|Far Cry Instincts|
|Release Date|| North America - September 27, 2005|
Europe - September 30, 2005
|Mode(s)||Single player, multiplayer|
|Rating(s)|| ESRB: Mature (M)|
USK: Not free for minors
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Far Cry Instincts is a video game developed and published by Ubisoft for the Xbox console. It resembles the earlier PC game Far Cry. However, the gameplay is not as open-ended as the latter. It makes up for this by including extra multiplayer modes through the Xbox Live service, alongside new abilities (feral powers) and a map creator mode which allows the users to create their own maps for multiplayer.
Ports were also planned for the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube, however, due to unknown reasons, these ports were never released.
Far Cry Instincts was released on September 27, 2005 for Xbox and hailed as one of the system's best shooters by many gaming sites and publications. However, some gamers felt that the loss of the open-ended gameplay and the weaker AI made Instincts inferior to the PC version.
Far Cry Instincts was followed by a sequel called Far Cry Instincts: Evolution.
The game follows the story of a man named Jack Carver. Carver is a former service member of the U.S. Navy, who was dishonourably discharged following a number of illegal actions. Afterwards, he set up shop in Manhattan and began supplying illegal arms to anyone and everyone, until a gang performed a hit using weapons supplied by Jack against a Mafia heir. Consequently, a price was put on his head by the Mob, and he was forced to flee the United States and settle in Micronesia.
Carver purchased a used boat from a government auction and spent his time ferrying tourists and diving clubs around the islands. Eventually, a woman named Valerie Cortez showed up, offering a large sum of money, if Jack took her to a remote archipelago known as "Jacutan". Carver accepted, albeit with caution.
Upon arriving at Jacutan, Cortez borrowed a water scooter from Jack and headed off on her own. Unworried, Jack decided to nap until she returned. When he awoke, Carver was startled to find UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters flying around his boat. They opened fire on him, destroying his boat, and forcing him to take cover inside a nearby wrecked Japanese aircraft carrier.
At this point the player assumes control. After a brief introduction level, the player acquires a headset, and is directed by a mysterious voice who calls himself "Doyle". As it turns out, Cortez is part of the CIA, and came to rescue Doyle. Doyle had been on a mission to expose the works of a mad scientist named Dr. Krieger. Krieger, along with his right-hand man, an ex-Apartheid officer named Colonel Richard Crowe, were attempting to develop a serum that would enhance the physical abilities of man, and "unlock" hidden animal traits.
Doyle convinces Carver to find and rescue Cortez, who has been captured by Crowe and his mercenaries. While covering Cortez, Carver himself is captured by Crowe on the orders of Dr. Krieger, who noted Carver's resourcefulness and tenacity and decided he would make a good test subject. Carver is injected with the serum and is to be transported to an observation area, when he recovers prematurely and escapes, and discovers to his shock that he has new "feral abilities", such as increased speed, night vision, and a violent melee attack.
Along with the feral powers comes an implant designed to regulate the serum's effects and allows for specialized weapons to be used against Carver. Doyle tells Carver to find his way to Doyle's position, so that the implant can be removed. Along the way, Carver has to prevent a mercenary computer programmer from deciphering a pocket PC that belongs to Cortez, which would in turn blow Doyle's cover. Descending into an old World War II-era Japanese bunker to stop the decryption, Jack is cornered by the mercenaries as he attempts to escape. He retreats through an old underground mining complex and follows Doyle's instructions to the main research facility. Carver then makes his way to the facility, where he discovers the extent of Krieger's work and the mutant monsters he has created. While in the facility, Carver finds out that Crowe is gathering the mutants for an unknown purpose, and then later he finally meets with Doyle, who frees Carver from the implant. Upon having the implant removed, Jack begins to exhibit uncontrolled evolution; in game terms, the adrenaline cost for his abilities decreases and he gains the ability to carry and wield mounted weapons like the M2 Browning machine gun.
As Jack escapes the research facility, he discovers that Crowe has taken Doyle and the mutant serum, and has unleashed the mutants in a plot to betray Krieger. Jack must fight through the middle of a war between Crowe's mercenaries, the feral mutants, and an elite group of special forces under Krieger's personal command, under orders to "sanitize" Crowe's troops. Rescuing Doyle, Carver discovers that Crowe has injected himself with a quadruple dose of the serum Jack received, and without an implant. Assuming control of the "Alpha" creatures, the most powerful and intelligent mutants with abilities similar to Jack's own, Crowe has gone straight to Krieger's base of operations. Jack follows and fights his way to Dr. Krieger's mansion atop an active volcano, where he battles and defeats the physically deformed Crowe. Krieger, in a last-ditch effort to use the Alphas against Jack, realizes that they now view Jack as their leader due to his victory over Crowe. The mutants turn on Dr. Krieger and kills him, viewing him as a threat to Jack, and thus allow him to escape as the volcano erupts. Jack is able to retreat onto a Black Hawk piloted by Cortez and Doyle, who promise to pay for a new boat to replace his destroyed one; Doyle also promises that they "can do one better" and slides a metal case to Jack, who opens it and laughs cryptically at the unseen contents as the helicopter flies away.
The game includes subtle thematic elements relating to the dangers of genetic engineering and the genocide of local islanders as can be seen by the deformed creatures created by Krieger. Also, a mysterious backdrop relating to dinosaurs is revealed via in-game radios that will sometimes carry programs that discuss the history of dinosaurs and the possibility that some might still be alive. This is further developed by appearance of lizard-like animals (which resemble small dinosaurs) that reside in the jungles on the island.
The terrain in Far Cry: Instincts varies greatly. South Pacific archipelago, the landscape includes tropical rainforests, dense jungles, towering canyons, mines, swamps, and even volcanic forests.
The major gameplay addition to Far Cry: Instincts that was not present in the PC version is the aforementioned "Feral Ability". There is also a trap system that allows the player to create a booby trap by wrapping a spiked tree branch around nearby foliage. When an unsuspecting NPC walks by, they are killed by the branch-whip. Claymore mines are also available, and can be set up in the paths of enemies for devastating results. These traps can be employed in multiplayer as well. An interesting feature when Jack falls from heights is that he says "oh shit" before falling to his death. There is also a map editor that lets you create your own maps with plenty of things to put in it. Many vehicles, guns, buildings, trees, the ability to change the landscape (height, add water etc.), the possibilities are quite extensive for a console game. You may upload the maps and use them on Xbox Live to play against friends. However, the map sharing feature is no longer functional due to the discontinuation of the Xbox Live service for original Xbox games and the original Xbox itself.
The Feral Abilities at the player's disposal include:
- Feral smell — The natural scent given off by living things is visible to Jack as an orange haze which can be used to track movement.
- Feral vision — Allows for night vision and thermal vision.
- Feral speed — Allows Carver to run much faster than normal.
- Feral jump — While utilizing feral speed, allows Carver to jump great distances.
- Feral attack — A melee attack, initiated by pressing the 'B' button when an enemy is targeted, powerful enough to send most enemies flying and refuels adrenaline.
- Feral strength — Allows Jack to rip a mounted weapon off its post and use it in place of his current special weapon (currently held special weapon is holstered until the mounted weapon is dropped or its ammunition runs out).
- Regeneration — Jack's health slowly recovers when he is not under attack; how fast he recovers depends on how much adrenaline remains.
Seven vehicles are available in the game:
- Patrol boat
- Inflatable Boat
- Official website
- Rabbit Run of Cliffs level in 11 minutes (video)
- fcmaps.net — For all custom-made maps for the game.