During a lecture on narrative design today, Ubisoft Montreal's Patrick Redding revealed that Far Cry 2's health system is tied to infection. Upon arriving in the game's fictitious African country, the player's character -- the strong, silent type -- is immediately stricken with malaria.
Ubisoft's Patrick Redding called this device the "ultimate mechanical drawback." The disease creates a dependence on medicine ('health packs'), but the pills aren't scattered throughout the plains or hidden inside crates. Instead, medicine can only be obtained from civilians. The developers use this device as one of the game's few "push" designs; otherwise, players control the order and scope of Far Cry 2.