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FarCry Instincts Predator XBox 360 Review - -

Gameplay 9.2
Graphics 9.5
Sound 9.4
Value 9.5
Distributor: UbiSoft
Review Date:
April 2006
Edwin Millheim


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FarCry Instincts Predator

FarCry is set in the not so distant future that features exciting new elements and 3D worlds set in both vast detailed outdoor and indoor areas. FarCry showcases the latest AI and physics technologies to recreate the most believable character movements, as well as real-time 3D atmospheric sound rendering, weapon bullets and footsteps as if you were there, in the game.

Jack Carver makes his explosive debut on the XBox 360 with FarCry Instincts Predator that transforms gamers into the reluctant hero who has been stranded on a remote tropical island with a plague of deadly mercenaries intent on kill him. The story starts with a beautiful and mysterious woman who hires Jack to take her a strange island that was once used by the military.

Thing go awry for Jack when his employer disappears and a huge gunship is gunning for him. Fortunately for our unwilling hero, his skills as a retired Navy Commando come in handy as he makes his way through a myriad of deadly weapons and traps in order to solve the mystery and find out what the hell is going on.

This title is split into two section, Instincts and Evolutions. When the gamer finishes the first installment of FarCry Instincts, players can then begin their second campaign entitled Evolution that teams up Jack with sexy yet deadly Kade as she hires his services once again to assist her with an illicit arms deal.

Unlike the first campaign, the second campaign is not driven by linear activities as gamers can now move from one area of the game to another, without any repercussions, giving them the full power on how they will complete the objectives. Evolution also features improved artificial intelligence with the enemy now performing a plethora of new maneuvers to make things a little more difficulty for our average home grown hero.

Evolution grabs you from the start with its incredibly stunning graphics, and the presentation of the story is just out right fun. As a player you really get involved with everything that's going on from the very start. The game play is a lot of fun also. For those players that are used to running around and blasting away at everything that moves, you may get a bit of a shock here and also end up with getting the character dead several times before you figure out that there is a certain amount of stealth and ambush playing that has to be done if your going to make it in this adventure.

Unlike some first person shooters that feel a little short at times, FarCry Evolution delivers a very health sized single player experience. Just something about being in some jungle and being at one time prey and then the next your are the hunter. It's just these twists and turns that make this game hard to walk away from. If all of the single and multiplayer goodness wrapped up with incredibly lush graphics and pulse pounding sound was not enough, they even have a level editor included just to keep the game rolling along far past the main games experience.

For those unfamiliar with the FarCry experience, the title features a very in-depth tutorial that actually comes in handy, since it shows the player not just how to get around and take on the bad guys but it also teaches the player how to survive. One of the really cool things in FarCry Instincts is the ability for the player to set booby traps. These are really fun to use against a bunch of enemy if you manage to set several of these branch traps and then lure them into the kill zone.  Just don't make the mistake I did and walk into your own trap, because it will spring and it will hit you.

One of the other things that players will really enjoy in the game is dual wielding weapons ala john woo. Gun battles can be hectic and very violent. This is great because I really would not like to just sneak around in a game only. There is a fair balance of both in the game and both the gun battles and the sneaking around are very satisfying. The mercenaries are pretty much the run of the mill cannon fodder enemies one would expect. At the start the player may find themselves sneaking around a lot until their arsenal is built up and oh boy pity the fool mercenaries that go up against you then.

Just when your all at ease with your place in this violent paradise, and you feel you can take on any mercenaries that come your way. WHAM! That's when the real freaky stuff starts coming after you. The creatures encountered will make you darn near fall out of your chair. It won't be long before you're cringing as you round every corner, or slowing down just so you don't make too much noise and attract anything your way.

As the game progresses, Jack soon develops some rather interesting abilities. Primal in nature there are times when the mercenaries are in fear. These are great times as your stalk your prey.  Claw attacks are now very much a good weapon. The special abilities come in handy and give Jack a real edge since he can see scent trails of the enemy. (Almost like in the Wolverine game) The abilities come with a limit of course since it's all fueled by adrenaline, this can all be restored by finding powerups or by hunting an enemy. There are various vehicles in the game, these include humvees, jet skis, hovercraft, and hang gliders, and my favorite all terrain vehicles. While the vehicles are a bit hard to control, I still love running around on them. Evolution also contains not only new vehicles but also some great new weaponry to truly make this the definitive FarCry experience.

The most annoying thing about FarCry is the horrible checkpoint system and if you have ever played a game where there are large areas and you cannot save until getting to the next level or position and the enemies just happen to be very very hard in the area. You will know frustration when you have to keep starting the same level over and over again. While this is not a game breaker by any sense of the word. It sure the heck will tick you off, especially on those more difficult levels.

Graphically, the XBox 360 version has been visually improved from the original installment on the PC and XBox. However, the latest installment called Evolution features high definition graphics, improved character design and some of the most realistic water effects that have ever graced a computer game. I must admit that the control system of Instincts did feel a little rough when compared to Evolution but as the title suggests, Evolution has also made an "evolution" since the original game.

In conclusion, FarCry Instincts Predator is a brilliant game that is a must have on the XBox 360 that features extraordinary graphics and I must plead to all 360 owners, please purchase a high resolution television in order to truly appreciate the amazing graphics of this title. Great gameplay, perfect graphics and a kick ass soundtrack, this game is awesome... the only downside which loses a point from the total score is the annoying checkpoint system.


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