Game mechanicsI just mentioned the health system so now would be a good time to explain it. You’ll not see any health kits lying around like we had in Far Cry. Instead, you can take a certain amount of damage before you’ll start to bleed out, at which point you have to stop and sort yourself out, maybe pulling a bullet out of a wound in your arm or leg. In the build we were on we could only pull a bullet out of our foot but in the finished game there’ll be loads more varied objects and body locations you’ll have to patch up.
Enemy AI has had a revamp and trust me, even in this pre-alpha build they’re crafty little buggers. For once it’s clear when they’re injured as they don’t just retreat but outright flee, leaving you to decide whether to shoot them in their rapidly retreating backs or let them be.
But they work as a squad much more realistically, with one or two pinning you down with fire or keeping you occupied with the odd shot while their mates circle around to try and take you out from behind. They also make full of cover, even incidental cover such as a vehicle you’ve just parked nearby of even the caved in remains of a shack you’ve just driven your truck through.
Which neatly brings me on to the environment objects which, frankly, might be giving Crysis a run for its money. As you’re probably aware, Crysis has a pretty interactive environment, stuff that should be destructible with a particular weapon is etc. Far Cry 2 follows the same path but even compared to what we’ve seen so far in Crysis, Far Cry 2 goes up to the next level. There’s an entire (deserted) shanty town, made of wood and corrugated iron panels that can be almost totally raised to the ground… Crashing a jeep into it doesn’t help of course and the resulting firefight probably wasn’t too healthy either but watching planks and panels go flying, bouncing of the jeep’s bonnet, smashing the windscreen before clattering to the ground was very impressive… all the more so given it wasn’t scripted, we crashed.
So this was procedural physics in action, the world reacting to our actions and we’ve seen it to some extent before, in the original Far Cry and in the daddy of shooters to have decent physics, Half Life 2. But ‘procedural’ seems to have been Ubisoft’s key-word for far Cry 2 as pretty much everything is procedural.