Based on the feedback from the demo and retail versions of FarCry, we could be looking at a candidate for the best first person shooter of the year. The high quality graphics are rendered courtesy of Crytek's CryEngine, which is packed with a number of leading-edge features and has a terrain system that is capable of generating massive and detailed outdoor environments.
The gameplay in FarCry is versatile as it can be slow paced where the player relies on cover while sneaking up on enemy targets. FarCry can also be played as a run-and-gun style where anything that moves is destroyed. I attempted to match both styles of gameplay when designing a walkthrough scenario.
Although performance of the retail version of FarCry has improved with an initial patch, I used the second FarCry demo, which takes place on the Research map, for these tests. The gameplay walkthrough scenario is illustrated below by a series of checkpoint images that begins by running through the cave entrance and taking cover near the first palm tree.
FarCry Gameplay Scenario - Checkpoints 1-4
In checkpoint 5, I took out the guard in the distance and walked up the hill past the larger boulder shown in checkpoint 6. I waited for the chopper to arrive and briefly followed it's path while approaching a palm tree. I concluded the walkthrough by panning the view 360 degrees.
FarCry Gameplay Scenario - Checkpoints 5-8
The game settings were based on the results from the auto-detect feature. Although it is not clearly seen in the screenshot, all settings are at medium quality with the exception of the water, which is set at high quality.
FarCry - Auto-Detect Settings
The walkthrough was conducted at a resolution of 1024x768 using various AA and AF settings. The results of the walkthrough are based on the average frame rate from three runs.
FarCry Research Demo Performance
There results indicate that a mid-range graphics card such as the Apogee AA5700U are able to meet the demands of FarCry using medium settings are 1024x768. Although the the game looks great at these settings, using combinations of antialiasing or anisotropic filtering will cause performance to. Testing with all settings at high quality resulted in an average frame rate in the mid-20's.