Far Cry 3
Gameplay - 9
Presentation - 9
Story/Creativity - 8.5
Lifespan - 8
To put it nicely it’s an open world gamers dream come true, well besides Skyrim of course. So if you’re looking for a game world to take a vacation in but are looking for something a little different, I’d recommend Far Cry 3 with its (not so) friendly locals, fun world to explore and fun gameplay mechanics. Warning: all trips to Far Cry 3 come with terrible endings as standard.
You know while playing Far Cry 3 I couldn’t help but wonder why more games don’t use the theme of insanity. Seriously it would help explain a lot of things, for example why the villains do dumb things. Why let someone run away after killing your brother so they can plot their revenge to kill you and destroy everything you own? Simple, insanity! Anyway Far Cry 3 continues the franchises traditions of having none of the games plots be anyway connected to each other, although now that I think about it that’s probably a good thing.
Far Cry 3 follows Jason Brody, a member of a group of (let’s face it) spoilt rich kids who all get caught by a group of pirates led by the games poster child Vaas during a skydiving trip. Jason and his brother escape but sadly his brother dies when Vaas catches them, but he lets Jason get a head start running from the rest of the pirates. Jason barely survives and meets Dennis who’s a member of the local Rakyat tribe who are fighting Vaas’s pirates. This leads Jason on a journey where in order to rescue his friends and get revenge on Vaas, he must get stronger and he has no choice but to kill and embrace “the path of the warrior” as the Rakyat calls it.
The story itself is actually really interesting and something that I really liked about the story is that Jason starts the game without any military experience at all and he must become almost worse than the pirates he’s killing in order to get his friends back. Hell, the first time he kills someone in self-defence he freaks out and his friends start to get worried about his sanity as the game goes on. It makes a nice change to see a character actually grown from their experiences and are actually affected by the fact that they’re murdering people compared to other games where the characters end the game the same way as they started and don’t react to anybody they kill in-game, like say Mirror’s Edge.
Beside Jason the game is full of great characters like the (reasonably) sane head priestess of the Rakyat (Citra) or the drugged up Dr. Earnhardt, but Vaas steals the show as the best NPC character in-game and is one of the best villains of 2012. What I don’t understand about him however is why the hell was he so hyped if he dies halfway through the game and he and his pirates are replaced by his boss Hoyt and his private army? Okay to be fair Hoyt is actually a pretty good villain and interesting but he and his privateers just feel a bit too normal after Vaas and his pirates.
Far Cry 3’s combat has seen a lot of improvement since Far Cry 2 because for starters, guns you pick up no longer randomly jam anymore and also stealth is not only now an option but it’s also the most fun way to play. You see Far Cry 3 at its best when you’re taking over the games many outposts because it’s completely up to you on how you do it. Your camera can be used to mark enemies so you know where they are while you’re taking them down silently one by one or if you want as an example you can just charge in with a flamethrower because the great fire physics from the previous game are back and just as fun to abuse. The stealth works because the game clearly tells you if your enemies can see you and how close they are to notice you. You can also distract them by throwing rocks any time you want. Dealing with outposts unlocks side missions in that area and also makes that area safer for you to travel through, so thankfully those stupid re-spawning outposts from Far Cry 2 are gone. You can also fast travel to outposts you’ve unlocked, although it’s more fun to travel around the two islands using the hand gliders.
While you can deal with the outposts and side missions anyway you want the game’s story missions are sadly very linear. The story missions themselves are actually pretty good and varied. Two of them in particular really stand out as being insanely fun with the music they added in the background, both of which I won’t spoil. One thing, however, that I really hated was the fact that all the bosses are beaten in those annoyingly popular Simon Says QTE’s, which just feel lazy, but at least Vaas’s one looks interesting compared to the other two which take place in a dark room with no backgrounds. While I don’t really like QTE’s there is one time during cut scenes where (and I can’t believe I’m writing this) the QTE improved the scene.
Far Cry 3 isn’t a game that is willing to just give you things. You see, since Jason doesn’t have any experience at the start of the game you can’t even carry more than one gun for instance, but don’t worry because you can unlock more weapon slots or more ammo, as an example; by hunting and while yes you may feel it’s a little cruel, having to hunt goats for more weapons slots. Trust me when I say, all that guilt you feel will disappear the second a tiger or bear shows up and slaughters you because it jumped you from behind while you were looking for deer, although thankfully the local wildlife also has a taste for the pirates as well. You can also pick different herbs to make different “medicines” for various effects. Consisting of standard things: like healing to give you the ability to sense and see animals through anything around you.
Besides everything mentioned above you can also hunt relics or climb radio towers among others, but this review would go on way too long if I mentioned everything that you can do in the single-player, so instead let’s talk about the multi-player options. Far Cry 3 also features Co-op and Online multi-player. The Online multi-player has four different game types, all of which can only be played in teams so lone wolf’s may be disappointed. The four modes are the standard team deathmatch and domination as well as new modes transmission and firestorm. The transmission mode has teams capturing and defending radios which occasionally change their places. Firestorm which is my favourite of the four modes has both teams trying to set the other teams points on fire before fights for control of the radio to end the game.
The multi-player itself is fun but it does have some problems. Multiple times while playing, either my character or someone on my team respawned in a rock. Also often games would start with unbalanced teams like where games will take place with 4 v 1. Every time the game ends the best player of the winning side can choose to have mercy or punish the leader of the losing team which is a nice touch and you can unlock more of these as you level up. Finally, after a match finishes there is a chance you’ll get some encrypted data. You can use these to get mods and experience but first you have to decode them which you can actually do on the Far Cry 3 website.
The co-op multi-player takes place six months before the events of the single player and follows four characters. The Co-op itself can be played both online and offline. Co-op itself is pretty fun and a nice addition, but sadly is very linear and it’s a shame that at no point is there any stealth, which feels like a missed opportunity. So while co-op and multi-player are nice additions to the game they definitely won’t be where you get your money’s worth.