Far Cry Instincts

Format: Xbox

3 307210 187215
Age Restrictions: 16+
30 September 2005

After escorting an inquisitive journalist to a remote tropical island, Jack Carver finds himself stranded in paradise, hunted by an unrelenting team of highly trained mercenaries. As Jack, you'll have to outwit hordes of cunning mercenaries through all manner of tactics. Make long-range assaults, set traps, commandeer vehicles - even develop new skills and abilities to outlast the island's evils and escape with your life...

Far Cry Instincts is a visually outstanding first person shooter (FPS) which has you running around a rather large island on foot, jeep, quad bike, dingy, hovercraft and all manor of vehicles. Take out the bad guys and keep moving towards a number of designated areas.

There's nothing incredibly new here. The ability to zip through your environment soon wears a little thin - mainly due to the fact that you can simply miss out loads of enemies this way. But, there is something that feels fresh about the whole thing. The ability to set two different style of traps is a nice touch - just a shame there wasn't a little more variety.

There are some annoying problems with the game. The one thing I found most frustrating (and this seems to be something that I've noticed is a problem in oh-so-many FPS games) was that old problem with climbing down ladders. There are several areas in the game where you are faced with climbing down an extremely long ladder. Getting up them is fine, coming down is another matter. If you turn with your back to the ladder and then walk backwards (like you would in real life) you, more often than not, simply fall to your death. However, if you approach the ladder head on you can simply climb down it head first. Now, where's the logic in that?

My other, small, complaint is that the AI of the enemy is next to useless. I lost count of how many times I was standing right on top of them and they couldn't see me. However, laying in grass miles away from them and they'd open fire. Also there's no change to their patterns. If you get killed by a group of them it's relatively easy to come back and work out the best way to defeat them. It would have been much more challenging if the number of enemy that attack you in certain areas was a little more random, and even better if they had different hiding places.

Also, I didn't much care (or see the point) of the strange powers part of the game. While this allows you to punch open doors (surely they could have included this as a general kick) and knock out your opponents it seems to add very little to the gameplay. The other powers you have are also fairly useless - tracking is not necessary and while the ability to see in dark conditions is an advantage, it becomes tiresome rather quickly. And while it does allow for tougher enemies later in the game I just felt that the whole game would have felt a little more real without this tacked on ability.

Hmmm, I do seemed to have spent a lot of time moaning about this game don't I? The truth is though, these are very small complaints. For the most part, this is an extremely engaging FPS that has a few nice little touches - including the ability to create your own environment, thanks to the level editor.

If you want a good, solid FPS with a pretty long story mode, and a fun online option then this is worth a look. It's a shame that there's no two player option though.

Nick Smithson

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