The original Far Cry is a PC game that was perhaps the first of the "next-gen" first-person shooter games exemplified by the likes of Half-Life 2, Doom 3, and F.E.A.R. It was released a few months before Doom 3 and Half-Life 2 by the then-unknown developers Crytek, for whom it was their debut title.The game was critically acclaimed for what was at the time truly mind-blowing graphics, wide-open open-ended levels set in lush tropical jungle islands, and advanced enemy A.I.The basic premise of the game has boat captain Jack Carver, a sarcastic, ill-tempered man in a gaudy Hawaiian T-shirt, having his boat blown up and forced into battling a small army of mercenaries on a series of tropical islands owned by reclusive geneticist Dr. Krieger. After several levels, killer mutants known as Trigens start attacking both Jack and the mercenaries, and it is revealed that Krieger has been working on creating mutants For Science!The game's popularity spawned a console version, Far Cry: Instincts, which was made by Ubisoft instead of Crytek and had the same characters and basic plot premise, but markedly different gameplay, levels, and story. Besides simplified A.I. and graphics and more console-style gameplay, Far Cry: Instincts also gave the player character access to special mutant "feral powers" which included regenerating health, super-speed, super-jumps, and super-melee attacks. Far Cry Instincts: Evolution was the sequel to the console version, and switched from fighting mercenaries and mutants in a fictional series of tropical islands to fighting pirates and feral warriors in Indonesia. The story for Evolution has Jack being lured into a gunrunning scheme by half-native Femme Fatale Kade, which ultimately leads to him battling pirates and government soldiers while being hunted by Westerner-hating native warrior Semeru and his tribe of feral warriors, who all possess the same feral powers as Jack.There was also a movie made of Far Cry made by... Uwe Boll. Most notable in that Stuttering Craig and Handsome Tom of ScrewAttack are in it ( Though not in the main, cut feature), and so are Hugo Stiglitz and Anthony Bourdain, oddly enough.For the sequels, see Far Cry 2 and Far Cry 3. For the spiritual successor, see Crysis.
A.K.A.-47: Mostly averted, although the desert eagle is referred to as the "jungle falcon". Played straight in the console version, where guns are referred to generically as "pistol", "assault rifle", "carbine", etc. Also, on the console versions the primary assault rifle is not a real-world gun, but rather a mash-up of several different weapons.
The All-Seeing A.I.: Notably averted; enemies can't see you if you hide in foliage, and a large part of the game involves jungle warfare using the plants to conceal your position from the enemy. Trigens, on the other hand...
All Your Powers Combined: Mutated Krieger has the abilities of all 3 humanoid Trigen types (superjumps, super durability, and cloaking). Interestingly, this makes him quite similar to the nanosuit-wearing protagonist of Crysis.
Armor Is Useless: Massively averted, especially on the PC version. There it's pretty much the key to survival, especially on the harder difficulty settings where armor can take several hits, but one or two bullets will outright kill you if you don't have any armor left. Also, the hard armor breastplates worn by enemy soldiers actually completely deflects bullet hits, but only protects their upper torso (leaving everything from the stomach down vulnerable).
Artificial Stupidity: The Feral Warriors in Evolution will occasional overshoot their super-jumps and end up flying off cliffs Wily Coyote style.
Authority Equals Asskicking: In Far Cry, Crowe the mercenary leader is a bit tougher than his men (partially because he has a bit more health, but mostly because he has an M249), and Krieger himself mutates into a Climax Boss supermutant. In Far Cry: Instincts, Crowe outright mutates himself to a similar degree as your own character, becoming the final boss. Likewise, in Far Cry Instincts: Vengeance, both the Commando Leader and Big Bad Semeru put up a much bigger fight than their standard Mooks.
Bad Boss: In Instincts, Crowe releases the mutants all over the islands, causing his own men to be overrun. Not to be outdone, Krieger sends in his personal elite troops to kill everybody to clean up Crowe's mess.
In Instincts, Val starts out wearing nothing but short shorts and the briefest of tube tops, the better to show off her perfect abs. After the shooting starts, though, the next time you meet her she's wearing a reasonably sensible, non-midriff baring khaki safari shirt, long pants, and hiking boots.
Berserk Button: In Evolution, in any situation where pirates/rebels are directly threatening Kade, Jack goes into a full-on berserk mode where he moves at maximum speed, has all his Feral Senses activated, and can only use melee attacks.
Bond Villain Stupidity: The Mole reveals his identity at the end for no reason other than to gloat at you, motivating you to spend your last minutes to hunt him down and kill him.
In Vengeance, the Wii version of Evolution, Kade stabs Jack after he kills Semeru for her, then gives him a You Have Outlived Your Usefulness speech. Unfortunately for her, Jack, a superpowered killing machine, is barely phased by the stab and very much pissed at learning about her betrayal.
Copy Protection: In an early example of Ubisoft's rather draconian attitudes toward possible software piracy, the game would refuse to start if it detected certain CD copying or emulation programs on the system. It went further than just not letting you simultaneously run the game and the tools in question, however — the game would actually demand that you uninstall any tools it thought could be used for piracy. Made worse if the tools in question did a less-than-perfect uninstallation, which would require you to trawl through the registry and Program Files directory in order to satisfy the game's demands. Or, alternatively, you could just use a hacked executable.
Darker and Edgier: The Instincts storyline is noticeably darker than the original Far Cry, with all the characters generally being much bigger jerks. Likewise, Far Cry 2 and Far Cry 3 have notably darker, more serious storylines than the first game.
Dungeon Bypass: In the PC version, you can shoot the chains holding the lifeboat from the lower deck of the carrier in the second level. Doing so lets you skip the shootout on top of the carrier.
Early-Installment Weirdness: Far Cry 2 and Far Cry 3 are set in the "real world" and are about how screwed up the developing world is and how douchebag westerners are obliviously making things worse. Far Cry 1 is about battling a Bond Villain scientist and his army of genetically engineered mutants. The way Far Cry 1 feels and plays is also a lot closer to the Crysis series than either of the sequels.
Which is not that surprising, since it is the only Far Cry title to have actually been developed by Crytek - both sequels are not only published by Ubisoft, but also developed in-house. The reason for Crytek switching to the Crysis series in the first place was the retention of the Far Cry brand rights by Ubisoft.
Enemy Scan: One function of the binoculars is the ability to tag enemies so they appear on your radar.
Elite Mooks: The gasmask-wearing Elite Mercenaries in Far Cry, armed with the best weapons and armor and possessing superior tactics and thermal-vision goggles. These guys can take about half a mag of assault rifle fire to kill, compared to just a few shots for the standard enemy Mooks.
They appear in the last 2 levels of Far Cry Instincts, too. There's also the Alpha Trigen Soldiers; you fight a few dozen of them just before the final boss fight. Both of these enemy types also have a 50% damage bonus to their bullets, which means they can kill you much faster than you can kill them.
Evolution has Semeru's elite feral warriors, who are similar to the Alpha Trigens, except that they jump around a lot and sometimes carry blowpipes that are loaded with adrenaline-draining darts.
Escort Mission: In Far Cry, Valerie tags along for about 10 minutes at the beginning of the Swamp level, but she's tolerable as long as you don't try to shove her into an actual firefight. In Instincts you have to protect Doyle through a gauntlet of a few dozen Elite Mooks, and again in Evolution you have to defend him from waves of attacking rebels.
For Science!: Krieger's apparent motive for creating the Trigens in the first place.
Giant Mook: The 9-foot tall "Fat Boy" Trigens, who have a rocket launcher for an arm and can soak almost a hundred bullets worth of assault rifle fire. In a game with otherwise "realistic" combat where enemies can be brought down with about 3 assault rifle hits each, this can be quite jarring at first.
Harder Than Hard: Realistic difficulty. Made easier if you know how to take cover and dodge shots efficiently, and know the enemy locations, but good luck if you can't find any armor... highest levels are straight up Nintendo Hard.
Hopeless Boss Fight: Your first encounter with Big Bad Semeru in Instincts: Evolution. You can't kill him, and the fight ends as soon as he lands a hit on you.
Invisibility Flicker: Averted. The Stealth Trigen are truly invisible, with almost no distortion giving them away (fortunately, you're armed with special goggles that reveal them). However, when the player first encounters them there's a pool of shallow water nearby that makes plainly visible ripples when they step in it.
Lighter and Softer: Vengeance, the Wii version of Evolution, is a bit lighter and softer; notably Jack is a slightly nicer guy (even suffering something of the Dulcinea Effect in regards to Kade). He also never manages to sleep with her in Vengeance.
Mêlée à Trois: Jack vs. Mercs vs. Trigens. Mercs vs. Soldier Trigen fights are pretty static, though, since AI NPCs do dramatically reduced damage to other AI NPCs, so if you just hide and wait for them to kill each other you'll be waiting a LONG time.
Instincts has a four-way fight between Jack, Crowe's Mercs, the Mutants, and Kriger's personal elite troopers who he sends in to kill all of the above.
Never Found the Body: Lampshaded by Val in Instincts after Doyle disappears following a huge helicopter crash. Sure enough, he turns up again at the end just fine. Averted in Evolution, where you find his corpse at the end.
Nintendo Hard: Like most games from that era, there is no Regenerating Health (on the PC version at least). Unlike most games from that era, health and armor pickups are actually somewhat rare, and even at full health and armor you can't survive very much damage at all (dying after only several bullet hits). The game is geared towards being played steathily, and trying to rambo your way through will often get you killed badly.
The later release of Instincts: Predator also amps up the difficulty, with Crowe and Krieger's mercenaries becoming extremely deadly and crack shots who will often cut down Jack with deadly automatic fire if he charges them. And charging shotgun troops is right out.
No-Gear Level: One of the final levels has Dr. Krieger taking away all your guns and dropping you into a jungle full of battling Trigens and mercenaries.
He does give you ONE weapon... An assault rifle with ten rounds in it, just enough to kill the first trigen you see. After that, it is a No-Gear Level.
One-Man Army: Jack Carver. Enemy mooks speculate about how one person could not possibly pull off the stunts he does. However, his Genre Savvy allies Val and Doyle both expect and demand that he be a One-Man Army on a regular basis.
Even lampshaded at one point in Evolution. Carver asks Doyle why he has to do 3 mission objectives while Doyle only gets one, Doyle replies simply that he doesn't have Jack's "skills".
Power Fist: Jack's arms a quarter of the way through Instincts.
Psycho Serum: Krieger's mutagen causes massively increased muscle development, but also induces complete mindless psychotic rage. In Instincts it's not even that good, turning most of his subjects into rabid gun-wielding zombies.
Race Lift: Mainly as a result of the Instincts characters being extremely different from their Far Cry counterparts. Most notably, in Far Cry Roland Doyle is a black scientist who ultimately betrays you and becomes the final enemy, while in Instincts David Doyle is a white guy who kinda looks like Bruce Campbell and sort of becomes your Vitriolic Best Bud. Also, Valerie Constantine is changed to Valerie Cortez in Instincts.
Rare Guns: The Pancor Jackhammer and OICW appear as quite common standard weapons, the Jackhammer as the game's default shotgun, and the OICW as the weapon of choice for the game's Elite Mooks.
Rule of Perception: The weapon in your hand, and only that weapon, governs how long you can sprint for.
Second Hour Superpower: In Instincts, Carver doesn't get his special mutant powers until the 3rd level of the game. This actually makes the first couple of levels potentially the most difficult in the game, as you don't have Regenerating Health and can't survive very many hits.
Shoot the Shaggy Dog: In Evolution, after going through one of the game's most annoying difficult fights in order to protect a badly injured Doyle from attacking rebels, you go off to look for an escape vehicle, and when you get back Doyle has apparently crawled off, leaving a trail of blood for you to follow. After following his trail for 2 entire levels, you come across his corpse, and realize that an indeterminate amount of the trail was just the Big Bad leaving a trail of clues by dragging his corpse along, all just to dick with you.
Shout Out: The plot of the first game is reminiscent of The Island of Doctor Moreau, in which a mad scientist creates genetically altered monsters and animal-men on a mysterious island.
The Starscream: Doyle again. In the Instincts storyline, Crowe turns against Krieger about 3/4ths of the way through the game and tries to take over the operation himself.
Stripperiffic: Val again. Notable mostly because while Jack takes the time to put on a bulletproof vest over his attention-attracting shirt, she goes everywhere wearing short shorts and a tank top. Or less.
In Instincts, Val starts out like this (wearing nothing but shorts and a tube top to show off her perfect abs), but puts on a reasonably sensible khaki safari shirt, long pants, and hiking boots after the shooting starts. No flak vest, though.
Super Drowning Skills: The Trigens' one weakness. It's still unclear whether this was intentional or not. Given that the Korean soldiers in Crysis suffer a similar problem, perhaps not.
Superpowered Mooks: The Feral Warriors from Instincts: Evolution. They have enhanced speed, enhanced jumping ability, enhanced durability, and a really mean melee attack... in fact in some ways they're more impressive than the enemy Nanosuit Soldiers in Crysis.
Although you can still mow through them quite quickly with Feral Attacks.
Unexpected Gameplay Change: The switch from fighting mercenaries using intelligent infantry tactics in the jungle to fighting packs of two-hit-kill melee mutants in dank corridors.
Wounded Gazelle Gambit: In Vengeance, the Wii version of Evolution, it's revealed Kade was partners with Semeru in creating the rebel army, and manipulated Jack into killing Semeru so she could take it all for herself. This makes more sense than the original Evolution plotline, where Jack and Kade just run into Semeru repeatedly by sheer bad luck.
You Kill It, You Bought It: At the end of Instincts, Jack becomes the new pack Alpha of the mutants after he kills Crowe. That lasts for about 1 minute, as the mutants help Jack kill Krieger then opt to stay behind while the island blows up. In Vengeance, the Wii version of Evolution, the Rebels take Jack as their new leader after he kills Semeru.