Just a heads up before I begin, this article contains spoilers, if you still didn't play this game but are planning to, I recommend you don't read it.
Far Cry 2 does not stand by his name, its not actually a sequel do the original FarCry, its completely different, this game has a lot of potential...TO BAD THE TEAM DROPPED THE SHIT SAUCE ON IT REAL BAD.
The campaign starts in an airport, you just took the nearest fly from whatever you were from, to a civil war torn apart country somewhere in Africa, you play as a mercenary, the character you play with isn't always the same, you get to select eight different characters, eight I think, anyway, your mission is to eliminate some weirdo called The jackal, a famous arms dealer, he supplied both factions (APR and UFLL), thanks to him these two can finally conquer their dreams...killing each other. A cab driver is about to take you to the nearest town (Pala) and along the way he warns you about the dangerous stuff going on the country, you may also notice some civilians along the way, well look at them as long as you can, because you wont be seeing many along the game, on the way to the town you start to suffer from some strange convulsions, and you pass out, you wake up in the town's hotel and you find some guy messing around with the porn inside your suitcase, he's The Jackal, somehow he found out that you were sent to kill him, and he threatens you with stuff like: "Herp Derp, you can't kill me, im god...and by the way, you have Malaria" he then leaves the room, but he left you a little gift, a machete and a pistol, you pass out again, and when you wake up, the town has turned into hell, you hear screams and gunfire, its up to you to escape the village, but you will eventually "fall asleep" again in the middle of the street, if you are not shot at before that, THEN you wake up again and you find out that someone rescued you, he says you owe him one bla bla bla, and you get the fuck off the place right after that.
So, after this brilliant intro for a game what do you get? a free roaming fps that is as boring as reading the Bible, your main objective is still to find The Jackal, but you don't do so until the end of the game, you go around accepting missions from both factions to blow shit up or kill someone, and earn money for it, basic mercenary stuff right? being a free roaming FPS obviously you have a handful of different missions to accept, at first it sounds like something I would see in Grand Theft Auto, but its a lot more repetitive than that, here's all kinds of missions you can perform and how they work:
You must go a cease fire zone (the only place someone won't shoot at you on sight, thank god), cease fire zones are like the name says, a cease fire area, both APR and UFLL behave like friends here, talk to each other, have some beers together, but the moment they step outside it, they will stab themselves on the back, both faction's HQ are present on the cease fire zone, you choose for each faction you want to do missions for, and you talk to the boss once you get in, he either tells you to kill someone, blow something up, steal something or fuck someone (lol, joking, but it would be nice to give these missions some interesting variation), you accept the job, you get some money, and when you step outside, you get a call from one of your friends you get to meet through out the game, he either tells you to kill someone, blow something up, or steal something before you kill someone, blow something up, or steal something you were supposed as requested at the faction's HQ, once you kill, blow or steal what your friend asked you to, you finally go kill, blow or steal what you should have in the first place, if you don't want to kill, blow or steal for your friend before you kill, blow or steal for the faction's boss, then the mission ends there, but if you do want to kill, blow or steal for your friend before you kill blow or steal for the boss, you have to rescue your friend's ass from an ambush once you complete the mission... interesting, seriously, your friend is either really stupid or he really has some nasty bad luck, he always needs your help, this is how the main missions work, no exception, no variation.
Arms dealer missions:
Through out the game map, there are some weapon shops, where you can buy weapons and equipment, as you go through the game you unlock new weapons, but if you want to unlock them faster, you talk to the shop's owner and he tells you to blow up a convoy of arms from the competition, if you do so, he tells you that we will arrange some new fancy "toys" for you to choose from next time you buy.
Through out the game you get to know friends, how? you have to rescue them from one of the faction's camps, (OF COURSE), and everytime you do so, all your friends will tell they will talk to you at the local bar, but for now, that you need to haul ass out of the camp before reinforcements arrive. When you go to the local bar, you talk to one of your friends, and they ask you to kill, blow or steal something for them (luckly you don't get to save them from an ambush this time, as they just stay on the bar, getting drunk, and laughing at you for how idiot you are for accepting their requests instead of going there themselves, you get to upgrade your safe houses when you complete a buddy mission, safe houses are houses you find through out the map where you can store weapons if you buy weapon crates at the weapons shop, and sleep a little bit, you can turn to day, night easily from here, most safe houses are locked at first, you have to kill the owners to earn the house, the owners are always a bunch of idiots from one of the factions.
I call these "Side missions" because theres really not other name for these...maybe "Asshole missions"? Through out the map theres also some big electricity poles, in where you press a button, and it sync your cellphone to I don't know where (well at least it looks like it, some weird static noises happen once you press that button, you receive a call, you pick up the phone and a demon answers it,...no, its just a voice modifier, but it sure looks like a fucking demon, whenever I accept those missions I always skip the conversation, it scares people away. The unknown caller tells you to kill someone, not blow or steal this time, just kill, I guess the developers decided to make it "a bit" different from the other missions to make it feel more interesting right?, once you kill the guy, money is instantly transfered to your account.
As I mentioned before, you suffer from Malaria, you seem to have caught the decease when you first stepped out of the plane (my next summer vacation choice is totally gonna be Africa). Because of this decease, you often start suffering from some interesting attacks, that blur your vision up along with some cool sound effects, this happens randomly, and sometimes in the middle of a firefight, which is very very interesting, you have to stop for a few seconds and take some pills, that will stop your convulsion, but when you run out of pills you must get some more, to do so you have to look for underground missions icon on your map *yeah I forgot to mention, you also have a map and GPS so you don't get lost in the African Savannah) those icons will lead you to a house, where you talk to some guy and ask for medicine, he always says he ran out, but that he knows someone that has some, he gives you some travel passports and tells you to take them to another underground house, on which somehow is always crowded with enemies, and you must kill them before you enter. When you enter the house some guy there says he's thankful for helping him getting rid of those "animals" and tells you to deliver the passports to a guy next to him, you deliver the passports and you finally get the pills.
And these are all the missions you can do through the game, never more than that, one thing I have to mention is that the game map is HUGE, and that most times, when you accept a missions your object is always on the far end of the fucking map, forcing you to drive your way over there for around 10 minutes....assholes, but thats not the worse, the map is filled with enemy camps, and whenever you step or get near one, people there will shoot you ON SIGHT, everyone wants you dead in this game, everyone is an enemy soldier, you don't get to see civilians practically anywhere just on the underground missions, you get to see a few siting on the ground behind the guy that gives you the pills, even the people driving around the roads want you dead, they will stop, get out of the car just so they can stick a bullet up your ass, add the enemy camps, cheap ambushes you get in sometimes when a jeep or two manages to pull you over the road to your already long trip to the objective, and you will take around half hour to reach your destination, no wonder the game has 50 hours of gameplay AT LEAST, according to what one of the developers said.
OK, now that we talked about the available activities around the game, lets move on to the actual gameplay:
Despite the boring and repetitive missions the firefights are really fun, it feels realistic and keeps you on edge along with a dramatic dynamic soundtrack system, besides the often Malaria attacks you suffer from, you also have to worry about your weapons, when you use them too much they start to jam, if this happens in the middle of a firefight, embrace for gang rape, weapons you pick up from dead enemies are always in awful condition, they are dirty and rusty, have poor accuracy and jam a lot, but weapons bought on shops are always in perfect condition, and they take a long while until they start to get rusty and eventually jamming, if you use weapons TOO much they will eventually crap out right on your face, making it unusable until you pick another one, accuracy and durability upgrades for your weapons can also be bought at weapon shops. The health system in this game is one step ahead in creativity if you ask me (seriously, im not being sarcastic this time)its made of 5 sections, if you are shot you will loose health from the first section, it regenerates completely after a few seconds, you have to be shot at around 3 times depending on the chosen difficulty to drain one of the sections, when this happens you cannot regenerate the section anymore, you have to restore your health through a morfine injection on your arm (this guy's a junky), if you drain the section all the way down to the last, you have to perform some Rambo style surgery before you get killed, meaning that you will testify your character pulling a bullet out of his arm with a knife, if you drain all the bars once, one of your friends will come and rescue you, taking you to safety giving you a gun in case you ran out of bullets, but if you die twice, its all over, you have to load your last save game. All these elements make the game feel very realistic and it plunges you win for some epic firefights, you can also take full advantage of the environment around you, depending on what style of player you are, you can choose between sniping, rage attack your enemies with assault rifles and grenade launchers, or stealth, all this thanks to a wide range of weaponry available at the shops. One thing to mention on this matter is something that eventually the developers forgot to throw in...some fucking autosaves, the game NEVER saves for itself, you have to do it manually, F5 is your friend, it will let you save the game as many times as you want, but NEVER forget to save your game often, I mean NEVER, I had really bad nights with this, if you forget to save your game and die, you are fucked, you will loose everything, never forget to save your game.
Lets get to the real deal now...THE AI, IM WARNING YOU, DO NOT FUCK AROUND WITH THIS GAME'S DEMONIC POSSESSED AI, IT WILL FUCK YOUR SHIT UP AS BAD AS JOHN LOCKE, seriously, the AI in this game looks like something I would see in Soldier of Fortune 3, or Soldier of Fortran 3 as I like to call it, it's glitchy, dumb, and gets on your nerves really quick, if you notice any grammar mistrakes during the revirew, than I apologize, it was a bad night I had with FarCry2 and the keyboard had to pay for it unfortunately. OK,perhaps this game's AI is not as bad as SOF3 but it isn't something nice either, don't let them get a fix on your position, because when they do, they will stalk you, they will see you through foliage and shoot at you with incredible accuracy, its a good tactic to often change position when sniping, so its less likely they will gang up on you, I have also noticed some serious flaws with the AI, I have noticed numerous times, enemies hitting me without their guns even being pointed at me, its worse than the movie Commando where all Arnold Schwarzenegger does is shoot without even aiming, we knows he will just hit someone the moment he pulls the trigger. The AI still, has some very good aspects, they aid, fallen teammates, hide from you when hurt, and even run from you sometimes, they use tactics to zero you in, if you always stand on the same spot killing bad guys, you will probably be ambushed, as they surround you in packs of 3, 4 and sometimes 5.
Now talking about graphics, they are really good, thats pretty much all I have to say, you need a high end PC to run it at it's full quality yes, but its never as heavy as Crysis, the African Savannah feels and looks very realistic, with moving foliage and some nice shadow effects, graphics overall are really awesome.
The plot of the game isn't nothing special, but it isn't much bad either, you start as a mercenary, and you end up as a defensor of the people, you will eventually find The Jackal a few times through the game, but it rarely happens, and you end up by helping him instead of killing him.
As for free roaming stuff, theres practically nothing else you can do besides the missions, theres lost diamonds you may find with your GPS, and Interviews with The Jackal, yeah you find some lost tapes of a guy called Reuben interviewing The Jackal, it's interesting though, you get to know what kind of man The Jackal is, you might also find sometimes, a little extra the developers put in, the golden AK-47, its a pretty gun, and takes much more until it rusts and jams.
Overall, FarCry 2 is a nice game, the firefights are awesome, the game feels realistic, the ambience is awesome, and the AI can sometimes be a little decent, but the missions are boring and non creative, FarCry 2 feels unfinished, its seems to me the developers spent most of their time developing the awesome engine and the level design, and in the end, they didn't have the time to decorate their map very well, and ended up by just throwing some missions in. If you are looking for a fun game with nice looking graphics, epic firefights and freedom, FarCry 2 is for you, but if you are looking for a game with groundbreaking story, characters that make you want to protect them and varied gameplay like in Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, then this game wont do it.