Far Cry PC DVD-ROM Official Website
by Ubi Soft
Developed by Crytek Studios
Released - 26th March 2004
Price : £29.99
Well you've spent your hard earned cash on all that top of the range PC hardware and what are you doing with it? Well the answer for most of us is playing games that we could have happily played on our old PC hardware. After making a major purchase on a top end graphics card we all want a game that looks fantastic with which to show everyone that all that money we've spent has been justified. Most thought that Half-Life 2 would be the first game to come out that would really test the latest graphics cards but it's been constantly delayed and the release date is still unknown. Similarly Doom III looked like another candidate to truly wow us but again it's release is still unknown. However Ubi Soft and Crytek Studios have gone and surprised us all with a FPS that looks first class and best of all it's release is imminent.
We covered the background for the game in our preview but the story for Far Cry goes like this. The game places you in the role of Jack Carver, a man with his own boat charter business in the tropical Micronesia. Jack has to escort a journalist named Valerie Constantine to the island Cabatu, of course it all goes wrong and it's not long before they come under attack. Soon after Val has gone missing a militia group are hunting for Jack. Armed with nothing but a gun, Jack has to find out what's going on and what's happened to Val. Throughout the game Jack will have an impressive arsenal at his disposal. The weapons range from the simple, but effective, machete to frag grenades, rocket launcher and the AW50 Sniper rifle. He'll also have various types of equipment to assist him such as the radio, binoculars and the Cryvision goggles, which allow Jack to have night vision. Whilst Jack is certainly up against it he'll have the weapons and equipment to help him deal with any problems that may occur.
I found the single player game very enjoyable and easily one of the most of entertaining FPS games of the last few years on the PC. Whilst the game, for the most part, is linear you will occasionally get a few alternate ways of going about things. Very early in the game you have to try and avoid contact with the enemy and take one of their vehicles. Initially I crept around the enemy soldiers without alerting them and stole the jeep from under their noses. On a second attempt I decided to simply just swim around the island and take on two enemies in another vehicle in order to claim their vehicle. Both methods were equally effective except that the second was a lot easier. You don't get options like this throughout the game but still it's great when they do occur. I also enjoyed controlling the vehicles too. Like we mentioned in our preview you have to aim and drive at the same time which might seem strange but it is actually easy to do. We can't really comment on the multiplayer side of the game because our review code didn't have a serial number and it's impossible to play online without one.
What might irk more than a few gamers out there with Far Cry is the method used to save your progress. Instead of allowing gamers to use quick saves and save the game at any point, a checkpoint system has been used. Checkpoint save systems are not bad, in fact most console games rely on them, but having got through a tricky part and then to be killed before you reach a checkpoint means you'll have to do all the tricky stuff again. The upside of this is that it encourages you to be at the top of your game but a lot of gamers will probably have wanted the usual save options that are used in a FPS game.
What you can you say about the graphics in Far Cry that hasn't already been said? It looks jaw droppingly good. Best of all though is that the level of detail is highly configurable so whether you have a Radeon 9800XT/GeForce FX5950 Ultra or a more modest GeForce Ti4200/Radeon 9600 you should be able to enjoy the game. If you want the full graphical extravaganza though you'll need at least a Radeon 9800Pro with a 3GHz Pentium 4 (or Athlon XP3200/AMD 64) CPU and a mammoth 1GB RAM. Yes, the PC specification to run the game with full detail is stupendous but Far Cry moves the quality of game graphics up another notch. Mind you if can bring yourself to play the game with lesser visual quality you'll have no problems with performance on more run of the mill hardware.
The graphical quality is something else though and for me the highlight is the quality of the water, which has to be seen to be believed. Character models and almost everything you could think of though looks better in Far Cry than probably any game you've played before. A special mention also has to be made of the range of view you have when you're outside. No matter where you turn you have detailed terrain as far as the eye can see and there doesn't seem to be a frame rate fall either when you move into open areas. It truly is a first class game engine. You can even apply different rendering modes and choose a cartoon effect if you long for that XIII look.
FPS games don't usually have a lot of provision for deaf gamers and, sadly, Far Cry is no different. The game isn't subtitled so you'll miss out on the storyline, which is a big disappointment. Tutorial messages are shown in text and you can access your objectives by pressing the Tab key. You are notified in text when you have a new objective too. The game is playable, although it's more difficult and the checkpoint save system that has been used will further serve to add to the difficulty. Without subtitles you're not really getting the full package and you can't help but feel disappointed that once again deaf gamers are disadvantaged.
With Far Cry then a new benchmark has been set for graphical quality in PC gaming. The AI of the enemies is generally good and the single player game on the whole is certainly up to standard. However the lack of subtitles are a disappointment and do drag our rating down significantly. We couldn't get to play online (for reasons mentioned above) but the single player isn't quite as good for deaf gamers because of there not being any subtitles. Still if you want to give that latest PC upgrade a full work out then this is the game you need.
Game Rating: 7.3/10
Probably the lowest score that Far Cry is going to be awarded but it's the lack of subtitles that colour our opinion of this graphically splendid FPS.
A big disappointment for deaf gamers.