previews\ May 15, 2003 at 8:00 pm

Far Cry - PC - Preview

E3 2003 - First Look


“We wanted to do it somewhere different.”  Those are the words of Christopher Natsuume, the producer behind Ubi Soft’s new stellar-looking first person shooter, Far Cry.  So, they decided to set it on a deserted isle.  Far Cry is indeed different, and not solely because of the interesting location (which is an impressively huge island done to scale).  Graphically, the game utilizes DOT3 light mapping to make for some of the most dynamically realistic lighting effects yet, as well as great-looking bump-mapping.  Characters and objects will cast realistic dynamic shadows that change as the lighting changes.  The game also uses excellent little touches like projected shadows on particles in the air and bullet holes in walls that sunlight can peer through.  The character models look absolutely fantastic, complete with realistic rag-doll physics that look better than any other uses of that engine I’ve seen yet.  Characters will crumple under fire, but don’t fall in the goofy, unrealistic positions common with many uses of the technique.


While impressive graphics are well and good, they do not make a great game.  Enter Far Cry’s AI, which is bar none the best I have ever seen in an FPS game.  If you are on a floor above or below your enemies, they will go down floors and search you out.  If three enemies are standing next to each other and you take out two, instead of taking you on, the remaining baddie will run and yell to his nearby allies and they will come and kick your butt.  If one of them is near a radio, they will call reinforcements who will show up on a boat and unload to kill you.  Suppose eight or so enemies are alerted to your presence.  The AI will begin to form attack patterns, sending four to the right and four to the left.  If you notice, you will see and hear someone in the group calling out attack positions and orders.  The group has a leader.  If you kill the leader, then the group will rearrange their attack pattern and go after you in a different way.  As if that’s not cool enough, the AI is completely unscripted; meaning everything it does is spontaneous and determined by what you the player are currently doing to influence your enemies. 


With its already incredible graphics and gameplay, Far Cry should be one of the year’s best titles when it’s released.

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