Far Cry 2: Available on Microsoft Xbox 360, also for Sony PlayStation 3, PC. $59.99 ($49.99 for PC). Rated Mature. ***
Sequels offer one of two things: more of the same or something new. Call of Duty: World at War offers the former, Far Cry 2 the latter, and both are fine games.
After last year's trip to modern times, the Call of Duty series returns to World War II with World at War and takes with it the game play advancements of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. In a nutshell, it's that game wearing WWII skin.
The game makes an effort to provide exciting missions even in this familiar territory, splitting its battles between the European and Pacific theaters.
The graphics are absolutely gorgeous; the sound is excellent. The game play is top-notch. Beware: The violence is more intense than in past Call of Duty titles.
It's a high-quality title in every sense, but it doesn't quite match the visceral punch of Modern Warfare. It's just too similar to the first three Call of Duty games for that.
In contrast, Far Cry 2 ranges far from the original, entirely ditching the genetic experimentation angle and the protagonist of the first.
Choosing from several mercenaries at the start, players learn that their task is to find and assassinate the Jackal, an arms dealer who has been selling guns to both sides of a civil war in Africa.
The player encounters the Jackal, unfortunately, while in the grip of malaria. The Jackal lets the player live, and it's not long before one of the factions railroads the player into doing some work for it.
After the early segments, the game opens up, and it's huge almost on the scale of Oblivion or Fallout 3, but with shooting action as the base instead of a role-playing engine.