Far Cry (Windows)

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Written by  :  Marty Bonus (41)
Written on  :  Apr 07, 2004
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars

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A delicious, well-designed, well executed example of what a 3D shooter should be.

The Good

The graphics are stunning. There is an extremely long draw distance for every exterior environment, yet the coding (i'm assuming) is tight enough that the incredible graphics that characterize this game don't require a godly rig to enjoy. I play on a middling-range athlon XP with a 7200/8meg HD (this upgrade seemed to make a huge difference) yet I am able to enjoy it on 1024 with high graphic detail. Character models are cutting edge as are the shading and light effects. Explosions are decent. The physics engine is also top of the line and is far more realistic than other attempts at such an engine. The sound in the game is overall quite good, though not as good as the graphics are. The gun sounds are particularly fitting. I'd argue they're the best gun sound effects I've heard. The music fits well both in the low-paced and "alert" modes. I had some minor technical issues with voice vs overall sound levels, as you can't control this in game, but it works well enough. The voice acting is good if at times the main character seems a bit canned. It's good enough. The conversations held by enemies are humorous and frequent. The gameplay is superb. I know a great many people enjoyed the single player in Halo, but I feel that far cry is much more well implemented. The prone and crouch positions have expected effects on accuracy. You can also right-click to bring up the iron-sights of each weapon. Stealth is somewhat lacking in this game, but it's not that type of game. That said, it is very easy to disappear into the jungle and take people out somewhat surreptitously. There is a "stealth meter" on your HUD, and if you use the binoculars (most useful game binoculars in any game, ever) you actualy get little spots on your "radar" that indicate whether an enemy is on to you, looking for you, etc. Regardless of the lack of focus on stealth, the gameplay is still incredible. It's a 3-d shooter, so you get what you'd expect, but it never feels dull. The environments you find your character in are dynamic and interesting throughout. The AI is great. Perhaps not as relentless as in Halo, but it's clear that the enemies are working together. They throw grenades and converge on your position in an intelligent manner as well. Overall, it's far above par and the comparison to halo is not accidental. The story is reminiscent of Half-life. It's one of those stories that starts simple and gets more complex as you run through it. this is common in action games, but there are very few (half-life and the original deux ex are my reference group) games that take you on a ride as you play through. The story is compelling enough to keep one interested, but not so omnipresent to distract from the task at hand.

The Bad

My only complaints about this game are minor. the lack of detail on items found in the game. Ammo boxes, weapons, etc, are uniformly undecorated. Another minor complaint is the, at times, flat voice acting. Truly, the weakness are entirely eclipsed by the strengths.

The Bottom Line

For those who enjoy 3-d shooters, this is a must-play. I prefer it over any strictly-action 3-d shooter I've ever played, including Halo or the WW2 ilk.