Far Cry Instincts: Predator Review
|Genre:||First Person Shooter|
|Release Date:||March 31, 2006 (UK)|
|Reviewer:||Russell Linn (ralinn)|
|Buy now at Amazon.co.uk|
Before we start, let me explain the difference between Far Cry Instincts and Far Cry Instincts: Predator.
Far Cry Instincts was released for the original Xbox last year. For an Xbox title the graphics were very impressive but could not really touch the PC version for visuals obviously. However, the story in the Xbox version was completely changed and in some ways, improved quite a bit. There was much more depth and quite a few cool looking cut-scenes were inserted. It was clearly a very good effort and I enjoyed it far more then I expected to.
So, Far Cry Instincts: Predator is basically the original Far Cry Instincts with added content and extras; these include a new campaign mode called "Predator" and improved visuals in the original story, allegedly.
Now that's all as clear as mud, we'll get back to the matter at hand. Once again, you take the role of Jack Carver, stranded on an island full of mercenaries and pirates. As ever, your job is to survive. One welcome change form the original Xbox version is the removal of the horrible FMV (video) that you had to sit through every time you booted the game up. You'll also notice that you will be unable to play the Predator story without having to complete the Instincts story first. This can be a bit of a bummer if you've already played through the original story on the Xbox.
When you're finally in-game, first impressions are that it's not really that much of an improvement over the Xbox version graphically; in fact, the only really noticeable difference is the water. Some of the jungle and beaches look nice of course but when you reach the indoor areas you'll really notice how bad some of the textures really are. The detail on the enemies and friends (in cut-scenes) have hardly been touched either. I've also noticed that the frame rate can drop far too low, even in some areas where nothing looks to be happening. Sometimes this can have a dramatic effect on gameplay as things occasionally get far too slow in the middle of intense battles. This is quite frustrating when you're trying to aim out those most important headshots.
Once you've completed the original story you'll be able to play through the new "Predator" story. Some of you may take more of a liking to this as it much closer to the PC version of Far Cry. You'll have a huge area to explore and missions you can do in any order. They tend to make more use of the abilities Jack has too. There's much more freedom in the Predator story and it feels a little less linear. Unfortunately this is spoilt by the fact that the frame rate can drop even lower than it did in the original story.
Another thing that stands out is the AI. You'll find yourself laughing at some of the things your enemy do. They'll throw a grenade at their own feet at times or lob one at a wall only for it to bounce back and hit them square in the nose, slapstick humour with explosives, great stuff but surely not intentional.
I occasionally came across enemies just standing there ignoring me too, I was able to walk right up to them and scratch their eyes out. This only happened two or three times though. However, it's perfectly playable, they may be dumb but it doesn't really spoil the fun, lot's of explosions and insane fire fights. You'll find yourself forgiving the AI as the only thing that will be frustrating you is the games' frame rate.
It's not all bad though, there are some new weapons to play around with like Pipe Bombs and Molotov cocktails. Some of the weapons have been updated with some higher detailed models too. You'll also stumble across some new vehicles as well as some new faces in the new story.
The music is one of the games' strong points too. It's well suited to the action and always kicks in at the right time. If you've played the PC version, you'll probably remember how amazingly bad the voice acting was. This isn't the case in Far Cry instincts: Predator though. The voice of Jack Carver is done by none other then Stephen Dorff, who you'll remember from films such as Blade (Decon Frost). He suits the part very well and you'll be smiling from time to time from some of the things he says in the original story. The cuts-scenes are also very well done, they're all in a first person view which is very stylish and great fun to watch.
The games' multiplayer is also quite good fun. You'll also be able to create your own maps with the new improved and surprisingly powerful editor that is also included. Being able to frag your friends in your very own custom made maps is quite a treat and add to the overall lifespan of the game.
The first Xbox 360 title in the Far Cry franchise is a great game that's severely held back by its slightly dated graphics in places and occasional frame rate hiccups. If you were thinking of buying it for the new improved water and graphics then please stay well clear. However, if you've not played the original Xbox version then Far Cry instincts: Predator is definitely worth a look. It's a solid and fun game with enough action to satisfy any first person shooter fan.
- Lots of new content
- Best water I've ever seen in a game
- One of the best Xbox First Person Shooters from last year
- Voice talent of Stephen Dorff
- Great soundtrack
- Great action
Not so good stuff
- Quite an ugly game in areas. The Xbox 360 is capable of so much more
- A lot of low frame rate issues
- Very dumb AI in places
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