PC Games: Far Cry

The genre of first-person shooters is popular among most gamers, especially the LAN crowd. Created by German developer CryTek and due on shelves by the time you read this, Far Cry is one of the most hotly-anticipated games of this year. You assume the role of a shady character called Jack Carver. When you charter a boat in an attempt to forget your past, a young female journalist requires you to escort her on an investigative report to the archipelago of Micronesia. Before you reach the islands, mercenaries blow up your boat and take the journalist hostage. With paydays few and far between, you must track down the journalist for payment and uncover the mystery behind the island.

The amount of detail and time CryTek has invested in Far Cry is evident from the get-go. The non-linear level design allows players to roam freely about the landscape, tackling the mission objectives from different angles. The expansive levels accommodate the use of different types of vehicles including jeeps, boats and hang gliders. The outdoor environments and weather effects such as fog and rain are exceptional; lush green foliage provides camouflage and concealment when needed, and the water effects are mesmerising. Impressive indoor environments are notable also: dynamic lighting and shadow effects are projected from overhead swaying lights and add a sense of suspense and drama.

CryTek developed a new game engine called CryEngine specifically for Far Cry. The new physics system incorporates motion-captured animation, destructible terrain, rag doll, cloth and soft body effects. Enemy AI is noteworthy: enemies band together via audio commands and hand signals to create diversions and flanking manoeuvres.

A bundled real-time editor called CryEDIT extends the longevity of the game, enabling gamers to create their own maps and mods. This title, with single player story and multiplayer mode, will definitely be a big hit among LAN gamers and FPS fans alike.

Developer: CryTek Publisher: UbiSoft URL: www.farcry.ubi.com

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