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Ubisoft Montreal



October 1, 2008




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Far Cry 2


far cry 2         far cry 2


As I observed the Far Cry 2 demonstration, I couldn't help but hear Shane Bettenhausen's voice, "Fire is the new water."  It's absolutely true.  A few years ago, many developers made a big deal about water - "Look at our awesome water physics!" - but now it's all about the combustion of flammable materials.


One of the features of Far Cry 2 is the flammability of the environment.  During the demo, a fire was started, which quickly spread up trees, across buildings (blowing up explosive barrels along the way) and across the savannah grass in the direction the wind was pushing it.  It was cool to see this in action and my mind leapt to the



strategic possibilities of starting a fire.  Flushing out enemies into a trap is a strong possibility.  Damage to the foliage will persist for a time but the plant life will actually grow back (at an accelerated rate, one can assume).


Far Cry 2 ditches the tropical setting of the original in favor of the grittier, but still wide-open, African savannah.  That said, it still feels a lot like Far Cry, even if the look has gone brown.  Setting the game in Africa takes


out the emphasis on sneaking around on beaches, but there is still water to navigate (rivers and small pools), both in and out of vehicles.


On the subject of vehicles, they'll obviously play an important role as the play area is massive and running from place to place will take a long time.  It should also be noted that as long as a vehicle hasn't been completely destroyed it can be repaired, which is a welcome addition even if it takes you "out of the game".  (Fixing a radiator is not the miraculous cure-all for a shot-up jeep.)


far cry 2          far cry 2


Following the trend of many other first-person shooters, Far Cry 2 will restrict players with the load-outs that can be carried.  There are several preset weapon configuration that can be selected right from the start, which will essentially help players match-up their play style. (e.g. Run and gun or stealthy.)


At the start of the game, you're able to choose one of six characters, each of which have a special ability.  The five other characters will appear throughout the game with additional missions and swing into action with their special abilities.  The example I was given during the demo, is that if you're under massive enemy assault and need a hand to clear out the area, one of the characters can be called to help you out.  The catch is, if that character dies they're gone for the rest of the game.  This certainly necessitates some strategy to ensure your contacts don't get wiped out.  I should have asked about it at the time, but with six different characters it seems possible that we'll get different endings.  At any rate, having different characters might actually encourage gamers to replay the game once they've finished.


far cry 2          far cry 2


Far Cry 2 is scheduled to ship in November of this year so it's good to see the game running so smoothly.  It's clear that developers are getting a better handle on pushing this generation of hardware because Far Cry 2 shows great, the physics are believable, and the wide-open environments are filled with all sorts of possibilities.


- Omni

(August 8, 2008)


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