What it Did Right
Far Cry took a pretty boilerplate video game story and placed it within the most beautiful tropical environment anyone had ever seen. Damn, did this game look great when it first came out. A PC exclusive, this was one of those games that PC gamers would show to console fans with that self-satisfied smirk at how poorly something like Halo 2 looked in comparison.
In the end, Far Cry worked (for the most part) as an experience that can adapt to however you want to play. If you’re a one-man-army type, there’s a lot of ammo and explosives handy. On the other hand, there are plenty of opportunities to thin out the crowd through sniping and sabotage from afar. The environments were massive and varied, and in 2004, it felt like a bold statement from a new developer destined for great things.
What it Did Wrong
The introduction of mutated super-enemies, the Trigen, is the big ‘jump the shark’ moment for Far Cry, and the game never really recovers from it. While it turns the story into a pseudo-Island of Dr. Moreau that is half-baked to say the least, what is truly unforgivable about it is that the game’s balance goes completely out of whack. Getting one-hit-killed by a Trigen is annoying enough, but it becomes unbearable in combination with a checkpointing system that gives you no control over when to save and often saves your progress while you’re fighting or near death.
Is it Still Worth Playing?
I would highly recommend you check out Far Cry… for its first seven or eight missions, and then abandoning it at the first sign of a Trigen. For a 10 year old game, Far Cry still looks amazing, and it shows you a number of massive outdoor environments with different ways to approach objectives. From that point on, however, it becomes more of a corridor shooter with ridiculous difficulty spikes that is best regarded as a relic of its era.