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|Release date(s)||Microsoft Windows|
|Distribution||Optical disc, download|
Far Cry is a first-person shooter video game developed by Crytek and published by Ubisoft on March 23, 2004, for Microsoft Windows. Far Cry sold 730,000 units within four months of release. It received positive reviews upon release. The original game has since spawned a series of sequels and spin-off games.
The game's story follows a former US Army Special Forces operative Jack Carver, who is stranded on a mysterious archipelago. He is searching for a female journalist he was escorting after she went missing when their boat was destroyed by mercenaries. The game includes thematic elements relating to the dangers of weaponizing genetic engineering and the genocide of local islanders as can be seen by the deformed creatures created by a mad scientist named Krieger.
The terrain in Far Cry varies greatly. Set on a South Pacific archipelago, the landscape includes beaches, dense rain forests, towering canyons, mines, swamps, and even volcanic forests. Many of the interiors range from simple beach huts and army camps to elaborate complexes, an underground temple, and ultra-modern research labs. Several of these mazes use the remains of Japanese WWII-era fortifications and bunkers.
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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 a woman named Val Cortez to take her secretly to an uncharted island in Micronesia. After Val takes off on her own with a jet-ski, Jack's boat is blown apart by a rocket. With the help of a man named Doyle, Jack travels across the various islands, battling mysterious mercenaries in search for Val. Through encounters with Trigens (genetically altered beasts) and information from Doyle, Jack soon discovers that the island is part of an experiment involving genetic modification, funded by the genetic company Krieger Corp. and led by its CEO, Dr Krieger.
As the game progresses, it becomes clear that the Trigens, who are running loose, 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, stopped by Jack. After swimming to shore, Val reveals that she is an undercover CIA agent and is investigating Krieger’s operations.
After further exploration, Jack must again search for and rescue Val while the human Trigens have escaped and have begun a revolt against the mercenaries on the island. After rescuing Val, they split up again and reunite when Jack has killed the mercenary commander, Crowe. Information Crowe had with him indicates Krieger has a tactical nuke on the island, that he intended to use as a last resort in covering his tracks, should his projects be investigated.
After the Department of Defense has supposedly analyzed the situation, Jack and Val steal the nuclear weapon, despite Jack's protestations. Before entering the factory, Doyle warns that the mutagen might infect them when the blast goes off, and advises them to take a mutagen-resistant serum before arming the nuke. Inside the factory, 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 captures them before leaving to his main base in helicopter. Jack, kicked off the helicopter, has to fight through the Trigen-infested area to rescue Val and escape the islands with his life. Upon reaching a mercenary weapons cache, Jack notices his arm is turning green. Doyle responds that the mutagen concentration on the air might be too strong for the antidote, but Krieger is working on a cure in a laboratory nearby. Jack is thus directed to find Krieger, who injected himself with the mutagen but is ultimately defeated.
In his last breath, Krieger reveals that there is no cure for the mutagen. Doyle reveals the ‘antidote’ they took earlier was the very mutagen they were trying to protect themselves from and reveals that he plans to sell the mutagen formula on the black market before fleeing. After battling through a horde of Trigens, Jack catches up with Doyle and kills him. Jack then escapes just before the volcano, in which Krieger's main offices were located, erupts and both he and Val are cured from the mutagen and manage to sail off on a boat.
The tropical rain forest provides cover and concealment, of which the player and enemies can take advantage. Enemies react dynamically to the player's tactics and actions. If a lone mercenary spots a player, he occasionally runs for help, signaling reinforcements through use of flareguns. Enemies will work together to outmaneuver, outflank, surround, and provide suppressive fire, providing them a tactical advantage over the player, who, in turn, is able to spot and mark enemies on his minimap through use of special binoculars, which also grant the player the ability to listen to enemy conversations from afar, merely by pointing the binoculars in the direction of the enemies.
The environment includes land, water, indoor and outdoor structures, all during various times of the day. The player has the ability to jump, run, crouch and lie down, and look in just about every direction.
Sound plays an important part in the overall gameplay. For example, the general location of enemies can often be identified by hearing their footsteps.
Throughout the game, the player encounters a variety of weapons from which to choose, including automatic weapons and grenades.
The open maps allow the player to complete their objectives in several different manners. When outdoors, the player is usually presented with a fairly simple possible route to his objective, but this doesn't necessarily have to be used. The jungle of the maps tends to sprawl out in all directions, allowing players to achieve different angles for assaults, or even completely circumvent enemies (given enough time to manoeuvre). However, during the indoor sections of the game, level design tends to lose this attribute in favour of a more traditional linear gameplay.
Multiplayer features three different modes: Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and 'Assault' - An attack/defend mode where one team must guard three bases and the other must capture them.
Crytek developed a new game engine called CryEngine for Far Cry. Reportedly, the game was born out of a technology demo called X-Isle: Dinosaur Island made by Crytek to showcase the capabilities of the Nvidia GeForce 3. The game features relatively long view or draw distance, similar to Operation Flashpoint, but has a more advanced rendering system for vegetation. All of the level territory is accessible to the player without loading pauses. The game engine features seamless transitions between indoor and outdoor areas.
The release of the 1.3 patch saw the introduction of high dynamic range rendering in the CryEngine.
Other versions and console ports
On April 8, 2004, Ubisoft announced Far Cry Instincts for the Xbox, GameCube and PlayStation 2 systems. Far Cry Instincts is not a direct port of the original, being designed specifically for consoles. The game uses a similar premise as the original PC version and same game engine, but by comparison, Instincts is less open-ended and more linear, due to the console's reduced processing power which prevents the full rendering of the PC version's vast islands and landscape. However, Instincts added new multiplayer modes, weapons, dual wielding and feral abilities, which is also added to the storyline. The PlayStation 2 and GameCube ports were later canceled. Far Cry Instincts was exclusive to the Xbox and was released to acclaim in North America on September 27, 2005.
On March 28, 2006, Ubisoft released a sequel, Far Cry Instincts: Evolution for the Xbox, which was met with less enthusiasm than the first versions of Far Cry. On the same day, for the Xbox 360, Far Cry Instincts: Predator was released, which essentially contains both Instincts and Evolution and can run in 720p or 1080i high-definition. Evolution includes a new single-player campaign, although it is considerably shorter than the campaign found in the original Far Cry Instincts. The storyline focuses on Jack Carver's work for a woman named Kade, which results in him being hunted by local governments due to a frame-up during a botched arms deal. Jack again meets up with Doyle, who is practicing damage control, and eventually must battle a native warrior named Semeru who possesses the same "feral abilities" as Jack.
A game based on the franchise was released as part of Ubisoft's launch lineup for the Wii (Far Cry Vengeance). In the Wii version, the Wii Remote is used for many of the tasks assigned to buttons in previous iterations of the game, including driving vehicles, shooting, and running.
On 2 October 2008, a movie based on the video game was released in Germany and later on 17 December 2008 in American theaters.
On June 6, 2011, Far Cry 3 was announced by Ubisoft at E3 2011 in Los Angeles, California. A demo of the game was also shown. A trailer was released on February 15, 2012, announcing a release date of September 7, 2012. The game was released on December 4, 2012.
One June 10, 2013, Ubisoft announced Far Cry Classic would come to XBLA as part of Microsoft's 2013 Summer Arcade releases. The game was delayed to February 12, 2014. Far Cry Classic is an HD remake for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The game is available as a standalone and part of a compilation called Far Cry: The Wild Expedition.
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