Far Cry 3 Review
By Paul Barbara
Far Cry 3’s opening cinematic paints the picture of a young group of friends holidaying on a beautiful tropical island. Then, within moments, the group is held hostage and are trapped in cages. Your job is to survive, armed with nothing but your bare hands and with no skills to boot, it doesn’t look good for you and your friends.
The game begins with you (Jason) and your brother trapped in a cage for a few moments before you bust on out of there. Your brother appears to have some form of Army training, so he helps you to make your way out of the camp that is until he takes a bullet to the throat and dies in your arms. This was a powerful opening moment that instantly had me hooked on the game. Jason, who clearly has not a single violet bone in his body, suddenly is attacked by another bandit and Jason retaliates by driving a machete through his throat in his pursuit for survival. Jason now realises he needs to do everything and anything if he hopes to survive.
Far Cry 3 certainly takes a very emotional route with the initial loss of your brother. Having all your best friends and mates stranded with you forces you to make every effort to try and save as many as you can. Jason begins to also transform from a coward essentially to a full blown killing machine as he seeks revenge on his hijackers/kidnappers so to speak.
Vaas who you will come to meet initially is in short, a bloody crazed maniac who is definitely mentally unstable and the leader of a gang on the tropical island. Vaas is a character that you watch with such open awareness and you feel as if he is talking directly to you which really hits home. I was unable to move my character Jason on screen whilst Vaas was strutting about, pointing his gun at you and your friends. Vaas comes across as a nasty character that loves the thought of tormenting and torturing his victims which makes you feel all the more determined to put Vaas in a coffin as quickly as you can. That’s not going to be that easy though.
The game opens up shortly after the meeting with Vaas and the murder of your brother. As you do your best to escape you meet up with a helping hand who teaches you how to survive on the island, by hunting, scavenging, harvesting etc. You will also be able to hunt animals, harvest their fur/skin and use those items to forge new items for your inventory such as bigger wallets, larger backpacks, health regeneration etc. There certainly is a wealth of exploration to be had with Far Cry 3. The island is huge, and you’ll definitely need to make swift use of your map, which thankfully is identical in style and design to that of the Assassin’s Creed series. I instantly felt at home with the map, and the design which was a real bonus for me as it’s very easy to use and navigate your waypoints.
Throughout the island there are various communications towers scattered around the place. Climb one of these, and hack it so to speak and a large area of the map and its objectives now become visible. This definitely feels the same as Ezio climbing a building and synchronising his viewpoint. Still, despite the familiarity it works extremely well. Also, as you explore the island, there are certain areas (i.e. forts) that are run by Vaas’ men which you must assume ownership by liberating that area so to speak. Take out the guards and the base is yours.
There is certainly a lot of objectives and exploration to be had with Far Cry 3. You’ll explore ancient underground ruins; explore ship wrecks, climb mountains, drive cars, water skis and take to the skies with a hanglider and much more. You’ll certainly have loads of options on how you want to get around and where you want to go. That’s certainly what I love about Far Cry 3, it’s the sheer amount of options you have. You can choose to follow the main story line, or embark on exploration and side missions if you desire. You’re never limited to just one option. Even when you choose to engage the enemy, you can go in guns blazing, or you can take a stealthier route, picking of enemies one by one, shutting off alarms and even using some caged animals to do your killing for you. Heck, I was even surprised when I accidently set a bear on fire and he ran about the place killing the enemy whilst trying to put out his flames. There is certainly many ways you can take your enemy down.
Also, to help you make your way about the island are fast travel points which will certainly cut down your driving time. Personally I enjoyed driving to my next objective; nothing beats a scenic drive through the hills in a dirt buggy! All you have to remember though is to stick to your objective which is to take over the island and take down your enemy.
Far Cry 3 also comes bundled with its own Multiplayer mode which is similar to that of the campaign; however it’s noticeably toned down. There is not as many tactical attack opportunities and map feel slightly cluttered and confusing. I did find it difficult sometimes navigating to my next objective. However there is still certainly lots of fun to be had with the multiplayer, however personally the single player is definitely where the game shines. I did enjoy the co-op multiplayer mode called Firestorm where your objective was to set the other teams supply depot’s on fire, whilst protecting your own. Great fun with a group of friends.
Graphics & Sound
The visuals in Far Cry 3 are extremely impressive. The island is bursting with vibrant greens and blues from the trees to the sea. There is also some very impressive draw distance which is noticeable when hang gliding, you can certainly see well into the distance. There was however some occasional screen tearing but nothing to be concerned about. The games sound was also great, with weapons sounding like their real life counterparts, and thankfully all 20+ guns did not sound the same, so that was good to hear. The voice acting was well orchestrated and even the accents from the locals were well created, and I could even detect an Aussie accent or two.
Far Cry 3 was a game that I personally did not feel was overhyped at all. In fact, Far Cry 3 exceeded my initial expectations immensely and I was surprised in more ways than one. Far Cry 3 engages you on so many levels, particularly with the characters and that’s something I haven’t felt for a while with a game. The attention to the story and the characters is what separates Far Cry 3 from another shooter/action title. This is what we need more of in today’s video games, characters such as Jason and Vaas. I felt real anger, real sadness and the desire to kill em all, and with that, that’s what makes Far Cry 3 so great and certainly it’s what pulled me right into the game. Far Cry 3 is most certainly a must buy for any gamer out there, I encourage you all to scoop it up and find your way off the island, if you can.
9 / 10