Far Cry Instincts

February 7, 2006

I never really got into the [i]Far Cry[/i] game for the PC, so I can’t really tell the difference between the two versions, and I only know a few things. For starters, [i]Instincts[/i] was developed by Ubisoft Montreal-not Crytek like the PC version-and the story is also a little different, along with some new features.

Let me be honest with you guys. I used to love FPS games about two years ago. I would eat, dream, drink and bleed FPS games. I loved the graphics (because FPS games are games that truly show graphics), and I loved blowing people away (mainly Germans in WWII games and zombies in everything else). But over the years, I realized one thing: I’m getting bored of them. So why did I pick up [i]Far Cry Instincts[/i]? Well, mainly because I trust Ubisoft (although I’m starting to lose faith), and I heard a lot of good things about the game. I don’t know what’s up with FPS games, but it’s pretty rare that you don’t kill: a) Germans; b) zombies/mutants; and c) aliens. I was honestly hoping for an exception with [i]Far Cry Instincts[/i]-I really was. So how did [i]Far Cry Instincts[/i] go?

The story isn’t that extraordinary, so I am not really going to get into it. You are Jack Carver, bla bla bla, and you are against 600 million evil dudes, with a lot weapons, and some people help you progress … you get it, it’s the usual.

The graphics are stunning. The game feels almost like a next-generation title. I find it hard to understand that a game like this boasts one of the best water effects, but a game that came out around the same time, [i]King Kong[/i], looked awful. The fire effects are jaw-dropping, the light effects are almost real (it hurts your eyes!) and shadows are just awesome. However, graphics don’t make a game. For all I care, the game could look like it’s on the N64 if the gameplay kicks major ass (oh, hello there, [i]Goldeneye[/i]).

The first half, or two-thirds, of the game is awesome. At first, the game is just your regular FPS set in a beautiful jungle island. You use your guns, dual wield (and does it better than [i]Halo 2[/i]) and you can also lay traps (more on that later). I was really enjoying the game until the zombies, the mutants and the dark, [i]Doom 3[/i]-like environments started appearing. I hate this, and I’m a bit angry/disappointed, and this was the factor that disallowed me to give it the rating it would’ve otherwise deserved. Why couldn’t Ubi just stick to the freaking sunny jungle environment and work the story differently, huh? Oh, because everyone loves to shoot zombies and mutants, because we love dark environments, because these are brand new ideas, and we’ve never seen them, right? Bah!

Fortunately, there is good that balances the bad. Other than having phenomenal graphics, [i]Far Cry Instincts[/i] has a few really good gameplay bits. After a few hours of play, you start to get your feral powers (as you progress, you ‘unlock’ a new one). The feral powers consist of the punch, jump, run and the (night/ thermal) vision. Feral punch is basically a ‘mega punch,’ and I love this. Creep up behind a guy (or even during combat), press B and send the sucker flying. This is quite humorous when you are on a huge cliff, and you punch someone down. You can just see them fall to their demise. Feral running and jumping are combined. Press Y, and you enter feral running, which makes you run extremely fast. To jump, just hold down A and then release, watching yourself jump as if gravity was non-existent. Feral vision lets your see/smell enemies in the dark, and also lets your find your way across dark areas (hold down Y). Sadly, this comes to much use later in the games.

Laying traps is a really good idea, but it almost never works. In fact, I was probably able to use it about twice in the whole game. You lay your trap far away from the enemy so they don’t spot you. However, when you try to lure them close with throwing a rock, the enemy usually spots you and starts shooting you. Of course, while trying to get away from the bullets, you run back, but often you’ll run into your own trap (oh, the irony) and die.

A variety of vehicles are at your disposal: quads, boats, jet skis, jeeps, hand gliders, and more. They work well and are well implemented into the game. I love using the handglider-it’s pretty realistically controlled and quite fun too.

Another thing that really pissed me off is the inability to skip the intro at the start of the game … no matter whenever you load it. I mean, if you can’t skip the company logo, whatever, but an intro that is minutes long is stupid. Also, loading times are horrible. I found sometimes that the game loaded for more than a minute, and almost two at times! Maybe it was just my version, but it’s really annoying.

Lasting appeal can be increased with playing multiplayer. Sadly, I can’t talk about that since I don’t have XBL. You can also replay levels, and the levels tend to be non-linear at times, especially in the beginning. The story will take quite some time too-probably around 10 hours. If you have the chance, or want to, online gaming can increase the replay value greatly, but single-player isn’t worth full price.

I can tell you, if all this clichA

Score: 2/5

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