In the role of a mercenary, Far Cry 2 players find themselves in Africa. They are to bring down an arms dealer known only as "the Jackal," who has been thriving on tribal warfare. Suitably equipped but mostly alone, players are left to themselves to decide exactly what needs to be done and how to do it. Instead of a linear storyline or scripted quests, the game presents a framework of places and people who are designed to act according to their own natures, and react according to the way the player deals with them.
The game's heroes are a group of loosely associated "buddies." Players can choose to play as any one of the characters in this group, and the others will be placed in the game as friendly NPCs. Friends and enemies alike, all NPCs in the game are designed to act and react naturally in their current circumstances. Enemy guards tend to their duties and make decisions dynamically. Allies decide to become allies on their own terms.