Far Cry 3 is the third installment in the open world shooter series. The game is developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. Far Cry 3 claims to be Skyrim with Guns but is this just another marketing ploy or does this statement really hold true?
Far Cry 3’s Story is fantastic and at times overly stereotypical. Before I discuss what is fantastic about the story and was isn’t lets first discuss the setup. In Far Cry 3, you play as Jason Brody, a spoiled rich kid who is on vacation with his friends on a tropical island in the South Pacific. The story opens up with a bang with rich kids touting their black cards while they skydrive, party, and jet ski around the island. Unfortunately that all comes to an end when they are captured by a psychopathic pirate lord named Vaas.Much like the movie, “The Beach”, this is where the game gets interesting. Vaas’ dialogue and voice acting is one of the top notch performances from a villain this year. Throughout the story he attempts to kill you in several encounters and he always has a clever yet disturbing monologue each time. Your object in the game is to kill Vaas and rescue your friends from their captivity. In order to do this you must team up with the local Tribe on the island called the Rakyat who is lead by Vaas’ sister Citra. Now this is where the game gets hilariously stereotypical, the story soon turns into the White Messiah story where you as the white protagonist comes to save the native tribes from their savage spiritual warrior ways. Now while this portrayal holds true, I think the game does a great job of stereotyping everyone in the game. In this case I think like much like South Park where they make fun of every race and nationality. This allows the game to bring some hilarious characters into the fray. You meet an African named Dennis who is obsessed with Citra and complains about his rough Immigrant experience in the U.S. Dr Earnhardt the psychedelic doctor who pops more drugs than Hunter S. Thompson. Buck the Australian who is addicted to inflicting pain on his victims. Willis the overly Patriotic Ex CIA agent. Sam the a typical German mercenary who shouts stereotypical German phrases like blitzkrieg and wunderbar. Lastly, Hoyt the primary antagonist of the game who is slave trader and drug trafficker. Hoyt being the most despicable character in the game, giving off the vibe of the South African Police in Sarafina! This interesting band of characters really makes the story of Far Cry 3 an enjoyable experience throughout.
Far Cry 3, like its predecessors is a game that made for the PC. The beautiful tropical island has amazing water effects, textures, and draw distance that can only be achieved on a PC with an awesome graphics card. While the console version still look good, the muddy textures and frame rate dips you take on those version ultimately make the PC version the definitive platform to play this game on. Once again if you have the choice to pick this up on PC, it well worth choosing it over its console counterparts especially if you can crank up all the settings. The game ran seamlessly on my machine with no frame rate drops with my only complaint being slight texture pop in.
Far Cry 3 is the best open world game I have played this year. I think the open world is without a doubt the strongest aspect of this game. Not since Skyrim have I enjoyed a game world this much. The simple reason being is that Far Cry 3 has an open world where it incentives you to explore and gives you reason to complete all the side content. Far Cry 3 does this in several ways, the first being the radio towers. Much like the Assassin’s Creed Series and its Viewpoints, Far Cry 3 has these radio towers that you must climb in order unscramble a box that reveals the surrounding area on the map. What makes these radio tower such a great mechanic is that they are often broken and worn down and you must traverse them in order to reach the top. As the world opens up more, the more difficult these platform sections become. Ultimately these radio towers becomes a major priority when entering a new section of the map as it adds new weapons in your store, identifies key areas surrounding it, and opens free items in those stores. My next favorite piece of side content are the outposts. Outposts are enemy camps located throughout the map. The outposts more than any other activity in the game are the part that enjoyed the most for several reasons. The first one of course being that they are mini sandboxes where you can train your combat and stealth skills for the main missions. You must enter these camps by disabling alarms, using stealth takedowns to kill unsuspecting guards, and shoot cages to free animals that tear your enemies to shreds. These outposts give you option to go about them in whatever fashion you want as long as you kill all the enemies in the camp. You can go in guns blazing, defeating all the enemies and their reinforcements or pick off each enemy with your sniper rifle or bow and arrow. Whatever you choose you are rewarded with a new fast travel location you can access instantly from your map, the Rakyat who take over that camp,new activities and quests that you unlock, and safe houses with Automated stores that can be used to purchase, equip, and customize weapons with attachmentsas well as sell off your excess crap. Another side quest I really enjoyed are the Path of the Hunter missions that you unlock at the outpost. These missions ask you to hunt a certain amount of animals or a rare animal with a specific weapon. These missions are a blast! You have ones where you must kill dogs with a rocket launcher or bears only using a knife. The great part about these missions are sometimes they have you hunting and killing rare animals needed to craft certain items in the game. Speaking of crafting, Far Cry 3 has the best crafting system I have ever seen in a game. The reason being is that there are two activities primarily based around this system that are fun in their own right. First off you can pick plants throughout the world to craft syringes that offers various buffs for Jason. Some syringes over health boosts, while others offer other enhancements like the ability to sprint or swim faster, shoot more accurately, or see animals through cover. The other activity is hunting which has never been this fun since Read Dead Redemption. You hunt animals in order to craft Harnesses, Slings and Pouches that are used to carry more equipment, ordnance, and ammunition. Thankfully, Far Cry 3 places icons on your map for areas where you find these animals making the excitement of stalking your prey one of the tensest aspects of the game. I couldn’t relay the satisfaction I got when I finally took down an animal I was stalking for hours in order to craft a specific item. Thanks to these smart gameplay loops, not only does Far Cry 3 becomes one of the best sandbox games this year but one of the best games period. With that said though if you are not a fan of open worlds and want to stick to the beaten path, the story missions in Far Cry 3 offer some great set piece moments. Some of these include mowing down enemies from a turret in a chopper, taking out enemies with a grenade launcher on the back of a truck, and burning marijuana fields with a flamethrower. Not to mention if you like exploring ancient temple for artifacts like in Tomb Raider and Uncharted, they have a little bit of that too. Not to mention great underwater sections. The cream of the crop though of course being the great skill system that keeps you coming back after earning XP for all these missions and activities. The Skills are divided into three main categories; the Heron skill tree deals with long range takedowns and mobility,the Spider skill tree deals with stealth takedowns and survival,
and the Shark skill tree deals with assault takedowns and healing.Thankfully you do not have to pick and choose as you get to unlock all the skills throughout the game which I enjoyed. Now with all that being said, Far Cry 3 does have its flaws. The biggest flaw which has irked me in many other games before being the inability to quick save at any point. While the checkpointing is not bad and often does not set you back too far when you die, the inability to save at any point became a hindrance in certain sections of the game, especially during the end. The inability to save during a vital part near the end when you needed to make a decision ultimately left a sour taste in my mouth during the end of the game. Having to replay the same ending sequence countless times really took the wind out my sail for an otherwise great conclusion to an amazing game. Not to mention the stealth missions that are so prevalent in games like Assassin's’ Creed where if you are detected it is an automatic game over which I despise. Luckily these missions and the ones where you trail an individual are few and far in between unlike AC3 which seemed to be littered with these types of missions. Other small annoyances include the map being sectioned off until you completed certain story missions in the game and abundance of annoying notifications that pop up for every single thing you do in the game. Keeping all the in mind though, you would be hard pressed to find game with the shear amount of quality content than Far Cry 3 this year.
Far Cry 3 is loaded with features. Besides the 8 - 10 hour single player campaign, there is huge open world to explore with tons of side content. You could get lost in the numerous amounts of activities and the game does a great job of having random events that occur that make the game feel like a full fledged world. Besides the single player stuff there is multiplayer and co-op. Unfortunately like so many developers before that have tried and failed, Far Cry 3 is no exception to the rule. At the time of this review the PC version’s matchmaking is broken so I unable to take a look at those features in the game. With that said though from what I have seen and the little I have played, the multiplayer is your standard Call of Duty knock with the co-op faring only slightly better with lack of replayability in both camps. Ultimately, I think that both modes are throw aways and you are better off sticking to the main event which is the single player.
Is Far Cry 3 indeed Skyrim with Guns? As much as I hate to say it, it comes as close as anything I can think of. Besides maybe the absence of a lot of choice and dialogue options, there hasn’t been a game I wanted to sink this many hours into that wasn’t a loot driven action rpg or a mmo. Far Cry 3 is triumph for the shooter genre that has becoming stale over the last couple of yeas. Far Cry 3 can be looked at as staple for a new type of open world game that you needs to satisfy that itch. As far as I see, this industry only as two directions when it comes to these types of sandbox games from now on. Give you total freedom where you get to explore and create the objectives you choose or an open world so chalked full of stuff that you motivated to do it all in order to progress your character. Far Cry 3 innovates on the latter and brings a whole new vein of possibilities to the overly linear fps genre.
Score 95 %
Buy: Tons of content to keep you immersed for hours. Maybe not Skyrim level but huge in comparison to other sandbox alternatives on the market.