Top #20 Holiday Games of 2008

#2 Far Cry 2

Available for: Xbox 360 - PS3 - PC
Release date: Out now
ESRB rating: "M" for Mature (17+)

Updated November 1st: read my full review of Far Cry 2 here

Sum up:
Far Cry 2 takes place in a huge, non-linear and explorable open-world. Instead of being placed in some unknown jungle island (like last time), you're put into modern Africa during a bloody civil war. You can now pick from nine different mercenaries to play as, who each have their own background, story and look. The base narrative revolves around you trying to hunt down and kill an enemy arms dealer called the "Jackal," and to do this, you'll be shooting and driving your way through the aforementioned Africa.

The weapon system is very realistic, with your arsenal eventually wearing down and jamming; there's a full night/day and weather system in place; there's an eco system of African animals like zebra, etc; you'll be able to use a flame thrower to realistically burn foliage and structures in real-time; and it's touted to have over 100 hours of possible gameplay (the story itself takes about 30 hours to beat).

Recommended age:
The ESRB rated this game "M" for Mature, listing "Blood," "Drug Reference," "Intense Violence," "Sexual Themes," and "Strong Language." The "Blood" consists of large red puffs/spurts when you hit, cut or shoot a enemy, but the blood doesn't splatter onto walls/floors, or linger. The "Drug Reference" consists of you hearing and/or seeing talk of drugs by the enemy (about once), and the main character takes pills for his malaria.

The "Intense Violence" obviously consists of the main character being equipped with rocket launchers, pistols, machine guns, knives, machetes, etc. And using them to plunge into, hack, slash, shoot, and blow up enemies with. Your character can also burn down entire areas with a flame thrower (including enemies), and destroy buildings, etc.

The "Sexual Themes" only (I've now beat this entire game) consists of a couple suggestive comments and there are three women present in the game. But, there's absolutely no sexual scenes. And last of all, the "Strong Language," which means there are multiple uses of words like sh*t, d*mn, hell, p*ss, b*tch, bastard, a**, and very frequent use of the f-word. So, the overall content is obviously suited to an older age group, and I'd recommend this game for ages 17+.

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