“Have I ever told you the definition of insanity?”
I know people don’t like comparing Far Cry 3 to Skyrim, but in my opinion this is an accurate comparison. Far Cry 3 and Skyrim were the only two games I’ve had fun just running around aimlessly, letting the map and inhabitants of the world create an experience for me. A perfect example of this would be when I found myself doing an assassination side mission; the objective was to stab a pirate captain in his pirate face, Simple right? Wrong. Before I even reached the objective, the map had other plans. On the road I was ambushed by a group of pirates, after taking out a few I stole a jeep and escaped, the pirates pursued, as I was looking back I rolled off a cliff. After this demonstration of my incredible driving skills I landed in a river infested with crocodiles, almost killing me in game and real life. Once the beast was dealt with I found a cave to shelter me from the pirates attacks, I proceeded to swim through it finding an ancient ruins and some treasures ($25 and a cigar, don’t ask) after making my way through the temple I was attacked by ANOTHER crocodile. I now stay away from rivers.
The story is a simple story of capture, escape and revenge, but what will keep you hooked are the incredible characters. Vaas is the best antagonist I’ve seen in a while, the definition of insanity; Vaas is volatile, unpredictable and well, insane. Constantly hounding the protagonist Jason Brody to step over the edge and join him in his delusion. Jason undertakes his own personal journey and can either be viewed as an ascent into spiritual enlightenment or the descent into madness and delusion. The first time he kills it’s self-defense and you hear Jason mutter his disbelief, from this point on Jason comes more and more detached from the killings and we begin to question his sanity.
Even your Allies are unstable, and at any moment it seems like they will crack. From a CIA agent that’s starting to feel the pressure of the jungle to a disgraced doctor riddled with hallucinogenics, as a player you are constantly finding it hard to trust and expect betrayal at any moment.
The combat in Far Cry 3 is fast, close and silent. Like a cat, with a knife, that… actually I’m not sure where I’m going with this simile. Capturing Outposts unlocks safe houses and fast travel locations and these are the best times to get the most out of Far Cry’s combat. Of course you can always go in guns blazing with a flamethrower or RPG but the stealthy Predator style approach is a lot more satisfying. Survey the location from afar and tag enemies, release a wild animal into the mix by freeing it from its cage, snipe, or plan it right and kill them all with the knife in one, fluid, brutal combo.
Another high point of praise for Far Cry is the wildlife. From chickens to komodo dragons, FC contains a wide range of creatures to keep you on your toes. When straying from the roads and entering the dense jungles, you have to always be aware of your surroundings, the wildlife also interact with each other realistically, for instance a cheetah would chase a gazelle and a turtle will hide in its shell. The game also makes interaction with animals a priority, as you use pelts to upgrade your gear.
As I said earlier exploration is extremely awarding. When entering a new area of the map the first thing to do is disable the radio jammers, this reveals a part of the map, think viewpoints in Assassins Creed.
The perk system is cool. As you level up you customise your Tatau, a tribal tattoo that shows the natives how powerful you are. Weapons are also highly customisable, with attachment and numerous camo options. The healing system is also worth a mention as it’s very realistic; the way you heal depends on how you took damage. For example if you get scratched by a tiger, you heal with bandages or if you get shot, you heal by removing the bullet. Fall damage is particularly interesting, fall of a ledge and you have to snap your thumb back in place, the higher the fall the greater the damage to your body.
Far Cry features a very modern soundtrack, we may live in the age of repetitive dubstep music but it really sets the mood in some intense action scenes. For example during the mission “Kicking The Hornets’ Nest” Jason has to burn down Vaas’s drug fields to lure him out of hiding. Skrillex and Damian Marley’s “Make It Bun Dem” is the backing track and it sets the scene perfectly. Jason gets a little too excited, but within no time you’ll be shouting in glee too.
FC has some very impressive visuals, not just the lush jungles and breath-taking open waters, but also the numerous hallucinations and surreal visuals. From transforming terrain to walking underwater, these are beautifully done and will leave the player feeling a sense of wonder.
The Multiplayer was a bit of a let-down, looking at the trailers pre-release I was expecting it to be a copy and paste job of Call of Duty and unfortunately I was right. The run and gun gameplay in multiplayer really doesn’t do the fast, close quarters combat of the singleplayer any justice. The game features an incredible map maker but doesn’t include a good system of finding and sorting these maps. That being said the Co-Op is extremely addictive; players take the role of 4 entirely new characters separate from the main story, hunting a ship captain that betrayed them in 6 replayable scenarios. During the course of these missions there are also competitive elements, for example collecting bombs in frantic bumper car style mini games.
All in all Far Cry contains a deeply immersive world, memorable characters with incredible voice acting and a unique fast and addictive combat systems. While the multiplayer was something we’ve all seen before, the stellar storyline, numerous side missions and an infinite number of mini games, will definitely have you coming back for more.
*Ubisoft provided SlimGamer.com with a review copy.