Far Cry: Instincts Preview Xbox

System: Xbox
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer(s): Ubisoft Montreal / Crytek Studios
Release Date: 30/09/2005
Players: 1 – 16

After a smashing debut on PC last year Far Cry is finally making it way onto the Xbox in the guise of Far Cry Instinct. With the release just literally weeks away DarkZero takes a look at what gamers should expect come the end of the month, and mostly importantly we find out if the title was worth the long wait Ubisoft has put us through.

First off the game (still) looks fantastic. All the wide open areas full of realistic looking foliage made the crossover to consoles very well. Some graphics have (obviously) taken a bit of a hit, but the heart of the game is still there as you can see for almost a mile in each direction. Couple this with a sniper and you definitely got something very special and something that manages to look great on the powerful albeit slightly ageing Xbox hardware.

If you did not know, Instincts is not a direct port of it’s PC cousin. In fact it’s almost a whole new game, but does share the same basic plot elements that you may or may not played though almost a year ago. The basic story is the same but it handles the game elements in a very different way. The game still starts off with you escorting an inquisitive journalist to a remote tropical island. After a while you are stranded on a tropical island, hunted by an unrelenting team of
highly trained mercenaries. You must try and fight these evils and escape with your life. As I said there is a few changes though, to give you an idea of what to expect just imagine the guys and CryTek and Ubisoft watching the film Predator and then thinking “guys that would work well on the console version of Far Cry!” Now imagine them running off to the computers and ripping up the old Far Cry code and rebuilding it. The result of this is Jack will now has super-enhanced strength and also the ability to find his adversaries by scent, enhance his vision to see in the dark and finally the ability to fade into his surroundings which is great for those that love stealth kills.

Even though Jack has all these new skill you wont be using them all the time, firstly you cant use them all the time as they are limited (you drain a meter when you sue them) secondly guns are still fun to use, and there are new combination of guns for you to reign havoc with including assault rifles, pistols, shotguns and more. Also there a oodles of new vehicles for you to ride in which is always exciting.

We still have some concerns about the controls (but then we always worry about FPS controls on dual analogue sticks, and it’s a topic we’ll discuss properly in the review) and the level-of-detail effect that makes it rather hard to look convincingly into the distance, but the frame-rate seems to be quite solid, and the general impression we have is that Far Cry is coming to Xbox – and it has mapped out a sensible path.

The controls are also top notch, some console FPS’s usually feel either too “stiff” or “floaty” and while Far Cry Instincts is more on the floaty side of things it never feels too much out of you control. You should also hit what you were aiming for. Another new part on Instincts gameplay grants you the ability to set environmental traps. These include branch snares, pits filled with spikes and swinging logs which can all be set to give the enemies in the game a spectacular bloody death it they persist in chasing you. There is no doubt that the year’s work they CryTek have but in have resulting in some very impressive results. Fry Cry Instincts looks like it will be the Xbox’s last great FPS this year before we all take the 360 plunge!