As for the Far Cry 2 story itself, in a nutshell, it has you playing as a mercenary galavanting about in a rugged African outback hiring yourself out to opposing factions in a civil war. The factions send you out on various 'missions' to further their own ends and these missions can then get potentially subverted by various NPC 'buddies' who reveal plot twists and alternate routes to complete your missions. All the while you have been supposedly hired by persons unknown to hunt down and terminate an elusive gunrunner named 'The Jackal'.
Right from the outset, it is revealed that the civil war has become pointless and self-perpetuating and that neither side is to be trusted. Into this confusion you proceed with the redeeming factor of actually accomplishing some ultimate good getting quickly swallowed up by a murky mish-mashed tale of rampant double-crossing, backstabbing and blatantly larcenous intentions (not to mention your unabashed role as a double agent).
As you progress through the game, you eventually realize that there are no real 'good guys'; ultimately not even your so-called 'buddies'. As a result, the convoluted backstory tends to move backstage as you begin to retain only the gist of each mission, i.e., GO KILL some guy, GO KILL SOME MORE guys, GO KILL YOUR EX-BOSS, et cetera, ad grisly blood trails. This soon leaves you with the distinct impression that you're nothing but a heartless, cold-blooded scumbag mercenary hiring yourself out for blood diamonds.
This fading of the plot behind a litany of disjointed dirty deeds was probably not intended as such although it fits anyway since the Far Cry 2 story finally reveals that you indeed are part of the problem and not part of the solution. Your final encounter with the Jackal involves an unorthodox remedy to end it all and a mysterious denouement that has left many scratching their heads asking, 'What the hell happened here anyway?'.
All in all, this anti-hero take on things is satisfyingly unique although the fact that it neatly circumvents the need to explain any lack of loyalties on the part of your character in order to jive with the shoot-anything-that-moves gameplay cannot be ignored.
My only gripe about the story is I would really liked to have seen a complete rundown of everything that had transpired storywise in the so-called 'Journal' in the game menu just to get a better grasp on the conflict between the two warring factions (however meaningless that conflict may have been).
Save Game Glitches
Be advised that as of this writing, Far Cry 2 still suffers from a major game-breaking glitch which may occur at various key points in the game, e.g., the 27% glitch (referring to the fact that the game menu indicates that the game is 27% complete when the glitch occurs).
What happens here is that after completing all the faction missions for both sides in Act I of the game (there are three acts in the game) you'll find an exclamation point appearing on your map beside the APR faction's headquarters in Pala, the ceasefire town in the center of the map. Upon returning to the APR headquarters, you'll be let into the headquarters by the guard at the door but after going upstairs to enter the APR office, you'll find the door to the office strangely closed. In effect, there is no way to continue the game from this point.
Far Cry 2 players have reported similar glitches at various other points in the game mostly involving doors being shut that are usually open or shut doors that cannot be interacted with to open them (no interact icon appears upon approaching the door). In each of these situations, it is necessary to open the door in order to receive a mission that will allow you to progress through the game.
Far Cry 2 developer, Ubisoft, has identified the glitches to be the result of corrupted save games and has promised on the official Far Cry 2 forum a patch is on the way to fix this. However the patch is long in coming and some are getting understandibly a little testy about this.
As for me personally, I did not experience this so-called corrupted save game glitch on my first run through the game so I kept wondering what everyone was talking about when reading about it on the forum. However, on my second run through the game, after completing all the faction missions in Act I, I decided to complete all the cell tower assassination missions before returning to the APR headquarters to get the Act I finale mission. Upon finally arriving at the APR headquarters, I was able to enter but found the door to the APR office upstairs strangely shut (it's always open) and hence could not get the mission to continue the game (the infamous 27% glitch).
Like many others, I managed to work around this glitch by simply loading a previous save game and continuing from there. I went back to a save game that I made just before embarking on my quest to complete all the cell tower missions and upon returning to the APR office and going upstairs, I found the office door open and I was able to enter and get the Act I finale mission, which in this case was the Goka Falls mission (kill Dr. Gokumba). I continued from there and was able to successfully complete the game. It should be noted that I also deleted all save games that came after the save game I went back to continue from. (This last part is key and may be why some have not been able to successfully work around the save game glitch.)
So do I feel ripped off? Not really. Number one, I've played Far Cry 2 extensively and have only encountered the glitch once so I can't really say it's had a huge impact on preventing me from playing the game and having fun. And number two, I have yet to play a video game on my PC that did not glitch out on me in some way or another (Crysis crash-to-desktops come to mind).
Will the Real Far Cry 2 Please Stand Up?
Regarding the fact Far Cry 2 has no mutants (or Trigens, as it were) like the original Far Cry, one may wonder why Ubisoft actually called it Far Cry 2. In fact, the PC game Crysis bears a much greater resemblance to the original Far Cry than Far Cry 2 in that it was made by the same developer, it has the same tag-the-enemy-with-the-binocular system and it has the same way of mixing mutants (well, aliens, same diff) into the storyline and gameplay. So did Ubisoft just use the Far Cry name to sell the game? (And can we say 'busted'?)
Ooops. Sorry Ubisoft... Maybe I better shut up... heh heh...
(Soo... about that patch...? ...heh heh... ...)