Finally, if you can’t be bothered with the scripted stuff, certain missions ask you to do semi-random stuff like clearing out warehouses and mutant nests or seeking out rare radioactive artifacts that, rather than rendering you sterile and making your hair fall out, offer a variety of RPG-ish upgrades. All around you, meanwhile, is what developer GSC Game World call “A-Life” - a landscape teeming with packs of creatures and humans who roam and behave according to their own whims (whims that generally involve killing each other or maybe running away).
Low-powered weapons and general insecurity about exactly what you’re supposed to be doing plague your opening hours, but after a little while you realize that the action is very much a blend of Far Cry and Deus Ex. The inventory system and “any which way you can” mentality of JC Denton merges with the unpredictable, sniper-centric and really freaking difficult stylings of Jack Carver, making for some excellent action that gives you moments of extreme self-congratulation as you pull off swift headshots here and there. The need to salvage bullets and med-packs from your deceased foes’ backpacks, meanwhile, adds a subdued survival element that’s completely lacking in most modern-day mainstream shooters.