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Far Cry 2 Hands-on Preview

Far Cry 2 Hands-on Preview

Publisher: Ubisoft
Platforms: PC, Playstation 3, Xbox 360

We have to confess that we weren’t at out best when we were attending the recent Ubidays 2008 in Paris. Our usual spunk and vigor was almost completely absent and replacing it instead was a meek, doe-eyed sensation of bewilderment.

Normally such cowardly shyness could be easily attributed to bad canapés or too much garlic, but this time that wasn’t the problem. In fact, the food was top-notch and Ubisoft had even laid on a stand with a chocolate painter. Instead, the cause of all this awful awkwardness was much simpler; choice.

Prince of Persia, Beyond Good and Evil 2, Tom Clancy’s Endwar –quite simply, we were overwhelmed and just didn’t know where to begin. Which game should get our attention first? Tom Clancy’s Hawx maybe?

Thankfully though, the problem was solved for us after we passed the Far Cry 2 booth and managed to walk straight into a hands-on session with the game, led by the game’s technical director.

Far Cry 2 Hands-on Preview

Want to know what we thought to the first new PC game in the Cry-series not to be developed by CryTek? All you have to do it read on to find out…

A Far Cry

Far Cry 2 is, just in case you didn’t know, a tiny bit controversial in certain circles and is already being treated with caution by most fans of the original game.

The problem is this; the developers of the original Far Cry aren’t involved with Far Cry 2 at all as the developer is now partnered with EA and has been focusing on the new Crysis. The Far Cry licenses meanwhile have been flogged to Ubisoft, who gathered a lot of flak for console-ifying and diluting the original series with a run of poor tie-ins and game expansions. It’s probably best if we don’t talk about Instincts, Evolution and That Other One I Can Never Remember But Which Even My Little Brother Hated On The Original Xbox.

The good news is though that Ubisoft seems to have finally cottoned on as to how it was fluffing up the franchise before and has finally sat down and got serious about the whole thing – aiming to capitalise on the strengths and spirit of the original Far Cry, while at the same time wiping the slate clean and starting afresh.

Far Cry 2 Hands-on Preview

Thus; Far Cry 2 – an instantly recognisable, but wholly new and unfamiliar game that from what we’ve seen manages to recreate everything we loved about the original Far Cry, but gets rid of the masochistic difficulty settings and enemies that can see you through a mountain.

The story for the game is fairly simple; you’re a hired mercenary operating in Africa who is one of nine hired guns offered a lucrative assassination mission. You must kill an arms dealer named The Jackal who is profiteering from a conflict between two different mercenary outfits and driving all sorts of untold misery and suffering in the area.

The Jackal is a bad man, basically. It’s up to you to be the good guy by carving a swathe of destruction across the landscape, levelling his private army and letting loose your own special brand of misery and suffering.

Sure, as game plot lines go it isn’t exactly on the same level as Half-Life or Psychonauts and the references to Ayn Rand novels are very much limited as well, but it’s enough to push the gameplay on and that’s all it really needs to do from what we’ve seen because it’s in the gameplay itself where all the magic happens.