Far Cry Instincts: Predator
|a game by||Ubisoft|
|Platforms:||XBox 360, XBox|
|Editor Rating:||9/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||7.3/10 - 15 votes|
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|See also:||Action Adventure Games, Far Cry Series, First Person Shooter|
First Person Shooters, when designed for the console, work. When they're ported from another system, they usually don't. This occupied my mind as I looked forward to trying Far Cry, a great PC title, on the Xbox 360. Unfortunately, like many a port, this version is plagued by gameplay problems. It features an iffy aiming system, horrible vehicle controls, and a reticule so twitchy that you'll need to give up your hard won Halo skills just to save enough room to learn this system. Still, it's pretty, and I suppose that counts for something.
The first thing you may notice is that the basic interface seems a bit sluggish. Whether it's responding to a pause, or paging through the different menu options, the interface can be slow. I suppose that isn't so important, since it has no impact on the framerate, but it didn't feel good. Once you get into the game the problems don't stop. You'll get a reticule that's so large you could shove a plot hole through it, and have room for an extra elephant to boot. With an imprecise tool, you'll end up relying heavily on the game's auto-aim feature. It works well, sometimes, and also seems to restrict you to a very specific range with each gun. If that opponent is just a footstep outside your range, nope, you're not going to hit him. Additionally, I could never adjust the sensitivity to a point where it felt smooth and easy to pan around. Your view accelerates at an unusual rate as you pan and tilt, making it hard to control. All in all, it felt like the designers didn't spent enough time tweaking the game for the 360, a mistake I cannot underscore enough.
At times, I thought the difficulty in the single player portion of the game was way too high. Sometimes you can sneak around just fine. Most times, the enemy has a sixth sense and the perfect aim needed to kick your butt, even after you get evolution powers. Needless to say, I went online for some multiplayer, and found the problem. The game is fun in multiplayer, being set just about right for it. That just doesn't carry over properly into the single player game.
Visually, Far Cry is a pretty nice title. It shows off most of the beauty of the Far Cry engine, and really points out the pseudo-PC construction of the 360. The jungle is lush and verdant, and while it isn't perfectly polished, the game has that next-gen look. Add in some great voice acting and a half decent story and you've got an entertaining presentation, if not a great deal else.
So, to sum up, there's a hell of a lot of work here that doesn't add up to a tremendously great game. I think games like this really serve as an example of how important it is to pay attention to the gameplay. Games need a good control feel, it's as simple as that. If the controls don't fit the system you're using, it doesn't matter how cool the game is, it just isn't going to work.