Reviewed by Jimmy | 05.01.06
Ubisoft Montreal decided it was time for Jack Carver to get the next generation bump. In Far Cry Instincts Predator we have an enhanced version of the original along with the next chapter in the Far Cry world. It's not totally new, but it still packs a punch. Read on to see how Jack fairs on the new platform in his old shoes in our review of Far Cry Instincts Predator.
For all those who want Far Cry 2, you'll still have to wait.. Far Cry Predator is interesting, but it's not even close to hitting our expectations of Far Cry for next generation. So what do we have this time around? Well. a moderately bumped up version of last years Xbox Far Cry game Instincts with a new mission pack called Evolution added into the mix. Both parts have been mildly upgraded to take advantage of some of the 360s perspicacity, but the gameplay is more of the same. Depending on your viewpoint, this could be good, or bad. All and all it's not as bad as it seems, but that really depends on if you've been here before. Crytek's gem can still roll out a good experience and new gamers to the Far Cry world, you will love it.
For those new to the vacationing styles of Jack Carver you will find a lot to like about Far Cry Instincts Predator. Far Cry which hit up a 9.5 last year is a bright action/stealth FPS that is set in on a tropical island. The most noticeable aspect of Far Cry besides the tropical setting is that it blends the plot with elements of action and stealth complete with an assortment of vehicles and some surprises along the way. Adding to the popularity of Far Cry is a solid online portion with a map editor. All this action is back, repackaged for your Xbox 360.
For people who have visited this island before, you'll probably want to know what has been changed. And how does the Evolution add-on stack up. First we have a few upgrades to Far Cry, besides the graphics. Crytek Studios has tosses in a few new weapons, vehicles, and some extra multiplayer modes. It's really not much to warrant the upgrade, so I'm guessing they hope the Evolution side hooks you in.
The evolution storyline which is annoyingly unlocked only after you have beat the normal game gives us a another quick run as the new "unleashed" Carver. Evolution picks up the story welcomed by another foxy lady and a simple mission that evolves into something more. Hmm... This seems to happen to Carver a lot. Evolution is again like the first Far Cry which ends up feeling a little drawn out, especially if you just played through the first game.
Now, one reason that might put you over the edge towards purchasing Far Cry is multiplayer. This is a great game to go online for some good ol' fashion deathmatch killin' or simply grab four controllers and play off one TV. (One benefit of a large screen). There are over twenty maps and host of modes to play through including old modes and the new Seek and Secure mode.
What else makes the multiplayer so cool in Far Cry is the map editor which is severally lacking in the console world. Well, Far Cry has one, it's been retooled to make it easier to build you're very own deathtrap maps. Online you can publish and play these maps to give a fresh perspective over the normal maps. Although the Map Editor is cool and very welcomed to console gaming it can become a small downfall online. You will see some devilish gamers online making custom maps which they know all the sniping areas and access points. It can become extremely frustrating getting snipped by a seeming invisible sniper. I guess that comes with the territory, and ultimately unavailable. Far Cry gets a health 'yes' nod for its multiplayer.
Obviously from the first get go you will notice a jump in the graphic quality of the game and rightfully so.. it's on the 360. Although Far Cry looks and runs a little better on the new Xbox, it's not even close to some of the other beautiful games on the system. You can really see the ties to the first generation, and longer PC origins. Sadly, Far Cry isn't impressive visually as some other companies ports of Xbox to 360 games (hmm EA). Even Ubisofts last two efforts with Ghost Recon and Blazing Angels had me glazed thinking "next-gen" more then Far Cry. So, you can gather I'm not up on the graphics, well, it doesn't mean they are bad.
Even on the PC, Far Cry was one of the leaders in graphics, and the outdoor environments are a real nice change from every other shooter on the market. The water is unbelievably translucent in a Caribbean blue and the characters aren't half bad. I was expecting a little more done with the foliage, it still seems a little 2d at times, although the extra bump of real time shadowing on the trees adds a bit. Other aspects like textures and the detail have been mildly touched up and makes this game seem like a ported title. A real shame, but reality. Again like the gameplay we are going to be waiting for the next Far Cry before we see a big jump in the presentation.
The mojo is really split within the contents of Far Cry. First you can't deny the Far Cry experience on any system. Far Cry is one of the best shooters to come out in a long time, it's fun and action packed. This alone gets the mojo rumbling. Further boosting the mojo is the purdy water and sunny isle feelin' you get when you explore the island using one of the many transportation options. Got to love the Jet ski! Some of the action sequences are really over the top and extremely satisfying. There is no better way to clear out an island of mercs then a maniac on a jet ski duel wielding machine guns.
It's all good... right? The mojo is rumbling, my gaming adrenaline is satisfied.. but wait. This was in the original Far Cry! We really didn't need another Xbox 360 port. Although I'm glad to have more options for shooters on the system, but if you've been there once, it can get a little old. The mojo climbs the palm tree of gaming goodness, only to find no nuts.
Far Cry is like a car with a new coat of paint and a nice 19' set of rims. Nothing news, it just runs a little smoother. The evolution add-on missions don't really make it worth the investment of another $60. It is a little hard to recommend this version of Far Cry if you already own the original, but if you haven't heard of Far Cry it's defiantly worth a look. Far Cry fans you'll just have to hope Far Cry 2 isn't too far away.
Gameplay: 8, Graphics/Sound: 7, Innovation: 6, Mojo: 6. Final: 6.5 / 10
Includes two games in one - all new Far Cry Instincts Predator content, as well as the original Far Cry Instincts.
Unleash your primal instincts as the ultimate predator: Become stronger, faster and more powerful with Jack's special Feral Abilities.
Expansive arsenal: Hunt and kill with everything from shotguns, rocket launchers and machine guns to Molotov cocktails and explosive pipe bombs.
Attack from land, sea and air: Includes vehicles like rugged ATV's, armored pickup-trucks, hovercrafts and high flying gliders. Build the perfect online paradise: Create your own custom multiplayer maps that you can share and play online.
Choose from tons of easy to use tools and custom brushes, edit terrain, add buildings, handpick weapons and items, select multiplayer modes and more.
Customizable Online Multiplayer: Includes unique Predator mode, as well as classic multiplayer modes like Chaos, Team Chaos, Steal the Sample and Seek and Secure.