October 6, 2008 – During a recent event held by Ubisoft, we were fortunate enough to get some hands-on time with the multiplayer portion of the upcoming first-person shooter Far Cry 2. Being a game with such an ambitious single-player experience, it is good to see that the multiplayer hasn’t been ignored. Much of what is included in the single-player campaign has been translated and worked into Far Cry 2’s multiplayer offerings.
There are four modes available in multiplayer, including the standard Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch modes as well as Capture the Diamond and Uprising modes. Capture the Diamond functions similarly to a standard capture the flag mode except after a player pilfers their opponents briefcase of diamonds, smoke will emanate from the case. This makes finding these case carriers much easier than in most games. Players will also only be able to score if their team’s diamond case still resides at their team’s base. This produces some interesting gameplay mechanics and makes protecting your diamonds just as important as capturing your opponent’s.
The game’s Uprising mode functions similarly to a mixture of the Team Leader and the Total Conquest modes found in Rainbow Six Vegas 2. Each team is randomly assigned a lieutenant at the beginning of each match. This lieutenant is tasked with capturing three control points on the map, as they are the only players with this ability, and staying alive. Once one team has all three control points captured, killing the opposing team’s lieutenant will end the match. These matches can take a very long time to finish, as players try to keep their lieutenants alive while protecting already captured control points. This mode gets very frantic but maintains a good balance overall and really focuses on playing as a team. Uprising will likely be a mode that will be virtually unplayable unless you venture into it with your buddies (assuming you’re all on the same page); there is basically no chance of ever gaining control of all three points if players just run off and do their own things.
Players are given their choice of six different classes, which are commando, sharpshooter, guerilla, rebel, gunner, and saboteur. These classes are all essentially the same, the only difference being your useable weapons. Sharpshooters will have weapons like a sniper rifle that make them long range threats, while gunners will be better equipped for when heavy firepower is necessary. Since players can switch their classes and weapon loadouts before respawning, it is fairly easy to choose the right class and weapons for each conflict.
While diamonds are the focal point of the Capture the Diamond mode, they also play a large role in the multiplayer as a whole. Players will earn experience from a variety of different things such as killing enemies and healing teammates. At the end of matches, this experience is tallied and turned into blood diamonds if it fills the bar completely. These diamonds are then used to upgrade your various classes. When you upgrade a class, it will unlock better weapons that, in turn, give you an advantage and help you earn more experience and upgrades. Each class can be upgraded three times, making fully upgrading all your classes a difficult goal to achieve but very rewarding and useful.
There are many nice touches found throughout the multiplayer experience. Vehicles can be found on nearly every map, ranging from Jeeps to hang gliders that help you traverse the terrain and can also give you a tactical advantage. Loading your team into a Jeep with a mounted machine gun is one of the quickest ways to nab your opponents’ diamond briefcase. Fire will still spread like it does in the single-player campaign, although it won’t be as aggressive. Weather, such as rain, will also affect fire propagation, adding a sense of realism. All the game’s fourteen maps can be played during the day or at night and will actually transition between the two in longer matches. This adds a whole new dimension of both strategy and urgency, trying to finish games before the sun drops and your visibility drastically decreases, or using it to your advantage to sneak about and mount a comeback.
Health and healing are also handled in interesting ways in Far Cry 2. You start out with full bars of health and as you take damage they reduce. When down to your final bar of health, your character will bleed out unless you stop to heal. Players will undoubtedly take damage in a variety of different ways, including shrapnel from explosions, bullets, and even catching on fire. The game keeps track of this and gives players a healing animation that corresponds to the main cause of their pain. Long falls will result in setting bones, players will use their knives to dig bullets and shrapnel from under their skin, and it’s also fairly common to see your character patting down their arms and legs to put out flames. These healing animations are fun to watch, but players are left vulnerable during them, so finding cover beforehand is always a good idea.
With its already impressive single-player aspect and the inclusion of its solid multiplayer offerings, Far Cry fans should definitely be on the lookout for Far Cry 2 as its release date approaches. Including four different modes, fourteen varied maps, the ability to create and share your own maps, and supporting up to sixteen players, Far Cry 2 looks to keep players coming back for more even after completing its campaign. When you also factor in the rumored, all but confirmed, unnamed additions that should become available shortly following its release, this game should definitely provide quite a bit of bang for your gaming buck.
With Ubisoft Montreal currently polishing off the development of the long-awaited Far Cry 2, only time will tell if the hype is true
March 6, 2008 – From the people who brought you Far Cry: Instincts – but not the original Far Cry – comes the sequel to the 2004 game. Ubisoft Montreal is currently putting the finishing touches on Far Cry 2 and is promising some pretty groundbreaking stuff.
Don’t expect any mutants in Far Cry 2. Ubisoft Montreal has worked hard to create a game that epitomizes realism in every aspect – including storyline. Jack Carver is gone, as Ubisoft found that most Far Cry fans didn’t care much for the character; they have instead incorporated a number of characters you can play as. Far Cry 2 will give the player the option to choose from about 12 different mercenaries, each with their own look and background story. The story of Far Cry 2 begins with your character being deployed into war-torn Africa to take out a warlord known as The Jackal, who has sparked a conflict between two rival factions. Adding a completely new element to the game, your character early on catches malaria, facing you with a completely new problem. To help rid yourself of the disease and slow its affects on your health, you must explore the map and ask civilian NPCs for medicine while completing missions. As you travel, you will have to take on different tasks in different areas – many of which will involve killing NPCs and blowin’ stuff up – which will all effect the environment around you. The game will also give you an infamy rating, which will affect how NPCs react to you, how your team regards you, and how much health you have. Because you’ll be getting your medicine from the NPCs in the game, you will have to keep your infamy level down or they will refuse to interact with you. If this problem arises, you may have no other choice than to turn your character into a complete tyrant, killing NPCs to steal their medicine to keep yourself alive.
Using the original Far Cry as their main inspiration, developers wanted to continue the feeling of venturing to an exotic location. With the amount of games set in the jungle released in the past few years, Ubisoft took Far Cry to a whole new continent. Developers actually traveled to Kenya to get a sense of the country and try to capture it in the game. By experiencing the environment first-hand and taking photography, developers were able to re-create the atmosphere and wildlife not only in sight but in atmosphere. Their visions of the savannahs and woodlands as well as inspirations from the jungles of Congo are all terrains that will be found within the game’s map. The map you will be working with in Far Cry 2 equals 50 square kilometers.
Ubisoft has developed a completely new engine for Far Cry 2 called Dunia, meaning “world,” which will take advantage of multi-core processors and support DirectX 9 as well as DirectX 10. The world you roam in will have naturally changing weather patterns that will actually reflect how you are doing in the game – if you are growing ill and your infamy level is high, the skies may remain dark and dreary. Wind will naturally pick up and slow down depending on the climate, and wind effects will actually be able to help spread fires and break objects and vegetation when really fierce. All of the trees are destructible and can catch fire and dilapidate as a normal tree would, and when you or an enemy shoots at the trees, they will destruct accordingly as branches and bark fly off in the may lay.
Ubisoft has announced there will be over fourteen vehicle types in the game, and with a large map to cover, you will need them to get to where you need to go quickly. Dune buggies can take you pretty well all over the map as you whip through high-grass areas. There is also a hand-glider, which you can use to coast off of tall cliffs and look over the map from a birds-eye view, as well as cover large ground quickly. Ubisoft has done good work of promoting this feature of Far Cry 2, and it will probably be among the most popular aspects of the game as you get a sense of the openness of the map and allow you to view everything from enemies to free-roaming wildlife. With the fourteen different vehicle types, there will be over 40 different variants of the vehicles which may come with different paintjobs or bulletproofing as well as technical aspects like two or four-wheel drive. So while some vehicle types are the same, different ones will drive differently and have different attributes.
There will be approximately 30 – 40 different weapon types to perform various forms of destruction. What is unique about the weapons system in Far Cry 2 is that the game will implement weapon degradation as you use them, just as a normal weapon would in reality. If you overuse a gun, it could jam at any moment during the game and possibly at the worst possible time. If you do not take care of your weapon or use one for a prolonged period of time, it could come back to haunt you. In the course of battle, when you shoot an enemy or blow him up, the dead body will react or fly though the air in ragdoll-like animation. Ubisoft has taken great measure to make the experience of Far Cry 2 as realistic in animation, environment, gameplay, and the experience of war. During a gunfight, you will also have to take protective measures to keep your health up. If you get shot, you will have to pry the bullet out quickly with your knife. If you accidentally catch yourself on fire, you will have to wipe the flame off your sleeve with your hand.
With a number of previews and screenshots already available, Far Cry 2 looks amazing. There is still no word on online features, though Ubisoft says all of the single-player features of the game will be available in multiplayer. Time will tell how Ubisoft lives up to the hype surrounding this game and if they can deliver all they’re promising when the game hits stores this September.