Far Cry 2 Makes Console Announcement

By: Sharudin Rahmat

Ubisoft commissioned an assortment of console ports after the original Far Cry's success on PC. The company is already ahead of the ball and has announced PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the sequel, Far Cry 2. You can expect a pretty similar gameplay experience since it's announced so close to the PC version, but there are no details about the prospect of console-specific features.

The news may upset a few people, make others happy and not really surprise anyone. Ubisoft's Montreal Development Studio is currently working on the next-gen first-person shooter, which is due to arrive in the second half of this year. The title promises to plunge gamers into an "entirely new" experience, complete with a custom-built game engine, created from the ground up, just for Far Cry 2.

The original version of the game was released in 2004 by German developer Crytek. It revolved around Jack Carver, marooned on a lush tropical isle and beset by a group of well trained, heavily-armed mercenaries - the storyline didn't change much when it went to the console. Many of the differences stemmed from the new abilities gained by Carver after he is captured and cruelly experimented on by the enemy.

The game, originally named X-Isle: Dinosaur Island, was in development for several years. In 2002, the game changed its name to Far Cry (we're not sure what happened to the dinosaurs). It eventually emerged as a modern shooter with no dinosaurs and much more impressive technology. Even then, the game pushed 3D hardware to the limit and provided an excellent benchmark for 3D graphic cards.

Far Cry Vengeance was one of the first games to hit the Nintendo Wii when the system launched in 2006. The Wii version uses Nintendo's Wii-mote and nunchuk controllers to further improve the way the game is played, allowing a higher degree of control sensitivity than previously possible on home consoles.

The other two Far Cry titles that hit consoles were Predator (Xbox 360) and Evolution (Xbox). Evolution was a follow-up to Instincts, while Predator included all the new content plus a bunch of cool upgrades and new features and a redesigned version of the Instincts game. The Xbox 360's unified memory architecture and multiple CPU cores allow developers to dynamically create dramatic effects, which were never before possible, such as realistic water effects.

Jack Carver, the protagonist, remains the same in all of the games, though his story was expanded for Predator. The game let Carver become stronger, faster and more powerful through feral abilities, which enable him to track down enemies. Bertrand Helias, Ubisoft producer on Predator, says, "we revamped the artificial intelligence with better reaction times, [faster] movements, improved accuracy, more use of covers, flanking options, etc."

The newest Far Cry offering is set in Africa. The game features jungles, savannahs and desert areas, and a continuous streaming game world without any loading pauses. The developers announced that the game has a full 24-hour day and night cycle, and you will be able to choose whether to tackle certain missions during the day or at nighttime. The game is impressive, and will be released later this year.

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