Far Cry was almost the best First Person Shooter I’ve ever played. Almost.
The early levels of this game were absolutely amazing, a welcome departure from so many of the usual FPS cliches. Stunningly beautiful and lush tropical environments instead of dark corridors and futuristic machinery. Fighting actual human opponents (that behave reasonably human-like) rather than the typical menagerie of demons, mutants, and aliens. Non-linear level design, allowing me to tackle the challenge at hand in any number of ways instead of being led by the hand down a scripted path. This game felt real.
Then it all changed. Tropical environments were replaced with dark corridors. Mutants took over for the humans. The path ahead of me suddenly has few choices. It’s become every cliche it seemed to try so hard to break early on, and it’s not even doing it that well. Dreary, bland, and predictable.
I could have looked past the banality of these levels if they had even been well done, but they offered nothing new or better than what I’ve already played in countless other games from the genre. The game was started as such a breath of fresh air that it made this intake of moldy, stale air all the more disappointing. They’re capable of better, but seem to have given up about halfway in.
Combined with the lack of quick-save, which has been lamented so many times by so many others I won’t beleaguer the issue, this leads to a very disappointing game. At least it came with my video card, so I didn’t have to pay for it (which I never would have, having sworn never to buy another game that lacks the ability to save anytime, anywhere.) Not being out fifty bucks for this turkey makes me feel a little better.
Ah well, Doom 3 is next week anyway. So I can shelve this and move on, making it only the third game I gave up on without even bothering to finish. The other two were Myth III: The Wolf Age and Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness, putting Far Cry in some pretty stinky company.