Far Cry 3. It’s a game. It’s also, the best, most bombastic, kick-ass and batshit insane Far Cry game yet. You play as Jason Brody, a “DudeBro” who has come to Rook Island to party with your friends and your two brothers. When you and your group are kidnapped, it’s up to you to escape and systematically free your friends from Vaas, the madman who was behind it. He plans to sell your into slavery. Brody’s transformation from wimpy white kid from the States into hardened killer of mercenaries and assassins is somewhat jarring at first. Not only does this lend some story-credence to the built in RPG mechanics, it also provides a some what relatable narrative.
While the story may initially be off-putting to some, the real meat and bones of the game is simply the sheer amount of things to do. Hunting, assassinations, capturing strong-holds and liberating radio towers are just a few of the things you can choose to spend your off time on Rook Island. Along the way you’ll be rewarded with money and XP to spend on bettering your weapons and your skills as a player.
The game’s AI engine allows for dynamic random events, similar to those featured in Red Dead Redemption. In one of the many random encounters I had with enemy AI characters and animals, A group of 3 bears rushed me as I stalked an enemy encampment. In order to escape the bears, I rushed into the enemy camp. Not only did the bears wipe out every enemy there, they also did so before allowing the enemies to sound any alarms giving me a hefty XP bonus. After freeing the camp, I was promptly mauled to death by the bears.
While I did play this game on Xbox 360 (Which admittedly, isn’t the best looking version of the game.) I was still taken aback by just how gorgeous this game is. The tropical setting does a very good job of distancing itself from the African drylands of Far Cry 2 while carrying over the fire propagation and wild animal systems that made Far Cry 2 stand out when it was released. Gone are the days when your weapon would break or jam. In it’s place is an incredibly deep Call of Duty style weapon customization system.
Whether you like to play your shooters in a balls to the walls fashion, or you prefer the elements of stealth and surprise to be what wins the day; Far Cry 3 accommodates both play-styles. Attacking an enemy outpost with a rocket launcher can be just as effective as singling out your targets with a simple bow and arrow. The ability to mark your enemies becomes extremely useful and adds a technical advantage not very many players get to experience in other games.
As far as non-single player options go, Far Cry 3 comes with your standard Call of Duty-esque multiplayer and a very Left 4 Dead style Co-Op campaign. Neither were nearly interesting enough to merit more than a couple rounds each. The inclusion of a map creator is interesting, but the gameplay itself hinders the craziness that could spring from the editor. The multiplayer options are there,and they’re okay, but know that they’ve been done better elsewhere.
All in all, Far Cry 3 is one of the best experiences of the year. With fantastic mechanics and absolutely mindnumbingly beautiful visuals, it should be on the top of your “To Play” list if it isn’t already. Ubisoft has delivered a top notch, AAA experience that proves that First Person Shooters can once again, be a thinking man’s game.