Game Over Online ~ Far Cry (c) Ubi Soft

Far Cry (c) Ubi Soft

Published: Monday, February 16th, 2004 at 08:14 PM
Written By: Aaron 'Pharcyde' Butler

The games that have been coming out lately havenít really instilled that ďHoly crap! Thatís cool!Ē feeling in me. Half-Life2 would have, had it been released on time. It looked amazing what with all the fancy graphics, physics and the characters lip-syncing JapaneseÖand stuff. I didnít expect to see anything like it until its release sometime this year. Enter Far Cry.

The story behind Far Cry is you play Jack Carver, someone who left his past behind to pursue a much less violent career chartering boats in Micronesia. Youíre supposed to escort an ambitious journalist named Valerie Cortez to the Island of Cabatu. The boat your on gets blown up by heavily armed soldiers and after escaping through an underwater cave, your adventure begins.

I must admit, I have only been keeping loose tabs on Far Cry as Iím not a big fan of looking at screenshots of games that are on the horizon. Screenshots to me are only snapshots of a game promising me things. Plus, it helps keep the expectation level to a minimum. I will, however, check out the occasional movie. Demos and beta tests, on the other hand, are a sure way to get me to look at an upcoming title. I made a special directory just for game demos on my machine and it sees more action than my ďFull GamesĒ directory. So I decided to give this Far Cry demo a whirl when it was released and needless to say it was impressive enough for me to want to preview it for

The version of Far Cry I was able to play consists of two levels from the final game; the island level from the recently released single player demo, with more tantalizing goodness, and a different level from the game showing off the inside of a mountainous fortification.

So far my impressions of Far Cry are great to say the least, especially since the version I have for previewing doesnít represent the final product! The technology Crytek has developed to create Far Cry, the CryENGINE, is rather amazing in what itís able to accomplish visually. It achieves the, ďHoly crap! Thatís cool!Ē feeling as soon as the first level loads and Iím sitting on a boat out at sea gazing at this tropical paradise in the distance.

This engine provides bumping mapping, dynamic lighting, per pixel lighting, stencil shadows, a physics system on just about everything, AI, and a bunch of other quality visual and audible goodness that come together blissfully, creating truly immersive environments. If you were able to cut down trees with machinegun fire, it would be perfect. I know, nit picking! Anyway, the draw distance is amazing. The lack of a visually unappealing draw dome, used to keep ones video card from exploding, is appreciated.

There are many cool features that you will notice while playing Far Cry; shooting enemies off a boat and watching them fall into the water only to float to the surface and bleed into the ocean; enemies, along with almost everything else not attached to the ground, have their own individual physics; you can shoot or blow crates into the water and watch the lighter ones float, or roll a barrel down a hill; shooting hanging lights will cause them to swing and cast light elsewhere; driving heavily armed jeeps and boats; manning stationary gun and RPG turrets; and wondering through jungles and using the thick vegetation to keep out of site of enemy troops.

Far Cry will give players a good choice of weapons to use. So far Iíve been able to play with a SAW, a silenced MP5, M4 Carbine, M82 Sniper rifle, an OIC Assault Rifle, a P90 SMG and a Jack Hammer shotgun. All the weapons look and sound great. Oh, letís not forget the frag and tear gas grenades as well as the ability to throw rocks.

Far Cry will have multiplayer capabilities when itís released. One can only speculate the types of outrageous game play that will ensue with this engine and the size and various types of maps that will be made available.

Keep an eye out for this golden nugget ladies and gentlemen, and check back in March when reviews the final product. Iím positive Far Cry will not disappoint.

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