Far Cry Walkthrough

Jack Carver's got a lot of ground to cover. If you're lost in paradise like Jack, or tired of getting smacked around by tridgens, try our Far Cry walkthrough, with a full walkthrough, and tips for each of the game's weapons and enemies.

By The Stratos Group
Design by Marty Smith

To be blunt: Far Cry is the best first-person shooter to come along in years. Its chief claim to fame lies in the area of technological excellence: it boasts massive draw distances, allowing the protaganist, Jack Carver, to see enemies over a kilometer away while he traverses the game’s beautiful island levels. This wouldn’t mean much if the game had to sacrifice attractive graphics to implement this feature, but somehow it doesn’t, as every bit of the game pushes the envelope graphically, from the enemies to the explosion effects. You won’t soon forget the first time you accidentally blind yourself with a flashbang.

But while many developers would be content to ship a game that acted as a mere tech demo for their engine, Crytek has managed to put together a single-player title so complete in every way that it can’t help but exceed most gamers’ expectations. We’ve all bought games that last for a mere ten hours (or less), and perhaps don’t even have a multiplayer component, but Far Cry isn’t one of these: you can easily expect to spend an hour or two on each of the game’s 20 levels on your first play-through, and perhaps longer if you go through again on one of the game’s harder difficulty settings. And what’s more, the game is just fun, with challenging AI, plenty of vehicles, a well-designed menagerie of enemies, and an interesting plot. And even after you complete the single-player portion of the game, there’s a thorough multiplayer component, containing a very fun objective-based mode called Assault, in addition to the standard deathmatch and team deathmatch game modes.

Luckily for you, GameSpot’s unofficial guide to Far Cry has details on everything! Within these pages, you’ll find a complete walk-through for the entire single-player campaign, with details on each of the weapons, enemies, and vehicles that you’ll run across, along with a bevy of tips on each of the multiplayer modes and maps. With the information in this guide, you’ll be dropping Fat Boys in no time. Enjoy!

Weapons and Items

Weapons

Machete

Although Far Cry has pretensions towards allowing the player to adopt a stealthy mode of play, in truth, the distances involved and the acuity of your opponents’ senses makes sneaking up on anyone a good way to get a face full of lead, or perhaps a face full of rockets, depending on whom you’re Garretting up towards. The machete’s really here as the token melee weapon; you’ll probably never use it throughout the entire game.

Falcon .357

Slow, possessing a smallish clip, and woefully inaccurate at anything but extremely close range, the Falcon is useful only for taking down a few enemies in the first level before you finally acquire the M4. Early in the game, before you manage to find four actually decent weapons, you can also carry it around for the increased movement speed that it affords you, or to conserve the ammo of your other weapons when you’re attempting to do things like destroy propane tanks and the like.

M4 Assault Rifle

The M4 is going to be your all-purpose killing device for almost half of the game, so you’d better cozy up to it early on and get used to how it handles. It’s the only weapon in the early part of the game that has dual-firing mechanisms, aside from the MP5. The automatic firing method sprays bullets at your target, and although it may not seem like it when you first pick it up, the M4 is among the most accurate automatic weapons in the game when you need to unload a clip. In small bursts, the AG36 or the OICW is the preferred choice, but the M4 acquits itself well until you grab one of those guns. The alternate firing mode is semi-automatic, and offers even better accuracy at medium range, allowing you to conserve your sniper ammo for the occasions when you’re shooting at someone a kilometer away.

Regrettably, the M4 doesn’t have a scope, but the zoom view is usually enough to pop in enemies that are too far away to be rendered, at least over medium distances. Using it while lying prone will make your single-fire mode the next best thing to a sniper rifle during the first few levels of the game.

P90 SMG

There are few weapons that retain their usefulness throughout the entire game, but the P90 may indeed be one of them. The differences between the P90 and the M4 become apparent as soon as you pick one up; the P90 has a greater rate of fire, but a much greater spread, making it accurate only at short range. When you’re inside a structure, however, where this is less of a liability, the P90 becomes the preferable weapon due to its ability to drop almost any opponent within seconds. The main drawback, besides accuracy, is that you burn through your 50-round clip very quickly. As such, the P90 is best used as a way to weaken enemy forces at the beginning of a firefight before switching over to an M4 or another assault weapon.

MP5 SMG

Although Jack is generally well and able to take on multiple opponents, occasionally discretion actually is the better part of valor, and not attracting the attention of a dozen mercs may be desirable. The MP5 is useful in these situations, as its silenced muzzle makes only a soft clicking sound when fired, thus letting you shoot away without having every soldier in the area immediately homing in on your location. Like the M4, it can switch between automatic fire and single-shot for greater accuracy, with the latter being an excellent way of nabbing stealthy headshots. There’s a drawback, of course, and in this instance it’s the weapon’s power: the MP5 possesses the least stopping power of any automatic weapon. Still, it’s a fairly handy tool for most of the game, but when you start to run into armored mercs and mutants, you’re better off dropping it for a P90 or other more powerful weapon.

Sniper Rifle

Even at 18x zoom, getting a headshot at long range is difficult. Go for the body if your target is unarmored.

Given Far Cry’s vaunted 1.2 kilometer draw distance, you can expect to have plenty of opportunities to use the sniper rifle; and even with a 12x scope, you may run across a few instances where your target is far enough away to make even a body shot a matter of luck. This is due to the fact that even though the sniper rifle possesses pinpoint accuracy, you’ll still have to overcome scope drift, which renders headshots all but unobtainable at extremely long range.

To minimize the effects of scope drift, you’ll want to lie prone, but still retain a clear line to your target. Kneeling reduces the effects of drift, but not enough to make sniping reliable, while firing while standing is essentially impossible, given the way your viewpoint shakes. So, lie prone, and zoom in as close as you can get to the target. If you’ve obtained a set of CryVision goggles, you can activate them while your scope is fully zoomed; this can help you more easily distinguish living targets from their background.

Of course, most targets that you’d actually want to snipe will be too far away to see with your naked eye, and since target-hunting with your scope is incredibly time-consuming, you’ll want to use your binoculars to hunt down radar signals before selecting your prospective targets.

Rocket Launcher

The Rocket Launcher is overkill in most combat situations, and since you won’t be able to carry more than 14 rounds of ammo at any given time, you’ll want to hold back on using this weapon until you absolutely have to. When your back’s against the wall, though, there’s nothing that can clear you a path to daylight quite like the Rocket Launcher.

The basic mechanics should be familiar to anyone who’s ever played an action game: you point, you fire, rocket flies along a straight path to your target, where it destroys anything caught in the blast. What’s great about the rocket launcher in Far Cry is that there’s no scope drift whatsoever (and yes, the RL has a scope for some reason); since the rocket will always fly precisely where you aim it, this means that the launcher can act as something of a poor man’s sniper rifle in a tight spot. This really only works at extremely long distances, however; rockets tend to be noisy, so when you fire one, you can expect every hostile in the area to start looking around. If one of these was your prospective target, he’ll probably move out of the way before the rocket actually reaches him.

Where the launcher really shines, however, is when you’re dealing with multiple "soft" targets, things like mercenaries and the weaker varieties of mutants. A single well-placed rocket will usually kill anything near the impact point, so if you fire into a crowd, you’ll find that things get less crowded quickly. And, for real newbies, here’s a little tidbit from rocketry 101: Aim at your enemy’s feet, not at his body. A rocket that misses high will likely impact something well behind your target, but if you aim at their feet, the rocket will detonate next to your opponent every time.

Jackhammer Shotgun

As with the P90, the Jackhammer chews through its ammo with a vengeance, but it also manages to drop close-range targets very quickly. Even though it’s an automatic weapon, the recoil on the Jackhammer is severe enough to make it wiser to click off shots individually, rather than just hold the button down; this will also help prevent wasted shots on foes who are in the process of falling to the ground, which is an important issue when you’re discussing a weapon with only ten rounds in a clip. Even though it has more potential killing power in a single shot than any other weapon, save perhaps the rocket launcher, the ten-round clip severely hinders the usefulness of the Jackhammer. You can use it like the P90, and attempt to take down a target or two before switching weapons, but the delay between rounds is great enough to open yourself up to return fire, whereas the P90 will generally hit an enemy often enough to stun them until they die. Choosing between the two is a matter of taste and available ammo, but either one is an excellent choice for close-range combat until you run into a machinegun late in the game.

AG36

The AG36 is the second of the three main assault rifles in the game, and acquits itself well until the OICW comes along. Unlike the M4, it has no single-fire mode, but it makes up for this with the inclusion of a two-level scope, with a maximum zoom of 4x, which will generally take you past its usable range anyway. Sniping is possible, but you’ll have to snap off only two or three bullets at a time if you wish to retain any semblance of accurate fire.

The underslung grenade launcher is a decent enough weapon, although it doesn’t possess quite enough firepower to kill even a mercenary unless you manage a direct shot (and even then it’s not a sure thing). You should come across plenty of grenade rounds, though, so feel free to use them when you’re in a tight spot.

OICW Assault Weapon

The last and definitely the best assault weapon, the OICW will serve you well for the last seven missions of the game. Although it only possesses a 3x zoom, compared to the AG36’s 4x, it makes up for this with vastly improved accuracy when you’re snapping off rounds, which renders the OICW something of a short-range sniper rifle so long as you don’t attempt to spray bullets everywhere; your accuracy degrades immeasurably when you’re forced to hold the fire button down. Given all of the tools you have at your disposal to detect and eliminate enemies before they’re anywhere near you, though, this shouldn’t be an issue.

As with the sniper rifle, though, the OICW is markedly more accurate when you’re lying prone; if you do find yourself in a short-range firefight, a good tactic is to simply dive forward onto your chest before snapping off rounds at your opponent’s head. When you’re out of doors, this should reduce your profile, thus making it more difficult for your opponent to actually hit you, while giving you a tighter grouping on your shots.

The OICW’s alt-fire opens up an HE munitions launcher, which shoots out projectiles with less of an arc than does the AG36’s grenade launcher, thus making long-range accuracy a bit easier to obtain. It’s still not a very powerful weapon, at least when you’re up against armored mercs, but it fires much more rapidly than does the AG36’s launcher.

Machinegun

When you absolutely have to kill everyone in a room, the machinegun is going to be your weapon of choice. The fact that it’s usable only in three of the game’s 20 levels belies its obvious power; although it’s probably the least accurate automatic weapon in the game, this shouldn’t matter much, as you’d be crazy to use it in anything but short-range combat situations, which is where it excels.

Even though it uses the same ammo as the various assault rifles, the machinegun packs a much greater punch than any of them, being able to drop even fully-armored foes with relative ease. What’s more, the 100-round clip is sizable enough to let you take down a five or six enemies at a go without needing to pause for reloading, which is fortune, since the reloading animation for the MG is fairly lengthy. The power of the weapon also pays dividends in its ability to lock enemies into their stun animation, preventing them from returning fire.

Grenades

You’ll run across three different varieties of grenades in Far Cry:

Frag: Your standard explosive grenade, good for bouncing off of walls into rooms where you suspect enemies await. Not terrifically powerful, but good for wounding enemies before you finish them off.

Flashbang: "I can’t see!" You can expect to hear this quite a bit when you acquire the ability to accurately place flashbangs; any enemy within a short radius of the blast will be temporarily blinded, letting you saunter up to them and get a headshot with impunity. Flashbangs don’t actually wound your opponent, though, so be sure you wait for the shouts that indicate that the grenade has had its intended effect before exposing yourself to fire.

Smoke: If you’re desperately attempting to fend off a horde of mercenaries, a smoke grenade can generally throw them off your scent long enough for you to regroup and reload your ammo. Smoke is especially useful in interior fighting, where they can help you cover your approach down a long corridor, or allow you to pierce the fog with your night vision goggles so that you can open fire unperturbed.

Stationary Weapons

Stationary weapons are found in most every level; all you need to do to use them is kill off any defenders, step behind the weapon, and use it like you would a vehicle. These weapons have infinite ammo, so feel free to fire until nothing moves.

Mortar: Stationary mortars are capable of firing shells over incredibly long distances, although you’ll mostly be using them to take down mercs and vehicles in relatively close proximity to your position. The interface is about as user-friendly as they come: simply click on the desired target, hold the button down when the red target pops up, move your aiming reticule to the center of the target, and release the button to let loose your round. At short range, you can aim manually if you compensate for the dip in the shell’s trajectory due to gravity.

Miniguns make short work of anything coming your way, but you won’t be able to dodge fire while you’re locked in.

Minigun: The minigun is essentially an even higher-speed machinegun; it puts a whole mess of lead into the air, and will take down most any target with two seconds or so of sustained fire. The rate of fire leads to somewhat poor accuracy, but since you have infinite ammo, hitting your target only once for every ten bullets shouldn’t matter overmuch.

Items

Binoculars

Even if the binoculars did no more than help you deal with FarCry’s immense draw distance, they’d be pretty handy, but as it is, that’s only part of their functionality. Whenever you spot a merc or a mutant with your Binoculars, they’ll read the target’s locater tag and enter the data into your radar, thus letting you track the position of an enemy even when you can’t see him. This has some fairly obvious applications, given the copious amounts of foliage on the island, but it doesn’t pay to depend too heavily on this feature, especially when attempting to infiltrate a set of buildings; if you see a blank spot on your radar and assume that no one’s there, you’ll occasionally wind up with a back full of lead. This isn’t due to any failure on the part of the binoculars, but many of the enemies in FarCry are positioned so that they’re out of sight of the binoculars when you scan an enemy encampment from a distance away. Your radar will always be your primary method of tracking enemies when you’re out of doors, but always be alert for audio cues as well.

In addition to its tracking capabilities, the binoculars also possess a directional mike that will let you pick up sounds and conversations. There aren’t any critical Splinter Cell applications here, but some of the merc conversations can be amusing, and the mike can somehow penetrate most of the physical obstacles in a level, thus occasionally clueing you into the position of enemies that are on the other side of a mountain, for instance.

Flashlight

If you’ve got your gamma set extremely low, then you may find the flashlight to be useful, but for the most part, the game’s environs are well-lit enough so that you shouldn’t have to resort to it very often.

CryVision Goggles

In terms of realism, the CryVision goggles probably aren’t exactly brimming with verisimilitude (how exactly it can pick up the body heat of a mutant that’s standing next to a river of lava is beyond us), but it’s nonetheless an extremely handy tool. Since your life can usually be snuffed out by any given enemy with just a few seconds' worth of gunfire, you’re going to need every advantage that you can get, and the combined heatvision and night vision effects of the CryVision goggles will give you that in spades. In the often-dim interiors of buildings, soldiers can sometimes blend into the background and become difficult to distinguish quickly, but when your CryVision goggles are activated, the night vision renders everything in gray, while the heatvision turns your enemies a bright red color, thus providing instant contrast. This is especially important when dealing with enemies that are approaching from around a corner; the enemy AI will generally react quite quickly after they first spot you, so you’ll want to use every advantage in your toolkit.

What gives the CryVision goggles that extra kick is their universal applicability; you can use them in conjunction with binoculars, scopes, or even while driving in a vehicle. Although they’re of perhaps the most use in interiors, your goggles retain full functionality in the open areas of the game, so if it’s dark outside, the heatvision attachment will make it much easier for you to distinguish between a target’s body and head when attempting to snipe. Heck, this is true even when it’s not dark outside; since we’re talking about a computer game, the goggles don’t get washed out, except in the brightest daylight.

Vehicles

Vehicles are primarily intended to get you from one place to another very quickly; with the levels in Far Cry being as massive as they are, you’ll often want to find some mode of transportation that’s a little more speedy than your feet. Many of the vehicles have on-board weaponry, which can be aimed independently of the direction of your vehicle, and fired even while you’re driving. Be this as it may, on the hardest difficulties, you won’t want to use a vehicle to engage enemies at anything but very long range: because you can’t physically move your body while inside a vehicle, you don’t have the same kind of precision of movement that you do when you’re on foot, making it obviously rather difficult to duck and cover when you come under fire.

If you do find yourself forced to drive a vehicle near a group of enemies, take advantage of the situation and try to run them down. Mercs and mutants alike are united in their displeasure at getting run over; this will kill most mercs on contact, while the bigger mutants, like Fat Boys, will usually survive, but will still take a lot of damage.

Inflatable Boat

Inflatable boats are pretty much your standard, utilitarian mode of transportation; they’ll get you from point A to point B, and won’t do much else. There’s no onboard firepower, although you will be able to use a weapon while you’re piloting. Ditch these as soon as you can find a place to land and head to your objective on foot; getting somewhere fast isn’t of much use if you get killed as soon as you arrive.

Patrol Boat

Since water stretches over such great distances in the game, you’ll occasionally be able to use a patrol boat to blast at enemies that are too far away to return fire, with either the mounted minigun or the on-board rocket launcher. If you do get close to a group of enemies, don’t stand still long enough to be shot to pieces; you should always be moving at top speed when you take enemy fire. Your accuracy will suffer, of course, but you won’t be as likely to get shot.

Note that you can disengage from the patrol boat (by pressing your Use key) and fire your handheld weapons from it, if you wish. The bobbing of the craft in the water makes sniping from it, with any weapon, almost impossible, however, but you can use your binoculars to get an eye on where distant enemies are before blasting them with rockets.

Buggy

The buggy is the first land vehicle you’ll run across in Far Cry, and a fairly dependable vehicle it is. Although you’re quite exposed to fire while driving, due to the open-chassis design, the Buggy is speedy enough to zoom by (or over) groups of mercs before they really get a bead on you. You can use your mounted minigun as a drive-by weapon in these instances; since it can tilt down further on this vehicle than on most others, you’ll be able to take down nearby enemies with relative ease.

4WD

The dual rocket launcher/minigun weapon rack atop a 4WD makes it an incredibly potent offensive tool.

Many of the mercs on the islands use converted Hummers as their transportation of choice, and considering the piles of bodies you’ll be leaving behind in your travels, you’re naturally going to run across a few of these vehicles, hopefully in a relatively undamaged state. Although not as maneuverable or as speedy as the Buggy, the 4WD is a bit tougher, and provides you with much greater protection from armed assault. The inclusion of a rocket launcher is a big plus; its pinpoint accuracy will let you kill off mercs from insane distances, so long as you can actually spot them. As with the patrol boat, it helps quite a bit to periodically get out of the car, use your binoculars to scout the road ahead, and use your findings to blast off a few rockets. You only have thirty rounds at your disposal, but in most cases, this will be sufficient to outlast the working lifetime of the truck.

Big Truck

Speaking of trucks, the big truck is seen in only a few spots in the entire game. Given its relative level of inutility, you probably won’t want to get inside of it even when it does pop up. Although its wide body makes it ideal for running down foes, it takes forever to get a head of steam with this truck, and it has no armament at all. To its credit, it can take a significant amount of damage before being destroyed, but as you’re still able to take damage yourself while driving it, it won’t help you overmuch to be in a car that can survive damage that you yourself cannot.

Forklift

The forklift pretty much tops the list of vehicles to avoid. It’s slow, has no weaponry (although you can somehow use your handheld weapons while driving it), has very little maneuverability, and is completely open to gunfire from nearby enemies. You wouldn’t want to be caught dead inside one of these, since being dead is exactly what will result from a trip past any hostiles.

Hang Glider

Although the appearance of the hang glider in the first Far Cry preview movies gave the promos a bit of a wow factor, in truth, you won’t be using a glider to replace your ground vehicles very often. In every instance where a hang glider appears in the game, you’ll have to option to take a ground path, either on foot or in a truck, and in almost every case, you should beat your feet rather than flying off into the sunset. Although it would seem like the glider would carry you over threats on the ground, you’ll still be easily spotted by mercs in the area, and since you’re barely capable of moving the glider itself, let alone your body, you’ll be easy pickings for anyone with an assault rifle. You can still fire weapons while suspended in mid-air, but the speed of your flight will send your accuracy plummeting.

If you do intend to soar with the eagles, it’s useful to know the basic controls. Pressing forward will tilt your glider downwards, thus giving you a boost of speed, but at the cost of altitude; pressing backwards will slow you down a bit, but won’t actually regain lost altitude. (Glider trips are generally a one-way ticket to the ground, albeit a slow one.) Your left and right strafe keys will turn your glider to the left or right; this is useful for circling down to the ground when you’ve reached where you want to be, but are too high up to safely disengage. Keep in mind that if you have to bail out when taking fire, you can safely do this from any altitude, so long as you’re over deep water. Landing ten feet out from the waterline on a beach will send your femurs through your brain, as will landing on any solid surface, but if you can spot where the water suddenly drops off, feel free to hit your Use key and fall into the drink.

Helicopter Gunship

Given Kreiger’s apparently unmatched prowess at securing venture capital, it shouldn’t surprise you that he’s outfitted his army of mercs with dozens of combat-ready helicopters, such as the helicopter gunship that you’ll be seeing a dozen of or so throughout the game. The gunship is primarily intended to gun you down from the air, with a side-mounted minigun; to convince the pilot that you’re not to be trifled with, you can either shoot out the merc at the minigunner position, after which the helicopter will disengage, or hit the copter itself with a rocket, which will destroy it. It can also drop a limited number of troops off into a combat zone, although it doesn’t do this as often as does its big brother, the cargo chopper. Unfortunately for you, Jack won’t run across a flyable helicopter in his travels, so this is strictly something to be destroyed.

Cargo Chopper

Achieving mobility on a system of islands like the one in Far Cry is apparently a tough task, and although the mercs apparently have a nigh-endless series of boats at their disposal, the most pressing situations will force them to bring out the cargo chopper. This airborne beast doesn’t carry any weaponry; instead, it acts as a troop transport, allowing small strike teams of mercs to insert wherever they’re needed, which generally seems to coincide with wherever Jack is at any given time. Like the gunship, most instances of the Cargo Chopper can be taken down with a rocket; if you manage to hit it before it drops its mercs off, then you’ll have killed four or five birds with one stone, in most instances.

Enemies

One of the hallmarks of classic FPS games, such as Wolfenstein, Doom, and Half-Life, is the conscious design choice to allow groups of enemies to attack each other. As in Half-Life, Far Cry features both groups of soldiers and groups of...things as your opponents, and when these groups encounter each other, they’ll attack each other, as well as Jack. Although these firefights are generally something that Jack stumbles across, rather than instigates, they can still be used to your advantage, if you’re willing to wait for the numbers of enemies to thin out. Your enemies seem to deal less damage to each other than they do to you, however, so you’ll still usually need to be proactive in dealing with your foes if you don’t want to be stuck in a hallway listening to nearby gunfire for interminable periods of time.

Mercenaries

Krieger’s mercenaries are some of the smartest enemies that you’re likely to have ever encountered in a computer game. (Aside from their taste in music, that is; their stereos issue nothing but non-stop atonal percussion.) Gone are the days of sniping a soldier, only to watch all of his friends eventually settle down and start resuming their patrols, often stepping over the corpse in the process. These guys are a bit more wily than that; if you take a shot that they hear, you can expect them to close on your position, even if you’re a few hundred feet from where they are. They’ll also often make use of squad-level tactics, in that they’ll attempt to come at you from a few different vectors, which forces you to cover a wider area with your weapons when you know that you’re being hunted. Lastly, they communicate with each other like the professionals that they are; if you come upon an outrider on the edge of a mercenary camp, you can expect him to call in reinforcements if he spots you, whether or not you open fire on him.

These mercs are easy pickings as they run up this hill.

Although you’ll always have to be moving forward in Far Cry, you can often save yourself a lot of health and hassle by letting your enemies come to you. Ambushes will let you mow down enemies as they approach, especially if you’ve managed to tag all of your targets with your binoculars before you draw them in. The basic routine is to take down an exposed target with a sniper rifle or zoomed assault rifle, which will alert the rest of the nearby mercs to your presence. As they approach you, lie prone on the slope of a hill, looking down at the direction from which they’ll be coming, and, with your night vision if possible, pick them off with automatic fire when they come near. It’s best to position yourself next to some easily-accessible cover before you do this, though, just in case you get overwhelmed.

Also note that, even though the first mercs you encounter are heavily armed and are as smart as those in the rest of the game, they’re easy kills compared to the late-game varieties due to their lack of armor. After a few levels of gameplay, you’ll start running across soldiers with kevlar vests, who are as susceptible to headshots as the next guy, but won’t fall easily to body shots. Towards the tail end of the game, you’ll be facing fully-armored soldiers, with vests and helmets. Explosives work well against these guys, but if you’re forced to gun it out, you should still aim for the head; although you won’t get instant kills, they’ll still be able to take less damage to their craniums than they will to their bodies.

Tridgens

The first mutants you’ll run across in the game will be Tridgens, mutated versions of primates. These come in two varieties, large and small, but both are equally deadly, mostly due to their speed and incredible jumping prowess. Even though they’re not armed, you’ll never have a comfortable amount of time to shoot at them; they generally appear in groups and will swarm you quickly if you don’t immediately start pelting them with headshots. After they close to a distance of 20 feet or so, they’ll pounce and use their overdeveloped arms to rip you open, and they’ll do it efficiently, too: one or two arm-swipes is generally all it takes to go from being healthy and armored to being mutant monkey food.

Obviously enough, you want to keep Tridgens as far away from you as possible. This generally means that extremely close-range weapons, like the Jackhammer, will have to be switched out for your assault rifle when dealing with them; just go full-auto at their heads and they will eventually drop. Since they jump before they attack, you can attempt to buy more time by ducking around a corner, or attempting to engage them from a doorway; when they jump, they’ll usually hit the top edge of the door frame. They may still be in range for an arm-swipe, so don’t stand inside the doorway itself when doing this.

Locusts

Your nightvision will help you track the movements of the Locusts that you encounter.

Locusts are the basic ground-troops of the mutant army, and although they don’t get to flex their squad tactics musculature as often as the mercs do, since they usually appear in groups of one or two, they’re still fearsome foes, combining the jumping ability of Tridgens with the marksmanship of human soldiers. They’ll rarely attempt to get close to you; instead, they’re content to jump from perch to perch, all while relentlessly shelling you with rounds from their AG36’s. Locusts aren’t incredibly tough to kill; the difficulty lies in actually hitting them with your bullets, since they move so often and so quickly. Your assault rifle will be your tool of choice; activate your CryVision goggles when you spot one, to better follow its movements, and fire away when it comes to a stop.

Spectres

Any decent army has to have special operations troops, and Krieger apparently had the Spectres specially designed for this role. When you first come across them, you’ll probably notice one compellingly unique design feature: they’re invisible! Well, mostly invisible, anyway; although they do give off a very faint Predator-esque glimmer when they move, you’re best off just flipping on your CryVision goggles and tracking them with the heat vision attachment. Spectres pack silenced MP5 sub-machineguns to better accentuate their stealthy nature, and although these guns aren’t the most powerful in the game, they’re quite accurate with them. Since you’ll usually see Spectres in pairs, you can find yourself getting pecked away down to zero health before you even know what’s happening, so you may find it useful to just whip out your rocket launcher to deal with these fellows.

Fat Boys

If Spectres were designed for covert ops, then the Fat Boys are the shock troops: they’re big, well-armed, and can take an absolutely appalling amount of damage before they finally keel over. And, shockingly enough, there isn’t any special secret to taking them down: you just have to dish out ungodly amounts of damage before you get blown away by their arm-mounted rocket launchers.

When you’re able to dodge rockets, short-range weapons like the Jackhammer can be used against Fat Boys with great success.

Your only edge when facing the Fat Boys is that their rockets move much more slowly than do normal rockets; you’ll generally have plenty of time to strafe away from incoming fire before it impacts you, but this is of little help when attempting to kill off a Fat Boy in close quarters, where you’ll still take plenty of splash damage when a rocket explodes nearby. If you have any amount of mobility when squaring off against these guys, try to take them on while standing on the crest of a slope; Fat Boys haven’t mastered the art of aiming at feet, meaning that, if you’re standing on an elevated position, most of their shots will fly past you into the void beyond, hopefully rendering you safe from splash damage.

When fighting off Fat Boys inside buildings, though, you’ll rarely have the luxury of squaring off from a height. Instead, you’ll have to utilize the time-honored tradition of circle-strafing to attempt to avoid taking splash damage from rocket fire. If possible, strafe back and forth from around a corner to avoid rockets, while getting intermittent shots to the head in. Unfortunately, Fat Boys are highly resistant to explosives, meaning that attempting to use your own rockets is generally futile, unless you can spare six or seven rockets per target. Mounted miniguns are, of course, ideal weapons to use, but you will have to disengage and strafe away from rockets, lest you get turned into Carver pudding.

In addition to the launcher-toting Fat Boy, there’s a much rarer unarmed variety. Unarmed Fat Boys will attempt to lumber up to you and attack you with their fists; they’re slow enough to easily avoid, so either pop them in the head until they die, or just run past them.

Walk-through

Far Cry’s single-player campaign consists of 20 levels, some of which contain about as much landmass as the average FPS does in an entire game. After you get through with the campaign, you’ll be able to try again on a harder difficulty setting, or play on "statistics mode," which lets you select an individual level to play, and will give you detailed feedback on your performance during the level.

Basic Combat Tips

Far Cry is very much a first-person shooter, but the technological implementation of long view distances has an impact on the gameplay that makes the outdoor levels the first of their kind. You should be able to make it through the interior levels just fine if you’ve ever played an FPS before, but here are some tips to help you adjust to the exterior combat.

Approach With Caution
When you come across a mercenary camp or base, you’ll need to scout the area before heading in. It’s especially important to keep to cover as you approach a base, due to the outstanding eyesight of three groups of enemies: enemies manning minigun turrets or mortars, mercenaries atop towers, and mercenaries with rocket launchers or sniper rifles. All of these groups will generally see you before their compatriots do. They’ll often spot you as soon as you come into their line of sight, even if you’re half a click away, so always head towards an enemy camp on high alert, and only after you’ve managed to clear out any of these specific threats.

Use Your Binoculars
Just in case this isn’t stressed enough in the walk-through itself: use your binoculars! While many FPS games throw in binoculars, they’ve never been as useful in a game as they are in Far Cry. This isn’t just due to their ability to zoom on distant enemies; they also lock on to your targets’ locator tags, meaning that any merc or mutant that you scan will appear on your radar from that point on. This can often make the difference between ambushing an opponent and getting ambushed yourself.

Let Your Enemies Come To You
The AI in Far Cry is quite good; mercenaries, especially, will attempt to hunt you down after you make your presence known with a gunshot. You can often use this to your advantage by luring your targets towards your position with a volley of bullets, then taking them down with an automatic weapon as they close in. Lying prone and waiting might not seem like your idea of fun, but this will afford you better accuracy; when you move, most of your weapons will tend to spray bullets in wide arcs, whereas lying down will let you focus on your target’s head. Try to position yourself on the high end of a slope, or near cover, so that you’ll have a place to retreat to in case you get overwhelmed or have to reload.

Duck And Cover...Or Just Duck
As we just said, moving tends to decrease any given weapon’s accuracy a great deal. There’s also plenty of accuracy lost between the standing and prone positions. When dealing with enemies at medium range, you’ll often have a better shot (literally speaking) at killing them quickly if you hit the ground as soon as you spot them. Lying prone and zooming in with your assault rifle’s scope or zoom feature will let you get headshots much, much more easily than will sprinting towards your target and blasting away, and will also reduce your profile, meaning that your enemies will probably hit you fewer times while you’re fighting.

Level 1: Training

As with any good first-person game, you’re going to be given a short obstacle course to run through before you can get to the real fun. If you’re at all familiar with the basic movements of an FPS, none of this should be difficult for you; just follow the prompts on the screen to learn when to kneel, when to lie prone, etc., and you should get through the sewers just fine.

Eventually, you’ll come across a ladder which leads up to a semi-open area. After the cutscene, you’ll be tasked with dashing across the room without the soldier outside detecting you. This shouldn’t be difficult; you can just use your sprint key to run across. If you want to make sure that he doesn’t see you, throw a rock (G is the default key for this) to distract him, then dash across. The roof will cave in behind you as soon as you enter the passage nearby.

After you reach the nearby room, you’ll encounter a rather suspiciously convenient video phone, apparently placed there by Doyle, a scientist elsewhere on the island. He’ll be your plot propellant from here on in, telling you where to go and what to do, which is helpful, considering the large size of the levels in Far Cry. Listen to his advice whenever his voice pops up. For now, he’s got some fairly obvious words of wisdom: grab the nearby gun and armor and get ready to shoot some folk.

Search the Huts for Ammo
When you reach the island’s exterior, you’re going to be faced with a few buildings, around which cluster four or five guards. With your paltry amount of ammo, you’ll be at a disadvantage in a firefight, so your first objective here should be to grab a new weapon. Luckily for you, there’s an M4 Assault Rifle nearby. Unluckily for you, it’s in the building that you’re farthest from. If you walk along the mountain to your left, and keep an eye on your stealth meter, you should be able to walk behind one of the other buildings and get to it unmolested, but keep your gun handy. Enter the building from the southwest side, near the Explosives sign, and your new weapon will be waiting for you on a shelf. Grab it and the ammo on the crate nearby, and you should be ready to take down the mercenaries elsewhere in the makeshift village.

Said mercenaries may or may not have been alerted to your presence already; it depends on the amount of noise that you’ve made. Regardless, you should probably go ahead and kill them, since they’ll see you on your way out of the village anyway. The M4 on auto-fire can make short work of any of these guys, but try to aim at their heads for one-shot kills. If you just start firing wildly, you may find yourself taking bullets through the wall; you are in a wooden hut, after all. At any rate, kill everyone and take the ammo from their weapons. If you’ve taken damage to your health, you can find another health kit on one of the shelves in the same hut where you found the M4. Check the other huts for a machete and other assorted items, then head on.

Go to the Hut on the Hill to find binoculars
Move out from the huts towards the objective on your radar. The hut on the hill is fairly close by, so it’s represented by a solid dot; objectives that are farther away are usually represented by blue arrows on the outside edge of your radar display. While you’re on your way, flip between the pistol and the rifle to gauge their effects on your walking speed. The pistol is a light weapon, meaning that it has a negligible effect on how quickly you can walk, while the M4 is a bit heavier, and will slow you down while you have it activated.

After these mercs get marked by your binoculars, they’ll appear on your radar until you kill them.

After grabbing the binoculars from the hut, Doyle will radio in, letting you know that the camp on the far side of the nearby water is where you need to be. Before you head out, though, flip on your binoculars and zoom in on the camp. This will mark each of its inhabitants into your radar, so that you’ll know where they are relative to you when the shooting starts. Be sure to pan to the right to pick up the signal of the marksman in the tower set into the hill a few hundred yards from the base. This guy will be your first target.

Go to the camp
Swim across the water and start climbing the hill towards the tower. When you reach it, you should try to take down the guard above; you can either walk up the ladder and use the machete on him for a semi-quiet kill, or just try to shoot him from below. Keep in mind that you can shoot through the floor of the tower, so if you’re on the ground below, and manage to spot him as he walks to the side, just shoot towards his feet and he should keel over soon enough.

Of course, any gunshots will raise the attention of the soldiers in the nearby camp, who’ll come to investigate, thereby confirming their status as the Smartest FPS Enemies Ever. Your carefree days of shooting people at long range and watching their friends step over the bodies as they unperturbedly walk their pre-programmed routes are over; the enemies in Far Cry will hear you shooting, then come to investigate in force, even if they have to walk a quarter mile to get to you. As, for instance, the soldiers in the nearby camp are doing as we speak.

Luckily for you, you’re on the top of a hill that said soldiers will have to mount before they can get to you. Watch your radar and target whichever signal is nearest, and as soon as you can see your new friend, pop him in the head with your M4. The single-fire mode should be adequate for this task. You’ll need to kill around a half-dozen or so soldiers before you can proceed down into the base, but again, watch your radar to make sure that it’s clear. The soldier in the other tower may have stayed there, rather than come up the hill, so watch for him. There may also be a merc or two who didn’t appear on your initial scan of the facility, so keep your eyes open for any sudden guests.

Find a vehicle
When you’ve cleared out the camp of all of those pesky inhabitants, you can start rooting around the buildings for more junk. There’s nothing of critical importance, but if you enter the Headquarters, you’ll spot a red keycard on a desk; use it in the Armory to grab a bunch of ammo for your M4, and don’t neglect to fill up your health and armor if you lost any during the fighting. You can also run around blowing stuff up here, if you wish; both of the large cylindrical propane tanks can be destroyed. You can also destroy the buggy-like vehicle, but you probably won’t want to do that, given the name of your current objective. Hop into it instead and start-a-driving.

Go to the carrier
Your next objective is to find the wrecked carrier elsewhere on the island. It’s quite a trip, but the buggy should get you there fairly quickly. One of the caveats of vehicle travel, however, is that you’ll be traveling blind; without the ability to use your binoculars, you could come across enemies around every turn. Stay sharp, and don’t forget to use the buggy’s machine gun. Just hit your fire key to fire away, but keep in mind that the turret can’t aim at extremely low angles. Any soldier that gets extremely close to your buggy will get to take free potshots at you, so try to take them down from a distance.

You’ll note that there are a couple of branches to the path; you’ll see a lot of this in Far Cry, where a road splits off into two paths, both of which lead to the same point. It’s a nice attempt at breaking the linear effect of most FPS’, but so long as you focus in on the objective blip on your radar, it shouldn’t be physically possible for you to get lost. It’ll rotate around a few times - the path to the carrier leads around the perimeter of the island - but it’ll always point you true.

After you pass the hut on the beach and head inland a ways, you’ll come across a couple of soldiers manning a 4WD vehicle. Four-wheel drives aren’t as speedy or maneuverable as the buggy, but they’re a bit more rugged, and possess one heck of an option in the form of a roof-mounted rocket launcher, along with the standard minigun. You can flip back and forth between the two weapons with your ammo selection key. For the moment, if possible, rely on your minigun to take out the roaming mercenaries you encounter; you may need the rockets later.

Your rocket launcher can help clear the path to the carrier’s entrance.

If your vehicle survives the trip to the carrier, get out and scope out the deck with your binoculars. You should spot a half-dozen or so soldiers on the ship itself, at various elevations. Although your rocket launcher can’t zoom, it does possess admirable accuracy, so aim it as best you can at the mercenaries; hopefully you’ll manage to take out a few of them before you have to approach the ship itself. There’s also a gunboat in the water near the carrier, which you can use the 4WD’s minigun on. After you’ve weakened up the opposition, head towards the blip on your radar and swim into the side of the carrier.

Level 2: Carrier

Find Valerie if possible
After you’ve managed to breach the walls of the carrier, swim through the passageway nearby and climb the ladder into the ship’s guts. Four or five mercenaries are wandering through the nearby hallways; they’ll probably come running for you as soon as you open fire. Feel free to use a few grenades to empty out the hallway immediately next to the ladder, then utilize your M4 to clean out the rest of the rabble. One of the nearby rooms has a healthkit and a few flashbang grenades; pick these up and use them when you run across the two mercs who’re packing P90 sub-machineguns, then off them and loot their corpses.

After you exit the boiler room where the P90 soldiers were, take a left into a little broom closet-ish room where you can pick up more health and armor. From there, move on into the torpedo storage room; don’t be startled if one of the soldiers here turns on the alarm - you can just disable it after they’re all dead. Also, be alert for more troops who will rappel down the shaft in the ceiling of the room - you can get headshots fairly easily as they disengage from their rope.

You’ll soon reach a ladder and will be able to head up to a higher level of the ship. Clear out the enemies nearby, and you’ll find a passage leading to the ship’s deck, but don’t go outside until you’ve checked all of the nearby rooms for ammo.

Watch out for soldiers on the upper levels here; they’ll peg you in the back if you run too quickly.

Walking around outside is, or at least should be, slow going: there’s plenty of mercs to worry about, including a few on the upper levels of the ship who’ll shoot down on you, and one manning a stationary minigun at the ship’s bow. The MG merc will be difficult to see until you’re exposed to his fire, so don’t be afraid to hide behind something and lean out to snipe at him with your M4. Last, but not least, there’s a semi-obscured soldier that’ll blast you as you approach the ladder leading up to the second level here; approach it walking backwards and looking up, and you should spot him before he sees you.

Find the boat
There’s another short interior segment of the ship where you can restock your supplies before you head on to the really difficult fight on the ship’s deck. Make sure all of your weapons and reloaded and are set to automatic fire. You’re going to have two immediate problems upon reaching the deck: first, an attack helicopter will buzz up the side of the carrier, with a minigunner leaning out the side; and second, another soldier will be manning a mounted minigun on the other side of the carrier, ready to turn your body into small bits of goo. Oh, and there’s also the 10 soldiers on the far side of the ship that’ll start running towards you as soon as they see you, but they’re the least of your problems.

First off, hide behind one of the crates so that the mounted minigunner can’t spot you, then start shooting away at the minigunner on the helicopter. After a full clip or two from one of your weapons, he’ll fall off of the helicopter and it’ll fly away, not to return. While it’s moving off, reload your M4, set it to single-fire mode, and lean around one of the crates to headshot the other minigunner. After both of those primary threats are dealt with, you can drop back down into the hole whence you came to restock on armor and health, if indeed you left those supplies where they were before you came up. Otherwise, just reset your weapons to automatic fire and start blasting away at the troops as they approach you. They’ll dash in and out from between the many boxes on the deck, so watch your corners as you proceed.

Some of the mercs will stay on the far side of the deck; switch back over to single fire and take them down before proceeding across the rickety bridges leading to the south end of the ship. You’ll note your objective, a small propeller-driven boat, hanging from a couple of chains here. Shoot off the chains, and dive into the water (don’t worry, you’ll survive).

Drive the boat east
Perhaps you should drive the boat east.

Level 3: Fort

Get to the fort ruins on top of the mountain
To begin with, just drive your inflatable boat onto the beach directly in front of where you begin the level and get out. There’s a bit of a hill that’ll give you cover from the mercs on the dock nearby; there are four of them in total. Before the gunplay starts, use your binoculars to scout the area, and try to zoom in on the beach far in the distance; you should be able to tag a whole mess of the island’s inhabitants and get them on your radar. This’ll help ensure that you’re not shot in the back later on.

At any rate, when you’re ready to begin the carnage, use your M4 to shoot the propane tank near the fishermen; this’ll kill them both right off, leaving you with two more targets to dispatch. A few more of the soldiers will be approaching you from the south, so wait for them to approach and then take them out.

Land your boat here to avoid the main mass of mercs on the beach to the right.

After things quiet down, you’ll be able to scout out the area a bit more thoroughly. If you stand near the building with the shark outside of it and use your binoculars to scout up and down the mountain to the south, you should be able to spot around two dozen soldiers combined, with most of them arrayed on the beach. A frontal assault is certainly possible, but on the harder difficulty levels, you’ll want to be a bit more subtle, so push your inflatable boat back into the water and head out to the east. There’s a small bit of land that juts out between the soldier’s beach and another, smaller beach, where four more soldiers are mulling about. Land your boat here and walk towards the four soldiers, killing them as you approach. If you can’t kill them all quickly enough, a couple of them may drive off in the buggy here, but don’t worry; you’ll catch up with them soon enough.

From the beach, walk up the path into the jungle. There’s a set of well-guarded stone steps nearby that you’ll need to surmount if you wish to reach the ruins, so kill off the guards and take their weapons. If you’re low on ammo, health or armor, you can follow the northern part of the trail and use the minigun above the beach to wipe out the soldiers there. There’s a set of supplies in one of the huts here, along with a very handy sniper rifle. You won’t have a very good angle on the soldiers in the fort from the beach, so save your ammo for later.

Hitting propane tanks near mercs will generally let you kill multiple birds with a single stone.

As you walk up the stone steps, your path will branch again. The left trail leads into a bunker, while the right is a more straightforward path to the ruins above. The bunker is a bit longer, but it winds up being the safer of the two due to the ease of using grenades to kill the soldiers inside. Either route will get you where you’re going, however. The bunker’s main room also possesses a silenced MP5 sub-machinegun, which is a useful enough tool to justify the trip, in our opinion.

Whichever path you take will eventually lead you to the ruins, though. Work your way through it, methodically killing off the half-dozen or so inhabitants. On the fort’s north side, there’s a small pillbox with a ladder leading to the roof; you can use this as a sniper spot, or to lure soldiers into the pillbox itself and grenade them to death. Whatever your methods, you’ll want to kill off the soldiers before proceeding towards the door to the communications facility. As luck would have it, it’s locked, but at least someone had the good manners to leave you a rocket launcher nearby. You don’t need it to blast the door open - that’s Doyle’s job - but you may want to keep it to deal with one of the incoming helicopters.

Defend yourself until Doyle hacks the door code
As Doyle hacks into the door’s controls, you’ll come under assault by the aforementioned helicopters. Depending on where you move about, you may face a single helicopter of the guy-leaning-out-with-a-minigun variety, or a more advanced model that’ll hover about while more soldiers rappel from its interior down into the fort. Either way, you’ll want to take cover, as there’s also a patrol boat in the harbor below that’ll start sending up mortar rounds near the entrance to the door.

The obvious course of action here is to just hide until Doyle radios you and lets you know that the door’s been unlocked. If need be, use the rocket launcher on the minigun helicopter to encourage it to leave you alone, then time your dash towards the door so that you don’t get blown away by the mortar rounds.

Get inside the comm center and kill the commander
The commander of the facility is in the door to the immediate left of the entrance. He’s a tough bastard, and his helmet prevents easy headshot kills, so either use a spare rocket round on him, or throw down a flashbang and get up close before finishing him off. He’s not incredibly more resilient than most other soldiers, though, so if you’re out of these items, just whip out your M4 and unload a clip on him until he falls.

Find an explosive pack and plant near generator
The explosive pack you seek is in an armory near the commander; grab the keycard off of his body and use it to unlock the gate to the armory, wherein you’ll find the explosives and more ammo for most of your weapons.

The generator is down the hall from the control room, with a big red spot on it where you’re supposed to place the explosives, so place away and start running like hell.

Level 4: Pier

Find the Mercenary Camp
You begin this level in one of Far Cry’s more impressive vistas, but don’t stop for sightseeing; kill off the mercs nearby and pick up any ammo they leave behind. If you’re feeling saucy, you can try to kill the soldiers down the hill by pushing the barrels down the path, but, of course, a bullet to the head does the same job.

After the mercs are out of the way, you’re forced to choose between proceeding down the hill on foot, or taking one of the gliders nearby. The glider is the more dangerous choice: although you’ll be able to fire your weapon while flying, you won’t be able to take any cover while moving about, rendering you little more than a moving target to the helicopter and patrol boat that shortly appear. Better to just walk it. If you still have the sniper rifle, you can use it while lying prone near the glider to pop off a couple of soldiers on the hill in the distance.

The path leading down to the water is uninhabited, but you’ll probably get a fly-by from the helicopter, which appears regardless of what method of travel you take. Again, a full clip or two from the M4 into the minigunner will generally persuade your aerial friends not to bother you, after which you can proceed down to the pier. The patrol boat will also be floating around down here, along with a couple of land-based guards; clear everyone out and swim (or take the boat, if it’s nearby) to the other side of the river and begin your ascent.

If you didn’t snipe out the soldiers on the hill before, they’ll be here now, manning an emplaced minigun. Kill them, take their items, then turn your attention to the gentlemen in the sniper’s tower to the south. The view from this tower overlooks the mercenary camp that you’ve been instructed to find.

After you’re up in the tower, pick up the sniper rifle, or get the ammo if you still have your rifle from the last map. Assuming you have at least five shots, you should try to hit the yellow propane tank next to the two soldiers at the edge of the camp closest to you, then the two snipers in the towers above the camp. One of the towers is easily spotted from your viewpoint, but the other one is obscured by the tree line, so use your binoculars to pick up all of the soldierss signals, then zoom in on the signals until you find the second sniper. While using your binocs, don’t forget to scan the jungle outside of the camp; there’s a patrol of five or six mercs to the northeast of the camp, with whom you’ll have to deal before you reach it. Best to have them on your radar before you make your approach.

If this chopper attempts to drop mercs, rush them and use your P90 as they get out.

Blow up the armory to create a diversion
As you move in on the base, you can expect to have some unwelcome company, in the form of yet another attack helicopter that’ll fly over the base. If you wait around on the perimeter, it’ll back off and wait to move in; take the opportunity to use your binoculars on it and lock onto one of its passengers. This will let you know its position if you have to duck into one of the buildings here while shooting at it. After you pop the gunner, it’ll attempt to land and drop off a couple of soldiers, but after that, it’ll make a hasty getaway.

Another thing to worry about in the base is a soldier with a rocket launcher; he’s in one of the sniper towers in the southwest corner of the camp, above the armory. If you’re lucky, he’ll aim a rocket at you and wind up hitting the side of the tower instead, thus killing himself, but otherwise, you’ll have to either snipe him from a distance or run up close and chuck a few grenades up there. Also, don’t necessarily think that you’re safe just because there’s nothing on your radar; there are a few roustabouts inside the buildings here, so keep your guns at the ready as you enter and exit the structures.

When all of the threats have been eliminated, grab the green keycard from the Admin building and the explosives from the Briefing building, then head into the armory, grab whatever ammo you need, and place your explosives.

Steal a vehicle and head west to the pier
Before you move out of the base, climb the sniper’s towers to recover the ammo that the soldiers there dropped. Sniper rounds are, if not rare, then in somewhat more short supply than those for the M4 or your SMGs. It never hurts to be thorough in the search for munitions.

When you’re ready to move on to the pier, grab one of the buggies and start moving along the road. If the oh-so-subtle sound of the engine from the nearby garage didn’t alarm you, keep your minigun pointed backwards towards its door as you roll out; a 4WD with two soldiers on it will soon emerge. Gun them down and steal their vehicle.

Even from this distance, your rocket launcher is perfectly accurate.

After progressing down the road a bit, you’ll come to a roadblock formed of a few vehicles, some with mercs actually inside them. If there was ever a time when your mounted rocket launcher could come in handy, this is it. Blow the roadblock away with a liberal application of projectile explosives, then push whatever flotsam remains out of the way with the nose of your truck and ford the river. You should be able to spot a sniper’s tower in the distance at this point, so get out of your car and scope it with your binoculars. If you couldn’t tell, the weapon that the merc atop the tower is toting is a rocket launcher, but luckily for you, you should possess one of your own on your 4WD. Shoot a few rounds towards the tower; if no rockets come flying back at you, you’ll know that your prey is dead.

Go ahead and drive up to the tower and grab the rocket launcher. Assuming you’re packing an M4, a sniper rifle, a P90, and an MP5 at this point, you can fairly safely drop either the M4 or the P90 to exchange for the rocket launcher. While you’re on the tower, feel free to scope out the pier below and get the locations of the soldiers on your radar. You can also snipe out the soldiers that are visible on the pier; you’re going to have to kill them later anyway.

Kill all enemies in this area
Before Doyle will meet you, you need to clear out the area of all mercenary presence. If you take your 4WD down to the pier, you can use your rockets to kill anything that moves; that will usually take care of this objective. After your objectives update, walk down to the end of the pier and hop on Doyle’s boat to end the level.

Level 5: Research

Enter the cave
For those of you keeping track at home, this is the second demo level. Anyone who played it shouldn’t have too much trouble finding the path through, although you’ll still have to take down the dozen enemies that stand between you and the cave entrance that’s your first objective.

Sniping is a good way to start. After getting your radar locks on your enemies, whip out your sniper rifle and take down anyone in a position to shoot you. The two soldiers near the mortar by the hut at the top of the hill are good targets; after they drop, get a headshot on anyone who moves. After you get their attention, though, the mercs will start coming around to your location, so keep an eye on your radar. A helicopter will also come by to make a couple of sweeps; if you don’t want to deal with it, just wait until it offloads its troops and takes off again. A couple more bodies shouldn’t make a difference to a hardened vet like you, right?

When you’re ready to move on, start heading around the beach towards the hut on the hill. No need to be subtle, but you might want to use your MP5 on anyone you come across, just to avoid alerting everyone whenever you make a kill. Grab the keycard from the hut and progress down and into the cave.

Take the lift
Before you can ride the elevator to the upper level of the facility, you’re going to need to reactivate the power, which a crew of a few mercs is working on down the hallway to the right of the entrance, but before you go, use your binoculars to scout out any soldiers who might be hanging around towards your left. The guys working on the power are apparently somewhat retarded, and don’t know that all they have to do to restore the electricity is flip the big red switch on the wall. Kill them, then do it yourself. Actually getting to the lift is the hard part, as there’s yet more mercs hanging around the entrance to the lift, and a shortage of light in which to see them, but if you managed to pick up their transponders and can see them on your radar, you shouldn’t have much difficulty. If not, you might want to hide in one of the smaller corridors and listen for footsteps until you can’t hear any soldier sounds anymore.

After you reach the top of the elevator, simply head for the exit to end the level.

Level 6: Treehouse

Get to the Scientist to help find Val
The building in which you begin has no enemies - at least, no enemies that can actually hurt you. You should get your first good look at some of the Tridgens that you’ll be fighting later on, though.

When you reach the door leading to the outside, Doyle will radio in with your first objective. At the same time, you should hear a vehicle approaching from your left. The soldiers aboard will be scouting around for you, but if you stay out of sight, they should be distracted by a couple of incoming Tridgens. If the Tridgens don’t emerge from the forest, you’ll probably have to take out the mercs (who are a bit tougher than the previous versions, but drop bits of armor when they die) and then deal with the Tridgens as they come at you. These Tridgens are of the primate variety, meaning that they have no projectile weaponry, but will instead jump and slash at you when they get fairly close. They’re extremely powerful when they actually manage to hit you, and are fully capable of killing you in just a couple of hits, so engage them from a distance with your M4.

This is the path that leads to the supervision building. Make sure there are no Tridgens around before you start ascending.

After the nearby threats are dead, you’ll have to continue on your way to the Supervision building. You have your choice of paths; you can either walk along the suspended platforms among the trees, or grab the 4WD and drive to the entrance. The latter path is a bit easier, and will probably let you arrive at the Supervision building without wasting any ammo, but the path is a bit circuitous. If you can turn the vehicle around and point it towards the jungle, taking every left turn along the path should let you reach the rear side of the Supervision building. You won’t be able to get it - all the doors are locked on the ground level - but you’ll be close to the broken walkway that leads to the building’s roof. You’ll probably have to blast a few Tridgens to clear the path, so switch your vehicle over to the rocket launcher and fire at anything that moves. If, on the other hand, you decide to proceed to this area along the walkways, let the mercenaries do the bulk of the shooting, but be sure to take down anyone directly in your path. By the time you get to the enclosed Tridgen zoo, you’ll probably have to start shooting at the Tridgens on the ground below you in order to clear the path to the Supervision building.

The first room of the Supervision building contains a couple of Tridgens; engaging these things in close quarters is decidedly unrecommended, so unload a clip from your M4 into one of them, chuck a grenade, then retreat to the exterior and reload. They’ll likely move to the doorway to follow you, so move around to the west side of the building to find another entrance to the same interior room and blast them from behind. After they’re dead, head through the red-light door to find the very dead scientist and his keycard. Use the keycard to open up the nearby room and flip the switch here; this will open up the path to the helipad at the rear of the building.

Enter the Bunker
As soon as you do this, though, a couple of soldiers will start making their way to your position along the previously-locked path at the rear of the building. You can feel free to stand and fight, if you wish; you’ll probably have to fight them eventually anyway. In any case, your next goal is to reach the garage of the Supervision building, which is down the nearby stairs inside the complex. A Tridgen and mercenary clutter up the hallway on the way down, and two more Tridgens await inside the garage itself, so stay on your toes. The garage also contains a few grenades and some more ammo, so load up before getting in the Big Truck.

After you’ve unlocked the door and driven outside, you might want to try reclaiming your 4WD if you left it nearby. If the area is clear of Tridgens, and you think you’ll have a relatively safe walk, then ditch the truck and get your...other truck. Switch over to rocket launchers, if you wish, and drive up to the helipad, dispatching all of the mercs who’re waiting for you there. When they’re disposed of, grab the other 4WD (which will probably be less damaged than the one you’re driving now, if indeed you’re driving one at all) and head down the little dirt path.

As a note, the next section can get a little hairy. If you’re not looking for a huge firefight, there’s a walking path to the northeast of this helipad that will bypass some of the defenders ahead. You’ll wind up at the same tower either way.

Get explosives from the tower
Plant explosives at the rear wall of the bunker
As soon as you spot the bunker in the distance, hop out of your vehicle and use your binoculars to scout around. When you have a good idea of what you’re up against, get back in and use your rocket launcher to clear out the road block ahead and a couple of the soldiers up in the bunker itself. You can’t access the bunker just yet; you’ll have to travel for a bit to reach its rear side.

When you’ve destroyed the road block, hop into the mounted minigun nearby and use it to clear out the rest of the assorted mercs in the area. Don’t proceed on foot just yet, though; there’s a sniper in the bombed-out building across the bridge from you, who you’ll want to destroy before moving on. If you can jump the roadblock with your 4WD, a rocket or two should take care of the problem; alternatively, you can lie prone next to the minigun and strafe left and right until you get a shot at the sniper with your own sniper rifle or the M4.

You can make it all the way to the footbridge with the 4WD, if you engage in some creative driving.

You’re actually able to take the 4WD across the stone bridge here, although it’ll take some creative driving to get past the broken concrete along the way. If you wish, you can even drive it all the way up to the tower, but be careful for more mercenaries along the road. When you reach the tower, scope out the roost at its top; there may be another rocket-wielding merc up there, so step lively when walking around. The explosives are near the base of the tower, but you may want to walk up to the top and grab more rocket ammo from the hopefully-dead merc before proceeding onwards. If he’s not dead when you climb the ladder, however, you can expect a rude welcome.

When you finally reach the footbridge leading to the rear of the bunker, take one last opportunity to use your binoculars from a distance. If you still have your 4WD, feel free to blast off a few rockets towards any enemies you see. After you’ve weakened up your foes a bit, cross the bridge and place your explosives on the cracked section of the bunker’s wall.

After you breach the walls, a helicopter gunship will fly in and start pounding away at you. Dispatch its gunner, and any soldiers inside the bunker itself, before moving on to end the level. Don’t miss the suit of armor on the shelves near the doors leading to the underground portion of the bunker.

Level 7: Bunker

Get to the helicopter landing pad
Take the lift down to the interior of the bunker and kill off the guards just inside the first room. There should be four of them all told, two of whom will be wielding Jackhammer shotguns. When you’re inside interior levels like this, you can feel free to get rid of your sniper rifle; just drop it, pick up the Jackhammer, and walk over the sniper rifle again to get the ammo that you left in the weapon.

Your path from this room leads either up or down a flight of stairs; taking the high road is a bit easier, as it lets you pelt the scientists in the next room with grenades from around the corner, then shoot them from the catwalks. You can shoot through the grating, so feel free to aim at people directly below you. When you’ve cleared the room, check the path from the lower flight of stairs to find some more shotgun ammo and grenades.

Again, there are two sets of exits from the operating room here, one high, one low; both will similarly wind up in the same room deeper in the bowels of the bunker. Kill the soldiers at the foot of the stairs, preferably by just chucking a grenade through the slots; this will ignite the oxygen canisters and create a sizable explosion.

From there, you’ll come across yet another choice of paths, but these actually lead to different locations. Of the two doors leading to the water pit, take the rightmost first; kill all of the soldiers nearby, then walk around to the security office to find a sizable ammo cache, and more ammo and health. From there, head back to the left door and proceed on your way.

The next few rooms are linear and without surprises, unless you insist on flipping the switch next to the locked Tridgen cages. You’ll eventually have to pass back through the water pit, where a few more mercs will be waiting; if you dash out to the minigun and paste them, you should be able to escape with minor damage. If you do get shot up, return to the last room that overlooked the water pit and get some more health/armor, if you didn’t pick them up earlier.

The next major fight occurs around a stairwell, with two mercs taking on four Tridgens. As you might surmise, the mercs don’t fare too well, leaving you with a few bloodthirsty mutant primates on your hands. Chuck a few grenades down the stairwell as the mercs attempt to fend off the Tridgens; this will hopefully even up the odds a bit, letting you lure the Tridgens back to the doorway and pick them off with your Jackhammer. From there, it’s a fairly straight shot to the Tridgen holding cells.

Releasing these Tridgens will eliminate the mercs in the room below.

When you reach the cells, sprint up the stairs to your left to find the rather user-friendly switch to open the Tridgen cages. The ensuing carnage should Darwinize the weak elements in the room below; use your M4 to take out any remaining Tridgens. The doorway below leads into a kind of loading dock; walk in far enough to trigger the arrival of the Tridgens from above, then retreat and let the mercs and mutants sort out their differences in an amicable fashion. When you don’t hear any more gunshots, proceed on through and finish off the remainders. From there, it’s a short trip to the helicopter pad. Thrilling cutscene, kick in the face, and you’re moving on to the next level.

Level 8: Steam

Find the night vision goggles
After Valerie jogs off (apparently to nowhere at all), you’ll have a new blip on your radar, which will lead you to a pair of CryVision goggles. First, though, you’ll have to navigate through a bit of forest, the first bit of which contains a few Tridgens. Tread lightly, and don’t be afraid to use some rocket ammo to take them down from a distance.

From the corpses that the Tridgens were gnawing on, head south until you reach the small hill next to the ocean. If you climb it, you’ll come across a stationary mortar; combined with your ranged weapons, it should let you kill off any mercs your binoculars can pick up in the forests below. There’s also a patrol boat in the ocean which can be conveniently detonated with the mortar. In a rather astonishing display of AI brilliance, if you manage to alert one of the guards in the jungle, he’ll shoot off a flare gun, which will bring a couple more patrol boats towards the beach. Deal with all of the threats before heading west.

The jungle path below the mortar leads into a small village. If you want, you can just run in guns blazing, but there are soldiers in the hills above the village that will make this difficult. To the south, there’s a stationary minigun, and to the northeast, there’s a soldier with a rocket launcher that’ll paste you if you get too close to the piers. You may want to try to sneak onto the hill to the north of the village and use any remaining rocket ammo to take down the minigunner, then kill off the rest of the mercs as they converge on your position. This village, like most of those in the game, has a restock of health and armor, so don’t feel that you have to be too conservative with your life. Just don’t die, of course.

Follow the road to the Steam Generator
A little down the way from the village, you’ll run across a small harbor, where a patrol boat will be shooting away at a couple of Tridgens. If you’re in the 4WD, you can use your rocket launcher to take out the patrol boat, the mutants, and the soldiers near the minigun across the water, but keep your ears open for more mercs coming down the road from the west.

Don’t forget that you can use your nightvision in conjunction with your sniper rifle’s scope!

When you’re secure, you can decide how you want to proceed towards the southwest. There are a few options open to you: you can either keep on going along the road, which will leave you open to sniper fire; drop down to the harbor and take the path to the east, which will lead you to a parked patrol boat; or drop down to the harbor and take the path to the west, which will lead up a mountain from which you can snipe away at the soldiers below. (There’s a sniper rifle near the minigun in the harbor if you dropped yours during the last level.) Sniping the enemies here is probably the best way to go; take down the enemy sniper first, then the merc with the rocket launcher, and then any remaining soldiers before the 4WD comes moseying along. It’s probably best to let these soldiers exit their vehicle unmolested, then pick them off and steal the car for yourself. Grab the ammo from the huts and fallen weapons, and be on your way.

The next little roadblock is manned by half a dozen soldiers. If you possess the awesome might of a 4WD, blast the garrison with your rockets, then ditch the vehicle, as it’s seemingly impossible to jump the tree that’s fallen across the road. When you come across the hill that’s climbable on the western side of the path, walk up and start scoping out the generator building with your binoculars. When you’ve gotten a good view, flip on your night vision and start shooting up the soldiers that are patrolling the path. Any noise you make will probably bring along more soldiers from the huts to the south, so be careful.

Steal the plans to the Regulator facility from the worker
Keep walking along the trail to the south. The aforementioned set of huts is here, complete with the requisite armor, health, and another 4WD vehicle. Take the truck and start blasting away at the troops around the facility, but stay in the car and drive around to the regulator’s north side. Eventually, you should trigger the appearance of an assault helicopter, which will be easily dealt with by your truck-mounted rocket launcher. When you’ve cleared the way to the generator, drive up and around to its east end, find the blueprints, and radio Doyle, who’ll formulate a plan to destroy the facility. You’ll need to head inside to do so, but before you go, check the shipping crate near the door; you can pick up a few rocket rounds inside.

Level 9: Regulator

If you’re interested in a stealthy approach, sneak around to this flying fox. You can avoid the bulk of the island’s garrison this way.

Find the first junction
After you start the level, you’ll have an opportunity to restock your ammo a bit. Pick up any items that are of use to you, then head through the small door nearby. You’ll find yourself in a sizable canyon, with a steam generator in the middle of a lake. You’ll be able to approach the facility from either the north, east, or west; any of the paths that you see stretching around the lake are viable ones. Any of the approaches are perfectly doable, although for most difficulty levels, the approach from straight across the bridge to the north is the easiest, especially if you have a few sniper rounds with which to lighten up the opposition. Take note of the merc in the tower to the east; he’s packing a rocket launcher, so be careful when he’s in sight. Don’t worry about getting up into the tower to steal the ammo from his body; he’s apparently been sealed in, Rapunzel-like.

The south end of the facility has a tower that’s connected to a "flying fox" device, which you can use to swing across to the entrance to the Regulator. The first room contains a truck and a few soldiers; kill everyone, then grab the health that’s in the back of the truck, if you’re running low. The next room over contains a few more soldiers; the merc on the catwalks possesses a Jackhammer, and now would be a good time to trade in your sniper rifle for a weapon that’s a bit more useful in close-quarters. Don’t miss the red keycard in the smallish room next to this one.

The stairs nearby lead up to a dank room that’s filled with excess canisters; needless to say, you don’t want to be getting loose with your gunplay in here. To the right of the stairs is another flight that leads up into a control room; kill the soldiers here, but watch out for mercs that may try to follow you up. Grab the keycard on the desk here and any goodies you require, then continue through the next door, which leads to a little grate-balcony overlooking the storage room below. Your night vision goggles will help you distinguish your targets; if you still possess an MP5, you can use it on single-fire mode to drop the mercs here without alerting them to your whereabouts.

One final keycard remains, in the smaller room on the second level of the storage area. After grabbing it, and looting the storage area for supplies, head through the door behind the keycard and shut off the steam, then proceed to the doorway in the hall behind this room and shut off the first junction. From here, you’ll have to return to the room with the discarded oxygen canisters, shut off another valve, then proceed to the second valve.

Find the second junction
Find the third junction
Find the control center
The next pair of junctions are directly beside each other, so shut them off, being careful to avoid getting killed by the sterile-suited merc in the third room, and head on to the control center. Inside, you’ll find a couple more goons; kill them, avoid picking up the health kit unless it’s drastically necessary, and flip the red switch here to start overloading the station.

If you can hit the cargo chopper with a rocket, you may be able to kill off some of the troops before they hit the ground.

Hide in the vent shafts
Your goal now is to find a spot to hide. Er, to heroically find a spot to hide. Your ventilation shaft is on the far side of the nearby courtyard, but a couple of troop transport helicopters will be dropping mercenaries into it, giving you anywhere from 6 to 10 soldiers to fight before you can reach the end of the level. If possible, lure them back towards the door and shoot them as they come through. Don’t forget to use your night vision goggles to put the spotlight on them.

Level 10: Control

Get out of the building
Predictably enough, the whole Jack-waits-around-in-the-ventilation-shaft plot doesn’t quite satisfy the exigencies of compelling storytelling. Mosey along the sewers until you reach another interior level. You should hear the sounds of gunfire coming from beyond the first door here; this is the result of a firefight between a few scientists and a group of Tridgens. If you don’t want to get caught in the crossfire, you can either wait them out, or shoot the grate off of the nearby vent and crawl through to reach the scientists. You’ll have to kill whoever survives the battle either way, of course.

When you’re done scrounging for items (and avoiding the insta-death hissing steam), climb down the ladder and start crawling through the ventilation shaft. Rotate the steam valve at the end, climb back up and proceed down the now de-insta-deathed hallway. Shoot the scientists, and watch out for Tridgens in the venting in the nearby corridor. There are actually two vents in this corridor; first, follow the one that the Tridgens were crawling through. This will take you back to the steam valve room, so climb up the far side of the chasm until you reach another valve. Spin it, then proceed back to the corridor and into the other ventilation shaft.

You’ll eventually come out into a room populated by mercs. Dispatch them, steal their stuff, and take the nearby lift. After killing everyone in the subsequent room, head out through the eastern exit and take down the Tridgens. The next room you pop out into contains three or four of the security-team mercs, they of the helmets and extremely dense body armor. These fellows are tough to kill, so whip out one of your assault rifles and try to pull off a few headshots apiece. Hopefully you’ll be far enough away for them to stutter in their return fire; if they mount a serious defense, just throw down a few grenades in their direction and back off.

Miniguns are consistently the best way to deal with Fat Boys when you encounter them.

The other exit from the room at the bottom of the lift will lead you to another medical research facility, where you’ll get your first glance at the massive Fat Boy variant of the Tridgen. It’s dead, thankfully, but take note of the rocket launcher on its arm: you’re going to be seeing one of these in action soon enough. The east exit of this room leads you back into the room where the soldiers were; if you popped a few of them, drop in to grab their armor and a medkit. The other exit from this room leads to a little shooting gallery of Tridgens; kill off the mercs, grab the minigun, and go to town. Eventually, a Fat Boy will appear, draped in shadow, and firing off his slow-moving rockets at you. He’s not incredibly accurate at most difficulty levels, so if you can, keep firing away while he attempts to move towards you. Even a Fat Boy can’t stand up to many rounds from a minigun.

As you head down the hallway, you’re likely going to attract the attention of the mercs in the kitchen off to one side; they seem to pick up any sound that you make, so a fight with these guys is unavoidable. What’s worse is that they all pack Jackhammers, making the close-range fight quite punishing for yourself. If you have any left, chuck in a flashbang grenade before entering the kitchen, then eliminate them as they flail about helplessly. Proceed from here through the head, offing Tridgens as you go.

You’ll eventually reach what appears to be a reactor room, the first in a series. You’ll have two exits, again; one in the floor, underneath a pool of water, and one in the wall. Take the one in the wall and climb the ladder to the top. This should start another smorgasbord of destruction in the room below, but luckily, none of the participants will be able to see you or shoot at you, providing you stay back from the edge of the pit in the middle of the floor. After the sounds of gunshots fade away, you can start taking potshots at the Tridgen and the Fat Boy below you; the Fat Boy will obviously require the most damage to kill, so don’t hesitate to unload a few rocket rounds on him. Even if it doesn’t seem like he’s getting hurt, he is, so keep firing away until he finally keels over. When he’s gone, climb down to the lowest level of the room and sneak out through the door nearby.

Level 11: Rebellion

Rebellion is probably intended to be the game’s showpiece level, and it’s certainly impressive. It’s also massively dangerous and difficult to maneuver through, as it takes the two-path philosophy to an extreme, so feel free to explore a bit and restart if you come across an area too difficult for you to proceed past.

To begin with, flip on your heat vision to scope out the Tridgens near your starting point. There are three of them in total within the facility, so take them down and restock your ammo and armor in the reception room where the security guards lay dead. A fairly serious firefight is about to ensue, so reload all of your weapons and wait until your night vision goggles are fully charged before stepping out of the door here.

Follow the road to the archives
In true Frankensteinien fashion, the creations have turned on the creators, and what you witness outside is the truest incarnation of the struggle ‘twixt man and beast yet seen. In other words, there’s a bigass rumble going down, and you’re in the middle of it. Well, actually, you’re kind of off to one side: you’ll find yourself inside of a fort that’s being sieged by Fat Boys and a new kind of mutant called Locusts. The Locusts are distinguished by their Hulk-like ability to jump incredible distances, and they’re armed with AG36’s, making them, oh, a wee bit of a threat to your health. Luckily for you, the Fat Boys and Locusts will be firing away at the fort’s mercenary garrison, which should let you escape unharmed, if you play your cards right.

At any rate, the fact that you’re inside the fort will give you a bit of protection from the Fat Boy rockets, so long as you don’t do anything stupid like climb up on the ramparts and start firing at them from above. And no, that’s not a backhanded way of suggesting a course of action; your first priority should be to escape from the battle and let the mercs and mutants kill each other off. To that end, take a right immediately after exiting the interior, shoot the merc on the walkway here, and walk down to the courtyard, where a 4WD awaits. You can’t do anything with it yet, so leave it be, shooting any other mercenaries who have the misfortune of being in the courtyard. One of the garages here has a belt of grenades for your AG36, so grab it, and the health from the second garage, if necessary, then flip the switch next to the door to the courtyard, run back to the 4WD, and book it out of there, running down anyone in your way, Fat Boys included.

As you proceed along the path leading away from the fort, flip on your night vision and shoot down any mutants or men in your path. You’ll eventually come to a couple of mercenaries next to another 4WD; shoot them, and any Tridgens in the area, and pause for a second to assess the situation. You’re at one of the branches in this level’s path; you can either take your 4WD and jump over the bridge to your left, or continue down the path to the right. Both of these options are risky, but we’ll go over them in detail.

Impressive...most impressive. Use your binocs here to scout Route A for enemies.

Before you head out, though, you may want to return to the fort and use your 4WD’s rocket launchers and minigun to kill off any combatants still remaining, if you’re intent on looking for items. Of particular note is the sniper rifle in the tower overlooking the cliff to the south; you can trade in your Jackhammer here. Also, there’s a mountain facility near the fort containing little of interest, but if you wish, you can climb to the top, either via the footpath near the fort or through a ladder in the facility itself, to access a hang glider. The glider will let you bypass a good deal of route A, or will let you access route B without needing a car. In general, though, you’re better off with your 4WD. Either path eventually leads to another fort on the southern portion of the island.

This map will give you an idea of where each route leads.

Route A
Route A is the more difficult of the two paths, but is a bit shorter. If you have the 4WD, just press on along the right branch from where you encounter your first mercs and their vehicle outside of the fort. You’ll need to drive along the beach, past a few Tridgens and Fat Boys, and up a narrow road on the far end, where you’ll encounter a Fat Boy attempting to set off a landslide to trap you.

If you didn’t get the 4WD in the fort, you’ll be able to find one immediately below the hang glider, albeit a thousand feet straight down or so. If you use your binoculars on the first section of the beach, you’ll spot a merc attempting to hold off a Tridgen and failing; this 4WD is thus untaken and in perfect shape. Before you head down, though, you should use your binocs to scout the entirety of the beach, with special emphasis given to the road at the far end. This is where most of the fighting will occur.

If you’re up by the hang glider, you can use it to coast down to the 4WD below; just take it out nice and slow, and after a few seconds of flight, start strafing to the right. When you’re above deep water, get out of the glider and drop into the ocean. Don’t worry if you die; there was a save point immediately before you accessed the glider, so you’ll only lose a few seconds of playing time. When you’re in the water, swim to the shore, grab the 4WD, and take off down the beach.

As mentioned, the road near the end of the beach is the site of a prospective ambush, with at least two Fat Boys, a Locust, and a Tridgen. Before you head up the road, stop on the beach and scout with your binoculars and night vision. If you can spot anyone, get back into your car and use your rocket supply to blast them. Don’t forget that you can use your night vision while driving; activate it and you shouldn’t have a problem spotting potential targets.

When you’re ready to proceed, drive up the path, stopping when you hear the Fat Boy blasting the wall. His rockets will bring down a few boulders that may or may not block your path; regardless, try to lure him out from his hiding place and shoot him. When he’s dead, don’t bother with pushing the rocks around with your car; just get out and head up the road on foot. Past the burning car ahead, you’ll come across a structure; this is the southern fort that we mentioned previously.

Route B
Route B is found near where you first encounter two mercenaries with their own 4WD, below the spot where the hang glider sits atop the mountain. If you take a left turn on the path here, you’ll come across a broken bridge; you can jump the bridge with a vehicle if you accelerate hard enough. The first enemies you’ll encounter will be another set of mercenaries with a 4WD; if you’ve exhausted your supply of rockets, or if your car has taken any damage, you should try to face these guys with your machine gun and steal their truck.

It’s worth noting that the lighthouse across the water from this point isn’t the lighthouse that you may have seen on the maps of the island back in the fort, but you can get to it nonetheless. It seems that it was intended as a target for players who chose to hang glide from the fort, but if you go down to the water and swim to the island’s rear side, you’ll find another pier. There’s a ramp that leads up from the water to the land that you can attempt to climb; it wasn’t intended for someone to walk up it, but it can be done if you try. The lighthouse contains a full restock of health and armor; once you grab everything, you can take the flying fox device back to the mainland and reclaim your car. This is all completely optional, of course.

Your main obstacles along route B will be roadblocks, of the flaming-tree-set-across-the-path variety. Fat Boys are usually hidden away in the jungle next to these obstacles, so whenever your car hits a crest or a high point, drag out your binoculars and try to mark your opponents on the radar. The roadblocks aren’t very threatening to your vehicle, but the fire can reduce your health drastically if you dally too long, so keep your foot on the accelerator if possible.

Beyond two sets of these roadblocks, you’ll come across a low-grade skirmish between mercs and Fat Boys. Again, speed is the better part of valor here, so floor it and drive past the combatants. Taking the road a little further through the jungle will eventually bring you within sight of another 4WD, parked near a structure; this is the southern outpost.

The Lighthouse
Regardless of your method of approach, you’re going to have to clean out the fort here if you want the goodies within, which include all of the ammo from the mercenaries’ guns, as well as a health kit and a pack of rocket ammo. Don’t be afraid to use your loudest weapon; you’ll want to draw all of the mercs out from their hiding spots so that you don’t get shot in the back later on.

When you’re confident that everyone’s dead, head up to the mortar on the roof of the structure. If you’re using binoculars, you should be able to spot a sniper and a rocket launcher merc near the lighthouse; one’s in the roost at its top, and the other is on the road leading up to it. There’s also another merc with a mortar on top of a rocky outcropping, about halfway between your position and the lighthouse. If you have the sniper rifle, you can use that and the night vision goggles to eliminate each of these threats, but if not, a rocket launcher works just as well. There’s also the matter of two more 4WDs coming your way along the lighthouse path. If you can, use the mortar to destroy them; if not, you can either use the mounted minigun elsewhere in the fort to take them down as they arrive, or just wait for them to dismount and kill them inside the outpost itself.

After the fighting’s over, grab a 4WD and head out for the lighthouse. Before you start coasting along the beach, though, you may want to backtrack towards the grounded sailboat, which contains a full suit of armor. If you continue heading down this beach to the northwest, you’ll come across a corpse lying near a sniper rifle. If you haven’t found one yet, here you go; use it to bust down the lighthouse defenders. If you did already possess a sniper rifle, you’ll be happy to know that this one contains ten rounds, instead of the usual five.

The Archives
When you reach the road leading to the lighthouse, ditch your truck and beat your feet up to the structure. Loot the ammo from the mercs you shot before, then get a bead on the situation to the northeast. As is so often the case, there’s two methods of reaching the archives; you can either retreat back down to your 4WD and take the main road, or climb across the rocks near the lighthouse to reach the hang gliders. Actually, whether you intend to glide or not, it’s a good idea to check out the area near the gliders: there’s a merc who’ll drop another four rounds of rocket ammo for you; there’s a small box of sniper ammo nearby; you’ll be able to use your binocs to mark the locations of a good dozen or so mercs and mutants near the entrance to the archives; and last but not least, there’s a helicopter to deal with. This vantage point should let you make an easy hit with a rocket as it approaches.

Although you can see a good number of enemies near the archives, don’t bother sniping; these guys seem to regenerate when killed, or, at least, the game seems to keep spawning in more enemies as combatants die. What’s worse is that the only entrance to the archives building is a very narrow bridge, barricaded on both sides by concrete dividers. Your best bet here is to get back to your 4WD or the buggy at the base of the lighthouse road and take it in, Thelma and Louise style. Or whatever a more manly equivalent of Thelma and Louise is. And you’ll probably not want to commit suicide... Let’s move on.

At any rate, your vehicle should be able to get you to the bridge in once piece. When you’re there, hop out, tag any nearby mercs with your assault rifle or Jackhammer, if you still have it, and proceed up into the nearby tower to grab some supplies and the rocket ammo from the merc there. When you’re ready to move on, leave the carnage behind and head towards the helipad behind the bridge, but be on the lookout for the heavily-armored mercenaries guarding the path. If you manage to spot them before they see you, you can use one of your rockets to dispatch one or both of them. From there, it’s a relatively easy walk to the entrance to the archives, but be sure to snipe the minigunner atop the building before you proceed. Also, check the bunker near the road for a boatload of ammo before you exit this level.

Level 12: Archive

Make it to the last working cargo elevator
The first room of the archive introduces you to a new threat, the appropriately-named Spectre. These fellows resemble Locusts in outward appearance, except for the fact that they’ve come down with a mild case of invisibility. In harsh light, you’ll probably be able to spot them due to their Predator-like shimmering effect, but it’s generally easier to activate your CryVision goggles and track them by their heat signatures. If you feel a little underpowered for close-range fighting, don’t hesitate to use your rockets or the AG36’s grenade launcher to even the odds a bit.

After fighting off three of them, you’ll come into a room where scientists and mercs are skirmishing with a few Spectres. Kill the remnants of the fight and trade in one of your weapons for a Jackhammer, if you don’t already possess one. Shoot out the blue panels in the nearby...thing, and drop down. You’re likely to take damage if you just jump down and hope for the best; try to slide along the sides of the interior of the machine to avoid this. At the bottom, hit your night vision and take care of the two Spectres.

The rest of the doors here are locked, thus trapping you in a dead end...or so it seems. If you look at the water in the center of the room, you’ll notice that there’s a hole in the grating that’s been covered up by a wooden plank and a couple of metal barrels. Push the junk out of the way and float down.

In what appears to be a bit of Half-Life homagery, you’re going to have to swim through the passageway here until you come up next to what appears to be a reactor. Kill the Tridgen in the room and flip the switch on the wall to unlock the doors, then head back through the hallway to the room you just swam away from. Head through the door marked "Level 3" and take the lift down.

You’ll emerge into another firefight between Tridgens and mercs. Wait for the dust to settle, then suit up with whatever armor the mercs left behind.

The expansive room nearby hosts a dozen or so security mercs. As per usual, these fellows are packing helmets, rendering them less vulnerable to headshots. As such, you’ll probably want to make a loud noise near the hallways before the room and lure as many of them back to you as possible before Jackhammering them in the head. Your mileage may vary, but it can definitely help to weed out some of the multitudes before progressing into the room itself.

Your nightvision will let you spot the mercs hiding amongst the shipping containers here.

When you do move on, though, you’ll want to scout with your binoculars. You should spot a couple of soldiers on the catwalks towards the rear of the room. If you dropped your sniper rifle for the Jackhammer earlier on, you won’t be able to get a clean headshot off, but you can still use your AG36’s scope to pummel them with bullets from afar. They probably won’t move, or even fire back, since they’re so far away. Take them down before moving among the crates in the center of the room; the last thing you need is something distracting you from the soldiers among the shadowy boxes. If you’re intent on making an impression, you can fire off a rocket at these soldiers; one of them carries a rocket launcher of his own, so you likely won’t be missing any ammo afterwards.

The soldier along the rear of the room, besides possessing the rocket launcher, also drops a keycard when you kill him. Grab it and head through the nearby door to come face-to-face with a few more Spectres. The cargo elevator here is sadly nonfunctional, but it does contain a sniper rifle that will be useful in a few moments.

When you come out into the open, lie prone before the first little opening into the canyon beyond and start sniping away at any individuals that you can spot; there should be quite a few targets. Since you just passed a save point, feel free to go a little crazy and get a feel for what type of enemies are where; there are at least two mercenary snipers in this area, as well as a rocket launcher foe on top of the water tank way down at the other end of the area. As soon as you’re spotted, a cargo chopper will come in with a few troops. You can’t destroy it, but you may be able to get its mercenaries with a rocket as they rappel down to your location.

After the dust clears a little, you’ll be able to more thoroughly gauge the forces that you haven’t yet taken out. If you spot a Fat Boy at the other end of the metal walkway, and it doesn’t look like the soldiers there are firing at it, don’t waste ammo on it; this seems to be a repeatable glitch. He should disappear by the time you get a bit closer to the other side of the valley. Also, you may hear a helicopter sound as you walk towards the far door; this, too, is apparently a glitch, or just the sound of one of the helicopters that already left, as nothing appears to threaten you.

You’ll reach a save point before the metal doors that are your goal, and it’s a good thing, too, as another orgy of death awaits you in the room beyond. It’s not one of those generic, run-of-the-mill orgies of death, either, the kind that feature armorless mercs and a few Tridgens. No, this is an escalated threat, featuring a Fat Boys and numerous fully-clad mercenaries, replete with PG90’s, helmets, and grenades. Not quite a full-blown apocalypse of gore, but it’s early yet, and the Fat Boy can cause problems for players who happen to get too close. Don’t be one of them.

Unfortunately, the presence of a mutant won’t distract the mercs enough to prevent them from training their automatic weapons on you, so you’ll need to tread lightly. You can either walk into the room and withdraw as soon as the fighting begins, and wait until you don’t hear any more gunshots (which can take a while), or attempt to sprint to the right of the entrance and reach the doors at the far end of the room without dying. A standard method of dealing with mercs at long range, should you see any, is to flip on your night vision, immediately go prone, and use your AG36 on zoom mode to nab headshots. Despite the fact that they have helmets, headshots still drop a merc more quickly than do body shots, and if you click your attack button so that no more than three or four bullets fly out at a time, you should be able to retain some semblance of accuracy.

Your best bet, however, is to use rockets judiciously on your approach towards the door. You should have at least four from the guy atop the water cooler, and that’s really all you’ll have time to fire when you’re inside, but it should be enough to get you to the exit point unscathed. Well, that and a little luck. Begin by approaching the door from the outside on its far right extremity; when it’s opened up, pop over the ridge, activate your night vision, and start pacing along the room’s outside wall. When you see a merc, fire away. These guys are tough, but they’re not tough enough to withstand a close-order explosion, so feel free to fire at a nearby wall or the floor if you don’t want to risk missing a moving target.

Shoot the chain here to open the path to the level’s end.

When you reach the corner of the room, turn back inwards towards the metal doors and walk towards them. They’re actually not the exit - they’re locked - but they’re close enough to act as a good landmark. Where you really want to go is towards the crate that’s being suspended by a chain. Shoot the chain when you’re close enough to hit it, and the crate will fall through the floor, revealing a couple of vents. Drop into the hole here and head out through the eastern vent, continuing straight past the branch in the passage - all the fork here leads to is another exit from the same hole you just left. Eventually, you’ll reach a ladder heading up; flip the switch to call the elevator and congratulations, you’ve finally managed to complete the sole goal for this level.

Level 13: Cooler

Go to Valerie’s last known position
Levels have begun in a more pleasant fashion than the Cooler level, which immediately squares you off against not one, but two Fat Boys, in a couple of narrow hallways. The main difficulty here lies in the initial feinting process: you have to manage to get behind one of the Fat Boys so that you’re not pinned between them. After that, rockets, grenades, and your assault rifle should make short work of the beasts. Try to stick to the middle of each hallway, and strafe left or right around the Fat Boys’ rockets as they’re incoming. Leave yourself plenty of room between you and the wall behind you, and you should be fine. If not, there’s a medkit by a body near the fuel tanks.

Another little firefight ensues in the next room over, between a couple of Spectres, a scientist, and a merc. The best course of action here is to step through the door leading into the room, which triggers the fighting, then retreat back to the fuel tank and crawl through the ducts, taking the first right turn. This’ll lead back into the room, but you can fire upon the survivors from the duct with less risk of getting hit.

Since a game without quicksaving wouldn’t really be quite the same without two difficult fights in-between save points, you’re treated here to a duel between a few mercs and a Fat Boy in a narrow corridor. Your best bet here, and it’s far from a sure thing, is to try and wipe out the mercs first, either with grenades or rockets, then charge down the corridor to grab their minigun and use that on the Fat Boy. Since the minigun is positioned so close to the wall, you’ll probably want to disengage and take cover before the Fat Boy’s rockets hit you, then dash out and fire again, repeating the process until he goes down. Grab the keycard and the items from the ledge near the minigun, then head back to the locked door in the adjacent room, which the keycard will open.

Now that you’ve finally managed to save your game, you can keep on truckin’ through the now-unlocked door. Take out the Spectres and the mercs here, then turn the corner to get the Tridgens’ attention. You’ll have noticed the vents set into the floor of this hallway; crouching into one of them will get you a fair bit of protection from the Tridgens’ jumping attacks.

Find the security switch to access the elevator
Beyond the Tridgen hallway, you’ll enter a room where the mother of all PowerPoint presentations was apparently taking place before the disturbances began. The Locusts and maintenance workers in here are woefully inept at killing each other, so do your best to give them a hand, then head into the Archives room.

The first room on the left as you enter the hallway isn’t necessary to enter, but it does contain a box of Jackhammer ammo, which will be helpful when you’re assaulted by Spectres farther down. At any rate, as you pass through the gauntlet of foes here, you’ll eventually arrive at a room of armored mercs and Tridgens; kill everyone and flip the red switch on the wall to activate the elevator. The passage nearby leads you back to PowerPoint room, where the door to the main elevator has been unlocked. Head down, and reload your weapons on the way.

Another firefight is occurring down here, but if you mind your own business and stay out of the way, you should be able to keep a separate peace with the hostile parties. If you skulk your way to the left side of the room, you’ll come across a couple of mercenaries hiding behind some overturned cabinets. Here’s a tip: if you’re ever assaulted by mutants with rocket launchers attached to their arms, be sure to reinforce your makeshift fortifications by stacking explosive canisters atop them. This won’t actually make them any more secure, but it will help prevent your zombification due to the fact that your body will be in a hundred little pieces.

The room beyond the fortification is another lab - an evil lab. You can tell by looking at the copy of Evil Scientist magazine on the counter. ("Ten great tips to help hide WMDs from UN inspectors!") Flip the switch here to open the doors to the "big tank room." The hallway branching out from the lab will lead you to a position overlooking said "big tank room," and the firefight that’s currently ongoing between Locusts and a few mercs. Using your AG36’s scoped view and your night vision, you should be able to take down all of the combatants fairly easily. You may want to just shoot the two nearest mercs, then leave the two that are actually inside the room alone, so that the Locusts concentrate their fire on them.

Flood the mutagen room to access the upper floor
When the room is clear, rotate the steam valve at one end to instigate a probably-impossibly-quick flooding of the entire interior, then swim up through the vent at the top. You’ll soon be facing off against a single Fat Boy at fairly close range, so you’ll want to have collected any spare armor that the mercs dropped before you spin the valve here.

Save Valerie
This Fat Boy fight is supremely annoying, mostly due to the way his rockets detonate after they penetrate the surface of the water. There’s no easy way to kill him, unfortunately; if you reach this point without enough health, you may have to go back a save point or two and try the previous portions of the level in a different manner so that you’re not crippled when you reach him. After you dispatch him and the Tridgens in the classroom beyond, you’ll finally reach Valerie’s last known location. And, in a stunning plot twist, she’s actually still here, even if she is sharing the room with two Tridgens. Kill them off to end the level, and be shuttled off to some other inglorious assignment.

Level 14: Boat

Land on the first island
After all the interior mucking about, it’s nice to be working on proper islands again, even if they are packed to the gills with mercenaries. On the other hand, the Tridgen and mutant population of the islands is apparently nonexistent, so there’s that to be thankful for.

Grab the three explosives located on the first island Land your inflatable boat near the rocky outcroppings directly ahead of your starting position. Your first goal is to obtain some explosives from a nearby merc camp, so proceed overland and take out your adversaries. As with most exterior levels, your binoculars are going to be a big part of your progress, so try to continuously scan around and look for soldiers.

If you can snipe the soldiers manning the boats, you won’t have to deal with their onboard weapons as you cross the channel.

Destroy the first tower
After you clear out the first mercenary camp and retrieve the explosives, head back to the north, towards the small hut from which the armored soldiers came. You can load up on armor and health here before proceeding across the water to the northern island. Said trip is going to be difficult; depending on your level of subtlety, the patrol boats on the far pier may have been launched, thus giving you three reasons to give up, but with what’s hopefully a full load of AG36 ammo, you should be able to kill off the crews of each of them without getting annihilated. If one of them stops within swimming range, feel free to take it; otherwise, you may have to either swim across or run back to your inflatable boat to make the journey. Either way, use your sniper rifle (if you still have it) to soften up the opposition on the far side of the water. If you dropped your rifle, then you’ll definitely want to lure one of the patrol boats your way to use its minigun and rocket launcher before heading across.

The tower is easily visible from the southern shore, but you should head to the camp to the east first and look around. Two of the buildings here contain OICW’s, which can replace your AG36 as the assault rifle of choice. Although its zoom isn’t quite as powerful as the AG36, the increased accuracy and control of the OICW makes it a more effective marksman’s weapon, as well as more deadly in a straight-up firefight. Grab both of the rifles, on the weapons rack in the two main structures, as well as the extra HE rounds from the garage, before driving up to the first radar tower. Don’t park your vehicle too close to the structure, now; it’s going to be blowing up soon, and the last thing you want is to wreck your vehicle while serving the greater good.

After taking out the guards here, plant your explosives and check your next objective. Before heading out, walk to the northern edge of the island near the destroyed tower and sweep the next island with your binocs to get as many soldiers as possible on your radar.

Destroy the second tower
Your best bet for reaching the second tower is to grab one of the patrol boats from the pier near the camp to the east of the tower you just destroyed. If you take a boat to the west of the pier and wrap around the first island, you should find yourself near the point where you’ll want to dock your ship - look for the submerged pier. You probably already noticed the small island nearby, bristling with troops; your OICW should be well within headshot range for these guys, so feel free to bust a cap or two. You’ll have soldiers approaching from the island, as well as from higher up the road, though, so keep your eyes open. When you’ve cleared the island, you can check the hut for a few more rounds of sniper ammo and an armor refill. From there, you can either proceed north across the water to find a tunnel leading to a set of stairs, which will take you to the tower, or you can head back to the main road and walk up.

Destroy the third tower
As you may have surmised, the third tower is definitely going to be the most difficult one to access. It’s nestled in the hills above an enemy base, which is itself packed with mercenaries.

Your first job is to just land the boat near the pier on the southern side of the island. You can find a boat by walking down the stairs near the destroyed second tower, so take it across the water and get out. Unfortunately, from here on in, you’re reduced to simple gruntwork, of the attract-enemies-and-wait-for-them-to-approach variety. There are probably around two dozen mercs on this island, all told, a couple of whom have apparently had bionic eyes implanted, as they’ll spot you from, quite literally, a mile away.

As you walk up the road from the pier and pass through the three rocks that block it off, get ready to hit the dirt as soon as your tension music queues up. The three soldiers who are most likely to spot you are in the three sniper towers in the base to your north; one possesses a sniper rifle, one a rocket launcher, and the third a regular AG36. A fourth owl-eyed bastard is manning a minigun near the rocket launcher’s tower. If you still have your sniper rifle, equip it and start dishing out justice, a dish that’s best served cold! Or something like that.

After the primary threats have been dealt with, you’ll probably hear a 4WD coming your way from the rear of the island. Hunker down near the road leading up from the pier and shoot out anyone who gets off the truck, then claim it for your own. If you still have mercenaries that are hunting you down, you might just want to wait somewhere for them to come within view, before issuing headshots for the house.

When you’ve foisted a modicum of order onto the island, you can proceed into the merc base and loot the buildings and towers. When you’re ready to move on, knock out the third tower in the hills above.

Go and destroy the freighter!
Just in case all this running around wasn’t enough, you’re given a new surprise task; now you have to assault and destroy a freighter in a nearby harbor. From the tower, grab the 4WD and gun it towards the western end of the island. When you spot a couple of mercs in the road, gun them down and get out of the truck. You should be able to spot the freighter from this position, or a little bit further west, but you definitely don’t want to let the snipers aboard spot you just yet. If you grabbed the sniper rifle from the mercenary base, or already had one in your possession, you can use it to take down the boat’s defenders from here; just lie prone behind the large rock and strafe left or right until you spot a target. There should be one sniper and two rocket launcher foes, so check the ship with your binocs to make sure the exterior is clear before taking the nearby boat and climbing up the chains on either side of the ship. There will still be a few mercs left on board, so be cautious as you make your way up to the bridge.

After grabbing the explosives, refill your health and armor and grab a full load of rocket ammo. You’ll find the fuel cell at the rear of the ship, so plant the explosives there. The explosives detonate after 25 seconds, which will cripple the ship and slowly sink it; Col. Crow flies in to try and take you out in the meantime.

Since Crow’s on a helicopter, you’re going to be at a marked disadvantage if you actually stay on the ship; his minigun will cut you to pieces as soon as the water rises enough to force you to swim, and even before that occurs, you’ll have a tough time dodging his fire without getting hit. The thing is, although Jack seems to think the front of the ship is the safest spot to survive the explosion, you’re actually better off jumping overboard as soon as you plant your explosives, and swimming towards shore. You may take a bit of damage from the explosion, since you won’t be able to move as quickly, but you should survive, at any rate.

Jack’s incredible ability to hide from trouble pays off in spades when Crow attacks.

When you’re ashore, pick a sizable palm tree and stand next to it as Crow flies in. Crow’s attack heli moves in the same fashion as the previous choppers you’ve seen; it’ll swoop around until it’s close, and then it’ll start strafing around your position, so that Crow can fire on you from the minigunner’s position. If you picked a big enough palm tree, though, you should be able to simply hide behind the trunk whenever Crow fires, thus rendering you able to survive the fight without taking any damage at all, in most cases. All you need to do is sit behind the tree, moving so that Crow is on the opposite side, and occasionally pop out and fire a rocket at the helicopter. You’ll obviously want to do this when the chopper is moving slowly; you only have a maximum of 14 rocket rounds, and the helicopter can take nine or so hits before it flies off and explodes. If you run out of rockets, switch over to your OICW and use its HE rounds to finish the helicopter off.

Although Crow survives the encounter, the destruction of the chopper signals the end of this long level.

Level 15: Catacombs

The flora here offers plenty of obstacles that will prevent the mercs from easily spotting you.

Follow the path to the ancient temple
Retrieve the missing PDA
It’s a rumble in the jungle as this level begins; you’ll be facing a group of mercs taking down a weaponless Fat Boy right off the bat. Don’t bother getting involved in the fracas; instead, make a 180-degree turn and take the trail to the southeast until you reach the large jungle area. From your little vantage point, whip out your binoculars and tag as many soldiers as you can. Because there’s so much foliage here, you’ll have to rely on your radar to let you know where the soldiers are. Luckily, your binocs can penetrate the canopy just fine, so sweep the entire area. If there are any mercs in range, start popping heads; you can expect any nearby soldiers to converge on your position anyway, so you might as well do it when you have a bit of space between you and the trees.

Find some explosives
Although it’s not on your objectives list yet, if you want to save some time, you can pick up a few explosives that you’ll need later on by exploring the jungle to the southeast. You’ll eventually run across a gang of soldiers camped out in a ruined temple; near the buggy in this makeshift bunker is a pack of explosives, so grab them and get moving back towards the radar blip that’s leading you to the PDA.

Now that you have a buggy, you can start sweeping across the map, gunning down any soldiers that get in your way. To the west, you should be able to get an easy read on a concentration of troops near the temple; if you don’t want to get your hands dirty, you can snipe the gas and fuel canisters inside their little mountain retreat to dispatch them from a distance. Sniping is the safest way to go here, as there are three minigun emplacements between the camp and the temple that can make your life somewhat difficult if you get too close.

After you’ve eliminated the soldiers inside the temple, grab the armor and health, blow the doorway, and head inside. The first big room you encounter will host a Spectre ambush when you step inside; they’ll be spread around the room, and can seriously degrade your health if you don’t deal with them quickly, so you may want to try and use rocket ammo on the first couple of targets, and deal with the third with your OICW. Luckily, there’s a suit of armor near the elephant statue if you get damaged. Nearby, you’ll hear a Fat Boy stomping around; after you spot him, bounce grenades off the walls while retreating. The close quarters here make a straight firefight a very bad idea.

There’s a P90 lying next to a scientist after you take down the Fat Boy. If you’re still packing a Sniper Rifle, drop it and switch for the sub-machinegun. Restock and move on; you’ll come to a branch, where one path leads south to a room with Tridgens and one east to a couple of Spectres. It’s the southern path you want to take, at least initially; inside this room is a set of stairs leading to the PDA. Don’t forget to grab the explosives nearby.

Find a way out of the temple
After you grab the PDA, your radar will pick up the location of the temple exit. Follow the signal until you reach another melee between the scientists and a variety of Tridgens. If you’re feeling pluckish, you can try to walk through the fight and plant the explosives while the battle’s ongoing, but the safer path is to eliminate the combatants, mutants first, before destroying the blockage and leaving the level.

Level 16: River

Use the boat to drive to the end of the temple
Although Doyle suggests using a boat to travel along the river, the first segment of this level is going to be your standard hunt-and-kill jungle crawl. Follow the path from the beginning of the level, and you should run across a dozen or so soldiers between yourself and the first inflatable boat. As is SOP, check for signals with your binoculars, and use your OICW’s scope to take down the mercs from long distance.

Even though the inflatable boat may look tempting, it’s best to leave it where it is; there are patrol boats in the waters ahead, and your little canvas craft wouldn’t stand up well to a rocket round. Instead, proceed along the path that leads south from the boat’s pier. You’ll soon come across a couple of pigs nestled among some ruins; check amongst the statues for ammo, health, and armor, then continue along the path.

Soon enough, you’ll start to hear the patrol boat in the river beyond. This first boat would’ve been unavoidable if you had taken the inflatable craft, but, luckily for you and me, we’re too smart to be lured into such an obvious trap. Even so, the patrol boat is a tough kill from land; best to just tag its inhabitants with your binocs so that you have them on your radar, then leave them be.

As you walk along the path, periodically pop your head over the hills above the river to scout the opposite side. There are a couple of places where soldiers are waiting next to parked patrol boats; you’ll want to slaughter these guys. Across from the second parked boat, there’s a merc waaaay up above the trail with a rocket launcher; he’ll first attempt to knock a tree into the river (which is apparently intended to block your passage, had you been in a boat), and then he’ll turn his attention to you. You obviously don’t want this to happen, so pop him with your OICW or sniper rifle. When you’ve cleared out the second boat area, swim across the way and grab it.

After proceeding up the river a bit, you’ll hit a save point. Take advantage of this fact by attempting to floor it around the gang of mercs in front of you; they’ve holed up in a little collection of rocks, and killing them is far too intricate a process to be done without taking a lot of damage. Instead, just zoom around their little island and turn the next corner to face off with a patrol boat. It should attempt to come straight at you when it notices you, so use your minigun to take out its passengers.

The river’s blocked up ahead by a pontoon bridge; you won’t be able to take your boat any further, but you can use it to kill off the bridge’s defenders. After destroying everything that moves, you have the option of either getting out and driving away in the buggy, or entering into Dukes of Hazzard mode and jumping the bridge; this can be done simply by ramming into it. The former is the wiser course, as ramming the bridge will leave your ship damaged, thus rendering it less likely to survive the coming encounter with a helicopter. Take the path leading south from the pier with the inflatable boat; this will put you into a position overlooking an enemy camp. Scope out the bridge and environs, then proceed to slaughter mercilessly.

Your real choice now is to continue on foot, via the path across the bridge, or to grab the patrol boat on the water and head on via that method of transportation. The soldier on the bridge itself should’ve dropped some rocket ammo, so defending yourself against helicopters shouldn’t be an issue if you wish to ambulate, but either method is legit. As usual, walking is safer, if that has any bearing on your decision. If you do decide to walk, take the path leading upwards through the hills, rather than the one that skirts the water.

Around the bend from the bridge is another merc camp, of the literal variety, with tents and everything. With your OICW or sniper rifle, you should be able to take down all of the mercs from a distance, but keep an eye on your stealth meter; there are a few emplaced weapons on the far side of the river, in a few different directions, and if you don’t kill the soldiers manning these, they’ll spot you from a mile away. Proceed slowly, if you’re on foot, and binocularize each segment of the river as it’s revealed to prevent any surprises. You can restock on health and armor in the tents here. Of course, if you’re still in a boat, none of this is applicable; just blast through and switch over to rockets to deal with the imminent helicopter.

One shot from your patrol boat’s launcher will destroy this chopper. You have plenty of ammo, so spam it with rockets until it slows enough for an easy shot.

If you traveled here on foot and managed to wipe out all of the emplaced weapons, you’ll have the luxury of grabbing a patrol boat and strolling slowly along the riverbed, ready to unleash rockets at the helicopter as soon as its spotted. If you don’t manage to hit the heli before it gets behind you, though, you’re going to be in the same boat, pardon the expression, as players who’re attempting to blast down the river at top speed. This is because the rockets on your boat won’t be able to fire at the helicopter when it’s directly above and behind you; you’ll have to either try and make a swift u-turn to actually hit the dang thing, or just get out and use your personal rocket launcher to attempt to take it down.

A compromise may be what you need. Instead of taking a u-turn that’ll lead you back into water, you may want to try grounding your ship when you see the footpaths start up along the right side of the river. If your ship is grounded, it’s unlikely that the helicopter will line up directly behind it, especially if you managed to turn it sideways with respect to the river’s flow before you went up on land. Regardless of your methods, you’re going to need to take the helicopter down before you can safely access the end of the level.

If you happened to wander into the lake at the end of the river while fighting the chopper, you’ll know that attempting to coast in there with a boat is essentially the game’s equivalent of suicide-by-cop, except with a bunch of bloodthirsty mercs. It’s far, far preferable to wander along the paths where you may or may not have grounded your ship, until you reach a point with two barrels that overlooks the entire lakebed. From here, you can use your OICW to kill off all of the mercs, without taking return fire, in most cases. The first target should be the rocket launcher merc who’s been positioned high in the hills to the southeast; after he’s down, the rest of the soldiers should be targetable without a problem.

Eliminate Crow and upload the PDA data
Although you’ve reached the end of the river, your mission’s not quite over. As you pass into the forest beyond the lake, you’ll get a radio message from Doyle letting you know that Colonel Crow is in the area. Don’t worry about his sense of urgency; there’s no time limit on this fight, so take your killing slow and easy.

To begin with, bag the four mercs on your side of the small hill here, then grab your ammo. Crow and around half a dozen other soldiers are on the opposite side of the hill, so crest it, binoc everyone so that they appear on your radar, and back away before you get your head blown off. Your first priority here will be to take out the sniper in the rear of the gang; if you have any rocket ammo, this would be a perfect time to use it. Just don’t bother trying to hit Crow with it, as he’s mobile enough to dodge it as it’s incoming. Instead, use it to take down any outlying mercs before focusing on Crow.

You should find that Crow makes for a reasonably easier boss fight when he’s not surrounded by a ton of helicopter armor. All it takes to eliminate him is a few shots to the head from an OICW, so oblige him and his death wish by putting him down. Rather than face him in a straight-up fight, though, you might want to lie prone underneath the fallen tree along the left side of the valley here and peek out from underneath to see if you can’t spot Crow or his bodyguards from that position. You’ll be a bit less exposed to fire this way.

After Crow’s dead, clear out the rest of the troops and use the satellite truck to the rear of the valley to upload your PDA data. Valerie will hook up with you soon enough, just in time for some gratuitous cheesecake. Say what you will about CIA agents, but between Valerie here and Jennifer Garner, they sure seem to make time for grooming, evil scientists or no.

Level 17: Swamp

Steal a car out of the camp
Get to the mercenary base
Although you ostensibly have Valerie as a partner during this mission, and she does pack an MP5, her participation in battle mostly consists of yelling "Look out!" or "We’ve got company!" You’ll have to do all the heavy lifting when it comes to actually shooting people, but this isn’t an overly large concern: you’ve been doing fine on your own all game long, and you’ll have the benefit of picking up the game’s final weapon a little ways into this level.

To begin with, though, you and Valerie will have to steal the vehicle from the nearby merc camp. You have a fairly clear approach, so engage in your typical scope-and-snipe activities to reduce the opposition’s numbers before moving in to check the buildings. Clear out any stragglers before you grab the items from the structures, then head into the car. You’ll note that you’re getting into the rear, gunner portion of the 4WD; this little drive with Valerie is going to fulfill Far Cry’s rail-shooter quota. Don’t blame CryTek, though: federal regulations require that all first-person shooters have a sequence wherein you become a passenger on a fast-moving vehicle, are unable to control your movement, and are tasked with shooting at other fast-moving vehicles. It’s the law.

None of this would be annoying if it weren’t for the fact that your 4WD only has six rockets. You’re going to be coming up against a helicopter very shortly after you begin the trip, so shoot off one rocket at the first car that attempts to follow you, then do your best to shoot down the helicopter before you get annihilated. After that, you’ll have to fend off a few trucks; if you don’t have any more rockets, concentrate your minigun fire on the gunner in these vehicles. They can chase you all they want, but if they don’t have anyone aboard to shoot at you, they’re not worth worrying about.

Although the rail-shooter sequence is lengthy, in terms of the amount of ground that you cover, there’s really little to describe. Luckily, a save point kicks in as soon as you get into the vehicle, so you’ll have the opportunity to make a few dry runs before trying to get through the whole exercise in one piece. After you make the jump over the mercenaries, and shoot up the gas tanker, you’re pretty much home free.

The machinegun is by far the best weapon in the game for interior wetwork.

Get into the base and find a computer terminal
When you finally stop and get out of the truck, proceed on foot to the north and find the side entrance to this installation. Your life and health levels will dictate just how daring you can be as you breach the building; if you were seriously taxed by the journey in the 4WD, don’t hesitate to chuck in numerous grenades before attempting to move inside, and let Valerie move ahead when she spots an enemy. There’s perhaps a dozen soldiers who will eventually be clustered around this side entrance, so you’ll need some kind of mass infantry removal; frag grenades can do the trick, as can rockets. Regardless, if you manage to open up a path past the bathroom, hang a left and enter the guard room, where you’ll pick up a full suit of armor, thus greatly increasing your chances of survival. When things have settled down in the hallway, sift through the bodies until you find a machinegun; this beast of a weapon will be all but required for the rest of the level, so drop one of your other short-range weapons and grab it.

Now that you have a suit of armor and a proper killing machine nestled in your hands, feel free to grab the health pack in the small storage room near the stairs, before heading up said stairs to find the computer terminal.

Follow Val! Do not lose her
Val will soon take off for the control center, but you won’t get there before running into a few more mercs. Don’t be too eager to take your machinegun for a spin; its accuracy issues make it difficult to use over medium ranges, so stick to your OICW for now.

Get the bomb access codes from the headquarters
Now that you’ve finally managed to ditch Valerie, it’s time to do the real work, that of obtaining the bomb codes from the nearby headquarters building. First off, though, you’ll need to find a keycard that opens the headquarters’ doors; this is located within the mission planning building. There are two entrances to this structure, either of which will reveal a building full of, you guessed it, more mercenaries. This is the perfect time to dust off that machinegun and let it do its thing. Even though the mercs here are armored, body shots with the machine gun are as effective as the M4 was on the mercs at the beginning of the game, which is to say, hold down the fire button for a second or two and everything you hit will be dead.

Scout around inside the building until you find the quartermaster’s office; the side door here leads to another office where the keycard resides on a desk, which then lets us proceed to the headquarters building. As with the mission planning building, the headquarters has two entrances, but here, the side entrance, which is around the corner and up the stairs from the main entrance, is the more preferable of the two. The main doors here lead into one of those awkward, large-room firefights where you have to keep an eye on two different floors at the same time; best just to avoid it altogether. The side entrance, on the other hand, lets you box yourself into a corner and mow down enemies with your machine gun as they approach. Kill everything that moves, bathe in the blood of your enemies, grab the arming device for the nuclear weapon; all in a day’s work.

Go back to the control center
In a rather shocking display of disregard for the plotting conventions of action games, Valerie has not been kidnapped by the evil madman during the interval in which you left her alone. Rather, she’ll actually take the initiative and lead you to the entrance to the armory, where the nuclear device is stored. Of course, it again falls upon your shoulders to clear the way from the gate to the actual building, but such is life.

Enter armory
Get the bomb

If you have a sniper rifle, your first target should be the goon in the tower opposite the bridge; after he falls, climb the closer tower and scout around for enemies. Some of the soldiers on the opposite side will likely attempt to cross the bridge, while others will drop down to the river and walk across the water, so keep your eyes peeled, and don’t hesitate to activate your heat vision to pick up incoming targets. Val will also give you verbal warnings when she spots enemies, so listen for her and her MP5. Some of the mercenaries here are packing machineguns, so don’t let them get too close. The building adjacent to the minigun positions is where any remaining soldiers will be after you’ve eliminated the exterior threats. Clean it first, then check through the other buildings for any items or ammunition before moving on to the armory. There are a few more defenders between yourself and the nuke, but your machinegun should make short work of them.

Level 18: Factory

Get inside and call the elevator
After Valerie stops driving the forklift, lie down on the road and scope out the building ahead. There are half a dozen enemies clustered around the entrance; you should be able to peg one or two by shooting the fuel tank to the left, then pick off the rest with your sniper rifle or OICW as they cross the bridge. Don’t get complacent, though; there are two more heavily-armored soldiers near the elevator itself. Luckily for you, your machine gun makes short work of pretty much anything, armor or no.

Open the next gate to help the forklift past this section
What follows next are a couple of firefights in large, multi-level rooms, but luckily, Val and the nuke will be hanging back, letting you proceed at your own pace against the multitude. The first room here contains eight or so mercs and scientists, the bulk of which will already be either on the ground level or coming down the stairs to the right of the entrance when you make some noise. Set yourself up along the left side of the entrance tunnel and start firing away; if you have to reload, draw back around the corner before doing so.

The next room down is accessible only via the two entrances on the top level of the catwalks. This creates a great choke point to set up an ambush from; just walk into the room, throw a grenade or fire off a few rounds to get everyone’s attention, then draw back and lie prone in front of the doorway. It’ll be somewhat dim, so save your night vision’s charge by only hitting it when you hear footsteps approaching the doorway. When things calm, let your night vision charge up again and make a sweep of the room before unlocking the gate.

Open the gate to the Mutagen Chamber
The last hallway here contains a few more armored security mercs, including one with a riot shield. These guy’s would’ve been a serious problem had you not picked up a machinegun earlier, but now, they’re just another potential corpse, except that they drop 30 armor instead of 10, like their less protective counterparts.

After Valerie parks the nuke, run inside the mutagen chamber and shoot up with the mutagen vaccine, which, like all vaccines, comes in a case with a big biohazard symbol on it. Nothing suspicious about that.

Protect Val while she’s arming the bomb
It’ll take Valerie a minute or two to arm the nuke; during this time, she’ll be vulnerable and won’t be able to fire at attackers, so it’ll be your job to fend them off by your lonesome.

Keeping your machinegun trained on this doorway will let you mow down the mercs as they emerge.

You’ll be facing off against at least four waves of mercs, many of them wielding riot shields. They’ll approach from two locations, one of which is the small door with the red light above it across the way from the mutagen chamber. The other waves will come from down the hall. These locations will alternate as the origin of waves, so if you fend off a charge from one location, reload and turn your attention to the other. The nearby door can be adequately camped with your machine gun, but the hallway is long enough for its inaccuracy to come into play with the soldiers approaching from that direction. You can even the odds by chucking smoke grenades into the hallway and using your heat vision to shoot through the fog.

Get the hell out of here. Val will follow you
Do like the man says and start running! Valerie can unlock the door adjacent to the emergency room from which the soldiers were coming, so head through, clear out any enemies and book it back to the surface.

Level 19: Dam

Go to the Volcano Laboratory
Again, CryTek is blameless in the matter of the inclusion of a level in which the hero of the game is stripped of all of his hard-earned weaponry and set to defend himself with nary but his wits and a sharp stick. This level archetype is legislated into the FPS genre; it’s a matter of jurisprudence.

Give them credit for sticking it to the man, though: Jack actually gets a token M4 to begin the level. It has all of ten rounds in it, though, rendering it decent for killing the Tridgen near your starting point and not much else. (Cool part: if you kill the Tridgen in the middle of the stream, the water’s flow will pick up the body and send it over the nearby waterfall.) With any luck, you may have two or three bullets remaining to you after your fight, but it won’t matter much; three bullets isn’t going to put a dent into the forces of the mutants lying in wait at the bottom of the waterfall. Well, maybe it’ll dent them, but all that’ll accomplish is alerting them to your presence and speeding up your death.

The trick here, if it can indeed be called a trick, is to just run like hell and hope you don’t attract the attention of any Tridgens on the way. There are plenty of Fat Boys in the area, but they’re of the unarmed variety, thus making them not a danger. There are a few armed mutants and Tridgens in the area, though, and if any of these guys spot you, you’re probably dead.

Ok, now Crytek is just showing off. Note the helicopter here; that’s your destination.

Before you go off the waterfall, take a moment and note the position of the downed helicopter near the water’s edge below. This is your first goal; inside of it are two miniguns, a suit of armor, and a clip for your M4. Getting there is the hard part, of course, and you’ll likely need a few tries before you can make the journey and actually survive. Your best bet is to jump off of the waterfall before you attract the attention of any of the mutants below; they can see you from down there, and will swarm around the pool at the bottom of the falls if your stealth meter hits the red.

After you hit the pools, try to swim along the bottom of the river for a bit before standing up and running to the right. Stick close to the right side of the river here; the deeper sections of the forest are where the Tridgens await. If you spot any mutants with guns, though, you should obviously attempt to avoid making contact with them. Try to save your sprinting juice by only running when a real threat is on your tail; the Fat Boys shouldn’t be able to catch up with you after you put a bit of distance between yourself and them. If you can avoid any other mutants, you should be able to get to the helicopter in one piece.

Once there, a short cutscene ensues before you get to unload the miniguns on the mutants. Aim at the mutants on the northeast side of the chopper first; the baddies across the water are the ones with the guns, so take down anyone who’s armed before moving on to the Fat Boys. If you spot a Fat Boy with a rocket launcher, make him your priority, even if he’s firing at the fortifications up the hill; he’ll eventually start firing at you, and the tight quarters make dodging rockets a risky proposition. Don’t neglect the southwestern side of the equation, though; there are still plenty of mutants in the jungle, and any of them that are nearby will be attracted by all the gunfire. If you’re having trouble spotting targets, get out of the minigun and use your M4’s zoom feature. It isn’t fantastic, but should work.

When you’re ready to head up the hill, grab one of the AG36’s from the Locusts on the beach and check to make sure that it’s fully loaded. By the time you reach the top of the hill, the fighting between the Fat Boys and the mercenaries here should’ve ended, which probably means that you’ll have anywhere from one to four Fat Boys to worry about, and perhaps another Locust. You’re still underpowered, and probably don’t have much ammo, so do your best to dodge the Fat Boys’ rockets, dash through the hole in the gate, and take the stairwell to your right, picking up the rocket launcher on the way. The Fat Boys will likely follow you up the stairs, so pick the second minigun here, the one further from the stairwell, and start getting your headshots. Depending on your difficulty level, the FBs’ rockets will likely be off-target at this range, but you’ll be close enough to get headshots consistently.

The armory below contains a veritable cornucopia of weaponry, although it does lack a machinegun and sniper rifle. Grab everything that you desire before heading through the gate nearby and into the buggy. Now that you have a pair of binoculars, use it to scout the path ahead; this will trigger the "apocalypse of gore" to which we referred earlier. It’s difficult to count the combatants due to all of the chaos, but there appears to be at least half a dozen Fat Boys pounding away on perhaps as many as two dozen mercs scattered throughout the hills. It’s a nice scene, but unfortunately doesn’t make for very safe travel.

The first thing to realize about this scenario is that passing through the battlefield will require a little patience. Not in the actual passing part, though; you’re going to have to wait for some of the Fat Boys to die off before you can safely make the journey. You can help speed the process along by sniping with your OICW from long distance; focus on the leftmost Fat Boys and attempt to put bullets in their heads, two or three at a time. You can easily run through a full load of 340 bullets doing this, but in the process, you’ll hopefully be able to take down at least two of the Fat Boys that block the leftmost side of the battlefield, which is where you’ll be headed. Alternately, you can use the buggy’s minigun to blast the Fat Boys from long distance, but this seems to be more likely to actually draw their attention and provoke them into firing at you. Run back to the armory and grab any ammo that you left behind before proceeding.

If you’ve managed to clear a bit of a path for your buggy, you can take it and drive it along the path until you reach the spot where the grass disappears and all the ground is gray. This is where you should ditch your vehicle. Don’t bother attempting to fire at any of the Fat Boys in the area with the mounted minigun; your mobility is the only thing that’ll keep you alive through the next few minutes, and you obviously can’t dodge rockets very well if you’re stuck inside a car. If there are any Fat Boys in the area, circle-strafe around them while pegging them with Jackhammer shells or the P90 until they die. Some may attempt to cross the lava to reach you; get up on the small hill before the tree as they cross, and you should be able to peg away with zero risk of injury, due to the fact that their rockets will be flying off into space if they don’t hit you directly.

When you cross the fallen tree (and make sure you jump over the branch that sticks out; if you attempt to walk around it you’ll wind up in the drink), head east towards the tree on the hill, grabbing any armor or ammo left by fallen mercs on the way. This path leads up to a smallish tower, but you’ll have to make a somewhat dangerous jump over a lava river before you can get there. You’ll need to have a running start, so make sure you have enough stamina to run for a bit and complete the jump.

The soldier here is the one with the rocket launcher; take him down before anyone else.

You’ll arrive at a welcome save point, with a sniper rifle and a medkit nearby. Use the sniper rifle to kill off the rocket launcher merc near the entrance to Krieger’s laboratory, as well as anyone who looks like they may be waiting to man one of the minigun positions. When you’re out of bullets, grab whatever weapon you dropped and take the grey path immediately next to the small little shack where the health was; this will take you near a small valleyish entry towards Krieger’s lab, where you can kill off any mercs who happen to be coming your way. From there, hit the armory and complete the trip to the lab by walking up the steps towards the door, being sure to grab the rocket ammo from the gentleman you sniped earlier. If you’ve been playing through without having a rocket launcher in your loadout, drop something - anything - and pick this one up. Possessing one will be somewhat critical in a moment.

Level 20: Volcano

Find Krieger in his facility
If by some chance you weren’t completely restocked by the garage supplies outside the facility, there’s another room off to the left of the start point here with yet more ammo. Grab everything, making sure that your rocket has a full 14 rounds in it, before heading through the nearby door.

Since the mercs start a distance away from you, you shouldn’t have to worry about splash damage from your own rockets.

The gauntlet here consists of at least nine loaded-out mercs, all of whom possess full body armor, and many of whom are packing riot shields. Now, if you somehow managed to get here without a rocket launcher, well, you should probably quit to the menu and load a saved game from the last level and find one, because you’ll have an incredibly difficult time killing off all of these suckers without one. With a rocket launcher, though, it’s a fairly simple process of hiding behind the second set of pillars from the door, strafing out, firing a rocket at the nearest target, and hiding again, reloading periodically. One of the mercs is packing a rocket launcher of his very own, so follow the smoke trails back to the source and peg him before you take too much damage. For the mercs at the far end of the hall, you’ll have a better shot of actually hitting the ground near them if you fire at the apex of a jump, so strafe, jump, fire, land, hide. You’ll know everyone’s dead when your stealth meter empties out; if it’s at all full, there’s still a bastard hiding somewhere. Grabbing all of the armor here should be enough to get you up to 90 percent of maximum; don’t miss the health kit by the door leading out. Be sure to equip your rocket launcher before moving on, and make sure it has all four barrels full of rockets.

Speaking of bastards.... Krieger’s in the next room, having mutated severely since you saw him last, into some kind of Super Locust. Valerie’s not looking so good, either, but she’s of less concern to you than the four mercs that are packed into this room, along with the big boss man himself. There’s a trick to beating him: be very, very lucky.

Seriously, though: this fight is tough. Not only can any one of the mercs kill you with a couple seconds’ worth of sustained fire, but Krieger himself is packing grenades in addition to his OICW. If you hear a clinking sound on the ground, run like hell! Add in the fact that you die instantly if Valerie takes fatal damage, and you’ve either got a recipe for fun, or a recipe for reloading a billion times. Or both, if you’re really masochistic. If you’ve been looking for a challenge, this is it.

The devs throw you a bone by letting you drop in behind a desk after the cutscene ends. Your ability to kill off the mercs in the room will generally decide your fate within a few seconds. These guys can take a crapload of damage, including an OICW grenade in the body, so your rockets should be used to dispatch them before they can hide. Of course, rockets don’t reload quickly enough to snap off four rounds in a row, so you’ll have to be cagy about firing, ducking behind the desk, then popping back up and firing again. You have the best shot of getting all four of them by proceeding from left to right, but you’ll still need a lot of luck.

To begin with, flip on your night vision to make instant targeting easier. Aim at the wall behind the merc on the left; if you aim directly for him, Val might take splash damage from the blast. This will alert the mercenaries, so act quickly. Duck down for a second until your next round is accessible, then pop back up and aim at the ground to the right of the pillar in the middle of the room; with any luck, the splash will kill off the two mercs in the middle of the room. The merc on the right is probably out of sight by now, and this is where the luck comes in: you’re going to have to aim blindly at the steps on that side of the room in the hope that the splash damage does him in. (To be perfectly clear: we’re not speaking of the stairs leading up to the catwalk, but rather the small set of steps that runs the length of the room.) If you actually managed to kill off all of the mercs with these blasts, you’ll be in a fairly good position to deal with Krieger; if one of them managed to survive, you’ll probably be dead within seconds. The mercs don’t make any noise when they move, instead preferring to creep around silently, making it very difficult to tell where they are before they open fire. And if they’re able to shoot at you, they’ll likely kill you before you can locate them.

If by some twist of fate you actually manage to kill off the mercs without taking severe damage yourself, the fight will be simplified into a Jack vs. Krieger matchup, and this is one fight where there’s no TKO rule. As mentioned, Krieger is now a Locust, and can jump from the floor to the catwalk with ease. Your best bet here is to get him into what Diablo players refer to as "stunlock," which is where your bullets hit him with such rapidity that he’s unable to make any counter action. The best weapon for this purpose is the P90; if you’re lucky enough to still be carrying it, use your OICW HE rounds on Krieger at long range, and when he closes, switch over to your SMG and start blasting away at his head, ducking for cover behind one of the pillars just before you run out of ammo. If you don’t have the P90, the OICW’s bullets should also do the trick.

This is the hardest fight in the game, so don’t be discouraged if it takes you a couple dozen tries before you succeed. Well, you can get a little discouraged if you wish, but not enough to make you quit; Far Cry’s an excellent game, and you deserve to see the ending, insanely difficult boss fight or no.

Of course, said ending won’t be occuring right away. If you didn’t pick up on the connection between your "antidote" and the sudden outbreak of greenskinitis, and somehow managed to overlook Doyle’s sinister tone in his communications from the last level, he’ll appear on the hologram now to make it perfectly clear that you have one more person to kill.

When you regain control of Jack, hit the elevator switch and locate the armory. Schwarzenegger’s character in Commando probably didn’t expend as much ammo as is located inside this room; there’d be enough to load out two players, if there were a co-op mode in this game. There are also a few weapons to be found, so make sure that your loadout includes a machinegun, a sniper rifle, and a rocket launcher, with the fourth weapon being your choice. An OICW works well, but the other three are the critical ones. When you’re locked, stocked, and ready to rock, equip your sniper rifle and head down and out the doors leading outside.

When you cycle the lock for the second door, immediately hit the ground prone next to the keypad and use your sniper rifle to bust a cap into the Locust on the far left side of the caldera. In total, there are four Locusts and four Fat Boys in the cap of the volcano. You can’t really run out from the doorway, due to the Locusts; these guys are sharpshooters with their AG36’s and will whittle your health down before you manage to get anywhere near them. You’ll need to take them out with your sniper rifle from a distance, but your first shot will have alerted the Fat Boys, who will have to be your first priority.

Go for broke with these Fat Boys; each will take around 40 rounds from your machinegun.

Although the sound of the Fat Boy footsteps may be ominous, you should stick right where you are by the keypad as they approach. Shift into a crouching mode and arm yourself with the machine gun. As the Fat Boys arrive, start blasting away at their heads with the MG; if you’re lucky, you’ll get them into stunlock and they won’t whittle your health down too far. Keep track of how many you’ve killed, but keep in mind that your machinegun only has enough ammo to kill two at most before it needs to be reloaded. If they come in a dense enough group, you’ll probably have to restart from your save point.

After the last Fat Boy bites the dust, you’ll be able to turn your attention back to the Locusts. There are likely two on the right side of the caldera, so activate your heat vision and pick them off before they can take you out. The final Locust will be further back in the base of the caldera, and may be difficult to spot, so proceed cautiously lest you get taken down by an unseen enemy.

When you’ve managed to eliminate all eight of your original enemies, two more Fat Boys will pop out from a chamber at the bottom of the caldera, so get busy killin’. Even if you’re low on health, you should be relatively safe taking them on at close range, so long as you don’t let them get the high ground on you. Try to stay close to one of the boulders so that you have something to duck behind if need be, and hold off on using your rockets if possible; you’ll need them soon enough. The elevator activation panel is in the chamber from which they emerged, so hit it and take the lift up to the top of the stabilizer, and to the last save point in the game.

You have one last major fight to get past before you can reach Doyle, against another group of eight or nine fully-armored mercs. Your approach to this fight is going to be dictated by your levels of health and armor. Considering the fact that you just got done taking down six Fat Boys at near-point-blank range, you’re probably not feeling too healthy at the moment, but take heart; it is possible to beat these guys without taking a hit, although you’ll likely have to try a few times to get it right.

The first thing to be aware of is that the mercs don’t actually exist when you reach the top of the stabilizer; they only get spawned into the level when you approach their position. Since you can’t actually see them in either case, this is something of an academic distinction, but you’ll still want to get them to spawn in before you start unleashing your rockets on them. So, walk up the ramp until you hear some radio squawks, then back off back towards the pillar that overlooks the entrance to the ramp. From here, whip out your rocket launcher and start pelting the pillars near the staircase with rockets. Aim over the not-propane tanks (whatever they are, they don’t explode) so that your rockets hit anything on the far side; all of the mercs are in this area, and the splash damage will start thinning their ranks severely. A few of these guys possess rocket launchers of their own, however, so you’ll probably have to sprint out of harm’s way once or twice. If you don’t have enough room to move side to side, charge up the ramp to avoid the splash.

This whole business may require one or two tries before you actually survive. Regardless of your health, though, just keep chucking rockets at the walls around the mercs until you either run out, or your stealth meter bottoms out. Either way, you’ll have to move up and grab the armor that the mercs have left behind. There aren’t any health boxes around, but that won’t matter, because although Doyle is your final enemy, he’s just a regular lab tech, easily taken out with a shot to the head, or, if you’re a real coward, with a few grenades banked into his room from outside the door.

So, you’ve just beaten Far Cry, one of the best (and longest!) first-person games in years. Congrats! If the final cutscene is any indication, you can expect to see a Far Cry 2 at some point in the future.

Multiplayer

Although first-person games have evolved towards increasing degrees of specialization over the past few years, with most games either tilting heavily towards either a single-player or multiplayer focus, Far Cry offers a compelling and well-designed multiplayer component in addition to its incredible single-player adventure. There aren’t an amazing number of gametypes, but those that are included are great fun.

The main caveat here is that you can’t just hop online and start playing. In fact, you can’t play online at all unless you register for service at ubi.com. Registering is free, so hop online and get an account before booting up Far Cry’s multiplayer component. You’ll also need to enter your CD key into the game before you can play; the game won’t accept the key unless it’s typed exactly as it appears on the back of your manual, dashes and all, so get it right. Unfortunately, the un-user-friendliness continues from there; every time you want to play online, even if you’re launching the game from a third-party utility like All-Seeing Eye, you’ll have to click-through for your user name and password before you can hop onto a server.

When you do get online, though, you’ll find yourself playing one of three online game types.

Game Types

Free For All (FFA)

Deathmatch should need no introduction. It’s kill or be killed, as every other player on the server will be looking to have the most frags at the end of a round. You start with just a machete and a pistol, and will have to find more weapons scattered throughout the levels, or on the bodies of your foes. If it moves, kill it.

Team Deathmatch (TDM)

Team deathmatch is a team-based version of deathmatch. Your goal is still to kill your enemies, but in TDM, you’ll be placed on one of two teams, and tasked with killing only the members of the opposite team. You’ll still need to find weapons before heading out into the fray, if you’re not content with the Falcon .357.

Assault

The assault mode is Far Cry’s class-based, objective-based gameplay mode. In it, members of one of the two teams will have to assault and overrun objectives held by the other. The assaulting team will spawn either in its base, or in the last position it captured; the defending team will always spawn in the position that the assault team will be attempting to overtake next.

Before you join a server, you’ll need to choose from one of three classes, and select which weaponry you’d like to start with. (Unlike the other two modes, in Assault you’ll begin with a full loadout of weapons. You can still pick up ammo from dead players, but you can’t pick up their weapons when they die.)

Grunt
Grunts are the basic soldier class, capable of carrying a wide variety of weapons. As such, they’re generally the best assault troops, well-able to lead the charge towards an enemy position. If you want to rack up kills, the Grunt class is your best choice.

Your first two weapon slots will always consist of a machete and pistol initially, at least until you drop them and pick up something better. Your third slot can either hold a Jackhammer or P90; the P90 is by far the better choice. It’s the fourth slot that will give you trouble; you’ll be able to choose among the AG36, the OICW, or the machinegun. There’s little that the AG36 can do that the OICW doesn’t do better, so you’ll need to choose between the machinegun and the OICW based on your own preferences and on the map that you’re playing. If you find that you usually wind up face-to-face with your enemies, the machinegun will make short work of anyone who gets in your way; if you consider it likely that you may have to engage enemies at long range, the scope of the OICW may make it a better choice. If you do find yourself consistently taking down targets with your scoped OICW, you may just want to become a sniper instead.

As an assault team grunt, you’re going to want to be on the front lines, clearing out enemy positions and capturing the flag. On the defense team, you’ll either need to be manning turrets and other defensive positions, or camping the flag to prevent the assault team from controlling it long enough to convert it.

Support
The support class is the engineer of assault mode. Support players are primarily tasked with building structures for their team to use, or destroying the structures of the other team.

The Support class’s ability to construct and repair walls is critical to any defensive effort.

The first weapon slot for support soldiers is always a pistol, but your second slot can be configured for either an M4 assault rifle or for droppable health packs. The health packs aren’t full refills, as they would be in the single-player game; instead, they refill around one-third of a health bar. Since you can fit three at a time into your inventory, you can essentially pack two lives into one, if you can avoid death long enough to drop them and pick them up again. Of course, they can also be given to wounded teammates. The third inventory slot will always be explosives; you can drop these near an enemy structure to detonate it, but some enemy fortifications may take more than one explosive to destroy. Explosives can also be used as a last-gasp offensive weapon, although getting an opponent to wait around for ten seconds can be a trick. Your fourth slot contains a wrench, which can be used next to the small structure boxes that surround each flag to construct one of a few different types of structures, depending on the box’s label. Everything from minigun emplacements to towers and pillboxes can be built, but the bigger the object, the longer it’ll take to construct. Support troops get smoke grenades from ammo boxes.

On the assault team, support soldiers are primarily tasked with joining the grunts in their forward movement and destroying enemy structures, especially gates and walls that block access to a flag. As such, you’ll likely want to take an M4 along with you, instead of the health packs, although either choice is valid. On the defending team, your goal is simple: build every structure you possibly can. You get points for structures built, so keep building until you can’t find any more construction boxes.

Sniper
As you might expect, the sniper class is able to sit well behind the lines, picking off enemy soldiers from extremely long distance. Although this is probably the least flexible class, having only three weapons, and the ability to choose which weapon they wish to possess in only one of those slots, some players may still find it an exciting alternative to the more dangerous, front-line classes.

Every sniper packs a machete and a pistol, but the third weapon slot can be switched between the sniper rifle and the rocket launcher, which may seem incongruous, but can give you a way to adjust to the changing battlefield conditions as the round wears on. If you initially decide to snipe from a tower in your base, but eventually get killed as the enemies assault your position, you can flip over to a rocket launcher and take down any infantry or vehicles as they come through your fortifications. The sniper rifle is almost useless in close-range fighting, and while the rocket launcher is precise at any distance, the time required for your missiles to travel to their target will generally be long enough to ensure that your target is no longer there when it hits. So, you’ll have to gauge whether your team needs massive splatterage or pinpoint precision when selecting your loadout. Sniper loadouts include smoke grenades, but you’ll have to pick up an ammo pack before these are accessible.

For assault, a sniper rifle can be quite useful to take out enemy defenders, if you can find a spot overlooking or with a good sightline to a flag. Many bases, especially the third, will become heavily fortified in short order, which will result in the opposing team having a lot of people manning miniguns and towers, thus supplying you with a good number of targets that won’t be moving much. (As is ever the case, though, if you snipe too often from the same spot, you can expect someone on the other team to spawn with a sniper rifle of their own to take you down.) Defenders can make equal use of either weapon; the sniper rifle can be used to pick off infantry who didn’t manage to catch a ride to your base, or the rocket launcher can transform you into a one-man wrecking crew, easily defending a choke point entry into a base by your lonesome. If you do choose a launcher, keep an ear open for the sound of vehicles; you’ll be far more able to destroy buggies and the like than your teammates.

Maps

FFA/TDM

The Free For All and Team Deathmatch gametypes share maps, so don’t be surprised to switch servers and find yourself on the same map, but in a different gametype. The weapon locations are the same, regardless of what mode you’re playing.

Cliffside
Cliffside often becomes a game of elevation, of finding the high ground and shooting away at the peons on the ground below. There are any number of hills leading to the upper level of this outdoor map, and you’ll want to find one as soon as you spawn, due to the proliferation of excellent weapons up above. The OICW, sniper rifle, rocker launcher, and machine gun are all placed on the upper level here, so you can expect the small rock alleyway that forms the border of the map will be hotly contested.

After you’ve managed to arm yourself, you can either camp a path leading to the upper level, or attempt to pick off players that spawn on the lowest level of the hills. This map can quickly become a game of the haves vs. the have-nots, where the players who have managed to outfit themselves with the best weapons manage to slaughter anyone who spawns below. This is especially true in team deathmatch; if you’re playing Cliffside on TDM mode, try to capture and hold the high ground if possible.

The grounded freighter is nice eye-candy, but doesn’t possess anything interesting on its deck or inside its bridge. There is an OICW on a small ledge which you can reach by jumping from the tip of its deck onto the mountain, and you may thus be able to use the ship as a sniping platform, but you won’t

Monkeybay
Monkeybay contains two main battle areas, one in a high temple surrounded by statues, and one in a more open mercenary camp a short walk away. Most of the action on this map, at least in games with fewer players, will take place here, but enterprising players can rack up the kills by venturing off the beaten path.

Rule one here is to always keep moving. With sniper rifle placements on opposite ends of the map, you should always act as if you’re being scoped out by Tom Berenger, so run like hell until you drop. If, on the other hand, you want to be on the giving end of the long-range riflery, you can decrease your chances of an early death by getting away from the areas where you pick up the guns. Hunkering down next to a sniper rifle’s location is a surefire way of getting killed within seconds, especially on larger servers. Instead, it’s best to try and find some tall bush to hide in, preferably one that’s not immediately next to a well-traveled road or spawn point. If you head down to the docks area, you can swim across the river to a rocket launcher; if you keep on going to the north side of the river here, you should be able to hide above the treeline, where no one will think to look for you. Don’t push your luck firing at nearby targets, though, as they’ll home in on the sound of your rifle within a few shots.

Speaking of the docks, if you’re interested in a truly superb sniper location, you can take a boat to the northern side of the northern island to locate an eminently climbable path leading to the top of the land mass. After walking down a ways, you should find yourself at or near a prominence a hundred feet or so above the beach, with a perfect overview of the temple and beach areas. You’ll have to make every shot count, as there isn’t any sniper ammo in this area, but if you can reach this location (and it’ll take at least a couple minutes of pure transportation), you should be able to camp away without any worries. Your bullets will still leave a faint tracer that’ll lead back to you, but you should be well out of range of anything except for a rocket launcher (and you’ll have ample warning of anyone attempting to approach it, assuming you watch the beach) and another sniper rifle. You won’t last forever in this spot, but you may do fairly well, especially in FFA games, where everyone will likely be too busy killing the person right next to them to worry about someone who’s well out of sight.

Monkeybay (Night)
The night version of Monkeybay has only cosmetic differences when compared to its daytime companion. A poorly-traveled new path leads down to the beach area from the temple, but apart from that, not much has changed. Your ability to snipe from the prominence mentioned above is unhindered due to the tiki torches that are scattered everywhere; in fact, you’ll actually be even harder to spot in the dark.

Radio
Although this level is named after the radio tower near the center of the map, you can expect the fighting to occur pretty much anywhere. This map plays smaller than almost any other map in any gameplay mode, due to the lack of foliage and relative compactness of the island, resulting in small duels all across the map, rather than there being a single location or two where most of the shooting occurs.

There are a couple spots to note, however. The first is the small plant extending upwards from the small lake in the middle of the island; an OICW and plenty of ammo is found here, along with three health boxes, which will be enough to almost completely heal you should you be wounded. Ammo and health are the hallmarks of a classic camping spot, and although the dual entrances to the roof of this facility make for a difficult strategic situation, you can often take people by surprise if you lie prone, and thus are out of sight from ground level.

Secondly, the radio tower itself can attract people who don’t know it as the deathtrap it is. The exterior has both a P90 and an OICW, with corresponding ammo, and the interior has a couple of choke points that make for extremely easy camping. The first of these is the small ledge adjacent to the set of steps that lead up to the first interior room; you can spot people coming up the stairs and wail on them as they attempt to round the next corner. The second location is at the top of the ladder leading to the exterior catwalks that ring the top of the tower. Since people can’t shoot while they’re on a ladder, you’ll have at least a couple of seconds to unload your P90 into the back of anyone attempting to climb up. With the wonkiness of ladders in general, that should be more than enough to kill anyone attempting to reach the sniping spot on top of the tower. Be careful, though: as people catch on to your wily ways, you can expect a vanquished foe to come along and start chucking grenades into your hidey-hole.

Surf
Surf is by far the most open multiplayer map in Far Cry, as it has almost no trees to speak of; almost every spot on the map is fully visible from every other spot, creating a series of long-range engagements on smaller servers, and pure chaos on busier servers. The key here is getting a weapon that’s decent at long range, such as the OICW or AG36, and going to town on players that have just spawned in or haven’t been able to find a weapon with a scope.

As such, deathmatch strategies generally take care of themselves: you’ll have plenty of targets to choose from, so go with whomever is closest to you or whomever seems the weakest. There’s no shortage of decent weapons to choose from, and a mounted minigun position on one of the small islands can help you wrack up the carnage, but you’ll obviously want to be concerned about sniping. The sniper rifle’s spawn location in the tower is where most people will choose to snipe from, obviously enough, so you should check there first when you hear a rifle. If no one appears to be in the tower, than someone may have managed to escape to one of the outlying islands and hide in one of the bushes there.

Camping the rocket launcher is relatively easy, but watch out for grenades.

Camping spots are rare on this map, as there are so few places to hide, but the stairs leading up to the sniper rifle itself are a good spot, especially if you manage to haul a machine gun over to the tower. Another fine spot is behind the crates next to the rocket launcher in the hangar; since you’ll have a rocket launcher and its ammo continually spawning right next to you, you’ll never run out of rounds with which to blast away your hapless foes as they attempt to claim a launcher for themselves. You’ll want to shift your position around inside the hangar every once in a while, though, to avoid being flushed out by a grenade.

There are also a couple of patrol boats on this map, and unlike on Monkeybone, they can actually be used to kill quite a few people when piloted correctly. Since the map is so wide-open, the minigun can easily mow down people walking along the beaches, while your rocket launcher can be periodically fired at the roof of the tower to take out any snipers. Of course, if you do take out a patrol boat and start firing away, you’ll paint a bright red target symbol on yourself, so you may be better off positioning yourself in the deep water behind one of the larger islands and firing away at anyone who comes into view.

Assault

Airstrip
The Airstrip map has plenty of flora among its pathways and roads, so you can expect plenty of surprise attacks from the brush as you make your way towards flags and enemy positions. This is especially true if you’re on the assault team, of course; you shouldn’t expect everyone on the defending team to just wait around in their base for you to come along. Some soldiers, especially grunts, will usually be waiting outside the gates to pick off support soldiers who’re attempting to destroy installations.

For the offensive team, it’s tempting to take your buggy and bust into the Tower facility at the beginning of the game, but since you only have one vehicle, this will usually result in a team of two facing off against the enemy team in its full strength. If you’re playing on a smaller server, and the defending team doesn’t have more than four or five players on it, you may be able to pull off a rush like this, but if the server has more than ten people on it, you’re better off parking your buggy a ways from one of the gates (the one on the western side of the map is usually the last one to be built) and attempt to pick off any soldiers that come down the road, while waiting for your foot soldiers to catch up. When you think your forces are strong enough to mount an attack, charge in and start using your minigun to take down any enemies you see, but don’t expect to live too long, as all it takes is one rocket to kill you. You’ll also need to be careful when capturing the flag; people with machine guns or rocket launchers will sometimes lie prone atop the two buildings here, waiting for the conversion countdown to begin before popping up and killing anything below.

The second flag is located at an airstrip. The amount of space around the flag makes it difficult to defend, and matters aren’t helped any by the inclusion of an unblockable road along the eastern edge of the map. There are two main roads that can be walled off, but the small access road leading up to the eastern hills has no buildable objects on it, so you’ll want to watch that location for infantry. If you’re interested in aggressive defense, there’s a hill to the south of the hangar that leads to a ridge overlooking one of the access roads; a rocket launcher here can wreak havoc on approaching vehicles. The top of the hangar (there are ladders on either side) can also make a nice spot for a rocket launcher or OICW soldier, but it’s kind of trite, and you’ll have to watch your back to ensure that no enemies come up the ladders. If you’re just interested in flag camping, you can lie prone inside the rear of the plane with a machine gun or OICW; this should give you an easy line of sight to anyone attempting to convert it.

The heliport flag is, of course, the toughest one for the assaulting team to capture. There are three main access points, but each one is easily walled off by the defenders, meaning that a few of your soldiers will have to be of the Support class to break through. It’s probably unwise to attempt a coordinated breakthrough at a single gate, even were this possible on an Internet server; you’ll just be clumped up, and an easy target for anyone with a rocket launcher. If you can bring the 4WD up from the airstrip, you should be able to get some easy kills by waiting for one of your support team members to blow a gate before blasting through; you may discombobulate the enemy long enough for your infantrymen to cap the flag. There’s also a rear entrance to the heliport, if you’re willing to go the long way around and approach from the northeast. You’ll have to swim through a small lake, but the stairs nearby are unblocked and often unwatched.

Dam
The first flag here, in the village, is almost unguardable for the defensive team; you have no gates or walls to build, and your enemies will be approaching both from the beach and from the hills, with a gaggle of infantry and two buggies. Holding out for more than five minutes on most servers will be an act of heroism; try to build your minigun and bunker and hold off troops with rocket launchers from the tower. If you’re assaulting, go for broke and use the buildings for cover as you approach. If you just want to take down the enemies with a sniper rifle, check out the building to the top of the hill to the west of the buggies; its porch gives a decent line of sight to the flag base and the building beyond, where rocket launcher soldiers will often camp in the windows.

The only unguardable access point to the second flag is to the northwest of the village; you’ll have to approach from the southeast, then take a right and turn into a long valley that’ll wrap around into the base. It’s circuitous enough to usually be counterproductive, though; you’re better off just waiting for a support soldier to blast the gate, then helping your teammates capture the flag. There are plenty of corners and buildings for defending players to hide away in, so it’ll take a concentrated effort by your team to wrest control of the camp from the enemy.

The final flag atop the dam can be difficult to defend, due to the distance between the approach paths; it can be hard to dash back and forth to rebuild your gates and walls as they’re destroyed. Space does work for you in one way, however: the flag on the dam is quite a distance away from the camp flag, meaning that if you can spot a mass of enemies before they reach the rear of the flag and pick a few of them off, the fallen soldiers will respawn a few hundred yards to the rear and will have to walk all the way back. Infantry coming over the hill from the east can be a problem, so build your tower near the dam’s courtyard and machine gun or snipe them as they approach. You can also camp away with a rocket launcher in one of the two cracks between the walls near the flag itself.

Dune
As an attacker, watch for snipers or machinegunners in the tall grass just before the warehouse flag, which is the first flag you’ll be pursuing. If you can’t manage to grab a buggy at the first spawn, you’ll have to book it across the dunes towards the structure; defenders will often crouch down where your vehicles won’t easily see them and either snipe at you, or use machine guns when you get close. The eternal threat of rocket launchers is also at work here, since defenders will often be sitting around, ready to take out buggies as they approach, but they’ll be more than happy to shoot at any infantry coming their way. If you do happen to grab the buggy, you’ll want to circle around to the rear of the facility and attempt to enter via one of the smaller passages on either side; try to coordinate this so that you enter at about the time your infantry arrive at the front gates. If you’re lucky, the support on the defending team won’t have had enough time to build the gates blocking off the passages; if they did, circle around to the front and support your troops from there. If you’re defending the flag, your obvious priority is to get your walls and gates built as quickly as possible. From there, you can either switch over to an M4 and defend, or hop to the top of the shipping containers to build a minigun or two.

The second flag is perhaps even more porous than the first, and although the defenders have plenty of turrets to build, there aren’t any gates or walls that can block access completely. Luckily for them, the number of buildings and wooden walkways around the flag make it difficult to approach directly with a buggy, so this will generally wind up being an infantry v. infantry challenge. For the attackers, your task is just to mass your troops together and make a concerted push; heading off into the jungle on your own isn’t going to help matters much, so find a group of soldiers and stick together as you approach the flag, giving yourselves enough space to avoid being an easy kill for rocketeers.

The defenders do get a bit of a break with their third flag, the dam, which is compact and relatively easy to defend. There are only two gates and a bunker to build here to shore up your defenses, all of which are within easy reach of each other, letting one or two support troops repair them as they get destroyed. The other means of access for the attackers is from the water to the north; if a soldier manages to come around the wall to the northeast, it’s a relatively easy matter to swim underneath the water in the boat bay and come up inside the rear of the base.

Freighter
As per usual, the first flag here is fairly difficult to defend, as it’s quite close to the initial red spawn and doesn’t possess any fortifications. If you’re defending, all you can really do is guard your support team members while they build the bunker and miniguns, and then attempt to take down the attackers as they flood in from the hills. If you’re playing as support, and another soldier begins to build the bunker before you can get there, head west from the flag and build the minigun on the opposite side of the barracks building; this will overlook the other pass from which the assaulting team will be approaching. If you’re a rocket launcher soldier, you can walk down the southern side of the freighter, jump onto its deck, and walk back up towards the flag to reach a bit of a perch from which you’ll overlook the control point.

The defenders can take advantage of the fact that the passageway from the first flag to the dock facility consists of a single pass. If you can camp out next to the fork in the road, you should be able to kill off incoming soldiers as they attempt to crest the hill. If you manage to reach this area, but are without any backup, hide behind the rock to the west of the fork, flip over to a machine gun, assault rifle, or rocket launcher, and blast anyone who comes nearby. You’ll eventually get overrun, even if a few team members are in position in this area, but you’ll be able to slow down the assault and hopefully buy your support class members time to build the many defenses in this area. In fact, if you’re a support member on a well-populated team, you may just want to retreat to this position at the beginning of the game and start building away, so that you’ll have everything in place by the time the first flag is taken.

The stronghold flag is difficult to access for the offensive players; due to the lack of vehicles on this map, and the distance between the stronghold and the dock compound, you’re going to have to tread a long way on foot, facing stiff opposition from the entrenched defenders. Since there are a few paths leading to the flag, and the sightlines are often obscured by foliage, small strike teams of one or two grunts may be able to penetrate the base, eliminate the rearguard defenders, and capture the flag while the rest of your teammates are keeping the mass of defenders occupied further back. This becomes easier if a member of your team takes a position in the destroyed bunker on the southeastern hill and snipes at anyone who mans a minigun.

Jungle
The jungle level lives up to its name; there are trees aplenty here, rendering most firefights close-range affairs. Machineguns and rocket launchers will likely be the most popular weapons, although snipers will still find their spots.

An attack on the solar array should be started with a quick rush; the attacking team has a buggy and a 4WD drive at their disposal, so you’ll want to make it to the southeastern gate of the facility and bust through before the support for the defensive team can construct a gate. You’ll likely die from rocket fire within a few seconds, but you can feel free to jump out of your vehicle when you reach the gate and hide among the power cells, which should force your opponents to seek you out. All of this will hopefully prevent the defensive support from building their three minigun positions; if these are constructed, you may have to resort to sending a sniper atop the hill near the 4WD carport. A well-positioned sniper here will be able to angle himself so that he’ll be able to take down anyone manning the forward bunker and two of the minigun positions, which will hopefully let your infantry come in through the gap in the fence on the facility’s western side.

The crash site flag is a chore to access, but the offensive team should have at least one buggy and two 4WD vehicles with which to set out. The defenders have no fewer than nine wall segments to build, so set out as soon as possible after you capture the first flag to hopefully find a gap through which to drive. If you don’t manage to get to the crash site within a minute or so, you’ll have to bring along a few support troops to destroy the wall segments and break through, but the flag itself is in a relatively open area, meaning that you’ll probably only need a few troops with which to start the conversion and distract the defenders until the flag is raised.

The helipad is one of the most interesting flags to attack or defend in the entire assault mode. It’s incredibly close to the crash site flag, meaning that the offensive team will have just a short jaunt towards the base, but it has very few access points. Also, the main gate access point is not repairable by the defending team; after it’s destroyed, it will be open to vehicle traffic for the rest of the round.

The basic defensive posture is to build the bunkers near the main gate and use them to hammer away at any incoming vehicles or infantry, with the leftmost bunker also being used to hammer away at the 4WD near the crash site as it spawns. The defenders here will likely be pecked at by snipers in the hills above the crash site; these snipers should chuck their smoke grenades onto the road and into the broken gate to protect their teammates as they approach.

Another constructable gate exists on the west side of the helipad; enterprising offensive players will sometimes make the looong walk around the facility to reach this entrance. A single defender can guard this location by lying prone outside the southwestern corner of the base with a machine gun, leaving enough space between himself and the corner to allow enemies to come around, but remaining close enough to retain accuracy. If you get killed, let your teammates know that someone’s coming towards the gate, so that a support soldier can fall back and repair the gate when it’s destroyed.

The flag itself is nestled between two buildings, one of which has a window which opens onto it. Attackers will generally check the interior of this building for rocketeers before attempting to convert the flag, but you can also hide in the thick bushes across the way. You should be invisible from the flag itself, letting you blast away blindly with rockets when the flag begins to be converted. Don’t expect to remain hidden forever, though; if you rack up too many kills while hiding away here, you can expect respawned attackers to chuck grenades in there before they attempt to cap the flag.

Mangoriver
This is another map with few vehicles; despite the fact that a river setting would seem to be a perfect place to wage boat wars, you’ll have to beat your feet towards your objective or take one of the two buggies. Swimming is also a viable option for travel, considering that it’s much faster in Far Cry than in most other FPS games, and that you have a considerable reserve of oxygen.

Coming up from the water here will let you quickly access the first flag.

Speaking of swimming, the offensive team’s best bet for a quick capture of the flag involves a swim through the river to the small inlet just below the control point. If you can assemble a strike team of four or five players at the waterfall spawn and stick together until you surface in the bay, it’s a quick walk up a flight of stairs towards the flag. The defensive positions are so spread out here that you’ll likely be able to catch the other team while they’re off building irrelevant fortifications. Of course, the stairs and the bay also act as something of a choke point, so you may want to cover your approach with a smoke grenade, if one of you is packing a rocket launcher.

Capturing the regulator is a task that is hereby officially designated "oogie." The defensive players have easy line of sight over all of the possible approaches, and although they only get one minigun with which to defend, they’ll still generally group en masse around the flag and kill anyone who drops by. A frontal assault may work, if you manage to cover your approach with smoke or get lucky with a rocket strike. Circling around the long with with a buggy may also be viable, but again, anyone near the flag will generally see you coming, and since the last stretch of road leading to the flag is straight and narrow, you may run find yourself running right into a rocket. Again, your best bet here may be to swim; if you can work your way through the bay and under the bridge, you’ll come up in the rear of the facility, which will hopefully let you reach the flag without too much trouble. And reaching the flag is the hard part: if you can get up there and start the countdown, it’ll keep going until an enemy player manages to touch the flag himself. Since they’ll often be concentrating on the defense of the bay, you may get lucky and wind up without any defenders in accessible range, making the capture a fiat accompli after it starts.

The final flag is, again, a doozie. No fewer than three miniguns overlook the main approaches and the river below the fort, but they’re of the non-bunker variety, so if your team is having problems making the approach, flip over to a sniper rifle, hunker down near the regulator flag, and pop the gunners from long distance. Keeping these positions clear is vital to the assaulting team, due to the fact that you’re likely going to have to approach on foot. If you wish to swim, try charging up to the fort’s northern wall and climbing up onto the eastern bank of the river; this will generally let you approach undetected, if most of the defenders are within the fort itself.

As one final note, you may occasionally find yourself encountering an enemy while swimming in the river. Don’t forget that the only weapon that you can attack with while swimming or submerged is the machete; whip it out while you’re paddling along and you may be able to get some cheap kills on players who are swimming along with a gun.

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