Far Cry 2, still the pinnacle of Ubisoft’s gritty, realistic, open-world FPS game, has somehow been made even better thanks to an ambitious new mod that addresses its mission structure, guard AI, and visual performance, a perfect solution for anyone who wants to return to the PC classic, or those of us disappointed by the middling Far Cry 6.
Launching in 2008, Far Cry 2 remains the most grounded and brutal entry in Ubisoft’s sandbox game series, focusing on a no-clean-hands civil war between militatarist factions in a fictional region of South Africa. Bloody, bleak, and occasionally beautiful, it’s nevertheless marred by a few frustrating visual and gameplay issues, with the vivid realism and uncompromising narrative sometimes undermined by dumb guard AI and game-design cliches.
Scubrah’s Patch, a new mod for Far Cry 2, attempts to fix all of that, tweaking and refining the mechanics, structure, and gameplay dynamics of Ubisoft’s open-world to make the whole game more cohesive and convincing.
First off, it ditches those aggravating guard outposts, where enemies respawn seconds after you’ve killed them. If you clear an outpost, it won’t repopulate now for thirty minutes of real time, meaning you’re unlikely to be ambushed in the same spot twice as you go back and forth through missions.
Similarly, enemy patrols have been randomised and diversified. Rather than the same four guys driving the same two cars in the same few locations, patrols can now be found all over the Far Cry 2 map, comprising different amounts of bad guys using different weapons and vehicles. If it’s just a couple of grunts in a beat up old sedan, you might consider taking them on. A bigger patrol, with Jeeps and turret guns, is probably better avoided.
The mission structure gets an overhaul, too. In the base game, if you accept an ambush mission you can’t take on any other work – like assassinations or collecting weapon stashes – until the first job is done.
This can get repetitive, as you’re constantly traipsing back and forth to accept a quest, go and fetch something, and bring it home, before heading out again to the same, distant area. Scubrah’s Patch enables you to take on multiple objectives at once, so if there’s an ambush, an assassination, and a collection quest all going down in the same region, you only have to make one journey.
The lengthy opening sequence is now skippable as well – it’s a good set-up, introducing the plot, the characters, and Far Cry 2’s world, but especially on repeat plays, it drags a little, so jumping right to the hotel after you’ve been rescued by The Jackal is a welcome reprieve.
And then there are the visual fixes and minor tweaks to gameplay. FOV, both in vehicles and on foot, is increased, giving you a better view of Far Cry 2’s lustrous environments as well as encroaching threats. You can swim faster, drive faster, and vehicles can now withstand much more punishment, so you don’t have to keep getting out to do repairs.
Enemies are more likely to use grenades, adding an extra dimension to combat, but contrary to the base game won’t instantly jump in a car to start chasing you once you get more than 20 feet away, avoiding those almost slapstick moments when Far Cry 2’s bad guys try to run you over because you’ve just jumped behind a tree.
The streaming radius of the world is increased, meaning you can see assets, environments, and enemies at greater distances, and there’s even a tweak to fix input delay, which resolves the occasional problem of Far Cry 2’s sluggish controls. So, if you want to play the best Far Cry game but even better, Scubrah’s Patch, by a modder of the same name, is available now at Nexus Mods.
Alternatively, check out some of the other best old games that you can still get on your PC, or maybe the best survival games, if you’re a big fan of Far Cry’s gruesome healing animations. Since we’re still at the start of the year, you might also want to take a look at some of the best upcoming games on their way in 2023.