Far Cry 3 Review
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Far Cry 3 is one of Ubisoft's best games ever and it nails the open world first-person shooter genre on the head. After playing through the crazy story, the addictive gameplay, and lush setting, you may wonder why more developers don't pay this much attention to the little details.
- Terrific setting full of worthwhile things to do
- Excellent singleplayer experience
- First-person platforming at its best
- Occasional graphic issues
- Mediocre multiplayer
- Vehicle use is hit or miss
(continued from previous page) ...shadows, or you can choose to upgrade your combat abilities, survivability, and crafting. Any option or combination is viable as story missions rarely give you the same type of objective over and over again. At times you'll use your flamethrower to light-up marijuana fields, or you'll rescue your friend from a prison camp, or crawl through ancient ruins to find an important artifact. Far Cry 3 at times feels as epic as an Uncharted game and as action-packed as a Battlefield title. The gameplay in Far Cry 3 is as good as it gets for a shooter. Guns react as they should, this is especially true considering Jason isn't a super soldier, he's just a regular dude. You can upgrade those weapons to add something extra and Jason will discover how to use new killing and surviving techniques as you progress. Stealth is as good as it gets in a FPS, with plenty of cover and no huge over-the-top abilities to make it all that unrealistic. General combat includes all the required melee like backstabs, and there's even a halfway decent cover system.
The setting is peppered with nearly 20 radio towers that act as strategic vantage points to unlock sections of the map. They will provide you with new side quests and objectives, allow you to buy new weapons in shops, and offer a surprisingly effective first-person platforming experience. Yes, first-person platforming works remarkably well in Far Cry 3, and the radio towers offer mini puzzles to show off that excellent climbing system. While Jason can't climb every cliff in the land, he can make his way through the terrain with relative ease. As you explore old mines or scale a steep jungle mountain, you may stop and wonder why more first-person games haven't done platforming and navigation this well in the past.
The only misstep in navigation comes from not-so-great vehicle mechanics. While driving boats and jet skis across waterways works quite well, driving land vehicles isn't as successful. It's too basic and camera perspectives don't always permit you view of the roadway. Driving an ATV is a blast, and hoping on a glider is even better.
If you also get annoyed with using vehicles to get around, Far Cry 3 has an easy fast travel system. These are available at towns, but are also unlocked each time you reclaim one of the 30 or more enemy outposts. Each outpost is unique to the area on the map and increase in difficulty the further you progress. Some may have sirens that can alert waves of reinforcements, while others are protected by animals. You can approach these events just about any way you want. See that caged tiger in the middle of the outpost? Why not shoot the lock and have it attack the pirates. Capturing these outposts isn't a requirement to complete the game, but it makes it easier as it adds fast travel, a quick weapons shop, and enemy patrols in the area are removed.
You may notice this review hasn't included a lot about the story. That's because it's worth experiencing yourself. It definitely starts off slow as the game seeks to instruct you how to play it, but in no time you'll find yourself in the thick of the heat. It's a story that focuses on a group of friends that crash land on an island inhabited by pirates involved in the drug and human trafficking markets. There are rebels that fight against the pirates, and even government spies. The line between friend and foe is razor thin throughout the story, and there are elements that work extremely well.
This is all done on a beautiful backdrop of crisp graphics, a surprisingly stellar soundtrack that bends throughout the campaign, and generally terrific voice acting. There are so many details in the jungle, from cleverly placed treasure, to ancient ruins, to a wildlife both dangerous and semi-friendly. The animals in the jungle and water ... (continued on next page)