Far Cry Hands-On Impressions

Video-card manufacturer Nvidia graciously entertained us at this year's Gen Con Indy convention with Ubi Soft's graphically impressive PC shooter.

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We were able to spend some brief hands-on time with Ubi Soft and Crytek's colorful action game Far Cry at Nvidia's booth at this year's Gen Con Indy convention. Far Cry is a first-person shooter whose powerful graphics engine will render scenery in real time within a to-scale range of one mile. We were able to get some brief hands-on time with a level that took place in one of Far Cry's tropical environments, starting on a boat and then sneaking off to the side to infiltrate an encampment up a hill.

This level, like many of Far Cry's levels, is extremely colorful and takes place during the middle of a very clear day in direct sunlight, which reflects cleanly off the surface of Far Cry's animated water. Likewise, the level, like a few others we've seen, features dense foliage that can be used as cover to hide from enemy soldiers. Unfortunately, we started that level armed with nothing more than a knife and the powerful but extremely loud Desert Eagle handgun, which has an unfortunately low rate of fire. We began on the deck of the ship and had to crawl behind a pile of boxes to get the drop on a patrolling soldier before jumping off the boat to clear out a shoreline guard post manned by a few more enemies. The level was challenging enough to require us to take a few tries getting past it, especially since shooting poorly with such a loud weapon can alert your enemies, who will stand upright and wave their hands frantically while shouting for backup. Unfortunately for us, backup arrived in the form of a small motorboat that housed a few more enemy soldiers, though we were able to at least down one nearby enemy and steal his P-90 submachine gun, which had a much better rate of fire.

Once we headed up the beach, we were able to see Far Cry's team AI in action. We were already taking heavy fire by the time we began heading up the hill, and we were required to take cover behind the scattered trees and boulders, but our enemies had the same idea. Enemy soldiers can and will trap you in Far Cry by laying down covering fire while their teammates rush in for the kill. They're also able to follow your movements, and they won't stupidly fire continuously on the last spot they saw you--they'll come after you and pursue you relentlessly, as we saw. This graphically impressive game is scheduled for release later this year.

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