During a recent visit to Ubisoft's San Francisco office we had an opportunity to spend some quality time with a preview build of Far Cry Vengeance. Essentially an enhanced remake of the Xbox game Far Cry Instincts Evolution, the upcoming Wii game will include all of that game's content along with three new maps that have been shoehorned into the story-driven single-player mode. Other new features for the game will include several weapons and a handful of new vehicles, including the new Jeep Patriot.
Before being allowed to get our hands on the Wii Remote and Nunchuk controller for ourselves, we were given a brief demonstration of the game's controls by a representative from Ubisoft Montreal. The first thing we noticed about the Wii version of the game was that its graphics are comparable to those in the aforementioned Xbox game, with beach environments and thick vegetation that will be instantly recognizable to anyone who has played the Xbox version. As much as we wanted to look at the game, it was the Wii Remote and the Nunchuk that we were paying the most attention to in the hope that we might pick up some pointers ahead of our own gameplay session.
We're pleased to report that after about 10 minutes of walking around and surviving encounters with enemies more by luck than by judgment (we were playing on the easy difficulty setting), we came to grips with the control setup and ultimately found it to be quite intuitive. While moving around the environment using the Nunchuk's analog stick, we were able to jump simply by pulling the Nunchuk backward sharply and to crouch or go prone by tapping down on the Wii Remote's directional pad. Melee attacks are performed by swinging the Wii Remote in a slashing motion, while thrusting the remote forward will zoom in for more precise aiming with ranged weapons. When you're dual-wielding any of the pistols, machine guns, shotguns, and such in the game, the trigger buttons on the remote and the Nunchuk are used to fire each gun independently, although both weapons will always be pointed at the same onscreen crosshair.
Predictably, the targeting system for grenades is far less precise, almost to the point of being nonexistent. When throwing a grenade, you simply face the direction you want to throw it in, hold down the trigger on the Nunchuk to simulate pulling out the pin, and then make a throwing motion. Judging the distance of our throws proved to be quite difficult at first, but after spending a few minutes at a practice range conveniently located in one of the game's three new maps, we found that the system worked well. Other controls that we played around with during our time with Far Cry Vengeance included using the directional pad to switch between weapons, and shaking the Nunchuk from side to side to restore health in between firefights using one of our feral abilities.
The level we played, which took approximately an hour for us to beat on the easy setting (and with a Ubisoft representative steering us in the right direction on more than one occasion), started out on a beach and then, in a quite linear fashion, saw us shooting our way through a jungle, an enemy base, and a tourist hot spot. First-aid kits and body armor pickups were scattered quite liberally throughout the map, and we were able to swap out our weapons for those from fallen enemies every time we killed someone.
Far Cry Vengeance is currently scheduled for release in mid-December. We look forward to bringing you a full review of the game soon.