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GAME POW 07.18.09: GTA IV & Far Cry 2
Posted by Sam Pow on 07.18.2009

Welcome fans, to a brand new edition of GAME POW! This week we're returning to our normal content after last weeks UT3 edition. Going up to the plate this time around is Far Cry 2 and GTA IV. And I have a banner now! Not a very good one, but still a banner. So, let's take a look at my week in gaming.

Sam's week in gaming: Ok, let's see, I spent this week playing two games. While I put a little time into Quake Wars, eradicating humanity as the Strogg, I actually put most of my hours into Oblivion. I returned to it after purchasing some DLC (again). After creating a new battlemage character, I decided I was tired of doing the mages guild quests for about the tenth time and instead just downloaded the tower expansion so I could buy spell and enchant altars. It's really cool, but utterly useless and boring without upgrades. The next thing I bought was the Fighters Stronghold pack. That is undoubtedly the best piece of Oblivion DLC I have played. Whenever I was in the other houses, I always felt lonely (unless I was pushing the adoring fan off the spire in the wizard tower). With Battlehorn castle, you have an entire squad of soldiers, a chef, a maid, a vintner, a sparring expert, and a taxidermist. It's like a party! It has all kinds of cool features, but my favorite part was battling the orc servant who trains with you, and hanging out in the training room. Rounding off my DLC purchases was horse armor. Not much to say about that. So, let's take a look at our first article, shall we?

GTA IV: Outrunning (and Outsmarting) the Police Guide

GTA IV had wild success as one of the best games of all time, combining great features such as seamless game mechanics, an intricate storyline, and amazing AI. Some of the best AI in the game is the cops, who know how to use cover, set up roadblocks, flank, and even box in your car. They're tough to escape from, especially on higher star levels. Some simple tips that most people don't know really can make beating them easier, though. After discovering these tricks, you should easily be able to escape a four star wanted level, and effectively hold out on higher levels. Check it out.

Step 1: Know your basics

You have to learn the simple things first. For one, you're never going to win against the fuzz if you stay in you car. Often, situations will require you to go on foot, and you'll end up much better off in the long run. If your car starts smoking, immediately seek an area where you can get out. Once the smoke starts to go up, you're only a few precious bumps or bullets before you go up in flames, and eventually explode. If you see smoke, start taking lots of corners, going down alleyways and through parks. Once the police cars are a good bit behind you, jump out, and find a back alley. Go across it, and once you get to another street, it's time to check your map. Pause to do this. If the police are too close, go across the street and find another alley. If they don't know where you are, and are far enough away, quickly steal a car and get away. To make this process quicker, there are two things you can do. First is to shoot the window. The breaking animation is too long, and wastes time. Then enter the car, and alternate between pulling the left and right triggers to hotwire faster.

The key to losing a high wanted level is to keep the police guessing. Alternate between driving and on foot. Lose them by going off the road. Switch cars as often as possible. The AI is realistic enough to get thrown off if you do these things.

Car or bike?

Choosing between car or bike can be an essential choice in the right police chase. Ultimately, they are best suited to different situations. Bikes are small and have good acceleration, and can fit into alleyways and swerve between cars. This makes them ideal for one and two star levels, when you can throw off officers by going down alleys, and not have to worry about an entire FIB squad being on the other side. However, bikes have two big problems. One, it's REALLY easy to get shot by one, so you'll have to make sure you're never right in front of the police. Two, if you make a slight mistake and hit something, you're going to crash and fall off, which spells doom. Usually the time it takes to get up and back on the bike is enough for the police to box you in or set up a nearby barricade.

Cars are the opposite. They aren't as nimble or agile, but can ultimately go faster, and take a whole lot more fire. That suits them to three star and higher wanted levels. And as a rule of thumb, the higher the level, the bigger you want your car to be. QUICK TIP: Don't choose the fire engine. While it may seem big and strong, you are not able to shoot in it, instead using the hose, which is crazy fun, but useless in when being hunted down by an entire city of police.

Final Escape

Sometimes, there're situations where a car just can't outrun the cops, and switching cars, running on foot, and fighting back aren't going to work. Especially on higher difficulty levels, sometimes you'll just get outnumbered. At this point, you need to concentrate on the three final escape plans.

1. Find a helicopter. While you may not be able to necessarily escape using a heli, it's a great way to relocate and try driving again without an entire army behind you. Just remember to stay low to avoid detection as much as you can when actually in the helicopter. The easiest and most obvious place to get one is the helicopter tours at the southern tip of Algonquin. This is good because you can set it as a destination, drive a car right up to a chopper, and get away quickly. There are also normally 4 helicopters, so you'd be hard pressed to find a time when all of them were gone. Also advantageous here is the fact that the side passages to where the copters are is very narrow, so the police will try to pursue you on foot, easily giving you enough time to make your escape.

If you're not in the Algonquin area, you can also find a few helicopters in Westdyke, which is in the northern area of Alderney. They are mostly in the backyards of rich people, so find one of the gated community areas that are fancy.

2. Pay and Spray. If you can manage to throw the cops off for just a bit, entering a pay and spray is the easiest way to lose your wanted level. Just use the above tips to escape from the immediate threat, and then make your way to a pay and spray.

3. Boat away. As long as you can make it quick, stealing a boat is an effective way of escaping the police. Just remember, time is precious, and if you can jack a boat fast enough, police boats will catch up to you, and then you're going to have a hard time. Try finding a dock area where you can easily shoot the driver off a boat, preferably with a sniper rifle. Then swim on over to it and make your escape. You can't really be picky in a situation like this, but obviously a speedboat would be your best option.

Last Stand

If all else fails, and there's no hope left for escape, your coolest option is to find a secluded area and make a last stand. The secret here is the same as in real estate: location, location, location. All those fancy guns and grenades aren't worth jack if you're out in the open. If you're in the right area, even a handgun can hold off enemies for a while. Here are some of the easiest locations to hold out.

Hospital- In case you hadn't noticed, hospitals have one entrance, a wall with a perfect view of that entrance, a soda machine that restores your health, and hostages that you can kill off to get to raise your wanted level. Hospitals make great areas for a last stand, and can sustain you for a fairly long time. If you're really serious, you can even park a car in the doors, stopping entrance to the hospital until it explodes.

Dead-end Alleyways- If you can manage to find a one way alley, you can easily hide behind a wall or car and keep yourself alive there. This is probably a last, desperate attempt, though, as there are much better places you can hide, such as…

Cluckin Bell- Beside the fact that it just sounds cool, Cluckin Bell is also a wonderful place to fend off the fuzz. It has only one entrance to defend which, again, can be blocked off with a car. There is also a counter, which is great to hide behind, and can't be jumped over by foes.

Reefer- Lastly, we have the Reefer. The Reefer is a large boat you can find drifting around with a very small room that houses its steering wheel. Trust me, once you're out on the water firing off your shotgun at police on boats, you'll really feel like a badass (and a pirate). Also unmistakable is that if you get in a tight spot, you can just drive away. Make sure to have plenty of grenades for making quick work of enemy boats.

Ok, now that we've all escaped the law, why don't we take a look at a weapon guide, this time not for UT3. This week we're taking a look at a Far Cry 2 weapon guide.

Far Cry 2: Weapon Guide

Far Cry 2 places an emphasis on realism, and the gunplay shows it. If you want to survive in the games harsh African setting, you'll have to know how to handle its weapons. Guide time.

Handguns are great all around weapons. While their power may not be the highest, they have a good rate of fire, great reload times, and decent range. In addition, most handguns have proficient accuracy. These are best for mid to short range battles. Use them in conjunction with cover to become much more powerful.

Shotguns are the masters of close range combat, and anyone who gets caught in your blast close up is going down. Shotguns have lethal power, but only from short ranges. They're great for indoor battles and attacking vehicles. However, the spread that most shotguns have is missing in this game, possibly due to the use of slugs instead of shot, meaning that you'll have to rely more on your aiming skills. Since shotguns take a long time to reload, it's generally a good idea to unload your clip and then switch weapons. In small to medium battles, this will be much more effective than trying to reload under fire.

Automatic weapons are a prominent feature in the game, and you'll see lots of them on enemies. They are brutally effective in mid range battles, but the bullets tend to scatter at long range and tend to be wasted at close range. Obviously, automatics in this game are going to have the highest rate of fire, decent power, and fairly good accuracy. Normally they would take up your main weapon slot, but two (the saw and the belt gun) fit nicely into the special weapons category, which is a much better place to have one.

Sniper rifles are the best long range weapons in the game. They have the ability to zoom and hit targets that are far away. Use this to your advantage. Find a high area and take out camps from far away. This is a great way to conserve health. While sniper rifles are intended for long ranges, their high power and decent reload times actually make them efficient weapons for close battle. You'll have to aim from the hip (without zooming), and without a crosshair that can get a bit tricky, but sooner or later you'll get used to it.

The last category is explosive weapons, such as rocket launchers, IEDs, and grenade launchers. These weapons work great against vehicles and small, tight areas. Use them to attack a camp before moving in, or to weaken defenses such as turret bunkers or escape cars. IEDs are useful, too. You can make short work of an enemy in a vehicle by placing an IED and convincing them to pursue you with their vehicle, shortly before you pull the switch and send them up in flames.

Ok, there's all your GAME POW strategy for the week. Keep reading, and keep commenting! Tell me what to do with the column! Until next week, POW!


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