Gone is Jack Carver. Gone are the Trigens. And gone is the tropical paradise. In short, Ubisoft has ripped up Far Cry, chewed on it, and spat out a game that to be sure retains certain hallmarks of its predecessor but at the same time one that bears little resemblance to the surprise hit from Crytek.
Revealed in the latest edition of PC Gamer UK, Far Cry 2 tears us out of our cosy desk chairs and throws us onto the sprawling plains of the African savannah.
Ubisoft is maintaining the exoticism of the original Far Cry game, but has decided to play it straight - enemies, for example, are humans and wildlife, and no genetic mutations. Nothing fantastical.
Far Cry 2's action takes place in two large fully open worlds, and features a non-linear, dynamic storyline that uses "a simple drama management engine to populate the story with key characters and facilitate the convergence of the story toward major climatic events", the sequel's producer Louis-Pierre Pharand has explained.
In the nutshell, the game's story finds you out to kill a bloke who's allegedly responsible for selling arms to both sides of a conflict in a failed state.
Ubisoft's drama management engine has raised one eyebrow. Our second eyebrow has been raised by an AI system that sounds similar to GSC's A-Life in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.
Pharand's explained that the AI in Far Cry 2 is "needs-driven", and that the main needs governing the behaviour of the artificial intelligence are rest, duty and social.
"Scattered all around the world are what we call SmartTerrain Points - locations where NPCs can perform actions that fulfil those needs". The AI system naturally covers wildlife as well.
PC Gamer describes Far Cry 2 as "hugely, impossibly ambitious" and... Well, we're not going to give away everything in the preview here. You can already read the first instalment online, and we'll be brining you the second and concluding part of the reveal tomorrow.