Saturday, May 19, 2012

Far Cry Instincts

The best XBOX FPS? It just might be!
Review By FalconP
I have never played a FPS that was nearly as enjoyable as this. And I have played a lot of First Person Shooters. This one is by far one of the best first person shooters to come out in the past few years.

STORY: You play as Jack Carver a man who rents out his boat to take people around some of the islands in a tropical island chain. One day Jack takes a reporter named Val out to the Jacutan island, and she rents out his jet-ski and goes to look at the other side of the island. Jack (being the professional business man he is) decides to just sleep, and wait for his customer's return. He is awakened by the sound of helicopters, that proceed to open fire on his small boat. He jumps off just as it explodes. Jack soon finds himself on the tropical island that is swarming with all sorts of paramilitary, and mercenaries.

GRAPHICS: The graphics in Instincts, are some of the best to have been seen on the Xbox (it rates up there with Ninja Gaiden). This game does an amazing job of immersing you in the experience. I kid you not, the plant life and environment just look absolutely fantastic. You can actually count the blades of grass in the game. You'll also get glare from the setting sun (which is a really great rendition of a setting sun), and your vision will even blur when you jump into the water. The character models in this game are great, and are pretty lifelike. It's also the small things this game does that are just so impressive, you can actually see the little dents, and scratches on your guns, while not a big thing it is awfully impressive to see in a game.

STORY: This is by far one of the loudest games to ever have come out, which is a good thing. By having the game be loud it really does immerse you in the experience of being hunted down by bloodthirsty mercenaries. You'll just be sneaking along (which I'll get to in a moment) and all of a sudden you'll hear a couple of guards having a conversation, which you can either listen to, or kill them. Chances are you'll go with the latter, and so you'll pop out from behind the bushes and just mow down the two guards. With that seemingly random example of gameplay it brings me to the weapon sounds, the guns in Instincts sound almost exactly like the real-world version of the gun your firing. 

The voice acting in the game is also good, the guards don't sound half bad, and actually seem like real people (instead of the seemingly forced chatter found in other FPSs). They even got Stephen Dorff (Frost from Blade) to do the voice of Jack. It must be said that this is one of the loudest games ever to have come out. You'll just get into a firefight with a multiple amount of guards, and pretty much all background noise will just disappear as you take down the guards with your dual sub machine guns. After the firefight the area will just get very quiet, but later on in the game it won't happen all that often. All this is just with the two little speakers built in to your TV, I can only imagine what the game sounds like with 5.1 surround sound, probably would make you temporarily hard of hearing.

GAMEPLAY: In a lot of first person shooters the game makes you try to be stealthy, where if you set off an alarm, you'll fail the mission. Far Cry Instincts has no such design, if you want to rush a mercenary encampment with guns blazing, it lets you do just that. But this is not such a smart move, because the mercenaries in Instincts are some of the smartest AI controlled characters I've ever seen. They will try to use grenades to flush you out of a hiding place, or use snipers to kill you if you charge across an open field, they aren't that smart however when you crawl underneath a hut and pick the guards off. Still, it must be said that rushing an enemy encampment and living after the bloody, loud battle is one of the greatest things to do. The game also has vehicles in it, which is just a ton of fun. 

It really is just great fun to hop into a jeep, and try to shoot enemy soldiers with your handgun, whilst trying to keep your jeep on the road (and wheels). The game also makes brilliant use of the vibration in your controller, if a helicopter starts to fly overhead, the controller vibrates accordingly (the vibration gets stronger as the helicopter nears you), and you actually feel the force of an explosion going off near you. A missile will smack the ground just five or so feet ahead of you and the controller will vibrate to replicate the feel of the blast. The game tries to promote a stealth aspect of the game, but doesn't force you to adhere to it. However it is fun to set up traps around a group of soldiers, and systematically pick them off using the aforementioned traps.

OVERALL: Everything from the presentation, to the sound design, to the stellar gameplay makes Far Cry Instincts one of this years greatest first person shooters. Just be forewarned that if you live in a place with paper-thin walls prepare to have your neighbors constantly yelling at you to turn it down. This is definitely a solid choice for a game of the year award, and it should win an award of some variety. Overall I give the game a 10/10.



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