Far Cry Instincts E3 2004 Impressions

We get additional details about the console version of Far Cry from the show floor.

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Ubisoft's hit first-person shooter on the PC will be coming to consoles. The PC version of Far Cry will be modified to better suit console audiences and console hardware, much the same way Rainbow Six 3 for the PC was modified. Far Cry Instincts will not be a straight port of the PC game. It will retain the same primary story arc, weapons, vehicles, wide-open jungle environments, and play style from the original game, while adding weapons, vehicles, and new missions not seen in the PC version. There will be enough changes that Ubisoft believes fans of the PC version will want to play Instincts. We've already posted an extensive preshow preview of Instincts, but we managed to glean additional details about the changes in the game at E3.

Despite the changes, Instincts appears to retain much of the same feel that made the original game such a hit. The draw distances in the E3 demo seemed to go out quite far, while outdoor foliage still offered a good level of lushness and density. We were also able to observe two of the new vehicles--the Jet Ski and the ATV. The former acts like a much faster and more maneuverable version of the Zodiac and allows you to fire your weapon, meaning you can pull off drivebys. The ATV will allow players to drive off-road and through narrower spaces, filling a role that vehicles from the original game couldn't.

Instincts will also feature environmental traps like branch whips, spike pits, and log swings that mercs will set for you. As you play the game, you'll learn how to detect these traps, how to disable them, and, eventually, how to set them. In order to set your own traps, you'll need to gather resources from the forest; how exactly the gathering is done is still being worked out by the development team at this point.

The most interesting change to the game has to do with its story and how it will affect the gameplay. Those who played the original Far Cry will remember that much of the plot centered on the development of a powerful mutagen. In Instincts, the protagonist, Jack Carver, will actually be fully infected by this mutagen, turning him into a superhuman creature. You'll still be able to fight with weapons, but you'll also have powerful melee attacks and extrasensory capabilities. One of these is called "redolence," which will give you the ability to track enemies by scent. While activating redolence, you'll see the colored glow of creature pheromones, but this can fade over time and distance of you don't track closely enough. "Moonlight" and "incalescence" will enhance your vision, with the former giving you better sight in low light and the latter giving you thermal vision. A camouflage ability will allow you to stand still and change your skin to the color of your surroundings, like a chameleon. As long as you stand perfectly still, mercs can walk right by you and not notice. Another interesting detail is that your superhuman strength will allow you to rip out mounted guns and carry them around.

The version of Instincts we saw was running on an Xbox. While Ubisoft still has plans to bring the game to the PlayStation 2 platform, details on that version are sparse. What is known is that the Xbox version will have 16-player multiplayer over Xbox Live and a unique map editor function that will let you create maps and then trade or play them online. Check out our preshow preview for more details on the map editor. Far Cry Instincts has no definite release date at this time, but we'll continue to provide details on the game as they arrive.

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