Far Cry 3 Review

By: Jimmy Kovalski

Developer: Ubisoft Montreal

Publisher: Ubisoft

Players: 1 (2-4 Co-Op/2-14 Competitive)

Rating: M for Mature (Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Nudity, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content and Use of Drugs)

Platforms: Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC

Release Date: December 4th 2012

Welcome to Insanity

Imagine you and some friends go on a vacation to a gorgeous island paradise. You take in the scenery, interact with the locals at the hottest clubs and maybe do a little skydiving. The weather is always perfect and life couldn’t get any better. Then imagine everyone is captured by a demented psychopath and are going to be sold into slavery. You somehow manage to escape but not after witnessing your brother’s death. You are now alone in a vast dangerous jungle with no idea how to survive and where your friends are.  Welcome to the life of Jason Brody.

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As Jason Brody, you will be taken in by a man named Dennis. Dennis teaches Jason some very useful tips on how to survive the harsh jungle and tips that would help Jason get his friends back. He’ll need them if he wants to get revenge on the man who captured them, Vaas. Along the way you will meet several very interesting and memorable characters. None more important than Citra and her tribe of Rakyat which train you to become a Rakyat Warrior. Becoming this will allow Jason to obtain several useful skills to take down Vaas and ultimately get his friends back.

The story in Far Cry 3 is both the game’s best and worst feature. It starts off very promising and really gets you excited in where it could go. You meet the interesting characters and the plot early on is very enticing. Unfortunately at about the halfway point is where it starts to go downhill. There are so many places the story could have gone that would make this one to remember, however; it just turns up to be an average story with minor thrills. This is the one true thing that holds the game back from being a classic. It really is a shame.

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Now on to what makes Far Cry 3 such a stellar game: everything else. The game is an open world first-person shooter with a mission structure very similar to most other games of the same genre. You bounce back and forth between villages, taking on missions from various people. Some of these missions advance the main plot while others get you experience, loot, guns and other items. The world of Far Cry 3 feels very much alive. There are many collectables to find, outposts to liberate and radio towers to activate. The game also has a huge emphasis on hunting. You’ll see the world is filled with many different kinds of animals. Some are harmless like birds and turtles but others will track you down and kill you such as bears, tigers and komodo dragons. Each animal can be hunted and their skins are used to craft better equipment for Jason.

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That leads into the game’s very well done leveling up and crafting system. When you first start, you are severely limited with how many guns you can carry, how much money you can hold and loot you can carry. All of this can be upgraded by hunting and using the animal’s skins to craft a bigger ammo pouch for example. Some of the bigger upgrades can only be obtained by completing hunting missions which tasks you with hunting down a rare predator. The hunting in this game is a major factor and is, most importantly; fun. There are also herbs to collect which can be used for health or temporary bonuses such as immunity to fire. The game also has an experience system. By pretty much doing anything in the game you are rewarded EXP which can be used to obtain certain skills. The skills vary and most of them don’t feel like throwaways. You have three skill trees to specialize in however you are never tied down to one skill tree. You can bounce between the three mixing and matching skills, however; it’s not that difficult to completely max out the skill trees.

The game also bolsters a huge amount of weapons for you to carry and customize. There are the standard pistols and assault rifles but also a bow, a rocket launcher and even a blow torch. Most of these weapons can be customized in a Call of Duty style. Want a bright yellow assault rifle with an extended mag and red dot? Yeah you can do that. The great thing is most of these weapons can be obtained for free. The game has several radio towers located throughout the world. By activated these towers, you uncover more of the map and unlock a few weapons that can be used for free. So really, you never have to worry about money unless you want to customize the weapon and even then I found myself with a ton of money and nothing to do with it.

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The actual act of playing Far Cry 3 is damn near perfect. The shooting is tight and responsive, melee works well and looting everything in sight is always fun. Obviously you can go about the game running and gunning, shooting and blowing up everything in sight if you so choose. The game feels good and works great in that regard. The thing that caught me off guard the most was the element of stealth. You can sneak your way into enemy outposts and take out everyone there quietly without sounding an alarm. You can also distract enemies with rocks and take them down silently with your blade. The stealth mechanic in Far Cry 3 is better than most stealth games out there and I always resorted to using it because of just how fun it was. This is a rare occurrence in an open world FPS.

Far Cry 3 is a gorgeous game. At times I just sat there staring off into the distance in awe at the visuals. If you have a PC capable of playing the game on high to ultra; I highly recommend getting it for that. However, the consoles versions do look great. They do suffer from some minor frame rate issues but nothing game breaking. The sound quality is also top notch. The score sets the mood accordingly and there is some great use of dub-step here. The voice actors do a great job but none better than Michael Mando as Vaas. He does such a great job that you really believe and are terrified of his character. Vaas is easily one of the best villains gaming has seen in the past decade and huge props to Michael for nailing the character. Overall Far Cry 3 is a superb game on the visual and sound designs.

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The game also comes packed with two addition multiplayer options. One is a co-op campaign with up to 4 people.  This campaign tells the story of 4 people who were wronged by their ship’s captain and now are out for revenge. It’s nothing special and every level is more of a linear corridor shooter then the main game. All the awesome open world elements of the single player are missing. That’s not to say it’s not fun because it certainly is. However if you choose to skip this all together you are not missing out on anything. There is also competitive multiplayer for up to 14 players. This is standard FPS fair. You have the obvious game types and now common progressions system similar to other titles. The famous Far Cry map editor is back and has a ton of options. You can really create some amazing things with this. Again, you are not missing much if you choose to ignore the multiplayer. Neither feels “tacked on” but they don’t feel like the must play part of the game.

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Far Cry 3 is a special game. It may be one of the most fun games that I have ever played in my 15+ years of gaming. The gameplay is smooth and works wonderfully and there is just so much to do that it may be overwhelming to some. The world feels alive and looks absolutely stunning. It is a shame that the story fell so far downhill halfway through the game. They could have gone to some seriously interesting places with it that would have turned this game from a great game into a damn near perfect game. Still as it stands, Far Cry 3 is one of the best games of 2012 and should not be missed by anyone.

Pros:

+Stunning visuals

+Some great characters (especially Vaas)

+Great gameplay

+A surprisingly good stealth mechanic

+Tons of missions to do and things to collect

+Good leveling and crafting systems

+World feels alive and unpredictable 

Cons:

-Story falls completely apart in the second half

-Can be a bit easy toward the end

Final Verdict: 9.5/10

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