Imagine living the ultimate dream life. You’re rich, on a vacation with your equally rich friends and you’re indulging in more substances than you probably should. It doesn’t matter though because you’re young, right? Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, your plane crashed and you’ve been captured by some downright INSANE pirates. Your name is Jason Brody and this is your life.
Within the first few minutes of Far Cry 3 a heightened sense of lunacy is set and you immediately start understanding the emotional characteristics of some of the people in the game. You soon realise that it’s up to you to save yourself and your friends from the pirates on the tropical island where you’ve landed yourself – Rook Island.
Far Cry 3 bills itself as an FPS and while technically it is, the game itself feels so much more like any action/adventure game I’ve ever played. The real depth of the characters and storytelling comes out as you play your way through the game. Throughout the main 38 missions you’ll get accustomed to the wide variety of Rook Island’s inhabitants from the crazy to the creepy. During these missions I never really get bored and each mission is quite varied which works well to keep you engaged. You’ll also find that the open world setting of the game is a great joy to explore and has lots of little hidden gems around every corner waiting to be discovered. It gives you the chance to get an understanding of the area’s history and culture just from the exploration you’ll do and the artefacts you find along the way.
There are a number of survival skills you are given to use throughout such as picking certain flowers, skinning animals and the all-important crafting system. For once, I felt like the crafting system was actually essential in a game and was legitimately worth investing a little time into. Throughout the game you will need to upgrade your rucksack and wallet to hold more money and certain items, and this can only be done using crafting. Each of these items requires you to hunt a certain animal for its skin in order to craft it, which again helps to encourage exploration. To put it simply Far Cry 3 is bursting with things to do, places to go and trinkets to find.
Visually, the game’s tropical jungle island setting looks blissful and serene, and the spectacular views of wild animals roaming around and trees as far as the eye can see really emphasize the double sided nature of this pirate-run island. The in-game weather is also pretty dynamic and lets you change up your play style a little.
In terms of gameplay, Far Cry 3 maintains the checkpoint system of Far Cry 2 in which you’ll either respawn in a safehouse or near a significant part of a mission if you die during one. Whilst the story is fairly simple, it’s also one of the most memorable stories I’ve played through recently. The story missions are probably the most linear part of the game, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I found myself interested in seeing what my captor would do next and I think this is owed to the excellent writing of the plot along with the intriguing profiles of each of the characters.
Lastly, I have to praise the use of music in Far Cry 3; it ranges from the general ambient exploration music to catchy dubstep which kicks in as you blaze your way through crops of marijuana. No like literally, blaze. With a flamethrower.
In fact, I think the whole game is just devoted to being completely bad ass. Due to the game mechanics I found myself being able to tag enemies in an outpost camp, lure a tiger into the area and just sit back and enjoy the havoc in progress. Or why not get into a hang glider and reign terror from the skies? The options available to the player in Far Cry 3 are seemingly endless.
I think compared to this amazing storyline, the multiplayer component is a bit of a letdown. I’m not saying it’s terrible but it’s nothing new I guess. You’ve got the standard killstreaks and four or five game modes, a run of the mill levelling system and dammit, no vehicles! There’s not a huge deal to explain about Far Cry 3’s multiplayer mode; it’s a bit like every other multiplayer game you’ve ever played and I think it’s best to stick to the campaign.
In the end, Far Cry 3 boils down to an almost perfect recipe for a video game. With more things to do than you can imagine in an open world setting you won’t find yourself getting bored. However compared to most open world settings Far Cry 3 manages to entice you to get to everything, because in the back of your mind you know that you might be just two steps away from some badass explosion. I think if Ubisoft had improved the multiplayer into something more innovative than what it is, and perhaps added some more mystery and twists into the plot this game would be a perfect 5/5. That said, the single player campaign is still one the best I’ve played in the past few years and I think Far Cry 3 earns itself a well-deserved 4.5/5 beautiful yet insane Drop Bears.