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

Valve files for Half-Life 3 Trademark

Exciting!

The High School Gamer

For those of us that are awaiting the release of the next installment in the Half-Life franchise, some recent activity at Valve may elude to the imminent announcement of Half-Life 3.

Valve filed for a standard trademark that indicates that they are the owner of Half-Life 3. There isn’t much we can work off of at this point, as the document is rather vague, only giving the name, who owns it and the classification, of course.

While you will see countless headlines claiming that Half-Life 3 has been announced, remember that this is by no means an announcement. Many companies trademark game titles and never end up using them.

I must admit that I sincerely hope that Valve are working on the next Half-Life game, be it Half-Life 3 or anything else Half-Life related. All I can say is that the hype for Half-Life 3 is there, the game has…

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FF13: A Sad, Sad Tale…

…in more ways than one.

I’m looking at my games collection and, I know it’s only for PS3 and not the PC but I can’t help myself. I just must share my thoughts about this game (which I’m still not done with… in a bad way.)

I THOUGHT it would be awesome. Too bad I was wrong.

Now, before you send me hate messages and death sentences, hear me out.

I loved the environments. The graphics were great, especially in Gran Pulse and in Nautilus. It looked so alive. The soundtrack is pitch perfect with nice, catchy tunes (albeit a bit repetitive after a while) that  go with their respective levels nicely. Overall, the games aesthetics aren’t at all bad, but they’re no match for the beauty of games like Skyrim or Crysis. 

However, it all breaks down when it comes to gameplay. Sure, the system isn’t completely botched and you can get a few decent hours of fun gameplay from it, but after a while, it starts to become a chore. Recreating your paradigms — your battle strategy and team members — is probably the only fun part of the game, and that “fun” only lasts so long. Getting your summons are a pain, and roaming around is really, really annoying. For heaven’s sake, you can’t even jump while running around. It’s literally just you pushing your analog stick forward until you reach your goal. Yes, it’s as boring as it sounds.

And boredom makes for an extremely bad gameplay experience.

And my fellow gamers, when GAMEPLAY is mucked up, well, we all know that the said game’s in deep, hot, water.

FF13 is repetitive to a certain extreme; there is enough variety in the paradigm system to keep you enetertained, but again, it’s a chore. Leveling up takes a lot of kills, and yet killing in itself is a chore as well. If I had to describe FF13 in one word, it’d be tedious.  Tedious, tedious, tedious.

But I suppose all that work to get to progress in the storyline will be somehow worth it. Although the ending’s not WOAAAH OH MY GOD THAT’S AMAZING WOAHAHAHAHAHA HOO HAH awesome, it’s not bad. How do I know the ending, you ask, without finishing the game? Well, I ended up watching the cutscenes on Youtube. (That is probably enough evidence to show you how boring the game can get after some time.) Yup.

I’m going to play it again when I get the chance, but really, it’s a true “pure” waste of time.
However, if you’re still insistent on the FF13 universe, or FF in general, then by all means, go pick up FFXIII-2. Trust me, it’s not as bad as the first. I have my thoughts on that too, but I suppose I’ll reserve it for another post in the future. (The final one in the trilogy is slated to release soon. Ah, just so you know.)

Until then.
See you all!