & jam. You get injured in numerous gruesome ways. Your buddies come to your rescue. Then betray you. And fire propogation that radically affected your surroundings. And the musical score, a work of brilliance. It was dynamic too, like the weather. I'm getting carried away here -I'd better gear down!
Is Far Cry 2 perfect. By no means. I too can pick holes in it. It needs more wildlife: what about a few maurading crocs, hippos, leopards & snakes to keep you on your toes. Though it might then degenerate in to Red Neck Big Game Hunter 23. The misions could be more dynamic, affecting the out come of the story or alliances. What about dual pistols? Where did 2 million civilans go?
But, at the end Far Cry 2 still remains a consumate work. A bug free tour de force. A combat heavy adventure where the envionment itself is reason enough to explore. A stunning locale where my skills are tested & my intelect not completely compromised. One of the best shooters I have ever played & certainly the most wrongly maligned. Thanks for reading.