It seems a long and forgotten age since the release of the first Far Cry and after the sequel we were somewhat apprehensive to get our hands on this much-anticipated 3rd installment from Ubisoft.
3rd time’s a charm!
After wasting a total of 19 hours playing Far Cry 2 – of which 10 hours were spent running from one point to the other, 5 hours spent looking for a new weapon because of almost instantaneous rust and subsequent jamming, left players with a dismal 4 hours of storyline gameplay, the first question we needed answered was if this game was going to give us more of the same…well, the answer is an astounding no. That is when we kicked into review mode.
In fact, Far Cry 3 is more like the first one than it is like the second. Although that said, the developers have done a fantastic job of including the very best of number 2, making this the best Far Cry yet. I would even go so far as to say that it is the best first person shooter of 2012.
Knowing that Far Cry 3 was going back to its routes, set in an unassumingly violent tropical island paradise, we were not expecting a whole lot from the storyline. I mean, it is seldom we get a visually appealing game, with strong gameplay characteristics with an actual storyline worth following. Lets face it after playing Far Cry 1 & 2 the storylines seemed to be on a spiral downward…
Getting into the game after an entertaining 1-minute intro video clip you immediately assume the role of Jason Brody, a second-generation rich kid with a taste for the outdoors…and somewhat of a crybaby that has little to no survival skills and a tendency to wine to himself under his breath…not a lot to love in a protagonist – but he grows on you. Your character is immediately thrown to the wolves (metaphorically speaking) and your journey across Rook Island begins with bullets flying passed your head whilst running for your life.
What is the plot based on then? Simple, find and rescue your mates, once you have all of them get the hell off the island and go home.
Easier said than done. The story takes many different twists and turns along the way. Your character relies on the aid of a few non-rebel natives an FBI agent and a mercenary…in that order. All in all, it is a thrill ride of a journey and comes together to a brilliant conclusion, or at least one of 2 endings…and no, none of them involve you killing yourself, which makes the story a Farcry from its predecessor.
Far Cry 3 incorporates some really cool gameplay features from both Crysis 2 as well as Assassins Creed. As stated above, also includes some of the features we saw in Far Cry 2, like the natural spreading of fires and dense jungle that is easy very to lose yourself in.
As you progress through the game your character acquires skill points, allowing players to attribute them to one of 3 specific skill sets, making you a swifter, stronger, quieter and a more nimble fighter – a lot like Crysis 2, just a lot more evolved. There are no active skills like in Crysis, but rather an array of passive skills that are unlocked for selection as you progress through the storyline.
The next really cool gameplay feature is that there are a series of hostile camps and radio towers that can be taken over and unlocked across Rook Island, much like Assassins creed. The only difference is that the two are not one in the same. Radio towers reveal sections of the map, whereas taking over hostile camps free up the territory for the friendly natives, who don’t shoot at you, which is always considered a bonus…
Couple all of this with free roaming wild animals, the choice to run and gun, or use stealth to take out a company of badies, a collection of guns to compliment literally every gaming type, an array of vehicles to drive, even fly and you have some truly open world gameplay…that looks fantastic.
We have come to expect a lot from Ubisoft titles that run on the Cry Engine…Even Far Cry 2 was a dismal attempt at a sequel, but looked and more importantly ran like a brand new Bentley.
Far Cry 3 is then, is better in every way. Gorgeous environments that include massive vista’s, 360 degree views spanning as far as the eye can see, completely volumetric smoke and clouds and gorgeous looking water (albeit not a strong enough description) – and that is all on a console.
Take it to PC then and you can safely multiply the visual experience by a factor of 3. It is cornia blisteringly beautiful…and it runs smoothly. Even an aging GTX460 gets away with 50 – 60 FPS on high settings… put then 2 GTX570’s into your system and you are running it on Ultra at a cool 30-40 FPS.
So in conclusion, we can deduce that Far Cry 3 is the best of number 1 and 2. It is gorgeous, immersive, addictive and hours of flat-out fun. It will chew you up, spit you out and even after you are done you will keep going back for more! It is then, truly open world gameplay at its very best. I hope we see more of this in 2013…
Far Cry 3 was developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published Ubisoft. Our review is based on the PC version. It is also available for the Xbox 360 & PlayStation 3.