Far Cry is a first-person shooter computer game developed by Crytek Studios and published by Ubisoft on March 23, 2004. The game received attention for comparatively striking graphics and environments, but less so for gameplay and other aspects. The game's story follows an ex-Special Forces man named Jack Carver, who is stranded on a mysterious Pacific archipelago. He is searching for a female journalist he was escorting after she went missing when their sailboat was destroyed by mercenaries.
Crytek developed a new game engine called "CryENGINE" for Far Cry. Reportedly, the game was born out of a technology demo made by Crytek to showcase the capabilities of the nVidia GeForce 3. The game featured relatively long view or "draw" distances, similar to Operation Flashpoint, but had a better rendering system for vegetation. Also, most of the level territory was accessible to the player without loading pauses. The game engine featured seamless transitions between indoor and outdoor areas (that utilised slightly different lighting and rendering models).
Graphically, the game made extensive use of pixel shaders. For example, water shaders were frequently used throughout the levels and had a significant effect on visual quality. Character detail was also improved thanks to Cryteks Polybump normal mapping technology. These effects were used extensively in both indoor and outdoor levels.
Human enemies in the game had advanced artificial intelligence (AI), which favourably compared with other 2004 shooters (though its capabilities made minor glitches more apparent). The enemies were capable of navigating the large levels, using vehicles to travel, when necessary. They were frequently visible patrolling, chatting with each other (CryTek wrote a lot of funny dialog for mercenaries that provided a backstory, showing how player's actions affected the archipelago population, although some people complained about the quality of the voice acting), idling, fishing, fixing equipment, etc. They could call for reinforcements and execute coordinated attacks, outflanking and surrounding the player.
The tropical jungle provided a lot of cover and the game allowed the player to use it to hide from the enemies. These enemies didn't know the position of the player unless they saw or heard him, but notably, they could remember his last known position and go there to investigate. The enemy's actions were generally not scripted, although scripts were to time sequences, spawning enemies to populate a base when the player entered the area, for instance. After the start of a sequence, every enemy would be driven by its AI.
The game was notable for its open ended structure, providing a multitude of ways to complete a given objective. It incorporated a good mix of arcade-like and realistic gameplay, forcing to the player to effectively use cover while still allowing an upfront approach. For instance, there were no forced stealth segments and setting off an alarm would not result in mission failure.
However, many found Far Cry to be poorly balanced. The difficulty increased sharply in the later levels, causing much frustration when combined with the game's "checkpoint" saving system, which eliminated manual saving. An update patch released for Far Cry later added a quick-save feature found in most single player FPS games.
Jack Carver has left his mysterious and bitter past behind him and dropped out of society to run a boat-charter business in the South Pacific. He is hired by Valerie Constantine to take her secretly to an uncharted island in Micronesia. After Val is safely delivered to the island, Jack's boat is suddenly attacked by mercenaries. Jack manages to escape but is stranded thousands of miles away from home. With his only friend lost somewhere in the depths of the jungle, he must now find his way back to civilization.
With the help of a man named Doyle, Jack travels across the various islands, battling mercenaries in search for Val. Through encounters with the Trigens (genetically altered beasts) and information from Doyle, Jack soon discovers that the island is part of an experiment involving genetic modification.
As the game progresses it becomes clear that the Trigens are becoming too large a problem for the mercenaries to handle, and that the experiments are not limited to just primate mutations, but moved on to mutating mercenaries. When Jack finally catches up with Val, she is being taken to another area by a helicopter. Jack attempts to stop the helicopter and Val manages to escape. After swimming to shore, Val reveals that she is an undercover CIA agent and is investigating Krieger's operations. Val then suggests that the two of them split up in order to better investigate the islands.
After further exploration, Jack must again search for and rescue Val. This is made increasingly difficult as more Trigens have escaped, and have begun a revolt against the mercenaries on the island. As a result Krieger has called in elite mercenaries, and Jack must battle them to reach Val. After that they split up again, and reunite when Jack has killed the mercenary commander, Crowe. Information Crowe had with him indicates Krieger has a tactical nuclear weapon on the island.
After the Department of Defense has supposedly analyzed the situation, Jack and Val steal the tactical nuclear weapon Krieger had intended to use as a last resort in covering his tracks, should his projects be investigated. Jack seems uncomfortable about setting off a nuclear weapon, but Val assures him "its only a tactical nuke, just enough to take out the factory and the base. By the time it goes off we'll be upwind and out of range." Before entering the factory Doyle warns that the mutagen might infect them when the blast goes off, and advises them to take some antidote before arming the nuke. Inside the factory, he directs them to inject themselves with serum from a red box with a biohazard symbol on it. They do so and arm the nuke, which detonates directly behind Jack and Val as they exit the factory, leaving them unconscious.
While Jack and Val are unconscious, Krieger has visited the site, and abducted them. Jack wakes up on a helicopter with Krieger and Val, and is kicked off by an elite mercenary as Krieger says "survival of the fittest, good luck!" On the ground, he finds a rifle has been tossed out as well, with 10 bullets. The player, as Jack, now has to fight through the trigen infested area to rescue Val - for the third time - and escape the islands with his life. Upon reaching a mercenary weapons cache, Jack notices his arm is turning green. Doyle responds "The antidote should have been able to handle it, but the explosion could have saturated the air with mutagen. That's what happened to Dr. Krieger. He developed a serum to keep it from spreading, and he's still on the treatment." Jack is thus directed to find Krieger.
However, once Jack reaches and defeats Krieger the plot twists. Jack asks a dying Krieger where the antidote is, and Krieger responds "Who infected you? The mutagen can only be administered through sub-dermal injection. I wish I could take credit, but I had no time to prepare the serum. You should turn out to be a beautiful specimen. Give it another hour... much less for her [Val]." Doyle comes up on the nearby volumetric display and says "The old man was always one for melodrama. Too bad he had no head for business," and reveals the 'antidote' they took earlier was the very mutagen they were trying to protect themselves from. He also remarks that "Working for the government taught me that where there's a weapon, there's money to be made." Jack threatens Doyle, who refuses to give them the real antidote, and then leaves Val at a dock with a Falcon .357 (high-power handgun) to find Doyle.
After battling through a horde of Trigens angry at him for killing their "father" (Krieger - this is why Doyle needed Jack to kill Krieger), Jack catches up with Doyle and corners him. Doyle's last words were, "You don't understand. They sent me. They're all watching. They're always watching. You can't change this. You can't change the future," to which Jack replies, "Probably not, but I can make sure you're not a part of it!" and shoots Doyle, killing him. "Stupid bastard," Jack remarks.
Jack then escapes just before the volcano in which Krieger's main offices were located erupts, and both he and Val are cured of the mutagen. The offices were completely destroyed by the explosion and he and Val sail off on the boat. The ending cutscene shows Val looking at a thick folder of papers and two CDs tied together labeled "Project Far Cry" (in French, it is labeled "Project Mutant").
The game engine had a built-in real-time editor that made creating large outdoor levels easier, circumventing the need to load the game to test a custom level, or to see the in-game effects of any changes. This enabled CryTek designers to add much detail to levels, creating many different paths while reducing the time spent on level design. This allowed the player to chose more approaches to solving goals, providing a more open and non-linear experience.
Crytek offices raided
A month before its release, a former CryTek employee told the German criminal police (Kripo) that the studio was using unlicensed copies of Maya and 3D Studio Max for developing Far Cry. CryTek denied that anyone had been arrested, but admitted that the police had raided their offices. If CryTek did perform such actions, UbiSoft were not legally responsible for CryTek's actions. A senior staffer at Ubisoft's Paris, headquarters was quoted as saying, "What we've read in published reports is that Crytek had not paid for the sufficient number of licenses."
- Wrench - fixes things
- Jungle Falcon - a fictional Desert Eagle clone
- Jackhammer Shotgun - semi-auto/auto shotgun
- M4 Carbine
- XM-29 OICW can fire grenades as well as bullets
- AW50 Sniper Rifle
- M249 machine gun
- Rocket Launcher
- Vulcan Minigun
- Flashbang non-lethal
- Smoke Grenade
- Official Far Cry Site
- Official Far Cry Community Site
- Far Cry Modding Community
- Tweakguides.com "Far Cry Tweak Guide"
- GameSpy Review of Far Cry
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