Review: Far Cry 3

PC | PS3 | XBOX360

Well, well, well. It was a hell of a ride.

You, Jason Brody, start off as a lax kid on a vacation with friends doing crazy things left and right. Next thing you know, you’re a prisoner held by Vaas. With the help of your brother, Grant, you manage to escape and so begins your journey throughout Rook Island.

In terms of gameplay, Far Cry 3’s got it pretty nicely. Going to and fro about the island isn’t much of a chore thanks to vehicles (hang gliders included), and fast travel is always an option. (Though, like in most games, you have to discover the location first.) And even if you were to run around instead, there’s always something to do while getting to your destination which will keep you from getting bored. This brings me to my next topic:

Hunting.

The game’s hunting system is pretty straightforward. Unlike in Assassin’s Creed 3 where the quality of your kill depends on your weapon of choice, FC3 doesn’t mind. Whether you used a shotgun straight up to the animal’s face or hunted it traditionally with a bow, as long as it’s dead, you can loot it fully. After that, you can use your loot – or in most cases, animal skins – to craft better gear such as additional weapon slots or ammunition pouches. You can also upgrade your syringe pack, which holds your drugs.

Yes, drugs.

Drugs can be crafted using plants that you find all over the island. These will enhance your senses which will generally help you in every way possible. It’s divided into several categories – there are drugs that will help in battle, in hunting, in exploration, or in healing. Boosts include sensing enemies or prey, boosted running speed, breathing underwater, and so much more. This mechanic allows for more versatile gameplay and will assist you especially if you decide to be the sneaky assassin type who picks off enemies from a distance with a sniper rifle. (That’s what I did during most of the fort liberation missions. It’s extremely satisfying.)

And of course, what kind of FPS would any game be without GUNS? You are free to choose between a wide array of pistols,  shotguns, SMGs, Assault Rifles, Sniper Rifles, LMGs, and Launchers, along with a bunch of customized gear (upgraded versions of the original ones.) It’s a bit difficult to get a hold of good gear at first, but with a little hard work and a lot of hunting, you’ll be able to buy the big guns. Let me tell you: they’re worth every dollar.

[Can I just say that I enjoyed wrecking havoc on the island’s residents with the flamethrower and explosive arrows? The all time classic RPG-7 was christmas, too. Couple that with mines and a bunch – ton of C4 and krakalakaboom, happy new year to your face. So much fun.]

Combat is wonderfully executed. Like I said, you can either go around the sneaky type and try to stay undetected while picking off your enemies one by one, or you could go in Rambo style and shoot every living thing within your sight. Enemy AI is not stupid and they can actually use cover! Wonderful. Or, if you’re not fond of guns, (but then you’re playing an FPS) you can simply come close to your target and melee them dead with a knife to the throat. You can also hide their bodies to further avoid detection.

Again. Combat is extremely satisfying, albeit a bit tiring after a while. You don’t encounter a wide variety of enemy NPCs. It all boils down to three types, really. Charging dudes, shooting dudes, and armored dudes. There are also sniper dudes to look out for, but they’re fairly rare, and all are pretty easy to take down. Headshots, of course, are the best way to go.

The level-up system in FC3 is different from most. Unlike other games where there’s a number that signifies your level of aptitude, here you have Tataus, or tattoos. Everytime you reach a certain level of XP, Jason is given a point and is allowed to choose a tattoo which will upgrade his character. How, you ask, can you upgrade? By adding skills. Upgrading Jason means adding a health bar, learning how to strike from above, killing enemies in succession, cooking grenades, etc. The works. Basically it just makes you more deadly.

Now that I’ve explained most of the game’s mechanics, (the others best played rather than explained,) let’s move on to the game’s flaws. Although I always mention that the game’s combat is satisfying, it does get a tad bit redundant. Just shoot them all in the head and you’re good. Hunting doesn’t make much sense after you’ve upgraded your gear since most skins don’t sell for much, and the minimap markers can get rather confusing. Some cars are slippery and difficult to drive, and  enemies all act the same way. No one has anything interesting to say and the world is not too immersive. It feels kinda generic.

However, despite these flaws, I do recommend you get this game. It’s not often that you come across something as open and free as Far Cry 3, and  it will keep you entertained until you finish the main storyline. Side quests are present, too, for those who like to get distracted every once in a while.

Overall, I’d give it an 8/10

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