Five minutes in you get malaria and the Jackal is the one who saves you. Your first priority becomes to find medicine for the malaria before even attempting to go after the Jackal. Throughout the game you continuously have to find more medicine for the malaria and the illness becomes quite the nuisance as you can get a malaria attack mid-fight or while driving (causing you to not being able to steer and quite possibly falling off the edge of a bridge or a cliff).
With the malaria (mostly) out of the way you start picking up quests from your buddies (people you save along the way), weapons merchants, assassination points, and both sides of the civil war (the UFLL and the APR). What originally annoyed me was that I couldn't have one quest of each type active at the same time i.e. one buddy quest, one weapons quest, one assassination quest and one civil war quest. That would've made my trying to drive away from enemies less of a hassle and I wouldn't have had to go back and forth between quest pick-ups and the airfield like four times in a row.
Something else that annoyed me was that the weapons always started jamming after having used the same one for 20 minutes (even with freshly bought ones) and that caused me dying more often than not. Also the ridiculously slow healing process that's always interrupted if a single enemy shot hits you when trying to heal also caused me to die several times. Or the times I was in my car trying to outrun enemies but they followed me with another car and shot at me (because they're always at least two so they can drive and shoot at the same time and I cannot) and so many times I got run over as soon as I got out of the car. Or even better. I jump out of the car start shooting towards the other car who's shooting at me and behind me comes a second car who runs me over. Greeeeeeeeaaaaaaat -.-'
Anyway the first act ends with me being screwed over doing the last APR civil war quest. I rush to save my buddies (you get a choice: your buddies or the Underground) and I watch my friends die around me. Then my character blacks out. He wakes up on the back of a truck with a bunch of dead bodies, falls off the truck and proceeds to wander the desert in a sandstorm. Once again the Jackal saves you, and you're then picked up by familiar faces from the UFLL. And after getting back on your feet your next mission becomes the assassinate the APR person who screwed you over.
The game then continues in the same way as before, but on a new map. You gain a bunch of new friends and get a bunch of new quests to do. Unfortunately all the meddling with both sides of the war and assassinating their leaders on the request of each side, they end up joining forces to drive all foreigners out of the country and start murdering civilians. You're thrown into prison with your new best buddy Hakim. You escape the prison with your buddy and then start making murderous business. The Jackal wants you to help him kill the civil war and tells you to go back to the prison and follow the route behind it. This is it. No turning back now.
The Jackal has requested you to kill both leaders of the new joined UFLL/APR, and also to pick up the diamons needed to get the civilians out of the country. You first go to pick up the diamonds (the path leads you there first), and your best buddy Hakim meets you there. He greets you and then a familiar face shows up - Warren, your original best buddy who was killed in act 1. All your friends come out and start shooting at you. Warren said something about "We made our deal. He's on his own." And that's all the explanation you ever get for how your friends are suddenly alive and shooting at you. So there I am killing Hakim and Warren and Josip and Michelle and several others, for what seems like no reason at all other than the developers wanting to create some sort of omg moment that fell completely flat.
When you get the diamonds you move on to kill the leaders. Easy enough since they both trust you and they let you walk right up to them and shoot them in the face. And afterwards you move on to the Jackal's cabin. He tells you that to kill this cancer that is the civil war it needs to be contained and destroyed. One of you has to blow up the pass to the border so ensure the civilians can escape, and the other needs to get the diamonds there to pay off the transport and then shoot himself in the head. No active part of the civil war gets to escape. I chose to blow up the pass (and myself).
And that's the whole game. It felt very repetitive and every mission (except for the very last part after returning to the prison) works exactly the same every time. There was almost no variety to anything and towards the end I just continued to play it because I wanted to complete it and get it off my list so I could move on. It's a lot more open world than the original, and as much as I complain Far Cry 2 is actually less repetitive than the original. But the game left me with a pretty meh feeling when it was done. I was happy it was over, but the story didn't have enough momentum or interesting characters to actually make me interested in anything that happened. For me it was simply a case of getting through the next thing and then the next thing and the next to complete this extremely repetitive thing and move on to the next game.