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on September 26, 2011
I would be lying if I didn't admit that I got completely absorbed in this game for a few days, but there are serious issues with it which heavily affected its replayability. If it weren't for those issues, I'd probably still be playing it. Forget a sequel: all UbiSoft would need to do to make one of the greatest video games of all time is not issue a "Far Cry 3," but simply repair this disaster, something that could be easily done with a few tweaks.

Here's a list of things I didn't like:

1. First, I have heard this game praised for its realism. Please! What a silly view of Africa. Do war-torn African nations really have a problem with people leaving cases of diamonds on the top of rusted-out buses? And I hope the game's programmers are not congratulating themselves on having made a coherent contribution to the discussion of conflict diamonds: they certainly have not. And who's this loser endlessly driving back and forth in a Ford Pinto? I thought you guys said gas was scarce! And am I the one who has to point out that equatorial Africa is not overrun by white mercenaries? This was preposterous. Maybe one or two I could believe. But hundreds and hundreds? (I imagine, though, that they did this for a reason: if they hadn't the game would basically be you going around shooting a bunch of black people, something they couldn't have. But I think they went too far the wrong way: you're in Africa, and black people are actually kinda scarce?!

2. At first I found this game extremely confusing. Virtually everybody you see wants to kill you. Why? Am I trespassing? I had mistakenly thought it was a game that involved role-playing. Er, no. My mistake. It's just you versus everybody that moves, for the most part. What was the point of having you select your character? All you get to see of him is his arm. HINT: Don't choose the character you like. That way, you'll at least get to get to interact with the one you like once in a while, whereas if you choose the one you like, you'll never get to see him.

3. Another thing I didn't understand was that, in this game, cars are communal property. If you see one, you can simply drive off without anybody's batting an eyelid. I thought people owned cars. Not in this game. I walked many a tedious mile before it dawned on me how the car thing worked. Some clarification on that would have reduced a lot of the initial frustration.

4. You can't finish the main mission you're given, the one regarding the Jackal. I can't give away the ending, but this was beyond belief. The game -- for the most part -- lets you roam around the world seeking your own adventures, but then railroads you in an unforgivable way at the end, resulting in a completely unsatisfying video game experience. A real disappointing, French-style ending.

5. The missions are repetitive and lack variety. Actually some people might view this as a positive: if you like this kind of mission, you don't mind its being repeated. But all of the encounters along the road ended the same way. You say you came across a checkpoint and had a shoot-out? Lemme see if I can guess how it went: you shot absolutely everybody but then there was one guy who was sniping you from way off and there was no way to locate him? That's how virtually every encounter went.

6. Which leads me to another thing: this game sorely needs a radar. Don't tell me that's not realistic: I have a magical map and can miraculously heal from gunshot wounds. I can't count how many times enemy encounters became infuriating affairs because there was no way to tell where the last guy was. Meanwhile he can see you perfectly clearly the whole time.

7. This is possibly because this game has a problem with the brightness, or rather the gamma. It's bright day, and it's too dark. Only this game has this problem: other PS3 games don't have me getting into my monitor's brightness controls to figure out why I can't see anything.

8. One of the most frustrating things about this game is the long drives you'll have to get from one place to the other. It's true, there's something of a fast-travel system, but there aren't enough bus stops in the world, so you end up doing a lot of walking, driving, or swimming.

9. The villains at the checkpoints respawn (even their jeeps) if you wander about 50 feet away. This was the single worst thing about this game. No enemy operation is that efficient. If this country were that efficient, it wouldn't be so poor! I can't count how many times this sent me into a rage. You take all this trouble to clear out a section, and as soon as you wander away, all the villains are back at full strength. You should have been able to set this somewhere in the options. It made the whole game absurd. It would have been more tolerable if you were actually getting something for killing all these infinitely respawning enemies (money, points--something), but since the fights are completely meaningless, the maddening respawning will send you into a rage before long. Imagine a dungeon that was filled with nothing but wandering monsters that you weren't being given XP for. Not fun.

10. All the enemies, if they know where you are (i.e. most of the time), can snipe at you and often hit you even if they don't have line of sight to you! It's amazing. Don't ever hide in the grass in this game: enemies can see you just fine. In a way, this is the most unforgivable problem with this game. Stealth: it's presumably the key mechnaic of this game, and it doesn't work right. Unforgiveable. Many, many times I found myself getting plugged by some distant enemy. I hid behind this, I hid behind that--he still got me. Finally when I figured out where it was, I caught him dead-to-rights shooting through solid rock, metal, or a mound of earth!

11. There's no way to tell how much health you have left. This is one of those games that think's it's cool to make the screen go gray and blood-besplattered when you're dying instead of giving you a health bar. The result is that you don't know how much certain weapons damage you or whether it would be wise to use a syrette.

12. There's no way to tell what weapon you're using--or what weapon you've just picked up.

13. The enemies can use guns when they're driving but you can't (e.g., the guy in the Ford Pinto).

14. The map is not reliable. You'll have clear sailing ahead of you based on the map, but when you get there, you find a bunch of impassible mountains in the way.

15. There are times when the game deals with the player in bad faith. It tells you to complete this certain challenge, knowing full well there's no way it can get done, and that basically, you're supposed to die. Think of the shootout at Mike's Bar just previous to the second map opening up. The result of this is that players stop trusting the video game.

16. Your guy is not given a compass. Why not? It's very easy to get lost and get headed the wrong way.

17. The player is prevented from looking at the entire map. Why can't I? I need it to plan the least dangeous routes. It seems like one is always just on the edge of the map, but there's no way of clicking over to the next quadrant to see what lies just ahead.

18. There is a bug where the enemies are facing the other way, shooting, but you're still getting the damage.

19. There is a bug where your best buddy mysteriously persists in dying even though you've given him five straight syrettes.

20. There is a bug where you can kill all the enemies at a safehouse but not unlock it.

21. On the PS3 at least, there's no way to save when you want. You have to make it past several enemy checkpoints to get to a point where you can save. Why?!? What an aggravating hassle!

22. The game's interface when it comes to hopping in boats is intolerably poorly programmed. You're right there in front of it, wiggling around, and you still don't get the enter prompt?!

23. Your world-class hero can't climb up 2 feet's worth of rocks. To see what I'm talking about, try to approach the aiport in the second map from the south. This was absurd.

24. Not all the guard shacks are marked on the map.

25. There's no way to fast-click through all the dialogue is you're just replaying.

26. Why can't you have endless assassination, passport delivery, and convoy missions? Would that have been too hard to program?

27. The game's draw distance is too short, and there's no way to adjust it. You can see the world being created as you run up on it (e.g., the waterfall as you're coming up to the Marina bar by swamp boat).

28. There is no way to mass delete all your saves, or many of them at once.

29. Vehicles can kill you if they hit you with just one blow. Unfair. Meanwhile, if you hit your enemies the same way, they can get right up.

30. The save and load times are murder.

31. Your buddies all turning on you regardless of what you do really pollutes the game's replay value.

32. The big explosions you've earned at the end of your missions are ruined by the "Save and Continue" screen.

33. The enemies' jeeps can catch up with you and outrun you, even though you are driving the exact same vehicle.

34. They overplayed the gun jamming. That was .preposterous. People would have stopped doing business with the Jackal if he had been unloading weapons of such unreliable quality.

35. The battlefield surgery thing was silly. You've been swiss-cheesed by a MAC-10 and it'll have you pulling a twig out of your abdomen.

36. It's never clear what's causing your malaria. Nor is there any way to get rid of it. This just produces a downer video game experience overall. In fact I found the malaria thing in general a cop-out way of controlling the player's actions. You spend the entire game with it, by the way.

37. There are no benefits to having a high reputation. Instead, this will mean that many enemies attempt to simply hide from you, making it much more difficult to flush them out and kill them.

38. There's no way for your guy to drop prone, but the enemies can.

39. It takes way too many bullets to kill someone. Like I'm so sure.

40. There's no way to check your remaining ammo unless you fire a shot, which gives away your position.

41. Once I happened upon a diamond box on top of a shack. I thought of many ways of knocking it down: ramming a jeep into the corrugated shed to knock the entire shed down; hopping up on the trunk of the jeep and thence to the roof; shooting the box down with a gun. No, no. None of those will work. God knows how the designers wanted me to solve that puzzle, but that's what's so idiotic about this game, and very typical. You have to solve its puzzles on its terms, not yours. My guy's like an ex-Marine green beret. He can't hop up two feet? You can use all the logic you want to come up with a solution to the game's puzzles, but no. It must be Ubisoft's particular logic.

42. Warning: the PC version of this installs some rather invasive DRM. See the other reviews for details.

43. There is no way to interrupt your repairing your car or boat unless you take damage from a bullet.

44. The game is practically over before you're allowed to purchase the weapons you really want.

45. The camo suit is a crock. It's the most expensive item in the game, yet the enemies continue to be able to see you just fine.

46. Rain makes the game framey. I could understand on a PC: but on a Playstation? On a PC, the programmers can simply claim the user had other apps running, but what's their excuse on a Playstation?

47. The sound effects are horrible. For example, you should be able to hear the enemy's footsteps when he outflanks you (just like they can hear yours), but you can't. Additionally, the sounds your feet makes over the terrain are often wrong. You're moving over grass, and you won't hear anything. Or what you hear will be delayed, spooking you out. Or you run through a puddle and there isn't any splashy sound effect. Most seriously, the sound effects in the game are not done in stereo. What I mean is that in other games, if you were standing next to some noise source and turned your character around in circles, the noise should go through your left ear, your right, your left, etc., so you can tell where the sound is coming from. Not in this game. If you hear the sound of footsteps coming up on you, there's no way to tell, from the sound alone, the direction from which the footsteps are coming. This strikes me as a serious drawback to the believability of the game.

48. You are forced to have buddies and to rescue them before you can continue with the game's main mission. You're not allowed to opt out having buddies: they're an annoyance and a liability for the duration of the game.

49. As if it's not enough of an insult to have your guy befriending the Jackal in the face of your protestations, the game at one point actually forces you to help him deliver a ship of weapons. Who's writing this stuff?

50. On the PC version of this, there's no way to alt-tab back to Windows.

51. You can't set a waypoint on the map. Why not? The map is magical!

52. And the most unforgivable transgression, the real reason for my one star: the game's "Easy" mode is murderously difficult. When I choose Easy, I want an easy game, dangnabit!
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on April 16, 2014
I picked this game up along with Far Cry 3 and Blood Dragon and naturally popped this one in first. I went in skeptical on this one because I'm not the biggest fan of FPS's, I've heard many mixed reviews on the game (even the dude that sold me the game told me it's not the best), and it's an older game. So, I was optimistic being on a little FPS kick lately and having just finished the Bioshock series, I decided to jump right in to Far Cry (mostly having heard good things about Far Cry 3). After having played it for about 4 hours (roughly a quarter of the way through the main story), I decided I've had enough of the game and I'll never play it again.

The positives:

1) Pretty large open world map
2) The graphics are pretty solid for when this game came out
3) That's pretty much it...

Now, the negatives:

1) Follows the old-school FPS formula. No variety to missions, shoot/kill/repeat 10000 times and that's all this game is. Very repetitive, gets boring fast.
2) The open world I mentioned is nice, but everything is so bland and generic, everything looks the same.
3) The story is generic and uninteresting, impossible to get immersed in it.
4) The world is big, but there's not much in it. You have to drive everywhere to get to missions and such. Takes forever because a) all the cars in the game are super slow, b) everything is so far away and c) your car takes only about 3 bullets and it's completely disabled. So expect many frustrations as you're just trying to get to a mission, have an enemy car shoot at you, disabling your car, you end up disabling their car by shooting at them, so after all is said and done, all the enemies are dead and you're stuck in the middle of nowhere with no car to get around. Every mission is like this, it's infuriating. Not fun at all...
5) The gameplay is cut-and-paste FPS. The same ol' FPS formula that I've been playing since the GoldenEye days on the N64. The reason why I got out of FPS's, most of them are all the same thing with little variety and this game is no exception.
6) On top of everything else terrible with this game, there are also bad frame rate drops during high combat sequences. Yeah...

Hopefully, Far Cry 3 makes up for it as I'm expecting it will based on everything I've read about the game, it's head and shoulders above Far Cry 2. Overall, I'd say avoid this game like the plague, offers absolutely nothing worthwhile. If you want good FPS's, check out the Bioshock series or Metro: Last Light or even this games successor, Far Cry 3, instead because Far Cry 2 is not worth your time unless you still like terribly generic old-school FPS's, then by all means, this is probably your game.
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on October 23, 2008
This game is set up like Grand Theft Auto but is in Africa. You can do whatever you want. The map is based on 20 square miles, so don't accidentally blow up your car w/ a missle launcher while you are out on the plains. Controls are a lot like those of Battlefield, which I think are perfect. I recommend this game to a mature audience. Has some swearing, even the F-bomb. Game is a lot of fun. I tried the multiplayer briefly. I think it will be fun, however will not replace Battlefield, Bad Company.
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on April 1, 2013
finished Far Cry 2, including most of the side missions. The guys that gave it 1-star reviews only played it for an hour or two. My played time was about 40 hours.

The graphics and the environmental sounds in this game are stellar. It's a full world, with day and night, animals (zebra, buffalo, gazelles, chickens, goats, and other flying birds), weather (shifting wind that picks up before a rainstorm), and fire that spreads and burns things. In this world, you can drive cars, Jeeps, trucks, boats and hang-gliders. There are no loading screens as you travel the 5x5 kilometer map.

And the parts of the world react to your presence. Animals run. Plants bend over as you walk on them. Grass sways in the wind. When you shoot, you hear your spent brass landing in the grass. Everything has a shadow that moves with it. It's incredibly well-done.

In the PS3 version, there were some graphical glitches, including basically all the things you always hear about: aliasing, tearing, pop-in, and occasionally slowing frame-rate. Overall, graphics were great though and these glitches are familiar.

The game is a shooter. There are dozens of weapons you can unlock. If you don't like the recoil on the starting weapon, you can buy a much better one.

There are about 85 total missions. Many of them can be done more than one way. It IS repetitive though. Generally, you're going to shoot someone or retrieve something or both. I'm not sure what people were expecting here, but it would have been nice if there were more variety.

The story is unexpected. You play a guy in a situation. There aren't a lot of real choices to be made. And it's a civil war so the choices you do have aren't very good ones. It's like Grand Theft Auto in this way -- don't play it if you always have to be the good guy. Overall, I'd say the story is only ok-to-good. But it wasn't predictable and there was a satisfying pay-off at the end.
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on April 16, 2009
1. Graphics- the first thing you will notice is the amazing graphics. Very few games have better graphics.
2. Huge Map - this place is huge and takes awhile to travel from A to B. There is a ton of land to explore and plenty to keep you busy.
3. Realism - this game tries to make everything as real as possible. You have to take medicine, heal yourself, weapons are not sci-fi weapons, fires started by explosions, and your weapons jam through time or if you pick up an enemy weapon. (this is also a con for some though)
4. Main objectives - the main story objectives are challenging, fun, and offer a variety of different mini levels. This game gets quite repetitive until you get into the main missions. Most of the main missions take you into some type of complex off the main roads and you play in a variety of locations: ranch, junk yard, depot, ect. These require you to plan out an attack and take special notice of ammo, health packs, and explosives. I found it quite difficult to go in and run and gun to complete these missions.
5. Story - I think the story is okay. Not great. It sets you up (like half life) where you take a ride through the environment and see what you are getting into. Then things go terribly wrong (like half life without the critters). The story is very briefly worked out through the main missions and buddy missions and really could have used some cut scenes or more explanation to have made a GREAT story.
6. Side missions - the side missions in this gave at least have a point. For the gun side missions you take out convoys to unlock new weapons. These are not too difficult and offer great reward. The tower side missions (like GTA4 assassination missions) give you 10 diamonds for killing some guy which helps you buy more weapons. The underground side missions help keep you alive by getting you medicine. While the side missions are fairly easy they at least give you something in return but they could have offered more variety instead of the same type of mission as you progress.
7. Weapons - the weapons for the most part are great. You get a huge variety of weapons from snipers, assault weapons, shotguns, smgs, lmgs, rpgs, ieds, grenade launchers, pistols, malotovs, and grenades. You can unlock better weapons through the story and through side missions. The one problem I did notice was how hard it was to kill an enemy in close range. It is like KZ2 where you can snipe or shoot an enemy from a distance without any problems but once you get close you better have a lmg or you will likely take damage. Another plus is you get to carry 4 weapons. You can carry 1. blade 2. a pistol, lmg, flare gun, or grenade launcher 3. An assault rifle, shotgun, or sniper rifle 4. rpg, flame thrower, grenade launcher, or lmg.
8. Explore - going around the map has its benefits. Unlike some games (GTA4 and the rats) this game offers you a benefit for searching every crack in the game. You get diamonds which you can spend on guns. While this isn't what I prefer doing you do get a sensor on your GPS that lights up when you get close to a diamond case. This allows you travel as usual and stop when you want to get a diamond case. There are also about 20 jackal tapes throughout the maps that offer you a trophy for collection.
1. Jeep attacks and posts- The worst part about this game is the location of the posts and the jeep patrols. Imagine how not fun it would be to play GTA4 if you were shot at anytime anyone noticed you. It would not be fun. At least in GTA4 you only get trouble when you cause trouble. Anytime you travel for some time you will be attacked by a jeep patrol. If you don't see it coming you will either die or lose a lot of life trying to protect yourself. This is even worse if you are in a car or non armored jeep as you have to get out of the car further exposing yourself then kill 2 guys. If you die you start over from the last save. Also, the posts are right in the road so if you are traveling from A to B and the post is in the way you have to take time to kill everyone in the way before you continue. These posts respawn no matter how many times you take it out. If you drive through without stopping they sometimes will send a couple jeeps after you which you have to stop and take care of. It would have been A TON better if the posts were off the road down a side street so that you could take the post anytime you wanted the weapons or health packs but didn't get in the way when you were traveling from A to B. They could have done away with the jeep patrols all together. It didn't really help the game and only hurts it bad. Also, the cars and unarmored jeeps have no benefit. You cannot out run the enemy and after 10 minutes into the game you will decide to never travel in a car again as it is risky.
2. Realism - for me the realism should only be used in the environments. I don't want to have to stop and take time to use the bathroom in a video game. Imagine 24 with Jack Bauer taking a dump to start the 4th hour of the show. In this game the healing process is annoying, the guns jamming is really annoying (so much I never use a enemy weapon unless I have to), and the dying from Malaria part is insanely annoying. While some may appreciate this I DONT

3. Side missions - the side missions could have been great. There is this huge map with different areas where they could have mixed up the difficultly and area for the missions. For the most part the side missions are exactly the same as the previous one in just a different location but still not off the main roads. They easily could have put someone in a ship off the water with guard boats or heavily armored base of some sorts. Instead these side mission just had people wandering around.
4. Travel - the traveling part of this game can get old. Like Mercs 2 it would have been alot more fun to have some type of system to call in a vehicle or plane to take you from A to B. While this would take away from the story I am sure it would have made this game more fun. At least there are busses that allow you get from certain points on the map quicker. Again, without the jeep patrols this may not even have been needed.
5. Buddies - the buddy missions in this game seem to offer no real reward to the main character. Instead you just have to travel further and do 2 missions in 1. There should have been some reward that would at least let you think about helping the buddy out. Also, they cannot travel in the jeeps with you on missions but can only be used when you die and if you activated them before hand. While occasionally it was beneficial to have them around most of the time they just caused more work for you.
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on January 30, 2010
I would probably give this game a 7 out of 10
Graphics-Amazing (Seriously, makes the PS3 look like an art gallery)
Story-Interesting, I felt like I was in war torn Africa.
Control layout- Worked well for me
Multiplayer- If you find a game, pretty fun to play.

Only a couple of complaints really;
How enemies see you crouching in the jungle, not moving, two miles away.
When the host leaves in multiplayer, you automatically get kicked out to the main menu.
The missions eventually get repetitive, and the save function really breaks game flow.

But overall, I think this game is quite good. If it's under 20 bucks, buy it. You'll have fun.

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on December 23, 2009
There are arguments that this game is repetitive. You know that's true to an extent the driving can get old but much to the games defense the enemy's are smart. They will come out of nowhere and although it can make you want to pull your hair out its fun being shot at by a sniper that takes a while to find. Thank god you don't die on the first shot like you would in real life. As far as them taking to many rounds to kill again can you say HEAD SHOT!!! works like a charm. Bottom line a great shooter.
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on May 5, 2010
The good:
-Very immersive, open world gameplay
-Lots and lots of weapons
-Beautiful graphics engine
-Very long game, especially for an FPS
-Intense gunfights
-Great map editor
-2 Huge maps

The bad:
-Online is love/hate
-Ending may leave you wanting more
-Respawning enemies at guard posts may get annoying

Overall, I found myself absorbed into this game. It has many realistic features. A good comparison would be Mercenaries, but with no friendlies, much harder gameplay.
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on October 25, 2008
Far Cry 2 has arrived amongst a lot of hype and speculation. To those expecting crysis for consoles it should be welcome. To those expecting the Second Coming, there may be some disappointment.

First off, Far Cry 2 does many things well.
-Awesome African Setting with a lot of Detail
-Weapon Variety
-Stockpiling and on-your-own playing style
-I don't care what reviews say, the fire mechanic is not a gimmick and works EXTREMELY well and adds a really awesome dynamic to the game.

What Far Cry 2 falls short in seems less and less important as you play.
-Vehicles are underwhelming
-combat feels awkward at times
-the beginning is disappointing
-the Jackal sounds like he phoned in his voice acting during a call on the way to the grocery store.

All in all, this game is absolutely stunning and really grabs you and pulls you in after the first couple of hours. It is a gaming experienced that shouldn't be missed this generation.
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on March 18, 2014
This game takes some knocks, I think largely unfairly. Here's why: most people gripe about having to travel all over the map to reach objectives, and that the enemies respawn constantly. They're not wrong. You do have to travel all over the map, it does often take 5-10 minutes to reach a mission, and the enemy checkpoints are always populated.

This is only an issue if you view the travelling and the hostile world as ancillary to the game itself - as something that gets in the way of the missions/story. If you view these as integral parts of the game, as important as the story itself, and allow yourself to play this game a little differently than you would play most AAA blockbuster games, this is truly one of the most cohesively-designed games ever, and is a true refreshment from the standard game fare of relentless high-octane action and strategizing and storytelling that's done for you.

This is a game where all of the core mechanics and systems are integrated and work together in symphonic harmony to buttress the central conceit at the center of the game: that you are a vulnerable character exploring a hostile world. Oh, and the sound design is INCREDIBLE. You spend a lot of time hiding in the bushes in this game, trying to figure out where your enemies are, and this is the only game I have ever played where if you're wearing a pair of headphones, you can determine the direction and distance of a sound with perfect accuracy. Even games 5 years newer than this don't come anywhere near the level of sound design. I turn the music off to make the game more immersive.

Certainly the biggest draw in this game is the freedom. Obviously, lots of open-world games claim this virtue, but this game has freedom in spades. Not only are you free to choose which objectives to do, but you are free (much more so than in other games) to make your own strategy how to accomplish them. I found sniping from afar to be the best way to thin the ranks before beginning an attack. The game's fire mechanics are unbelievably fun, and you're in the thick of a fight, starting massive grass fires is definitely one of the strongest tools at your disposal.

But truly, this game unfolds at a meditative pace. People are right when they say that for every minute of action, there is at least 3 to 4 minutes of traveling. But to me, that's not a drawback. Exploration of a very hostile world is this game's strongest point, maybe even more so than the story. So if you're willing to play this game for a while, let it seep in, and allow yourself to play it differently than how you've been trained to play games, especially FPS games, you're in for an amazingly well-designed surprise.

If you play this AFTER Far Cry 3, you're in for a surprise. While it is similar in many mechanical ways, it is the exact opposite of its younger brother in terms of its approach to gaming. Far Cry 3 was sullied by a cluttered and unremovable UI, waymarkers on the screen, objective reminders, etc. - essentially, the kind of pandering people are used to in games. Far Cry 2 doesn't have any of these things - it is extremely minimal, but is all the more immersive and enjoyable because of it. What an overlooked gem.
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