Far Cry 3 (Game) Review
Available on: Playstation 3, XBOX 360, PC
Rating: PEGI 18
Buy Far Cry 3 from Amazon
Let's not beat about the bush here, Far Cry 3 is an exceptional game. From the opening cut scenes to the subsequent missions, breathtaking scenery, superb weapon mechanics and realistic gun play, it's fair to say that Ubisoft have really hit the nail on the head with this one.
The game starts with a memorable opening cut scene that is presented in the form of a home recording put together by a group of adrenaline junkies holidaying on a tropical island. After about a minute though, the proverbial soon hits the fan. The camera pans back to reveal that you are captive inside a prison commanded by pirates and these guys are nasty. What follows is a daring escape to try and get out of the camp with your brother. Once you escape, you need to scour the island for your still captive friends and free them before the bad guys put a bullet between their eyes. Think The Beach meets Castaway, with a bit of Commando thrown in for good measure.
Once you escape the camp you bump into a weird local, who fixes you up and sticks a tattoo on your arm while you're sleeping. His vow is to turn your essentially weedy character into a master of the bush, and it is at this point that you unlock your skill tree. The more cool things you do, the more skill points you acquire which can then be used to unlock new skills such as kill takedowns, reload while sprinting, improved accuracy and health and so on. Each time you unlock a new skill, a new tattoo appears on your arm, which is a neat touch.
There really is a lot to do in the Far Cry world. There are obviously the main story missions, of which there are about 40, but if you don't feel like doing those straight away there are lots of radio towers to hijack (these are similar to the watch towers in Assassins Creed) whereby once you have them under your control that part of the map is unlocked to you. There are also lots of side missions to have a go at, from hunting wild animals that have been plaguing local villages to delivering medical supplies to the other side of the island and raiding enemy camps. These are all very engaging and there aren't really types of missions that get old after time. I've been playing the single player for about 10 hours now and have only really scratched the surface.
I do have to admit that I did have a few niggles when playing through the campaign. I found the driving mechanics of the cars and buggies to be a bit hit and miss. They handle more like boats than cars and are very flighty, meaning I would often end up skidding off the dirt track or smashing into trees. It does get a little easier once you became accustomed to the controls, but it never feels very immersive, which is a shame.
There's no doubting that stalking through the undergrowth and hunting animals is an exhilarating experience. At one bit in the game, I was craftily sneaking up on a wild boar like Rambo on steroids with my hunter's knife in hand. A few seconds later I'd stabbed the unsuspecting beasty and began to skin the corpse (something which you can then craft into improved weapon harnesses and rucksacks) when, from nowhere, a Komodo dragon pounced and started chomping me! To say I was surprised was an understatement but it was a fantastic feeling. Needless to say old Rambo here came out on top. The hunting aspect does have a draw back though. When hunting a normal human foe a well placed gun shot to the head will kill them outright, as you'd expect. When fighting a tiger though, it took me 6 shots in the face to bring him down. Now I know tigers are hard, but come on! To be honest, this is a minor gripe in what is a near flawless game.
The game also boasts online multiplayer (which I have to confess I haven't tried yet) and online coop for up to 4 players, which is an absolute riot. Killing pirates with a few mates on bespoke missions separate from the main campaign is fantastic and another great reason to justify splashing your hard-earned cash on this one.
Far Cry 3 made me feel like I was Bear Grylls kitted out with a shot gun and sniper rifle. Hunting animals, raiding pirate camps, finding relics or having a jaunt around the stunning scenery frankly never gets old. It's a game that I have already spent hours playing and one that I will continue playing for many months to come. For anyone who's a fan of FPS's or the previous games in the series you'd be nuts to miss out on this.
Images & Screenshots
Of further interest...
Author spotlight - Julian Putkowski and Mark DunningWed 26th September
Julian Putkowski and Mark Dunning discuss their research methods whilst co-writing their new book, Murderous Tommies - the courts martial of 13 British soldiers executed for murder during WW1. Read article...
Auschwitz Death Camp - The EndFri 25th January
As the Second World War neared the end, the Holocaust escalated. Ian Baxter describes the liberation at Auschwitz - a name synonymous with the Nazi Death Camps. Read article...