Overview of Ironman Mode
Far Cry 2 is a pretty hard game sometimes, right? Sometimes you’re driving and you just get picked off in the driver seat long before you can react. That’s what Insane mode can do to you.
Then after a while… It starts to feel easy, right? Like you’re just sleeping through every mission because all your weapons are busted, and you take everything for granted. Free pick-ups on death, safe houses are stacked to the brim with goodies, and brain-dead AI for the most part. Isn’t there a way to make the game more interesting? Challenging, perhaps?
That’s what this guide is for. Welcome to Ironman Mode.
Step 1: No Buddies
Buddies in Far Cry 2? Hell no. You’re not sharing glory and rewards, you’re a lone mercenary. That’s why you must kill or let your buddies be killed. But let’s be real, if you were a real mercenary, you would finish the job and put the bullet in their head yourself.
Buddies provide too many benefits for them to stay alive. The primary buddy unlocks safe house perks like ammo stations, and once a safe house is fully maxed, it’s just a paradise every few feet from combat scenarios. If you want a more riveting experience, you don’t want this. Safe houses shouldn’t be gas stations where you get filled up, they should feel more like scavenging for leftovers.
The secondary buddy, who picks you up when you die, is also banned and needs to be killed. When you die, you should just die. No magic resurrections, no security, you fail, you start over.
There are other buddies you can bump into randomly (like the plane crash buddy). Feel free to murder those, you don’t really need them anyway.
Note: it’s only possible to kill the primary buddy after doing a mission with them, where they get into a firefight with the enemy. This typically means you get one safe house unlock. Do the first mission with them to ensure you only unlock a car. Cars are pretty much useless anyway, so that’s okay with me.
Step 2: Weapon Banlist
That’s right, certain weapons are going to be banned. There are weapons that just turn the difficulty meter down from a 10 down to a 2 because of how ridiculous they are.
The banned weapons are as follows:
- Primary weapons: Snipers (Dart Rifle / Bolt Action / Dragunuv / AS50)
- Secondary weapons: Mac-10 / Uzi
- Special weapons: PKM / M249
- Additional: All DLC weapons are banned (Silenced Shotgun / Sawed Off / Crossbow)
And I’ll talk about my reasoning behind this as well.
Snipers: these weapons are far too powerful. Long range is a superior tactic in this game because there are naturally so few sniper enemies in the game. Any enemy merc equipped with an assault rifle is going to run around like a headless chicken. You could slaughter a dozen men before they even figure out where you are. It’s too easy to be creative and play from a distance.
Machine pistols: I would say this is the unlikely ban, but these things are deadly. The amount of ammo these things come with, versus how powerful they are, is insane. These things are just one-handed assault rifles. Hell, I trust them more THAN assault rifles. These things do not compare in any way to their pistol brothers at all in this slot, they are way too powerful, hence forth, they are banned.
LMGs: another probable unlikely ban, but I think the reasoning is sound. Compared to rocket launchers, these things carry hundreds of rounds of bullets. Hundreds. Compared to assault rifles, they’re “supposed” to perform worse because of their overall accuracy, but tapping to fire presents itself as a very good strategy. It typically takes around 4-8 bullets to kill a single foe, and a gun can load 100 bullets at a time… Yeah… These things are a little unfair. You’re just a walking Rambo with these in your special slot.
So yeah, they’re banned.
DLC guns: these guns aren’t really high performers in many categories aside from the crossbow. The crossbow is very unfair in the early game because it’s a free rocket launcher, but as you unlock weapons it starts to become not as overbearing. The sawed off pistol and silenced shotgun are weak, but because all these guns come in mint condition with manuals unlocked, they’re a little unfair to use to build up. I would say these weapons won’t win you the game, but I still think they’re a little unfair to rely on. Stay away if you want to have a better, harder experience.
Step 3: No Weapon Crates
I don’t think weapon crates are as powerful as they are. In fact I was going to say I think weapon crates are totally okay. But then I realized, they really aren’t.
There’s a certain point where you are effectively locked out of gun stores/garages, where the difficulty is really turned up. This is where weapons matter the most, and minimizing the wear on these weapons is important.
However, there’s also safe houses, which have weapon crates with your previously stored weapons. This nullifies the difficulty of this area a lot, by allowing you to re-stock on mint condition weapons without a care in sight.
Does it make the game more convenient? Yes. Is it broken? Not terribly. But we’re not about convenience here, so weapon crates are effectively banned.
Additional Insanity Challenges
With all I listed above, that’s really the core of being an Ironman. But that isn’t to say there isn’t more absurdity you can impose on yourself. My rules listed above are guidelines for providing a very difficult but rewarding experience, but there’s a lot more you can do. Here’s what else you could do for fun challenges.
- Three Syringes: no medical kit upgrades
- No Belts: no ammo belt upgrades
- Shotguns Only: only use shotguns
- Homeland Only: only use the Homeland Shotgun
- Starters Only: using only the G3KA4/Makarov as prim/sec weapons
- No Shop: never use the shop
Note: I don’t care about vehicle “upgrades”. If you do a no-shop run, honestly you can buy as many vehicle manuals as you want. I don’t think these things matter at all.
Last but not least, have fun and enjoy the game!
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