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Mastertronic start 2006 with a bang

The Mastertronic Group Limited, the UK's leading publisher of value software, will be seeing in the New Year with a bang, as it releases the hugely successful title Far Cry in January 2006.

Originally published by Ubisoft, Far Cry will be published on the Group's PC Gamer Presents... label, where only titles that scored 80% or higher in that magazine's review section are eligible. With a score of 91% and the Game of the Month award, Far Cry qualifies for inclusion with ease. PC Gamer's high review score was no one-off, with reviews averaging 90% plus across all the main gaming magazines.

Rather than being set in a gloomy dungeon, or in some vaguely futuristic world, Far Cry takes place on a South Pacific island, alive with colour and noise. The player takes on the role of Jack Carver, a man with a mysterious past, who has left it all behind to become a boat skipper. Chartered to take journalist Valerie Cortez to a secretive island, Jack's boat is destroyed by mercenaries. Having lost everything, Far Cry follows Jack's attempts to rescue his friend and get revenge on those who are out to kill him.

Incredibly for such a well-received title, Far Cry is developer Crytek's first game. Originally conceived as a technology demo for NVIDIA graphics cards, the demo soon took on a life of its own. The game's proprietary CryEngine can map an amazing 1 kilometre of actual terrain in real-time. Thankfully, with such huge worlds to cross, there are a number of vehicles that the player can commandeer, either to get around, or to make use of the weapons mounted on the back! As well as showcasing some of the most stunning environments, Far Cry has perhaps the best AI ever seen in a video game. Enemies will never make suicidal head-on assaults, but work in teams, always hiding behind cover and never relaxing once they know that there's danger out there.

As with all titles in the PC Gamer Presents... range, all relevant patches are on the CD and it will retail for a bargain £9.99. It also includes the 64-bit version of Far Cry for users who have the latest PCs. Previously, the 64-bit version had only been available via the internet as a bandwidth-busting 1GB download.

"Mastertronic starts 2006 as it finished 2005," commented Peter Ball, Sales Director. "We take the best titles on the market, add extra value to them and then virtually give them away. Far Cry is a superb first release for 2006 and will be supported by many more high-profile, quality titles in the coming twelve months."

About Mastertronic Group Limited

Mastertronic is one of the best known electronic entertainment brands in Europe. It pioneered the European console market with its launch of the Sega Master System, invented the budget retail sector and built an international development and publishing operation under the Virgin Mastertronic label.

The brand was subsequently relaunched as The Mastertronic Group Limited in 2003 by founder Frank Herman, together with Andy Payne and Garry Williams.

The Group now leads the European value publishing sector through its retail brands M.A.D. (Mastertronic Added Dimension), Sold Out (the UK's largest-selling budget operation, acquired by the Group in 2004) and PC Gamer Presents, a unique quality-assured brand in association with the leading games magazine publisher Future Publishing.

The Group also offers, through its wholly owned subsidiary The Producers Limited (also acquired in 2004) a 'cradle to grave' total turnkey service for physical product, from marketing through packaging and warehousing to retail and electronic distribution. In addition, MAD 4 Games, a wireless channel for content delivery to mobile phones was established first quarter 2005.

### PR CONTACT ####

Neil McKenna, Mastertronic Games Limited

t: 0845 234 4242


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