Usually when a franchise is handed off to another development house fans and critics alike are wary. Even Far Cry 2, being developed by Ubisoft, had me wondering if the Crytek original could be at least matched. E3 2008 proved that not only will the sequel match Far Cry’s graphics and gameplay, but everything will be a giant leap forward. Far Cry 2 is as good a sequel as you’re likely to get. Thank bearded dudes that live in the sky for that.

Ubisoft has decided to go with an open world structure this time around. Now Far Cry had expansive worlds, but there was a distinct linearity to the game. The driving and boating sequences had you following a clear cut path. It’s dangerous to open up such a game to open world gameplay because then you have to deal with dynamic storytelling. You’ll never know what the player chooses to do, and because of that the story is far more difficult to tell.

Far Cry 2 will allow you to make just about any choice you can imagine. Wanna snipe that dude in the tower way over yonder? Go right ahead, even though he’s part of a major plot spinning story point ¾ of the way through the game. Ubisoft is getting open world storytelling right by not limiting what the player can do. That alone makes this game far more interesting than I had imagined prior to E3. GTA IV is set up with so many limitation that break the free roaming feel of the game that I’d have trouble caring about Niko after I got the message that, “The informant was spooked when you set his getaway car ablaze. Start that shit again.”

Plus Far Cry 2 looks gorgeous, just like any game in this franchise should.

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