Joystiq's Top 10 of 2008: Far Cry 2



Would you believe that Far Cry 2 is a lot like the original Star Wars trilogy? It's true! Before he took to bludgeoning audiences with obnoxious special effects, director George Lucas delivered a coherent, lived-in world that seemed more cobbled together than intentionally designed. The spaceships were old and busted, the bars were filthy and sometimes, the hyperdrives just didn't work.

Far Cry 2's approximated Africa feels like just such a place -- dangerous, dirty and devoid of designer fingerprints. There's no level design here, no dynamic vegetation and no sophisticated radiosity. There's only a blistering sun creeping through the trees, their leaves shivering in fear of the approaching downpour.

And then you shoot stuff!

Though Far Cry 2's enormous map entertains movement in any direction, you're strictly set on a path of violence. But the world's organic nature can't be escaped, with even minor firefights threatening to set off spectacular chain reactions. Whether those play in your favor largely depends on your ability to deal with unreliable weapons, misfiring rockets and ravenous fires. It's a thing of beauty when your perfect plan degenerates to, "Right, I'm going to burn everything to the ground."

Be careful, though -- it's easy to get burned yourself. As your missions for Africa's duplicitous dictators become more lucrative and increasingly despicable, you may be surprised to find how easily your morals crumble under the weight of progress. Joseph Conrad would approve ... but he'd probably complain about the rapidly respawning guard checkpoints a little bit.
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Next: Burlap it up.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.