On this day, October 21, 10 years ago, Ubisoft released the second installment in the mainline Far Cry series, Far Cry 2.
Released via the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC, Far Cry 2 was originally pitched as a true sequel to 2004's Far Cry, but in the end, it was a far different product that took the series in a new direction.
Boasting entirely new characters and entirely different gameplay that was more about player freedom and exploring the African landscapes, Far Cry 2 follows the story of a mercenary on a quest through a Central African civil war to locate and assassinate a notorious arms dealer dubbed "The Jackal."
In addition to being a commercial hit, Far Cry 2 was received warmly by fans and critics alike, garnering an 85 on Metacritic with accolades pointing at its open-ended gamelplay, visuals, AI, and the realization of its setting. Even to this day, some of the tech behind the open-world shooter is impressive.
The game had its critics though. For one, some fans felt burnt on the new direction it took the series, while others found flaws in its writing and some of its gameplay systems.
Far Cry 2 was an impressive technical and design feat for its time, one that tried its best to sell players on realism. And it was the realism of the game that many loved, though some thought it went a little too far and borderlined on the oppressive and annoying side.
Players particularly took issue with the game's Malaria system, which requried them every 40 minutes in real time to take a red pill in order to combat the deadly effects of the illness. At the time I thought this feature was fine, but in hindsight it was a bit tedious.
Nonetheless, while Far Cry 3 universally holds the honor as the best game in the series, Far Cry 2 is a second-favorite for many. To date, it has a very hardcore following, one that was quick to point out the many ways it's undeniably superior to Far Cry 5.
Far Cry 2 is available on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC. Further, if you have an Xbox One, you can currently play the game via backwards compatability, which may just be the best way to experience the last-gen classic in 2018.
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