Far Cry 2 will make you a metaphorical monster

Jan 18, 2008

Despite outward similarities, this Ubisoft-developed sequel to Crytek's brilliant but flawed paradise island blaster will not be following in the footsteps of Crysis or the original Far Cry. Here the emphasis is on grimy realism, not sci-fi excess. In fact, Far Cry 2's creative director Clint Hocking draws intriguing parallels between his game and the theme of "man's inner madness" in the Joseph Conrad novel Heart Of Darkness, where monsters are metaphorical rather than literal.

"Don't expect mutants as some surprise later on," adds Far Cry 2 producer Lois-Pierre Pharand. Instead, your adventure through the African savannah could turn you into a mutant, feared and reviled by enemies and allies alike. [EDIT - Metaphorically speaking, of course. Ubisoft has officially stressed to us that you definitely won't actually become a mutant. Not at all. Ever]

That's thanks to Ubisoft's innovative approach to 'levelling up' your character. You begin the game infected with malaria, as do most characters in the lawless African state. As you progress you'll discover medicine that steadily 'cures' you, reinforcing your strength and giving you better resistance to attack and injury.

But, should you lose access to the medicine, things quickly turn gruesome. "As medicine is cut off you become sickly and grotesque, but still more notorious," Hocking explains in a feature from this month's Edge magazine. "You transform from being this healthy guy to somebody that's literally dependent on being cruel and vicious, twisted and deformed and vomiting all the time." Lovely.

The game's reputation system will see your appearance and your actions influence your standing with the two bands of warring rebels. Your ultimate aim is the assassination of a powerful arms dealer, but the only way to get close enough is by proving yourself a worthy ally and moving up in either force's command structure. Other lone-gun battlers, known as 'buddies', will join you, even going so far as to literally carry you to cover should you fall under fire. Impressively, enemy soldiers will perform the same heroics for their own injured comrades.