The Five: Far Cry 2
Ubisoft takes the reins from original developer Crytek for the sequel to FarCry, and players will have their hands full as they track down the Jackal in Africa.
1. All the wacky stuff from the FarCry: Instincts console port has been forgotten, and Ubisoft has decided to move in an all-new direction with the sequel. Don't expect the artificial intelligence to lighten up, however -- FarCry 2 will still make you work to survive. If you hop in a vehicle to escape a situation, enemies will pile into another vehicle and attempt to chase you down. If you're hiding in the distance, enemies will work to flesh you out. This will not be a cake walk.
2. Your parents were right when they told you to be nice to your friends -- FarCry 2 works better when you play well together. You'll meet a few buddies along your travels, and if you keep them safe and out of harm's way, they'll do the same in return. There was a point in our demo when our character was almost dead and one of our comrades came by and healed him. We have a feeling this will come in handy quite often.
3. Ubisoft isn't skimping on the weaponry. Take to the battlefield with explosive devices, guided missiles, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, silenced submachine guns, and more. Our favorite weapon is the flamethrower, which lets one character set fire to trees and brush around villages to flush out the enemy while another hides close by with a sniper rifle, ready to dish out the pain.
4. In certain areas, you'll be able to alter what time of day it is by changing the time on a watch. Why not infiltrate an enemy base at night while many of the inhabitants are sleeping? This may make it more difficult to see your enemy, but it could give you the edge you need to accomplish an objective.
5. Far Cry 2's open-world take on the shooter offers plenty of options, and begs the player to choose how they want to play the game. Your mission may change depending on the decisions you make while you play. More casual gamers can just try to get from point A to point B, but players who opt to explore will get a lot more out of the game.
The Big Question: Can Ubisoft outdo Crytek's efforts? The original FarCry still stands up well today, but Ubisoft is taking the franchise in fresh direction. The open world is extremely dynamic, and we get goosebumps thinking about changing the day-night cycle at will and pairing up with buddies to accomplish objectives. If Ubisoft can deliver all that they promise, FarCry 2 could turn out to be one of the best first-person shooter experiences this year.
This preview is based on a hands-on demo of the game at E3.