by Sergio Brinkhuis
previewed on PC
But I digress, where was I. Oh yes. We were contacted by one of our buddies, the lady Nasreen. She told us she had additional information about the mission we had just accepted and asked us to meet her in a safe-house nearby. We opted to hear her out but could just as easily have gone on without her help. There are tons of decisions to make in Far Cry 2 and while many are final, none will cause you to get stuck in the game. We met Nasreen shortly after and she explained to us that our mission wasn’t as straightforward as Oliver made it out to be. She gave us an alternative way of carrying out the mission, asking us to find a canister of some chemical agent that she would then spray over the target area using a crop-duster airplane.
We set out to find the canister, arriving at a defunct factory guarded by some local militia. Using a scope, we scouted the area for additional guards, vehicles and supplies. Once you have located one item in a certain category, all items in that category are shown on a detailed map of the location. Now that we knew ‘the lay of the land’, we decided we needed a diversion so we fired off a bazooka round in the direction of a weapons storage box near the entrance of the factory. As expected, the box blew up in a nice big fireball. As the guards approached the box, looking for what had caused the explosion we circled around the building and entered it through the back door. We grabbed the canister and were out in no time. By now the guards had figured out our little ruse. We made a mad dash for a nearby vehicle. Jumping into it, we drove off, quickly followed by the guards who had found some wheels of their own. Unfortunately this is where our time ran out and we had to get to our next appointment.
Dust in the wind
Far Cry 2 is a huge world of 50 square kilometer that will suck you in and make you feel like you are actually there. The entire world seems to be alive and breathes as you venture through it. Except for boulders and mountains, pretty much everything can be destroyed. When it does, it doesn’t just break into large sections but falls apart in a realistic way. A day and night cycle that lasts six hours passes slow enough to be believable, but fast enough to give you the idea that time is passing. Most times it is up to you whether you want to carry out your mission by daylight or at night. You can pass the time in safe-houses that can be found throughout the map though you may need to clear them first.
The game looks top notch and the amount of detail is simply staggering. When a breeze picks up, you will see the trees move in the direction of the wind. If you kick up some dust, you will see the wind grab hold of it and carry it off in the appropriate direction where it will disperse accordingly. Weather changes are dynamic and the wind doesn’t always come from the same direction. This attention to detail is found in every aspect of Far Cry 2 and it contributes greatly to the believability of the world that the Ubisoft Montreal team has created for the game.
In the end though, I believe it is not the graphical splendor or attention to detail that will make Far Cry 2 surpass its predecessor. It is the interaction with the other characters in the game and the decisions that you will have to make as you get closer to The Jackal that will turn this game into an emotional experience that is not often seen in games. Your actions may decide the fate of not only the bad guys, but your buddies and innocent bystanders as well. Expect to be weighing the good against the bad in order to achieve your goals. Hitting the shelves in less than two months time I hope you have nerves of steel and are ready to make some of the toughest decisions in a game ever!