Far Cry Instincts Evolution Review


May 7, 2006 by

Far Cry Instincts Evolution Image

Returning for another bout on the Xbox, Jack Carver proves yet again that he isnt a man to mess with. Now moving on from the unlucky events that occurred in Far Cry Instincts, which saw Carver attempting to locate some life-saving serum from a crazed maniac who had turned him into an overly strong, inhuman beast, Evolution sees the next chapter appearing in the Far Cry franchise. Teeming with more than cuddly orangutans and colourful bird life, last years first person shooter title provided plenty of classic run-and-gun gameplay that was melded together with an engaging storyline and breathtaking visuals, all of which has been carried over into this latest outing.

Coming only months after the release of Far Cry Instincts on the Xbox, Far Cry Instincts Evolution sees the return of Jack Carver, complete with all of the enjoyable and unique feral abilities that he had been granted in the previous installment. As such, you begin an entirely new quest complete with the abilities that you had slowly acquired in the previous game, which makes perfect sense for anyone who has played the original and allows it to tie into the series more effectively.

This time, however, we arent out to take revenge on a mad, syringe-totting scientist. Instead, we find ourselves fighting against a horde of tropical pirates who, like the mercenaries in the previous game, dont plan to play too nicely with our half-human, half-animal hero. The game begins with a cinematic that shows Carver relaxing around a tropical bar, having a quick chat with the bartender and a fellow patron. Soon, a toned and sexy Kade shows up, offering Carver the chance to earn some big bucks by acting as a bodyguard of sorts for a mysterious shipment that needs to be made across the island. You accept the role, and after spending some quality time together, you soon find yourself in your first heated firefight only minutes after you arrive with the shipment.

From here, youll find yourself trudging through familiar-looking rainforests, beaches, swamps and even small communities, which comprises of little more than a group of tin shacks that have been grouped together, which has been appropriately named Shanty Town. The game usually involves little more than making it from Point A to Point B, killing plenty of baddies in-between, or, if the circumstances call for it, using stealth to evade detection. The gameplay presented in Evolution makes the entire experience feel like little more than an expansion pack add-on to Instincts, one that adds some more levels and a new storyline to play through. Of course, this is the direct intention of this game, and the end result is one that will please fans who enjoyed playing through Instincts, as it provides a solid follow-up to what has happened to Carver following the incidents in Instincts.

The solid multiplayer mode has returned from Instincts, which also includes a number of new additions to help make the experience feel a little fresher for veterans of the franchise. A collection of new maps have been added, most notably a version of the aforementioned Shanty Town. Furthermore, an in-depth level creator and editor is available for your use, which includes the ability to share these maps online. Of course, this opens up a world of possibilities for new, interesting maps to be played with the games multiplayer offering.

On the graphics side, no noticeable advancements have been made over Instincts. Considering the level of quality visually with the last game, Im sure not too many Xbox gamers will be complaining with the level of quality on offer here. The environments are, in most cases, simply stunning, offering a mixture of detailed objects and great lighting effects that combine to provide an immersive experience. Unfortunately, the character models, in particular during cutscenes, are not quite as impressive as the environments, with some jagged edges and white lines often appearing as they animate. They dont look horrible, but they arent exactly gorgeous either. Like the visuals, expect the same style of sound effects and music from the original, which sounds perfectly fine in all cases, meaning no real complaints from us.

Consider Far Cry Instincts Evolution to be an expansion pack of the original Instincts, as it delivers almost identical gameplay found with the original, the same environments and the same weapons. One of the few differences between the two games, apart from the completely new storyline, is the overall length of the game, which is noticeably shorter than the original. Although this game can be purchased and played on its own accord, we recommend that you check out the original so that you have a stronger grasp on the history of events that occur during Evolution.

Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.