Developer/Publisher: Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft
Genre: Open-world first-person shooter/action-adventure
Number of Players: Single-player campaign, online co-op and multiplayer
Reviewed on: PlayStation 3
Also available on: Xbox 360, PC
Release date: Dec. 4, 2012
Let me give you a simple equation to describe Far Cry 3:
Skyrim+Red Dead Redemption+Assassin’s Creed=Far Cry 3.
Far Cry 3 is one of those sequels where it’s completely optional to play the previous entries in the series. The stories of the first two games have nothing to do with the story of Far Cry 3.
Jason Brody and a few of his college buddies plan to leave their homes in Santa Monica to take a nice, relaxing vacation in Bangkok. They decide to take a skydiving trip, where they land on an island occupied by pirates and are captured by Vaas, the pirates’ leader. Jason has to then pick up a gun for the first time and try to escape from Vaas and rescue his friends.
Later in the game, after becoming a master of various weapons and skills, Jason becomes very engrossed in this new world, or “fantasy world” as his girlfriend Liza describes it. He quickly loses sight of his original goal of rescuing his friends and getting off of the island as quickly as possible.
Right off the bat it is made clear that Jason and his friends are in a sticky situation. The game pulls you in immediately. You are instantly thinking: ‘Who is this “Vaas” guy and why is he holding me hostage? How did I end up in this awful place?’
The gameplay centers around completing story missions that require things ranging from burning giant fields of weed with a flamethrower to collecting ‘shrooms for Dr. Earnhardt. No, but you do normal things, too. Some missions involve sneaking into an enemy’s outpost and stealthily killing everyone, and others include diving to the bottom of the ocean to retrieve a boat engine part.
To unlock areas of the map, Jason can climb to the top of radio towers to activate them. By doing this, the area of the map that the radio tower is located in is now visible, and select weapons become free in stores. Also, new Supply Drop missions are made available, in which you have to deliver medical supplies to the destination within the time limit.
One of my favorite things to do in Far Cry 3 is hunt. You can hunt anything from sharks to tigers. After you complete all of the story missions, there is still a ton of stuff to do. Play poker with some strangers, hunt sharks, liberate some outposts…the list goes on. There is never a shortage of things to do in Far Cry 3.
One of my biggest issues with the game is the lack of connectivity I felt to the main character, Jason Brody. He’s a character that, frankly, I don’t care about. When I’m playing a game, I like to feel a strong connection to the main character(s). I want to care about the fate of my character(s). In Far Cry 3, I don’t really care if Jason lives or dies. He doesn’t give off the heir of “island warrior” like I kept hoping he would. He just comes across as a jerk.
However, Vaas Montenegro, the main antagonist and the dude featured on the game’s cover, is one of the best villains I have ever seen in a game. Michael Mando, the actor who voices and motion captures Vaas, delivers an incredible performance, making Vaas an incredibly appealing character, especially for someone who you’re not supposed to like. Even though he makes your life hell, you can’t help but want to see him again and again.
The multiplayer modes in Far Cry 3 may be fun for some, but I wasn’t particularly impressed. It’s not that the multiplayer is bad, but it is outshined by the brilliant single-player campaign.
The coolest thing I found in the multiplayer modes is the Map Editor, where you can create your own map that others can have multiplayer matches on. It reminded me of LittleBigPlanet, especially when I saw that Ubisoft chose their favorite maps and gave them a Gold, Silver, or Bronze medal.
The multiplayer modes include Domination, where you capture command points; Team Deathmatch, which at this point is self explanatory; Transmission, which encompasses capturing active transmitters; and Firestorm, where you burn enemy supply deposits. There is also a Battle Mix option, where you cycle through each mode.
There is also a co-op mode, which can be played online and offline. The story takes place six months before the events of the campaign; However, the story in co-op mode does not connect to the campaign’s story at all. There are four playable characters: Callum, Leonard, Mikhail, and Tisha, all of whom are trying to turn their lives around. They are working hard to get their lives in order when pirates cheat them out of their money, forcing them to pursue the pirates.
Gameplay: The incredibly fun gameplay is what keeps me playing this game day after day. Even though I have completed the campaign, I still enjoy exploring the Rook Islands and punching sharks in the face every now and again. There are a few awkward gameplay mechanics, such as the “X/A for Climb” command not coming up when trying to navigate radio towers, that occasionally add some unneeded frustration to the experience.
Appearance: Far Cry 3′s world is breathtaking. There are some visual issues, such as loading trees and see-through heads, but, overall, Far Cry 3 is a beautiful game to look at.
Sound: Voice acting is great, for the most part. The worst voice acting in the game comes from the actor who plays Jason Brody, who just so happens to be my least favorite character in the game. All of the other characters, including Citra, Dennis, Vaas and others, were blessed with wonderful voice actors.
Replay value: The replay value of open-world games is always pretty high. After completing the story missions, you can still hunt and explore to your heart’s content.