Far Cry 2 - updated hands-on

Forget tropical jungles. That’s old news. The Serengeti is the newest playground in gaming. Just look at Resident Evil 5, or Halo 3. The continent is a gaming paradise, mixing wide-open savannas with dense jungles, which is exactly why Far Cry 2 has ditched the island. It’s a fresh location for a new beginning. Name aside, Far Cry 2 has nothing to do with the original. Carver’s long gone, and he’s taken the tridents along with him.

In his place is a hero of your choosing. Thirteen mercenaries (no, really) populate Far Cry 2’s landscape - three women and ten men - and you can take your pick from any of the male characters. The remaining allies live somewhere in a world that’s over 50 square km in size, and can be called upon to assist in missions. They’re extremely helpful in a fight, as they’ll drag you away from danger if you’re about to cop it.

There’s also plenty of opportunity for fighting, too. Aside from a solitary refugee camp, there are no civilians in the game. Far Cry 2 takes place in a nameless country at war with itself. The government has fled, and the only people that remain are some very pissed off soldiers who were promised nonexistent diamonds. This group splintered into two: the Alliance for Popular Resistance (APR) and the United Front for Liberation and Labour (UFLL), and now fight for power. It’s up to you to manipulate this tussle, working your way through the ranks to complete your task.

What is this task exactly? The game’s opening explains all. You begin in bed, sick from malaria. At your side is an arms dealer, reading through a dossier. “So you’re coming to kill me then?” he taunts, then adds “Good luck!” before handing you a pistol and running off. The arms dealer in question is selling weapons to both guerrilla factions, and an unknown character has hired you to cut off the weapon supply at the source by killing him. Sadly, the only way to find his location is by working for the bad guys.