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  Review: Far Cry
On 03/31/04 by Turner 'Bulldog' Hopkinson

Developer: Crytek
Publisher: Ubisoft
Release Date: 03/23/04
ESRB: "M" for Mature
Official Site:
Platform(s): PC
Played On: PC

Far Cry, what more can I say? Developed by Crytek and published by Ubisoft this is one title that started off its development process under the radar but quickly gained momentum and hype when people saw what was blossoming into one kick ass game. Although not directly related to this review I have to give kudos to Crytek for actually releasing the game (for the most part) on time while the vast majority of the world is still waiting for the likes of DOOM 3 and Half-Life 2.
:: far cry ::
:: far cry ::
:: far cry ::
With that out of the way you begin this game in the boots of Jack Carver, a sailboat captain who is giving a ride to a beautiful lady who turns out to be none other than an agent of the CIA when all the sudden your ship is (literally) blown out of the water. I will refrain from divulging more about the storyline although I will say that it is very engrossing and does a magnificent job of drawing you into it.

The artificial intelligence I found to be a bit disappointing. While it certainly is not the worst to be debuted in a game it also isn�t anything to brag about. The mercenaries do manage to use cover effectively, call for backup, and react dynamically but more often than not at least one of them will get stuck on a tree or caught running into a wall. Their reaction time was also a little bit surprising as sneaking up on them rarely works in the outdoors. Oddly enough sneaking around seems to work better indoors. It almost seemed that regardless of how well you used cover they heard you coming well before you got within range to safely dispose of them. Weapons wise you have a fairly vast arsenal available to you and since you are of course ex-special ops you�re full trained to use all of them. Vehicles also are included in the game and are strategically placed perfectly. They also are balanced extremely well and don�t give you as big as an advantage as you might expect since your view is skewed substantially due to the windshield and roll bar. Aiming from a moving, bouncing vehicle is another issue altogether. The whole theory that �I�m in a vehicle thus I�m invincible� also gets tossed out the window as a well placed shot from your adversary will take you down in a hurry.

Another unique thing that I enjoyed in Far Cry was the level of freedom it gives you. If you are paying attention to your surroundings you�ll actually notice the game is very linear. However due to the sheer number of ways you can complete each task it almost seems like you are doing things in whatever order you please. The way you move from task to task is really all up to you, if you�d like to run through the thick vegetation and try to blow up a radar Gandhi style, then by all means, go ahead. Or, if you�d like to steal a gunboat and ram it right up onto the shore with guns a blazing then you can do that as well! With that said a concern I picked up from the demo was that after a few levels the monotony of being outdoors all the time might become repetitive and boring.
:: far cry ::
:: far cry ::
:: far cry ::
This turned out not to be the case at all as Crytek has done a good job including a smattering of compounds, treetop planks, basements, and research labs to keep things mixed up. Moving onto the save system it is well done. While I know many people prefer the freedom of being able to save anywhere they like Crytek has positioned the save points perfectly so that you actually feel proud of yourself when you get past a particularly challenging area. The save points aren�t too far apart from one another either so you�ll almost never find yourself having to run 30 minutes just to get back to where you died.

The physics engine is another aspect I can�t forget about. It was one of those things that just stuck out as �plain cool� to me. While it might not be as impressive as Valve is claiming Half-Life 2�s will be it�s important to remember that this game is actually already on store shelves while HL2 is nothing more than a pipe dream at this point. For those of you who are looking for a challenge this game doesn�t disappoint either as there are numerous settings for you to dink around with. One minor gripe I did have with these settings however was the fact that they didn�t seem to change the gameplay much, rather just increase the number of hits it took to take your adversary down. Last but not least we�ve got the multi-player to cover. If I�m being honest I have got to say that it wasn�t the greatest of experiences. With only six maps and a few modes to choose from your options are fairly limited. That coupled with the fact there are no bots makes it so that finding a server at the maximum capacity of 32 players quite a chore at times. However, Crytek is fully supporting the mod community so I wouldn�t find it too surprising if the multiplayer lifespan of the game is increased exponentially via add-ons and mods.

Graphics are what put Far Cry on the map and there is good reason for this. The reason is simply that they are some of the best graphics to ever be released on any platform. Cranked all the way up I personally think they look just as good as anything I�ve witnessed from the Half-Life 2 and DOOM 3 movies. The environment, both outdoors and indoors, is stunning and the sheer size of the maps is mind-blowing. I remember a quote from a random Half-Life 2 interview where Gabe said that goes something like this � �making good looking water really isn�t hard, it�s just something no one has ever done before until Half-Life 2� and let me tell you, our pudgy little friend couldn�t have been farther away from the truth as Crytek beat them to the punch and has made some of the most realistic looking water I�ve ever seen. There are some cut-scenes that help progress the storyline but that are done using the in-game engine so they�re just like watching normal gameplay from a different perspective.

Normally audio quality is something that somehow gets forgotten about during the development process. That is most certainly not the case here as the voice acting, sound effects, and ambient sound are simply eargasmic. I really can�t say anything more about this, I just can�t � you�ve got to hear it to believe me.

In a Word: Superb

Word to the Publisher: Quite possibly the best shooter that will be released all year.

Full Reviews:
  • GameSpot - 9.2/10
  • PC.IGN - 9.2/10
Final Score: 9.5
/ / /
#1 - Bulldog - 03/31/04 @ 05:24 PM EST
Adding screenshots now.
// checking to see if comments still work on articles heh
#2 - colinp - 03/31/04 @ 05:27 PM EST
hooray for in-house articles!!

ok, actually reading the review now....
#3 - sweetjimmy - 03/31/04 @ 05:32 PM EST
if it wasn't for ut2k4, this game would probably be the next one I purchase. (hopefully I'll be getting ut next week)Last Edited on 03/31/04 @ 05:33 PM EST
#4 - Bulldog - 03/31/04 @ 05:33 PM EST
No one cares about your opinion sweetjimmy.
#5 - sweetjimmy - 03/31/04 @ 05:34 PM EST
grr! oh yeah, well you have ALBINO MASAI WARRIOR paragraphs!Last Edited on 03/31/04 @ 05:42 PM EST
#6 - Shataan - 03/31/04 @ 05:38 PM EST
I totally agree. Superb. Nothing touches it... IMHO.
#7 - colinp - 03/31/04 @ 05:42 PM EST
I agree with jimmy about the paragraphs, and with Bulldog about not caring about jimmy's opinion elsewise. And I mean barbarian paragraphs like the Visigoths who took down the Roman Empire... Brutal fuckers, ya know?

edit: jimmy, why'd ya have to go change the barbarian reference for the paragr//04 @ 05:47 PM EST
#8 - sweetjimmy - 03/31/04 @ 05:51 PM EST
#9 - Cool_Cow - 03/31/04 @ 06:06 PM EST
yea....awesome awesome game....definatly a contender for GOTY......the only thing I dont aggrea with in ur review is the comment about the AI....I thought it was very impressive and did some downright sneaky things at times.
#10 - nVidiot_Whore - 03/31/04 @ 06:21 PM EST
Bulldog: You can actually sneek pretty easilly outdoors..

Go to prone.. walk through grass or bushes.. they'll nver see you..
Also, use the surpressed machine gun deally.
/ /
- Adopted- 03/31/04 @ 07:07 PM EST
i hate the checkpoint shit and sneaky sneaky is boring boring in this game. I'm gettin a higher success rate with shoot first hide later
- Axel- 03/31/04 @ 07:29 PM EST
I agree with you, Bulldog. This game is truly amazing. I love it. I could care less about HL2 right now with this out. Even on my 1.5ghz 1gb pc133ram and gf fx 5200 256mb (on medium/low detail), it still looks great. I can't imagine how it would look with a top-of-the-line computer.

/ BTW: Nice review. =)
/ /
#13 - Bulldog - 03/31/04 @ 07:32 PM EST
Shut up whore!

No really you whore! =)

haha, yes you can sneak around decently true, but there were numerous occasions where I would ID them with my binocs and then they'd STILL manage to see me even when I'm really far off and not moving at all.

Edit: True adopted, the shoot em up approach = faster and works just as often usually.Last Edited on 03/31/04 @ 07:33 PM EST
/ /
#14 - nVidiot_Whore - 03/31/04 @ 07:37 PM EST

Hit ` to go to console

save_game gamename

load_game gamename

'tis a bit buggy, but gets arond the autosave..

If one of your saves screws up, just reload to the last autosave.
#15 - Anon@ - 04/01/04 @ 01:40 AM EST
Real men get by using the checkpoint, the way it was meant to play.
#16 - nVidiot_Whore - 04/01/04 @ 02:38 AM EST
Heheh.. yeah, I just do it because when I get to one of those points where it's obvioius there's 2 or 3 ways to approach/beat a group of guys I like to save, and then try all the possibilities before moving on.
#17 - colinp - 04/01/04 @ 09:07 AM EST
Real men have large enough testicles that they don't need to compensate by putting down others who use save systems. ;)
#18 - Anon@ - 04/01/04 @ 10:24 AM EST
Wasn't impressed witht he AI?

That one stupid statement ruined your entire review..this is without a doubt /leased for any product...the being stuck on trees or other surroundings has not happened once for me in the full release.
#19 - Bulldog - 04/01/04 @ 11:10 AM EST
Ah, must have only been my copy of the game O_o
#20 - nVidiot_Whore - 04/01/04 @ 11:15 AM EST
Heheh... the AI isn't that impressive IMHO..

Hehe.. they'll run really far... but yeah, they get stuck on shit a lot, and they sometimes see you, som/
/ /
#21 - Shataan - 04/01/04 @ 11:52 AM EST
I / so bad. Every other A.I. done before it makes Far crys A.I. look CRAY smart incomparison. Bloody devs have been releasing such pure crap up till now, many are so jaded they don`t see an awesome game even when they boot it up on their own monitors. lol

FC is my new buying benchmark. If a game can`t come close to delivering this kinda quality alround... then no sale. I`d be pretty happy with FClike A.I. in any game from now on. f the A.I. gets better, awesome, but I won`t pay for worse. LOL
- Bulldog- 04/01/04 @ 02:03 PM EST
Oh, I'm not saying the AI was horrible, it was still good ... just not flawless or even THAT awesome.

/ It wasn't like Delta Force: Task Force Dagger when they stood there while you sniped them from 500 yards out.
/ /
#23 - Anon@ - 04/02/04 @ 10:11 AM EST
The AI had the worst voice acting ever!

I was not impressed with their intellegence at all. Want to see smart!? Play UT2004 in any mode other then Onslaught, they kick your ass.
/ /
#24 - Eidolon - 04/02/04 @ 10:57 AM EST
GameGossip is moving towards a 19 point scoring system (1-10 with .5's in between). So the score of this game has been changed to 9.5 instead of 95%. Just FYI
/ /
#25 - Anonymous - 04/02/04 @ 01:26 PM EST
No AI is perfect, though FarCry is some of the better FPS AI I've seen. You want bad AI? Look at DX: Invisible War. These guys have the shortest attention span of any AI I've seen. I just hope Doom3, HL2 and Black and White 2 don't let us down for AI.Last Edited on 04/02/04 @ 01:26 PM EST
/ /
#26 - Sgt. Bilbo - 04/02/04 @ 01:44 PM EST
Dang it, I'm not anonymous!
/ /
#27 - Quickstriker - 04/02/04 @ 08:24 PM EST
I may get this game tommorrow(if i can find it). Being that Ut2004 already burned me with boredom and frustration since I can't play online anymore and that my computer chokes on it.
/ /
#28 - Anon@ - 04/02/04 @ 09:59 PM EST
"So the score of this game has been changed to 9.5 instead of 95%."

...and the difference between 95% and 9.5/10 would be...?

If they ever change that again to 19/20 or 38/40, I'll get really confused!
/ /
#29 - Tre_bumpn - 04/02/04 @ 10:14 PM EST
Leave it to the anon....

Great review.
#30 - Bulldog - 04/02/04 @ 11:02 PM EST
#28 - We felt the "out of 10" system would be more accurate because while a 95% might be pretty straightforward what would a 93% mean exactly? Where as here with this new system it will be 9.0, 9.5, or 10.

#29 - Thanks :P
/tr> / / / /le>
/> /
#31 - Eidolon - 04/02/04 @ 11:15 PM EST
#28 - Yeah basically, on a 100 point system what's the difference between a 64% and a 66%? I can't tell the difference and as a reviewer it's hard to quantify that difference.

Hence 19 point system.

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