I’ll go out on a limb here and say that FC: I brims with gorgeous jaw-mangling graphics that bring the jungle and island to life, the texturing, lighting and effects are superbly done and create a very tangible atmosphere that transitions from densely packed exterior environments to interior/claustrophobic scientific research corridors.
The forest/jungle areas at day are places of life where the sky soars overhead and the engine delivers, without slowdown, some of the most panoramic and detailed vistas seen in a game since the PC version.
At night later on in the game under the effects of a storm, the forest/jungle takes on a sinister light and again the effects/textures/lighting are perfectly created to soak you in the atmosphere that’s part Resident Evil
and part the Island of Doctor Moreau
To go along with this sumptuous graphical bonanza and adrenaline powered gun-action-fest the developers tuned, tweaked and shuffled the original Far Cry
AI somewhat to provide a different challenge for the console gamer. The AI in the game had already been acclaimed as some of the best AI to date and still lives up to that claim quite nicely; the enemy will call in reinforcements, work as a team, take cover, throw grenades and generally hunt you down.
They’re smart but they can be outwitted by relocating your player, throwing rocks, ambushing them or causing some other kind of distraction. If they’re feeling particularly vulnerable they’ll panic and flee from your vicinity to get into cover or find a place to hide.
There are different kinds of AI as well, each built to handle a different enemy type. From the soldiers to the…creatures, but I won’t say anything else upon that. I’ll let you find out for yourself. Simply put the FC: I AI is still one of the best AI systems in any game, prone to a few bloopers but when the bullets are flying you don’t really have time to care.Models and Animations
Ok. I do have a few gripes with games that should have ladders worked out by now, the animation for ladder climbing is…well…Ok and that’s about it, you have a single side-arm but it again feels like you’re floating ghost-like against the ladder and its about time in this day and age developers got this part right.
The rest of the animations are truly great though, the enemy animations are wide and varied, and they’ll use a few hand-signals and reload as well as lying prone and crawling through the undergrowth. Weapon animations are good, giving you a feel for the weapon you’re using.
There are some nice death animations and when you combine this with the physics system, it makes for some gorgeously over the top combat. There’s something quite satisfying about punching an enemy fifty feet into the air and watching them slam into a tree, sliding down it to the ground.Physics
Ragdoll impact effects, barrels that explode and roll, these are the staples of the engine and they are nothing we haven’t seen before. But they work nicely and do the job they’re designed to do. Especially when punching a foe with feral strength.Sound
FC: I comes to life with the sounds of the jungle, both at night and during the day, coupled with the chatter from the mercs as they go about their routines or try to hunt you down it’s a very visceral auditory experience. The weapon sounds are good quality and there are some nice subtle and not-so subtle spot effects, the ricochet of bullets and the whump of grenades rattle the speakers.
Vehicle sounds, both enemy and your own grind in the background as you’re churning through the dirt roads and dodging gunfire as it bounces off your ride’s armour.
Jack’s breath and various growls, snarls and other sounds as he enters Feral Abilities are an excellent counterpoint, making it feel like you are a true hunter/animal and everyone else is your prey.
The enemy screams are a little odd in places, but they don’t detract from the game at all.Music
The game has some nice music, but that’s only to be expected when you have the likes of: Paul Haslinger (Minority Report and Tomb Raider) to do the score. His soundtrack evokes the mystery and struggle of the Jacutan Islands and mixes in nicely with the rest of the action/exploration.