Grant Cheetham returns to Vic B’Stard’s State of Play with his review of Ubisoft’s sandbox shooter, Far Cry 3. Welcome to the jungle.
Far Cry 3 marks Ubisoft’s attempt to re-enter into an already over saturated first person shooter market. The integration of open world to the first person shooter genre with the addition of some RPG elements is what makes this game somewhat different to the rest.
You play as Jason Brody, an American thrill-seeking tourist. The game starts off with you and some friends separated and captured by pirates while skydiving on a holiday. As it turns out skydiving onto a pirate infested island wasn’t such a good idea. Your objective is to escape then find and rescue you’re missing friends.
Unfortunately, the game doesn’t do anything to really give you a feeling of emotional attachment to your lost friends which creates a lack of interest in the initial story.
The main story will see you take down enemy infested locations, set a lot of things on fire, blow stuff up, sneak undetected through bases, assassinate enemy targets, skydive and explore underground ruins like Indiana Jones. The story suffered from unequal pacing with the latter part of the game seeming a lot less interesting then earlier parts.
Vaas, the antagonist, is by far is the most interesting character you will encounter. Vaas has significant violent tendencies and severe mental problems which provides for some very enjoyable dialogue.
The remaining characters were all somewhat unmemorable due to poor character development and how frequently the game cycles through which characters are involved. Many of the characters seemed like they would be interesting but weren’t featured or developed enough.
The main character, Jason Brody, is made to try and replicate what you would be feeling in the same circumstance. This however just makes him come across as a bit whiny, although he does man up a bit as the game progresses.
The game takes place on Rook Island which is predominately filled with largely untouched mountainous jungles. This setting looks amazing however it is the setting for the whole game which means there is no real personality for any specific locations.
The island filled with many different types of animals including tigers, bears, komodo dragons and dingos as well as various passive ones. These animals can be hunted to craft various items to unlock more capacity for ammo, loot, money and weapons that can be carried with you.
Some of the more violent animals can be lured into enemy bases to cause a lot of mayhem and enjoyment. The implementation of animals is definitely one of the best executed features of this game and makes the island feel more alive.
Also on the island is a large amount of vehicles including hand gliders, jet skis, quad bikes and even buggies which all provide for much entertainment. Unfortunately, you have to wait to the latter half of this game to unlock the wingsuit which is one of the most enjoyable experiences you will have. The wingsuit enables you to glide off from a drop of almost any height which, once unlocked, you will probably find yourself doing frequently.
The major problem with the vehicles is that they can easily be destroyed if you go too crazy which means you have to drive somewhat carefully. Although this makes sense, it did take away some potential for a lot of fun. Despite this the addition of vehicles spread throughout Rook Island makes the game feel more open and free and definitely increases the amount of fun you can have roaming about the island.
The game also incorporates a levelling up system whereby the things you do and the people you kill gains you experience. The game also rewards you for the way you do things, for instance, taking down an enemy base undetected gives you a lot more experience then taking one down after been seen. This extra reward means you actually have reason not to run into a place with guns blazing.
When you level up you gain a skill point which you can use to obtain a new skill such as more health or a new takedown move. Unlocking all the skills prior to the end of the game wasn’t that hard and not all the skills were that exciting however it definitely did add an extra dimension to the game.
The core combat system was solid but nothing new. You have at your disposal a large selection of weaponry including rocket launchers, explosives, assault rifles and, my favourite, a recurve bow. Most of these weapons also come with various attachments which provide for addiitional variety in how you can use it. All this however is what we have come to expect from a big budget shooter these days.
What really makes Far Cry 3 stand out is that everything feels completely open. The way you take down troops is completely up to you. There are no set ways you should do something, best weapon to use or a specific direction you should come from. What you do and how you do it is completely up to you. This enables the game to always feel fresh and every experience new and exciting.
The game lets you tag enemies to enable you to see their movements once they are no longer in your line of sight. This enables you to plan out your attack more carefully, although you will quite frequently find yourself having to improvise because nothing quite works out in practice.
Outside of the main story you will primarily spend your time going to a new area, climbing up a communications tower to make the area appear on your map then taking down the bases in that area to claim it for your allies. Rinse and repeat. This may sound like it would get repetitive but when you take into account how many way you can roam the wilderness and take down your enemies, it is an experience that never gets old.
There are also tons of challenge-type missions if you are into them including Trials of the Rakyat where you can compete with your friends to achieve the highest score. These challenges do provide for something to do in this captivating world, but it is not the most enjoyable thing you will find in this game. Secondary quests also provide for something to do but are generally very short, uninteresting and not really worthwhile.
Graphically, the game looks stunning due to a high level of detail and a awesome setting. Looking out across the vast expanses of ocean or jungle is truly awe-inspiring.
The effort put into realising the characters makes them look amazing and really come alive. The game does suffer due to a uniform setting however this does not stop everything from looking great.
Multiplayer did not really add anything to Far Cry 3 and is definitely something this game didn’t need. You can play co-op, both online and split-screen or standard PvP. Most of the things that made the singleplayer so enjoyable has been removed and all you are left with is a generic, uninspiring shooter.
Like most shooters Far Cry 3 is a game thats strength relies a lot more on gameplay than actual story. This however is not a bad thing considering just how good the gameplay actually is. Far Cry 3 mixes various gameplay elements to create a new and refreshing first person shooter experience. Even if you aren’t normally interested in first person shooters I would highly recommend you give this one a try.
Score – 9
About Grant Cheetham
Grant Cheetham has been a passionate gamer since he first picked up a controller. Based in Sydney, Grant decided to take his passion for games a step further and start writing about them. When not trying to improve his Gamerscore he is often found in Minecraft building monuments to himself.