Far Cry 3 is an open-world action-adventure game and is the sequel to the good, yet annoying at times, Far Cry 2. The game follows Jason Brady, who while on vacation with his friends and brother, decide to do a skydive, resulting on them landing on a tropical island where they are captured by mad man Vaas. From here you must save your friends one by one as you uncover the mystery which surrounds the island, and its inhabitants.
Far Cry 3 is set on a tropical Asian-Pacific archipelago called the Rook Islands. The island looks stunning, offering amazing views from anywhere on the map. Not only does the island look great, but it is also home to some rather strange characters. The island really helps set the tone
It is a tropical paradise on the surface, but a living nightmare for anyone who finds themselves trapped there. One of the main selling points of the Far Cry series is its open-world. And this is what truly makes Far Cry 3 a unique game. There is a whole host of side-quests to complete, as well as various tasks you can complete on the island. There are over 39 different weapons, and various vehicles found throughout the island.
The opening scene of the game will have your adrenaline pumping as you try escape from the clutches of Vaas and his fellow pirates. It has to be one of the best openings to any game I have played, managing to introduce you to the game and ease you in, yet is a truly exciting first mission. Most games opening is rather dull and mundane, not Far Cry 3. And that is just the beginning.
You see your Character, Jason Brady change from a run of the mill, ordinary guy with no combat experience, to a fearsome warrior. This change isn’t sudden, and it happens over the whole game. This leads to Jason even considering staying on the island permanently, but that choice lies ultimately with you, the player.
The story takes you all over the island, as you attempt to rescue your friends, kill Vass before having to deal with Hoyt Volker, who is Vaas’ employer and a slave trader. It’s a great story, with lots of different twists and turns along the way. It’s action packed, and there is never a dull moment. Far Cry 3 has given me some of my favourite missions of all time, including escaping through a burning temple while trying to rescue his girlfriend, Liza before going on a frantic road chase as you try to escape. There are many moments like this, and while at times there are many “as if” or “what are the chances” moments, they certainly make the game what it is.
And when you aren’t completing story missions, there is a whole host of different activities you can take part in. The island features over 20 species of animals, all of which can be hunted in order to gain materials to help you craft new items. Just some of the species include Tigers, Komodo dragons, sharks and sting-rays. When attacking bases, you will often see a Tiger in a cage, which can be used to your advantage. However make sure you deal with it before it attacks you too! Animals play a big role in Far Cry 3, and help bring the island to life.
Crafting is also a great feature and is very rewarding. When you start the game, you can only carry a certain amount of cash, ammo and guns. If you want to carry more cash, to purchase better weapons, you must craft a bigger wallet to carry that cash. Go out and hunt animals for leather, and you have a new wallet. If you want to make syringes, you can go out and gather the ingredients from the various plants around the island. Want to carry more syringes? You will need to craft a new, larger pouch. I love the crafting in Far Cry 3, its practical and allows you to explore the island in its true beauty. It offers a nice break from the fast paced action which you will usually encounter allowing you to catch your breath.
As well as the story missions, there are also 4 other types of missions for you to take part in if you wish. These are Path of the Hunter, Wanted Dead, Supply Missions and Side Quests. Path of the Hunter involves finding and killing certain rare animals, while only being allowed to use a specific weapon. Wanted Dead is similar to assassination missions, where you must kill a specific target in exchange for a reward, however you can kill only kill the target with a knife. Supply missions are against the clock where you must deliver medical supplies to a destination within the time limit.
Far Cry 3 also offers the player some Role-play elements by having a skill tree. There are 3 different skill categories, The Heron which improves Long-range take downs and mobility, The Shark tree handles Assault take downs and healing and The Spider handles Stealth take downs and survival. There is a nice variety of different skills to pick from, all offering a new element to the game-play and it can be a challenge deciding what skills to pick.
However, it can get repetitive climbing the same radio towers to improve your knowledge and eliminating the same enemy outposts, just in a different area. But thankfully Far Cry 3 offers different ways to approach each outpost to keep things interesting. If you wish to go in silently, you can. Snipe from a distance? Sure thing. Or you can just go in guns blazing.
Overall, Far Cry 3 is a brilliant game, an example of how an open-world game should be done. It offers an extremely rich environment, some truly unforgettable characters and great combat. You can play the game into the early hours of the morning without realising. You can approach combat situations differently, or the same. And you don’t get penalized for it. You can play how you want to play.
With a huge amount of stuff to do in-game, stunning graphics and a gripping storyline, Far Cry 3 is a must have for any gamer.
Published by Stephen Jackson 05/04/2013
Reviewed on Xbox 360