Reviewed by Tinnanski |
Oct. 21st '05
Introduction:Finally the game that PC gamers have been ogling over has come to the Xbox. The title is Far Cry: Instincts and if you haven't heard of it by now you're in for a treat. Settle down and read a bit about this jungle warfare survival shooter from Ubisoft.
The Game:Far Cry: Instincts is the stellar Xbox adaptation to Ubisoft's top selling game with the same name, minus the Instincts. Perfectly balanced, Far Cry brings you into the depths of a jungle running and gunning for your life. It's intense, it's fun, and it's online. I never had a chance to give the PC version a go, but now I know what gamers where talking about.
In Far Cry you take control of retired Navy Commando Jack Carver who starts the game off by escorting a young female journalist towards a tropical island. Next thing you know she has vanished and your ship is being shot at by hovering choppers. This is when you start the game and your adrenalin will be pumping as you jump from your boat and swim for safety. As Jack you will have to fight for survival on an island filled with trained mercenaries. The best part is the more you start running and sneaking around the more you start to get in tune with the island, almost like an animal. Not to spoil anything but that statement couldn't be further from the truth. Jack is a tough character so don't worry about his ability and crawling through the jungle will put a smile on every gamers face. Crytek really did a great job keeping the momentum of the game running while being properly spaced between gaming action and scripted sequences. The momentum keeps building and never really lets up.
If Far Cry sounds pretty different then most first person shooters that's because it is! It's truly a triumph in atmosphere and in game feeling. It does however play like any other shooter you are used to and has a similar arsenal like most reality based shooters. One good thing with the weapons in Far Cry is that the knife is actually worth using. Finally a decent knife that you can use as much as your machine gun. The knife isn't a major aspect of the gaming but if you use it right you perform stealth kills with it and use for a majority of your stealthy gameplay. You can only carry two different weapons at a time, including the knife, but you can also dual wield weapons like the Master Chief.
Vehicles also have a big role in Far Cry which is always fun in a shooter. Far Cry takes the vehicles in a different direction and gives you a plethora of common vehicles to move around in. Some of these vehicles are hang gliders, jet skis, hummers, hovercrafts, and ATVs. The controls could be a little ore find tuned, but never less controlling the vehicles are fun and it gives you a nice switch up from running on foot all the time. It's pretty intense speeding through the jungle on an ATV trying to shoot and steer while avoiding trees and looking to hit mercs.
I touched on it a little earlier, but really the best part of Far Cry is how it feels like your evolving in the story to something more every corner you turn. The pace can be controlled but usually is balanced between being stealthy and then going into a big battle, of course you can play any style you wish, but you will have to strike a balance to succeed. The levels are huge! And have exploration aspect to them. You really become the predator and it's feels great stalking your prey through the jungles foliage. Far Cry: Instincts is the complete package of what we have come to expect in quality first person shooters.
Graphics & Sound: It sure is perdy on this island; sometimes it's hard to actually focus on the actual game because you just want to explore the geography. The graphics are excellent in Far Cry and the lighting effects are superb along with the details of the environments, down to the ripples in the water. This is one good looking game! The production value is top notch and it's actually so good they are nothing really to say, but perfecto. The audio side also comes together like the graphics to complete this package with a good amount of ambient sounds, combined with talented voice over work and appreciate music in the battles. You will really tune into the whole game on both sides of the audio and visuals and they wouldn't work if one was off balance. What can I say?! Far Cry: Instincts is all expected and then some.
Innovation:Far Cry: Instincts is another first person shooter so the innovation score will have to struggle to make an impact, so you would think! This game is different and refreshing, while still keeping traditional gameplay with an emphasis on stealth. They did everything right and then some which is a bonus. It's hard to be original in this genre but Ubisoft has recently found their niche in first person shooters recently following the amazing, Brothers in Arms games.
Far Cry also innovatives by the inclusion of the ability to set traps to snare you enemies without wasting any bullets. It's simple to work and is pretty effective. First you find a tree with an enemy near by active the trap menu and set a branch on a tree. Then you finding a hiding spot within viewing distance, and then you throw stones. The enemy gets alerted to the noises which is indicated in your radar. comes over to investigate and whamooo! Branch in the face! Pretty cool, yes! The only thing is I wish they had more tricks to spice it up, but the "whacked by the branch" is satisfying.
Ubisoft also had time to throw in a level editor and lots of multi-player features. This is one of the first games where you can make new maps and play them over Xbox live. It's beginning to feel more like a PC even before the 360.
Mojo:Jungle, Stealth, Guns, ATVs, Boats, Traps! What else could we ask for?! It's ridiculous if you need to know if Far Cry has any mojo. It's full, it's off the hook, and the fish has fried. Far Cry: Instincts is one fully loaded stick of mojo dynamite. Too bad it took me so long to discover Crytek's little jem. Most of the mojo comes in the in game feeling of being the hunted then into the predator, it's exhilarating running through the jungle like a wild beast on the hunt, loose and intense. Of course Instincts has the mojo and I love my gunning with a tan.
Lowdown:Far Cry: Instincts from Ubisoft and Crytek should not be over looked. Even if you didn't know it this is the shooter you've been waiting for. I highly suggest this game for any fans of first person shooters you will love the jungle exploration, stealth sneaking, vehicle driving, guns blazing action in Far Cry. Pick this sucka up!
Gameplay: 9, Graphics/Sound: 10, Innovation: 9, Mojo: 10. Final: 9.5/10