Far Cry 2 is up there on my list of remarkable video game experiences. It’s an mesmerisingly beautiful game build on top very solid FPS mechanics. EuroGamer has a retrospective article on it:
The fact that guns can jam, that fires can start, that grenades can roll innocuously down slopes and staircases before shredding the surrounding area created a game world where these battlefield stories can occur. And at the same time, it establishes a set of rules that ensures there’s drama – eventually. The player will die, at some point, and so you’ll have that last minute rescue. You’re going to get into a critical state and have to perform some battlefield surgery, pulling bullets out of your arm or some rebar out of your leg. Things go wrong, and stories emerge.
I recommend that any FPS fan try it out, but with two cautions. The first is that you should play the game on the hardest difficulty level as it greatly increases the tension and exciting of the game. The game does not become impossible or frustrating, simply more hectic and intense. Secondly, by far the biggest complaint about the game was the respawning checkpoints. Clearing out a checkpoint, driving 50m down the road and returning meant all the original baddies would have at your disposal to fight again. If you think about it, it really was an absurd criticism to level at a first person SHOOTER. Driving from one location to another, while fun in its own right, was not exactly “playing” the game, it was merely a transition to the next scene.
Approach the game with the mindset that this is a hostile land (Africa, duh) which lots of enemies to shoot in the face and you will have a blast. Also remember that the Carl Gustav rocket launcher can ignite grass behind you.