Far Cry is a graphical treat which packs plenty of action around a thin storyline overflowing with mutants.

User Rating: 8.5 | Far Cry PC
Finally, after buying this game years ago, I actually played it. It is, as reviews almost unanimously agree, a great game. Far Cry is visually appealing with a great tropical outdoors settings unlike most horror/sci-fi survival shooters which take place in dark corridors of factories and warehouses. The overall story is an update of sorts of the Island of Doctor Moreau (by H. G. Wells) in which a mad scientist mutates humans and animals to create the perfect fighting machine.

The main character Jack Carver, unsurprisingly for an FPS, is a former special forces operative and very much in his element fighting off the mercenaries and later mutants. Jack's mission, as it unfolds, is the usual FPS narrative to save the world by killing the scientists and destroying their laboratories and ultimately the multilevel base. Jack is "controlled" by a government agent who directs him to different locales and the odd meet up with Valerie, a female government agent. The story takes a twist when mutated mercenaries (trigens) take on the still human mercenaries, but this does not make life easier for Jack as he must battle both. Unsurprisingly the government controller is not all he seems either.

The mix of wide open tropical outdoors and gloomy base interior environments are well portrayed. Jack can drive vehicles and spends a fair bit of time swimming. There are some great set-piece missions in Far Cry and the game spans some 20 missions/levels although I preferred the earlier outdoors missions than the more horror survival missions later in the game. That said, as the game progresses you often need to infiltrate a major indoor complex, perform your mission, before escaping to the fresh tropic air. Once your character is outside, the game feels far more "open world" than on the rails and scripted and allows multiple ways of moving Jack to take-out or avoid the enemies.

Gameplay is quite satisfying with Jack able to carry only a reasonable allotment of weapons not the wheelbarrow full in other games. Jack has a set of special binoculars that allows him to store spotted enemy locations on the minimap. This is extremely useful as you can play the outdoor missions in a stealthy manner and avoid or limit combat and often Jack is running low on health and health packs are few and far between. Combat can get intense and AI is quite good as well, so the use of stealth, while perhaps not as exciting as run and gun, is at time appropriate. Again, like Area-51, for me there are too many boss fights, especially in the final levels of the game. But this seems to be an unavoidable part of the, especially non-historical, FPS formula.

For me the voice acting in the game was average and there was no development of the story as regards Jack and Valerie. But the emphasis in Far Cry is more on action and less so on deepening the narrative. Otherwise graphics and sound were excellent and you did get that "you are there" feeling. A few glitches were encountered, most memorably when Valerie drives the bomb-carry forklift into the elevator and the elevator descends leaving her and forklift stuck up in mid-air ... this was a worry as I expected a game-crash, but no, Valerie and the forklift dutifully showed up later on the lower levels to complete the mission.

OVERALL: Far Cry is a great FPS, despite the battling mutants theme that develops. Solid FPS gameplay, exciting missions and beautiful settings though somewhat let down by the narrative.