For the sake of nostalgia, I decided to reinstall FarCry again, even though I have reviewed some bastardized (but fun) sequel and its sort of successor. This is a game that I have no doubt played hundreds of hours for, alongside SimCity 2000, StarCraft, and later, Oblivion. The game is from 2004, the great FPS year. As such, it predates PC DVD-only releases, so the game comes on 5 CDs instead. Holy crap! The game is giving me grief before I've started it.
You play as Jack Carver, some former army guy that had a boat. You figure out that you just dropped off some chick that works for the CIA, and learn that something bad is going down on these tropical islands. Some bad guy with a German accent is playing around with DNA in ways that are, well... bad. (Why do bad guys have to sound German? or English?) The single player missions are littered with usual action pacing and sub-par voice acting.
As mentioned, this game was released in 2004, and has conventional game elements of the time. That in of itself is a relief. Some might call the regression innovative. I'm talking about the lack of chest high walls, four weapon slots, and non-regenerating health. Don't worry: there's usually plenty of cover when you need it, except when you're running on an open beach and a patrol boat comes along to throw a few rockets at you. Also, this game will make you run from helicopters. It is possible to shoot down a helicopter (not just the gunner) without a rocket launcher.
This game pushed graphics at the time, much like Crysis did. It was one of the first games that really took advantage of DirectX 9. It doesn't look that bad (then again, if it doesn't look like used toilet paper origami, I'm probably OK with it). If this were a modern indie game, people would say that it looks good. My GTX 680 shreds through it with everything dialed up, but it doesn't really work right on Windows 7 unless you give it administrator rights. It's main triumph was being able to render indoor and outdoor areas reliably; up until then, each indoor/outdoor transition was accompanied by a level loading screen. Plenty of levels take place during the night, and the night vision goggle effect is pretty sweet. It is the oldest bad water effect instance that I know of.