Ubisoft takes the Far Cry series into a new direction with Far Cry 3, with an invigorating open world design and edgy, well written campaign. Gamers can expect to be on the edge of their seats as they embark on a thrilling journey through a completely treacherous and unfamiliar environment, finding it difficult to not fall in love with this magnificent game.
The main protagonist is Jason Brody – a carefree, stereotypical rich-kid “dude” – who is a very unlikely hero with no initial military or tactical background. He must change every aspect of who he once was in order to rescue a group of friends, thus exploring the age old question of “what if?”. With a more in-depth storyline than its predecessor, the campaign tells the story of a naive, thrill seeking group of friends who misleadingly take a skydiving trip to a tropical island controlled by an organization of drug pedaling, slave-trading marauders and their pirate-lord, Vaas. Captured initially with the intentions to be sold into slavery, Jason barely escapes his abductors, and is miraculously rehabilitated and enlightened by a local villager, Dennis. With the help of Dennis, a pompous priestess named Citra, and various other characters, who ultimately direct him on the path, of “The Warrior”, Jason is given the ability to take back the island, rescue his friends, and ultimately redefine himself.
Far Cry 3 never failed to impress with its hybrid combination of a first-person shooter, giant open-world, and RPG features including skill trees, experience points, and crafting systems. The gameplay and controls are extremely enticing and easy to grasp. Primarily stealth based, you have the ability to hide behind objects and avoid enemies’ line of sight. Along with that, you can also execute stealthy and subtle take-downs and melee attacks from multiple directions. Ubisoft definitely impressed the gaming community with breathtaking, shocking and provocative quests consisting of a massive 38 missions, which are extraordinarily varied, and become gradually more unusual as the game continues. One of the most memorable quests was the “Kick the Hornets Nest” mission, where you are given a flame thrower, in order to extinguish and annihilate a drug swap.
The side missions mainly consisted of boilerplate assassinations, vehicle racing, and/or hunting a specific animal. Some may prefer to ignore side quests and continue on with on the campaign; however, gaining experience is useful. As you unlock skill points to advance and gain special moves such as stealthy takedowns, faster movement and increased damage resistance.
To even the odds, it is extremely important to learn the talent of crafting. Everything you need in Far Cry 3 can be created by gathering plants and hides from various animals. By shooting and skinning a variety of exotic animals such as; shark, komodo dragons, tigers, and bears, you can increase your carrying capacity for extra weapons and ammunition. You are also given the option to take advantage of the island’s native vegetation to make medicines and performance-enhancing drugs, which help you with everything from holding your breath longer under water to spotting animals from a distance.
The graphics and sound quality were nearly perfect and delightfully transcended into a higher level of gaming. I found the introduction and cut scenes invigorating, substantiating immaculate character design and motion. The sound quality allows the player to experience the game to the fullest, combined with incredible, enhancing, and stylized sound-tracks’ featuring popular artists such as “Skrillex” and “Damien Marley”. The only thing that was slightly disappointing was how little attention was given to secondary characters, especially when speaking or doing other simplistic activities.
The multiplayer component of Far Cry 3 was adequate, neither being incredible or unbearable. Comprised of your typical shooter modes such as Domination and Team Deathmatch, the game may feel considerably repetitive in comparison to other first-person shooters. One unique attribute is the ability to use the map editor to create your own multiplayer terrains. If, by chance, your map meets priorities, Ubisoft has the option to use it for other players’ games, giving an unlimited amount of plots to play on. You also have an option for a separate 4-player Co-op campaign, including exceptional protagonists and a storyline completely unrelated to that of the single-player campaign. Co-op revolves around 4 vengeful characters who are exceptionally more skilled in the traits of killing and weaponry, unlike the single-player campaign’s protagonist Jason.
While there were still a few needed improvements, Far Cry 3 definitely triumphed over previous entries in the series, and raised the bar for upcoming releases in the genre. Watching Jason Brody’s descent into darkness as you spend hours exploring Rook Island’s open-world “sandbox” gameplay is well worth the effort.
Editor’s Note: Far Cry 3 was reviewed using a Xbox 360 copy of the game. If further investigation reveals any differences between the 360 edition and the PS3 edition of the game (aside from extra bonus content for the PS3 version), this review will be updated to reflect those differences.