Far Cry 3

Game Review
Far Cry 3 Review
Far Cry 3

At its core Far Cry 3 is about saving your kidnapped friends after having arrived on an island that’s inhabited by a not-so-friendly cast of characters. But, dig a little deeper and you’ll find that there’s so much more to it than that. Featuring one of the best stories of the year, Far Cry 3’s filled with insanity.

In traditional style, Far Cry 3’s set on a tropical island paradise that’s gone horribly, horribly wrong. The star of this nightmare of insanity is Jason Brody, an everyday man who finds himself stranded on an island far beyond the reaches of civilisation as we know it. There’s but one sure thing on this twisted island from hell and that’s the insanity. Kidnapped by a psychopathic drug lord, thrown in a cage, and forced to witness the death of friends and relatives at the hand of Vaas Montenegro, pushes Jason to the brink. In pursuit of revenge, Jason is thrust into a strange world that sees him challenged to adapt to his surroundings on the fly, pushing him to become a badass almost overnight.

After being rescued from the edge of death, and under the tutage of Dennis, Jason is awarded the “Tatau”, a mystical tattoo that’s given to the warriors of the indigenous Rakyat tribe. The tattoo isn’t just a clever story element and instead it becomes an integral gameplay element throughout the game, starting out as a rather simple band, players have the opportunity to expand upon its design by unlocking additional skills, which are then displayed as part of the tattoo on Jason’s left forearm. It’s a visual representation of the skills unlocked, and it’s a rather neat and intriguing one that we’ve not seen done before and by the end of the game the Tatau will take up a fair amount of real estate.

Taking on the warlords of Rook Islands isn’t going to be any easy task though. Luckily, Jason gains the support of the Rakyat and its leader, Citra, the sister of Vaas. She’ll help guide Jason onto the path of the warrior. Though, as things start moving along at an increased pace, Brody finds himself constantly questioning himself and the actions of others, whilst he’s condemned to make some of the toughest choices of his life.

Far Cry 3 Vaas Montenegro

The highlight of the story is the game’s primary antagonist, Vaas. He’s the guy you’ll undoubtedly have seen in count trailers and Ubisoft’s Far Cry 3 Experience short-series. What’s that, insanity? Yes, that’s the one. Whilst Vaas isn’t the only antagonist in Far Cry 3 – there’s also Hoyt – he’s certainly the more notable of the two. He’s brought to life magnificently through some of the best dialogue and voice acting we’ve ever seen. In fact, we’d argue that he’s one of the best villains this generation. He plays the role brilliantly and helps push the storyline forward when required. If we’re honest, we truly wish there was more of him – we couldn’t get enough.

Likewise there’s other characters that we wished there was more of, but for other reasons. Especially that of Dennis and Dr. Earnhardt, of whom helps introduce Brody to the local remedies of the island – including those with some rather intoxicating side effects.

In essence, when it comes to Far Cry 3’s gameplay there’s nothing out of the ordinary for a first-person shooter this generation. However, Far Cry 3 puts a unique spin on much of its mechanics. The core gameplay still consists of running and gunning down the villainous enemies that inhabit the island and its remote village outposts. You’ll still have an arsenal of weaponry whereby players can purchase weapons of their choice from Rakyat-controlled outposts. Though, many of the weapons are expensive early on or require additional objectives to be completed before they’re made available. This can be eased along by the player taking control of Radio Towers that are scattered across Rook Islands, of which once possessed by the player, will lower the cost of weapons, unlock additional weapons, and further expand the player’s view of the world map.

That’s an important thing in Far Cry 3, due to the sheer scale of the world. It’s massive and populated with an extremely wide array of characters and wildlife. It’s impressive for a shooter and rivals the best of open-world adventure games. Tacking control of key radio towers and outposts with greatly advance the players ability to roam around the island with ease, and that includes the option to fast travel to key locations.

Far Cry 3

The wildlife also plays an important role in the grand scale of things. You’ll not have the ability to simply purchase everything you need to survive the treacherous island. That includes the player’s rucksack, weapon holster, pouches, quiver, and medical supplies. Instead, the player is encouraged – and forced – to hunt the islands wildlife in order to obtain key materials required in the crafting process. Through doing so, players can extend the amount of weapons they can carry at any given time (by default, this is only one), the amount of loot they can carry in their rucksack, and the amount of arrows they can carry in their quiver, among other things.

Crafting medical equipment that’s assigned to one of four key categories – Medical, Hunting, Combat and Exploration – will allow Jason to survive an array of the islands perils with ease. The standard medical syringe will allow Jason to restore health, another will make the user fireproof, whilst others will increase the amount of dive and sprint time.

That’s all well and good. However, it might be a turn off for some who’d instead prefer to simply purchase all the required assets. It’s not something we can complain about and there’s enough reason to warrant it both design and story wise. However, simply giving the option for players to choose between buying and hunting the materials might have been a better one. For a game that’s so focused on emphasising the hard struggles and choices that Jason Brody has to go through to save his friends and escape the island, it’s just a rather odd one.

Yet, then again, with the pure size and scale of the island and the amount of animals that are spread throughout it it’s easy to see why the choice was made to push the focus onto hunting. If the game had instead focused on simply allowing the gamer to buy everything they need then they’d be less focused on actually exploring the world. So, in that sense it certainly works out well. Plus, who doesn’t love punching a shark in the face? We know we do.

Far Cry 3 isn’t just a single-player affair though. In addition to a multiplayer component – that we don’t think is all that special – there’s a standout co-operative mode that can be played both online by up to four players and offline by two players.

Far Cry 3

Set six months before the main campaign, this storyline that essentially serves as a bit of a foreword to Jason Brody’s story stars four survivors each of whom have their own unique personality and traits. There’s the Scottish thug, Callum, Tisha, the ex-soldier, Leonard the dodgy cop and Mikhail, the Russian hitman. The story revolves around them attempting to exact revenge and recover their loot after they’re sold into slavery by their captain to Vaas. Better when played online, there’s certainly worth to the storyline and mechanics of the co-op campaign and it’s most definitely worth a complete playthrough, even if just to offer additional insight into the overarching story of Far Cry 3.

There’s certainly no doubt that Far Cry 3’s one of the best looking shooters available on the market. It’s rather beautiful and striking throughout. The highlight of which is undoubtedly its massive – and we really do mean massive – open world island. It’s simply filled to the tipping point with unimaginable detail. From its character models and animations to its wildlife and terrain, there’s very little to complain about, all in all.

The same could be said for that of Far Cry 3’s voice acting and musical score, of which is top notch throughout. Brody’s character – when needed – really becomes a centre piece to the intense ambience and cinematic nature of the game. Likewise, the majority of the inhabitants of the island – both those of whom are sane and insane – are brought to life splendidly, including that of Citra, Denis, Uncle Sam, Hoyt, and the myriad of others.

Though, the key attraction to be found here is that of Vaas – as we’ve mentioned already – who’s simply the highlight of the cast. Vaas Montenegro’s dialogue and scripting is perfectly delivered by voice actor Michael Mando (who’s also the likeness used for Vaas) and is truly second to none.

Far Cry 3

If we had one thing to complain about it’d have to be the lip-synching. Though the performance and motion capture delivered by all actors used throughout the game is arguably near-perfect, the lip-synching just isn’t quite up to scratch. It’s always slower than the lines that are delivered by the ensemble voice cast. It’s a bit of a let down to their fantastic performances. However, it’s a minor niggle that one should be able to overcome, considering how badass and awesome the rest of the experience actually is.

Ubisoft’s managed to craft one of the best stories in a modern shooter – it’s a true highlight for the genre this generation – it’s filled with everything a single-player fanatic could ever want. There’s a protagonist who’s forced to make tough choices in a bid to save his friends. There’s a killer antagonist in the form of Vaas. And there’s one of the most colourful bunch of characters that we’ve seen in quite a while. Throw in some of the best dialogue we’ve seen in a shooter, a few drug-induced adventures, and silky smooth gunplay and you’ve got yourself a recipe that’s close to perfection.

Far Cry 3 hits retail in the UK on November 30, ahead of its release in North America on December 4 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.

9.5
You'll love
  • One of the best stories in a shooter this generation
  • Michael Mando’s fantastically delivered Vaas Montenegro
  • Exploring the massive open-world tropical locale of Rook Islands
You'll Hate
  • The somewhat anti-climatic ending
  • That there wasn’t more Vaas
  • Lacklustre lip-synching performance
  • MGL22

    Brilliant review and if I was already sold on the game, this review would have pushed me to get it. Well done!

  • Person McSentientbeing

    I have to disagree with a lot of this. The story really, really did not work for me, despite having some potential, particularly with Vaas, who might have been a truly great video game character, but ended up being shallow and cliched, like every other character in the game. It could have been an interesting exploration of Jason Brody’s descent into desperation and vengeance, but IMO it was just tedious and pretentious.

  • Bill

     fake.

  • http://twitter.com/cressowski Charles

    how is this tired old story ‘the best story in a shooter this generation’? Vaas is a standard psychotic antagonist with very little originality, the rescue theme has been done to death in trashy action novels, and none of the characters are anything but one dimensional. really, i cannot understand how so many people can think this game has depth beyond the shooting and the undeniable beauty of the environment. when there are no choices to make in a story that story has no depth.

  • Coffeinum

    Yeah, this game was pretty much as one-dimensional and repetitive as the predecessor. You explore all key aspects of the game within two hours and nothing changes after that. Characters are somewhat more interesting but I couldn’t really connect to them at all. The only thing this game does well is the sandbox part but there just isn’t enough stuff to do to to justify such a large world. It just gets boring. I’m glad I only borrowed it, couldn’t even bring myself to play through it. 

     Perfection? – Not even close.

  • rvernon

    It’s funny, what I don’t like about this game is it’s too real.  It’s too modern.  Games like Skyrim and Fallout III really took me out of this reality and I appreciate that kind of escape.  The last thing I want to do is get deeply involved with common modern human violence.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004282560816 Matt Smith

    this game is a real peace of shit. from the start. even the fucking “walk up the stairs” animation is fucked up. graphics is shit. when you climb that tower, what do you see on the horizon ? blurry peace of shit. story – shit. characters – shit.

  • Ryan

    I play a lot of shooters and other games which are highly rated and Far Cry 3 was one of the worst shooters I have played that is considered a great game by many. It is not even comparable to Hal 4 or BOPS2 or Skyrim or Borderlands2, etc. FC3 is extremely repetitive. Kill animal, skin animal, sell animal skins to buy one of like 5 guns the game has to offer. The only interesting part is trying to take out the outpost in stealth mode. That can be done in a few hours.  The side missions are terrible, every single friendly island inhabitant in game mode LOOKS THE EXACT SAME. That is lame and lazy. The story is trying so hard to be this avant garde masterpiece but the main character comes across as a total douche and the island native come across as typical carribean fools with silly ideas. Vaas is ok but only in a few scenes and you beat him in some strange cut scene where he attacks you with a knife repeatedly and you..step out of the way and hit him. Dumb.  FC3 is the biggest waste of money I have spent this year on the advice on reviewers that it was a good game. Terrible. 

  • Philthepile

    Most overrated game I’ve played in a long time. Weak shooting mechanics. Incredibly easy even on the hardest difficulty setting. Repetitive. Predictable story and boring characters (Vaas is a nasty bastard. Not like he’s the only one in video gaming history) I don’t know why this gets hyped so much but it just reminds me to completely ignore other people’s games reviews and to stay the hell away from dumbed down, Ubisoft trash.

  • Guestass

    balls in my face

  • http://www.facebook.com/gordon.knowlton Gordon Knowlton

    wow like 10 people ^ hated this game and I love it…I love to explore and not have to do certain things in order.  The only thing that kind of annoys me is that all the tribe people ..rakkyat or whatever look the same lol.

  • slm1982

    I still like the setting of Far Cry 2, story line wise if they had expanded it, pasted 3′s graphics on it. that would be perfect.

Far Cry 3 Info

Description: Beyond the reach of civilization lies a lawless island ruled by violence. This is where you find yourself stranded, caught in a bloody conflict between the island’s psychotic warlords and indigenous rebels. Struggling to survive, your only hope of escape is through the muzzle of a gun. Discover the island’s dark secrets and take the fight to the enemy; improvise and use your environment to your advantage; and outwit its cast of ruthless, deranged inhabitants. Beware the beauty and mystery of this island of insanity…. You’ll need more than luck to escape alive.