Welcome to Game Impressions Daily, a look at games and how our opinions of them change over time, even while in the midst of playing them.
What I see when I look at Far Cry 3 is a game that, above all else, wants to be fun. Of course, most games want to be fun, but the unflinching commitment that it shows to this core concept is absolutely fascinating to me. The simulation aspects of Far Cry 2 are not only gone, but completely forgotten: Far Cry 3 learns from its predecessor by discarding almost all of what made it unique, and in many cases, frustrating. You don't have disease to deal with, guns don't degenerate or jam, you can quick-travel at any time, there's a shop in every safe house, and the map is full-screen instead of something your character holds. Even beyond this, the new systems are made as simple and painless as possible: level-ups and crafting can be done anywhere, mods you add to your weapons will appear on the gun if you find it on the ground, you can mark enemies with your weapon and track them through walls, and nearby objects are automatically added to your map. Far Cry 3 seems like a much less interesting game than it's predecessor, but its fairly obvious that its a much better one as well. I only got to play for a few hours, but I've already fallen off the beaten path in a way that I only normally do with Bethesda games, and having a lot of fun just reacting to the crazy stuff that constantly happens around me.