Truthfully, I was underwhelmed by the fiction of Far Cry 3. You play Jason Brody, a young Californian who becomes stranded on an unforgiving island alongside his six friends. You and your friends were enjoying a lavish vacation stuffed with country hopping, booze, and bar fights whilst searching for the next adrenaline rush. One night it is suggested to your crew that the perfect thrill would be skydiving blind (and probably drunk) onto the archipelago called Rook Islands. Idiotically, you rush into parachute packs and a plane, unaware your lives are about to change forever. Once you and your pals successfully land on Rook you are overwhelmed by pirates. These pirates are led by antagonist Vaas. Vaas is a sadist and a sociopath who disperses your friends among slave owners. After escaping Vaas’ murderous hold and struggling to freedom you vow to rescue each friend from their impending doom. Your journey will include animal skins, plant remedies, guns, a little bit of magic, and a lot of drugs. Far Cry 3 intended to include many thought-provoking, psychological twists to the plot but I often found these attempts poorly planned or nonsensical. Perhaps the in-game drugs are to blame for my confusion or maybe there were scenes in the game that weren’t meant to make much sense; adding to the feeling and atmosphere of isolation, uncertainty, and fear.
I thought the ending of Far Cry 3 was lame and left me with too many questions. I say “lame” as in “this is cheesy writing and I’m not sure what’s going on.” I recognize it could be my own fault I was confused at the closure but I’m going to give myself the benefit of the doubt and say that Far Cry 3 just had some loopholes. Although I was disappointed with the overall story I want to commend Far Cry 3 on being a very entertaining, engaging game.
GameplayHere is where Far Cry 3 shines. Gameplay is diverse and offers all types of gamers something to appreciate. FPS lovers will enjoy the gun collection and customization. Both RPG and action-adventure fans will like the character development, mini quests, decision making, gathering materials, treasure hunting, and real-time interactions. Everyone will love the numerous types of transportation to play around on. From jet skis to trucks, gliders to four wheelers, there are plenty of toys to try out on Rook. The world of Rook Islands is gigantic, filled with diverse wild life, ruins, and caves to keep Brody busy. You’ll spend hours trekking around the world, discovering new outposts and radio towers to clear and relics to collect. There is a plethora of mini quests to complete, many rewarding you with the ability to craft better gear, and Trials of the Rakyat. Trials of the Rakyat are challenges you can participate in to score big points, showing off your skill to other Far Cry 3 players. The atmosphere of Far Cry 3 is exceptionally done. From the weather to the landscape, I was immensely impressed with how immersed I became in the game. I had more fun just running around Rook looking for treasure, shooting up bad guys, and running over goats with my car than I did playing the main quest. A word to the wise: as you’re running around finding collectibles and fighting tigers, please be mindful of what you jump off of. I died many times thinking “this is just a short fall” and trying to slide down ravines. Brody is a tough guy but he doesn’t have trampolines for feet, so just judge that hop-down wisely. As you level up there are perks you can get that evolve Brody into a badass Rakyat warrior – one perk decreasing the damage taken when you take a tumble. I also want to note that I was impressed with the intelligence of NPCs (non-playable characters). NPCs are aware of their surroundings and are pretty astute.
I did experience some glitching throughout Far Cry 3. In order to heal yourself you must hold down Y. Frequently Brody was too slow to heal himself, as though the holding of Y was not registered and my Brody would die. Initially I believed this to be human error and would scream profanities at myself and Brody every *$^()# time this happened. However, I noticed throughout the game this was a consistent issue and only occurred with the Y button instead of X, which required the same execution as Y to gather plants and loot bodies. This was particularly frustrating when I was on (#^*#@!! fire. I would also experience a glitch where if I walked through a waterfall the effect of water cascading over my eyes, obscuring my vision, would stay with me for an extended period (regardless of whether I was near the waterfall or not). This pissed me off and caused me to fall off of big, big mountains. I would just spin around in circles, firing my gun and screaming at the water to “go the (#%*@ away” but alas, I would endure the Niagara Falls effect until I died. Other than these inconveniences the game was unbelievably fun and I spent many weeknights playing late, pretending I didn’t have real life work in the morning.
Co-op and multiplayer are available with Far Cry 3. I thoroughly enjoyed co-op with my friends and preferred it over the multiplayer option. New characters and challenges are introduced in the co-op mode. Multiplayer offers familiar modes like team deathmatch and domination (capturing and holding command posts from the other team). Some innovative modes for multiplayer included firestorm: burn enemy supplies and capture their radio. Transmissions mode is also available which demands that opposing teams capture and hold the other team’s active transmitter.
A lot of people may appreciate the Far Cry 3 Map Editor. The Map Editor allows players to build and customize their own maps. Change terrain, add buildings, delete barrels, do whatever you want. Players who create fantastic, fun maps can even have their maps ranked by the Far Cry 3 community and let gamers battle for blood on their very own maps!
On my Xbox 360, Far Cry 3’s graphics were good but I didn’t drool over them like I have with other games. This isn’t to say the graphics weren’t up to par with the times; they were! I just didn’t feel the graphics were so spectacular they deserved special praise. Although they weren’t mind blowing I want to give credit where credit it due and I think Far Cry 3 did well with their aesthetics and overall design. I have heard from PC friends that the graphics are stellar on their master machines and give great glory to the graphics of Far Cry 3.
In my humble opinion the voice acting in Far Cry 3 is award-winning. Voice actors were chosen well and matched the virtual characters perfectly. Dialogue was never boring and I was in awe for how believable and natural the voices sounded. The soundtrack for Far Cry 3 was also excellently done. The music matched the mood and got my heart pumping whenever battle was afoot. I also liked the realism of the sounds; rainstorms could be mistaken for real life and the sound of firefight off in the distance grew or diminished depending on my position. Well, well done, Ubisoft.
Overall I would highly recommend Far Cry 3. I thought the game was expansive, diverse, interesting enough to keep from getting bored, and just fun to play. If you can handle a somewhat disappointing story in light of fantastic gameplay, I would suggest Far Cry 3 is worth the $60 price tag. Even after you complete the main story you can continue to scavenge Rook Islands and the map is gigantic (giving what you paid for and more)!