I played the original FarCry on the XBox and got too bored to complete it. I really like the direction this game has gone in - there are no "feral abilities" of the first game. The new setting is an open-world mercenary Africa, with a gritty realisation of arms-dealing, power struggles and atrocities between several factions in an African country and the mercenaries they employ to help them with their business.
You play as a contract merc for hire, sent to kill "the Jackal" - an arms dealer said to be fuelling the conflict by dealing cheap arms to both sides. Things start badly, with you initially at the Jackal's disposal and infected with maleria.
The game allows you to travel across a vast map, choosing between various missions to get better guns, assassinate people, get pills for your malaria, or work with one of the factions. Rough diamonds are the game's currency - paid for completing some missions and also to be found scattered in briefcases around the maps. Diamonds buy bigger guns and health upgrades, so are essential for superior firepower.
The game is a free-raoming variety, where you can save the game at various safe houses, bars, bus stops, and gun shops littered around the map. There are also roadblocks, checkpoints and mobile patrols all the time in the game world, so the threat of attack is ever present in there. You'll need wheels too, as it can take a long time to walk from one side of the world to the other.
The interaction in the game world is quite graphic, with neat and fluid movements as you get in and out of cars, inject yourself with a "health syrette" or pull bit of wire and bullets out.
The enemy AI was often great in the single player campaign, but some of the enemy AI was wierdly bad. The game is also very long if you take all the "buddy" side quests on and it can get quite repetetive. I think I spent about 30 hours completing it on Normal difficulty.
I also don't get the 2 single player areas - they seemed really similar, although both were fairly huge. My main gripes with the game are: 1. The enemy armoured trucks stupidly always drive straight up to your truck's bumpers - usually resulting in dead enemies, but can sometimes cause unfair player death too. I got stuck in scenery twice and the game crashed twice too. The enemies took an awful lot of shooting to go down with most weapons (aside from the dart gun, which resulted mostly in instant death). It did seem somewhat unrealistic to fire 5 or 6 bursts from an assult rifle into a stubborn insurgent to see them stay standing.
The diamond-hunting detours were a chore - some required ridiculous platform jumping (also resulting in unfair death more than once) but essential to buy those "game changing" guns and weapons loadouts earlier in the game. Camo suits and darts guns make stealth possible, while mortar and grenade guns really do announce your arrival at those enemy roadblocks! The mortars and IEDs (improvised explosive devices that can be used as remote detonated land-mines) were a really cool aspect to this game - I got great satisfaction in lining up a mortar trajectory on some unsuspecting foe. These explosive weapons also get used against you as the game progresses though.
I loved the scenery and the opressive unrelenting storyline. I found the controls responsive and the graphics (with beautiful dawns and sunsets, and fully adjustible time) were very detailed, with jungle, dessert and forts and various beatifully realised villages. I loved tha Afraicaan accents, the double crossing and somewhat open-ended mission structure was quite engrossing, although getting malaria attacks in the middle of a firefight got quite annoying at times.
I can't understand why Bradley hasn't reviewed it for Giant Bomb yet... I'd give it a good 4 stars (in contrast to me thinking BOARTHH would have just scraped 3 stars).