One of the hallmarks of classic FPS games, such as Wolfenstein, Doom, and Half-Life, is the conscious design choice to allow groups of enemies to attack each other. As in Half-Life, Far Cry features both groups of soldiers and groups of...things as your opponents, and when these groups encounter each other, theyll attack each other, as well as Jack. Although these firefights are generally something that Jack stumbles across, rather than instigates, they can still be used to your advantage, if youre willing to wait for the numbers of enemies to thin out. Your enemies seem to deal less damage to each other than they do to you, however, so youll still usually need to be proactive in dealing with your foes if you dont want to be stuck in a hallway listening to nearby gunfire for interminable periods of time.
Kriegers mercenaries are some of the smartest enemies that youre likely to have ever encountered in a computer game. (Aside from their taste in music, that is; their stereos issue nothing but non-stop atonal percussion.) Gone are the days of sniping a soldier, only to watch all of his friends eventually settle down and start resuming their patrols, often stepping over the corpse in the process. These guys are a bit more wily than that; if you take a shot that they hear, you can expect them to close on your position, even if youre a few hundred feet from where they are. Theyll also often make use of squad-level tactics, in that theyll attempt to come at you from a few different vectors, which forces you to cover a wider area with your weapons when you know that youre being hunted. Lastly, they communicate with each other like the professionals that they are; if you come upon an outrider on the edge of a mercenary camp, you can expect him to call in reinforcements if he spots you, whether or not you open fire on him.
Although youll always have to be moving forward in Far Cry, you can often save yourself a lot of health and hassle by letting your enemies come to you. Ambushes will let you mow down enemies as they approach, especially if youve managed to tag all of your targets with your binoculars before you draw them in. The basic routine is to take down an exposed target with a sniper rifle or zoomed assault rifle, which will alert the rest of the nearby mercs to your presence. As they approach you, lie prone on the slope of a hill, looking down at the direction from which theyll be coming, and, with your night vision if possible, pick them off with automatic fire when they come near. Its best to position yourself next to some easily-accessible cover before you do this, though, just in case you get overwhelmed.
Also note that, even though the first mercs you encounter are heavily armed and are as smart as those in the rest of the game, theyre easy kills compared to the late-game varieties due to their lack of armor. After a few levels of gameplay, youll start running across soldiers with kevlar vests, who are as susceptible to headshots as the next guy, but wont fall easily to body shots. Towards the tail end of the game, youll be facing fully-armored soldiers, with vests and helmets. Explosives work well against these guys, but if youre forced to gun it out, you should still aim for the head; although you wont get instant kills, theyll still be able to take less damage to their craniums than they will to their bodies.
The first mutants youll run across in the game will be Tridgens, mutated versions of primates. These come in two varieties, large and small, but both are equally deadly, mostly due to their speed and incredible jumping prowess. Even though theyre not armed, youll never have a comfortable amount of time to shoot at them; they generally appear in groups and will swarm you quickly if you dont immediately start pelting them with headshots. After they close to a distance of 20 feet or so, theyll pounce and use their overdeveloped arms to rip you open, and theyll do it efficiently, too: one or two arm-swipes is generally all it takes to go from being healthy and armored to being mutant monkey food.
Obviously enough, you want to keep Tridgens as far away from you as possible. This generally means that extremely close-range weapons, like the Jackhammer, will have to be switched out for your assault rifle when dealing with them; just go full-auto at their heads and they will eventually drop. Since they jump before they attack, you can attempt to buy more time by ducking around a corner, or attempting to engage them from a doorway; when they jump, theyll usually hit the top edge of the door frame. They may still be in range for an arm-swipe, so dont stand inside the doorway itself when doing this.
Locusts are the basic ground-troops of the mutant army, and although they dont get to flex their squad tactics musculature as often as the mercs do, since they usually appear in groups of one or two, theyre still fearsome foes, combining the jumping ability of Tridgens with the marksmanship of human soldiers. Theyll rarely attempt to get close to you; instead, theyre content to jump from perch to perch, all while relentlessly shelling you with rounds from their AG36s. Locusts arent incredibly tough to kill; the difficulty lies in actually hitting them with your bullets, since they move so often and so quickly. Your assault rifle will be your tool of choice; activate your CryVision goggles when you spot one, to better follow its movements, and fire away when it comes to a stop.
Any decent army has to have special operations troops, and Krieger apparently had the Spectres specially designed for this role. When you first come across them, youll probably notice one compellingly unique design feature: theyre invisible! Well, mostly invisible, anyway; although they do give off a very faint Predator-esque glimmer when they move, youre best off just flipping on your CryVision goggles and tracking them with the heat vision attachment. Spectres pack silenced MP5 sub-machineguns to better accentuate their stealthy nature, and although these guns arent the most powerful in the game, theyre quite accurate with them. Since youll usually see Spectres in pairs, you can find yourself getting pecked away down to zero health before you even know whats happening, so you may find it useful to just whip out your rocket launcher to deal with these fellows.
If Spectres were designed for covert ops, then the Fat Boys are the shock troops: theyre big, well-armed, and can take an absolutely appalling amount of damage before they finally keel over. And, shockingly enough, there isnt any special secret to taking them down: you just have to dish out ungodly amounts of damage before you get blown away by their arm-mounted rocket launchers.
Your only edge when facing the Fat Boys is that their rockets move much more slowly than do normal rockets; youll generally have plenty of time to strafe away from incoming fire before it impacts you, but this is of little help when attempting to kill off a Fat Boy in close quarters, where youll still take plenty of splash damage when a rocket explodes nearby. If you have any amount of mobility when squaring off against these guys, try to take them on while standing on the crest of a slope; Fat Boys havent mastered the art of aiming at feet, meaning that, if youre standing on an elevated position, most of their shots will fly past you into the void beyond, hopefully rendering you safe from splash damage.
When fighting off Fat Boys inside buildings, though, youll rarely have the luxury of squaring off from a height. Instead, youll have to utilize the time-honored tradition of circle-strafing to attempt to avoid taking splash damage from rocket fire. If possible, strafe back and forth from around a corner to avoid rockets, while getting intermittent shots to the head in. Unfortunately, Fat Boys are highly resistant to explosives, meaning that attempting to use your own rockets is generally futile, unless you can spare six or seven rockets per target. Mounted miniguns are, of course, ideal weapons to use, but you will have to disengage and strafe away from rockets, lest you get turned into Carver pudding.
In addition to the launcher-toting Fat Boy, theres a much rarer unarmed variety. Unarmed Fat Boys will attempt to lumber up to you and attack you with their fists; theyre slow enough to easily avoid, so either pop them in the head until they die, or just run past them.