• Review: Far Cry 3

    Single Issue XX (Written by Gen. Chris)

    ​Far Cry 3 (2012)

    "I've killed so many people I've lost count. I can never come back from this. I'm a monster. I can feel the anger inside me. But somewhere inside me, I'm still more than that. Better than that..." -Jason Brody

    Far Cry 3 Jason Brody, his brothers, and his friends were enjoying a simple vacation, culminating in a skydiving trip over the Rook Islands, in the Pacific Ocean. However, upon landing Brody and his companions are captured by the pirates who call Rook Island their home, and imprison them. Though Jason manages to escape his bonds, his older brother Grant is killed in the attempt by the sadistic Vaas, leader of the pirates. Now Jason must make allies with the native inhabitants, hone his skills, and become the warrior to free his friends and escape the Rook Islands. However, Jason may lose himself along the way…

    Far Cry 3 is an open world first person shooter, taking place on the mysterious and dangerous Rook Islands. Within the game there are several promising features that come to mind. The Rook Islands are indeed a beautiful location, carefully constructed by Ubisoft with gameplay, story, and side activities fully in mind to bring an inspiring and deadly setting. The world is large, the northern island alone being over three miles long. Within this large world the I found the environment to be rich and lush, filled with many interesting locations, collectibles, and various plants and animals that the player utilizes in his quest to free his friends. Every location is unique, and really helps to bring the world to life. Even on the aging PS3 system, the world is quite graphically beautiful, with sunny beaches, dense forests, several towns and settlements, and many plants and animal all popping magnificently in the spirit of an tropical island paradise. The only graphical issue that does come to mind is the fact that often times textures do not load properly, and there is a fair amount of pop in at distances. However, with the magnificent size of the world, it is not entirely unacceptable for there to be some graphical hiccups.

    Jason Brody is initially very inexperienced, and the game reflects this with the player progression. Though he himself is very timid and even shocked at his first acts of violence, the depravity of the situation forces him to improve himself. There are numerous skills to acquire, shown in the game by showing him acquiring “tataus” (tattoos) that show his skills, unlocking with each new one. These skills as well as the the upgrades in weapons, weapon modifications, as well as upgrading equipment through hunting is one of the best features of Far Cry, as it feels natural for the player, through Brody, to need to improve himself to become the “warrior” to rescue his friends and defeat his enemies.

    Combat is also an impressive highlight of the game, which is good because I normally find gameplay from FPS’s to be relatively boring. Brody has numerous weapons available to him, and the additional skills mean that by the end of the game Brody is indeed a deadly warrior. The combat mechanics themselves are fairly straight forward as it is an FPS, but along with up to four main weapons Brody can also utilize mines, grenades, and others to assist him. All of these weapons can be found, purchased, or given for free upon completion of certain side activities. The only (sort of) flaw in the combat involves one weapon: the bow. Upgraded, the bow and up to 25 arrows along with even some special arrows makes Brody fairly powerful, as the arrows are for the most part one hit kills, and can be reused. Their added silent capabilities also make them ideal for stealth as well. With some practice it would not be entirely difficult to accomplish much of the game with only the bow, which should not be how the game should really be played. However, that is really up to the player to decide.

    Other positive features of the game include the sense of exploration. There are many things to collect and do in the Rook Islands. Of note are the strongholds and radio towers. Strongholds, once captured, become spawn points, fast travels, and safehouses where weapons can be purchased and equipped, while radio towers, once climbed, reveal parts of the map. If this sounds incredibly similar to the Viewpoint mechanic in Assassin’s Creed, you are correct. However each stronghold and radio tower do offer something different, as the strongholds have different set ups while the towers must be climbed in different ways. So while repetitive, Ubisoft did at least try to mix it up with each one. Another interesting feature is the hunting and crafting, already mentioned above. Rook Island has plenty of native animals, and Brody can hunt them to use their skins to upgrade his capabilities, such as number of weapons that he can carry, ammunition limits, and more. Each subsequent upgrade takes a different animal hide, so variety in hunting is required. Brody can also cut down various plants to make different drug cocktails to aid him, the most prominent one being a health syringe to heal him while in combat. The collectibles range from lost letters detailing the history of the island, relics, and loot chests to give Brody some extra cash. The economy system is fine within the game, if a bit too simple, but it accomplishes its goal of making sure that Brody must acquire money frequently in order to replenish his ammunition or purchase new weapons. Traversing the world is fairly straightforward as well, as Brody can use his own legs or several different types of vehicles to get around. And with the large variety of underground structures and other locations in the game, exploring is fun as well as rewarding. There are also numerous side quests that can be done, such as hunting challenges, that can give Brody an edge as well as other things to do. The soundtrack and the voice acting are also quite good, with a stellar performance provided by the voice actor of Vaas, who really helps bring that character to life as a compelling and rather frightening villain. The soundtrack itself is quite beautiful, especially the main theme, which is rather haunting. Finally, Brody’s story is quite immersive, as his struggles of freeing his friends as well as his descent into darkness over the course of the game provide a compelling narrative that few FPS games tend to provide. Aiding this are the interesting secondary characters that either aid or hinder Brody.

    There are only a few negatives worth mentioning. The aforementioned pop in and texture issues can be distracting but otherwise make no serious impact. There are also some performance issues with loading new areas in the form of lag but the instances are somewhat few and do not last overly long. Glitches are also fairly common but usually they do not actually affect the game play. Combat can also become a bit frustrating at times as it is easy to overlook some enemies in the heat of battle and have them flank you, leading to complicated situations. It does increase the difficulty of course, but it can be a turnoff. The same can be said from hunting, as the predatory animals can often be heard but not seen, leading to surprise encounters that could end up costing the player dearly. The game can also feel a bit repetitive at times, and the absolute need to use the radio towers to reveal bits of the map can also be frustrating, as without the full map it can be difficult to plan routes for missions or just moving around. Brody’s story, while very good from an emotional standpoint, can feel a bit weird at times, as Brody at first is very sickened by the violence but that is quickly left behind, and by the end of the game he clearly enjoys it. While it makes sense somewhat, the transition feels a bit off. And while Vaas and some of the characters are good, some of the other characters, including the second antagonist, are just not developed as well comparatively. The game also ends with two choices, and while one feels like a natural one, the other is quite jarring and disappointing as well.

    Overall, though, the game is quite an astounding one. The sense of adventure as well as Brody’s story are exemplary, and the mechanics flow together well. The story is quite dark and mature, featuring realism, the mythology of the island, and really awesome and sometimes silly moments. The darkness of the story, while sometimes uncomfortable, nonetheless is a huge highlight of the game. There are some hiccups, certainly, but few games ever lack those. The game comes together quite nicely, with plenty to do, plenty to see, and a good experience. Far Cry 3 is a solid game in the end, and a fun experience. This is definitely a must play game, and one of the best open world and FPS games I have ever played.


    Comments 3 Comments
    1. SanyuXV's Avatar
      SanyuXV -
      Great review! Far Cry 3 is definitely a solid must play game, you can only hate Vaas so much Is it just me or did you find the ending(s) to be lackluster?
    1. TheDarkKnight's Avatar
      TheDarkKnight -
      Quote Originally Posted by SanyuXV View Post
      Great review! Far Cry 3 is definitely a solid must play game, you can only hate Vaas so much Is it just me or did you find the ending(s) to be lackluster?
      I found one of the endings to be good, but I thought the other one was bad. Surprising though.
    1. King Athelstan's Avatar
      King Athelstan -
      Nice review! Will definevtly buy it when I get the chance!