Far Cry is like a benchmark game, that resembles your typical action movie
The story here is one of those typical scripts for a good B movie: a mercenary hired by some selfish organization goes on a mission to eliminate lots of bad guys located on some random islands; and those islands are filled with monstrous self-conscious mutant humanoids, who are out of control. Tossed in between the 2 fighting fractions, you have to cover lots of ground in order to achieve your ultimate goal - Far Cry is a BIG game in terms of length, size of maps, gameplay options and reception.
From the first level to the very last one the game never gets linear or monotonic; repetitive elements will occur, but never the same - rather similar. You are given the freedom of movement all over the map and can adapt your style for almost every mission - you can just bypass foes and try to find the shortest way to solution, or you can bull-rush head-on and wipe everything; how about an alternative solution to kill your enemies with a car or a gunboat - works too. You can approach the enemies base from whatever landscape point you like, snipe them out from a great distance, or, in some places, let the enemies kill each other, because, as said, there is third fraction of mutant humanoids, called trigens, and they take their own business. In some levels you will have to fight in claustrophobic spaces, searching your way through corridors of rusty carriers, laboratories or ancient tombs, being aware of traps and ways to retreat while other levels will deliver a wild and crazy, car/boat rides, at times even unstoppable, busting everything in your way. But the majority of action is concentrated around huge islands, where you can safely advance and hide, planing your strategy.
Far Cry is one the most dynamic games ever and it will deliver some of the most intense and ever-changing action sequences you can get. Although the game does have some unbalanced elements, like wacky car rides and unbalanced trigen health, lack of good meele combat, those elements do not spoil the overall experience.
To enrich the game, some nice game tools and gameplay features have been added to sharpen-up the experience, from obvious ones like binoculars and nigh vision glares to advanced ones, like threat detector and sound enhancer - threat detector is a radar like tool for enemy position and threat level detection and sound enhancer is used with binoculars, when zooming, to hear what the enemy is saying. Story wise like the sound enhancer adds dept, but non of the enemy ramblings is key important, so you can finish any mission without hearing anything.
You move and interact with the world nicely and have lots of great weapons at your disposal - non of them is out of place and you can always refresh the ammo from fallen foes. From rocket launchers to knifes, you also can grab a stone and throw at your enemy! This is really appreciated, although there will be very few places where you will be doing this.
Not always you will work alone, the story line "drops" you a partner at some points of the game, which is good at handling foes, but sometimes gets buggy and does not follow you.
Compared to Crysis, when both games are patched, Far Cry has way less bugs! However Far Cry could have been better by having more meele combat options and a health system like in Crysis.
And how can not you mention that one of the key elements that make this game such a great success is the outstanding graphics - some elements are done better than other, but the strongest graphical feature is the detail level and design. Shadows might be better in Doom 3, but everything else is Far Cry big time.
Not to take anything away from the sound effects, but it is the soundtrack that plays it's epic part in making Far Cry that good. The ambient music, at times so simple, never gets tiresome and dull, and is there, when it is needed or is not heard at all when it fits so..
I have played Crysis before i played Far Cry and you can imagine how was i surprised to find so many similarities in these games. Both of them carry the same great essential qualities - great, non linear map design, dynamic, non repetitive gamepaly, responsible controls, awesome graphics and a superb soundtrack. Non of the games is perfect, but as close to perfection as possible.