Far Cry 3 Review
2012 has been a pretty good year for gaming, and Ubisoft made the year complete by releasing another game of the year contender in Far Cry 3, available for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and the PC. Far Cry 3 provides an open world experience that can be comparable to other great titles such as Skyrim or Fallout. However, after the problems that plagued Far Cry 2, people may wonder if Far Cry 3 fixes the issues of its predecessor. Lets take a trip into the heart of insanity and find out!
We step into the shoes of Jason Brody, a privileged young man who goes on vacation with his friends, his two brothers, and his girlfriend. All seems to be going well until they all go on a skydiving trip, where they land on Rook Island and are captured by pirates, whose goal is to sell Jason and his friends into slavery. Jason and his brother Grant escape, but Grant is killed in the process. Jason survives and joins up with the island’s rebels, in hope that they’ll give him the strength to rescue his friends. As Jason pushes forward in search of his friends, he begins to adapt to the lawless lifestyle that this island represents, making him a force to be reckoned with.
While Jason doesn’t have too much of a personality at the beginning, he becomes a more interesting character to play as he evolves into a die-hard survivalist. Jason’s friends seem to mean well, but we never get a lot of dialogue from them, so it makes it hard to tell what kind of people they really are and why we should be motivated to rescue them. However, the most entertaining character in Far Cry 3 is the main villain Vaas, hands down. This guy is crazy and every scene with him in it provides an atmosphere that’s unsettling to say the least. Some people may argue that the main villain is Hoyt, the man who controls Vaas, but Hoyt just doesn’t have the impact that Vaas does.
The story is straight forward, with nothing that changes the events that occur, with an exception of the ending, which features a major emotional decision. Being an open world sandbox, I wasn’t expecting much from Far Cry 3’s story, but I was surprised with how immersive it was. While the story is not perfect, it still does very well for what it is. However, this open world title would’ve been more replayable if we could make certain decisions throughout the game, such as choosing which faction we want to be apart of. Perhaps if Ubisoft makes another Far Cry game, they can add story elements such as this. Other than not having branching storylines, the story in Far Cry 3 is enough to keep you enjoying the game.
As previously mentioned, Far Cry 3 is an open world sandbox, and a beautiful looking sandbox at that. The environment in Far Cry 3 looks amazing, which makes it a pleasure to explore. The Rook Island is inhabited by deadly predators such as tigers, bears, and leopards, which will actively hunt other animals, as well as the island’s human inhabitants. On the other hand, you can hunt these predators yourself for their skins, which you can use to craft weapon holsters, syringe kits, and loot sacks. The crafting system in Far Cry 3 is without a doubt the best crafting system I’ve seen in a game so far. It’s easy to get the hang of and you’ll be using the crafting system all the time throughout the game. There are also many vehicles you can drive as well, including watercraft vehicles and even a hang glider.
While the Rook Island is home to many deadly predators in the wilderness, it is also home to the deadliest predator of all, man! Or to be more specific, the pirates and privateers that inhabit the island and have outposts set up all over the place. This leads to what I think is the best part of the game, taking over outposts. You can do this anyway you want, such as running in with guns ablaze, or being sneaky and stealth killing all of the outpost guards. The combat in this game is refined and feels smooth, making you feel like you’re in complete control of the protagonist. After taking control of an outpost, all of the enemies in that area are cleared out and it’s safe to travel without being shot at. Taking over outposts also unlocks new side missions that give you extra money.
Speaking of the missions, the main story missions can be very restrictive at times, keeping you from completing the mission in any way that you would want to. For instance, if you stray too far out of certain mission areas, you fail and have to restart from the last checkpoint. This isn’t the biggest problem in single player, but it can be frustrating in the co-op campaign. The cooperative campaign in Far Cry 3 is a decent edition because of the split-screen option, but the missions are incredibly restrictive. There was one instance where a pirate with an RPG was shooting at me and my friend from on top of this collapsed tunnel. I start running up the road that leads to the top of the tunnel where the RPG guy is, but then I get a large message telling me to return to the mission area. That right there is outrageous, and it makes the co-op missions feel like a chore. Not to mention the fact that every time you get through an area within the mission, you have to choose your default weapon loadout again, which is absolutely ridiculous. I don’t want to go back to using this crummy assault rifle and pistol, I’d like to keep my flamethrower thank you very much! If the restrictive feel of the missions was gone and you could keep whatever weapons you’ve picked up, I would recommend the co-op mode. It can be a lot of fun at times, but half of the time it’s just annoying.
Of course, we can’t forget about the competitive multiplayer, a mode that is just as mediocre as the co-op. It’s kind of sad to say because the times I was actually able to get into a multiplayer match, I had quite a blast! I’ve only played the team deathmatch, but that’s only because finding any other type of match in multiplayer is near impossible. Almost nobody is playing any of the other match types, and for good reason too. The multiplayer servers on Far Cry 3 are terrible. There’s been many times where I went to join a match and when it got to the loading screen for the match, it would load in an endless loop until I finally reset the console. There’s really no point in having multiplayer in a game when you can’t even play it half the time.
I understand that Ubisoft is soon to release a patch that will address certain issues. We can only hope that they understand the problems with the multiplayer servers and fix them as soon as possible. The single player mode doesn’t have any major issues that I’m aware of. I’ve put a lot of hours into this game and I haven’t experienced a single freeze or game breaking bug, which is more than I can say for most open world games. My biggest complaint about the single player mode is that once you’ve taken over every single outpost in the game, there are no more enemies to fight, except the ones that still respawn at specific locations. Luckily, this is one of the issues that Ubisoft is planning to fix with the upcoming patch, making it so that you can reset outposts after you’ve taken them all over. I’m extremely grateful for them giving us this option and it keeps the single player mode living on.
Far Cry 3’s music varies depending on the situation. For instance, I enjoy some of the ambient music that plays during combat, but sometimes it can get irritating. One example of the music getting annoying is this mission where you have to torch a bunch of marijuana fields, and this same song plays in an endless loop the entire time. I do have to say, it is a smart way to motivate you to finish the mission faster, that way you don’t have that same song knocking in your ear the whole day. The voice-acting is excellent most of the time. Jason’s voice could use a little more emotion but other than that, the voices all sound believable. Plus the guns sounds powerful, which adds to the feel of the combat. Most vehicles in Far Cry 3 have a radio in them, while the songs aren’t very memorable, they do give you a nice change of atmosphere. The main theme song of Far Cry 3 is amazing and I’ll actually listen to it on Youtube while I’m not even playing the game; it’s that good. Best part about this theme song is that it plays a big part in creating the dark atmosphere to Far Cry 3.
Far Cry 3 ends 2012 the right way, by giving us an immersive, open world environment. However, this is a very mature game, involving nudity, torture, and a lot of drug use. That being said, there are enough activities in this game to keep you playing for many hours. Best part is, you can continue playing after you’ve beaten the main story, giving you a chance to find all of the collectibles and have fun with your arsenal of weapons. My final score for Far Cry 3 is a 9/10. This is a game that nobody should pass on. It is well worth the 60 dollar retail price, and is an excellent choice for fans of first-person shooters. I personally look forward to the next Far Cry game, because I truly believe that this series has the potential to become the best open world series of its genre.