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Far Cry 3 Review

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The Far Cry franchise has been weird... I bought the first Far Cry back in 2004 and it was on 6 CDs. The game barely ran on my computer because it was a PC exclusive at the time... back then they made PC games first, and then if it did well, it might get a port over to a console... Good times.


Far Cry was revolutionary because they developed it beyond the current PC hardware capabilities... So you couldn't even see "Ultra" settings for at least 6 months to a year until after they released it as you upgraded your PC. Crysis, Far Cry's "spiritual successor" did the same thing, and crippled PCs' hardware, which is nice, because now when I go back and play it, even though it's an older game, it still looks great.


Far Cry 2 was released and I immediately bought it based on YouTube videos and E3 demos. They promised much but sadly only delivered on some. Far Cry 2 had nothing to do with Far Cry 1. Far Cry 2 was basically felt like a video game retelling of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness.


It's open world was rich, and a nice change of pace. I don't think there are many other games that take place in the plains of Africa, but sadly they made the game world so huge that getting from place to place eventually became tedius and long... Not to mention that every enemy in the game was out for your blood for no reason, and it was impossible to outrun them.


Far Cry 3 solves a lot of Far Cry 2's problems. Far Cry 3 has a large, open world but smaller than Far Cry 2's, but is full of enough stuff where it is a nice even balance of open world but not devoid of anything interesting to explore. Far Cry 3 returns to the series' roots by taking place on an island, as did the original. The story is that you are Jason Brody, a regular guy who is partying with your friends across multiple locations searching for fun and excitement. The game starts with you parachuting with your friends and eventually you are captured and taken for ransom. Without spoiling too much, the basic plot of the game involves your exploits as you run around the island causing havok, and trying to save your friends from slavers. You will meet some very interesting characters along the way. Sadly, a lot of these very interesting characters don't get a lot of screen time so you don't get quite as much character development as you would like, but the characters themselves are memorable, well acted, and overall just very well done.


The graphics are very good for a modern day game. Sadly, you can see how Consoles have taken the forefront in gaming development, because we now see that games aren't as optimized as they could be. At Ultra settings, Far Cry 3 looks amazing, but sadly sufferes random framerate sputtering. I enountered a bug where every few minutes, the game would simply go to a blank screen while the audio was stuck, and I had to CTRL ALT DEL to kill it, but I think they've patched it since then, as I haven't had that trouble much after my first few days.


Audio is very well done, but I decided to turn off the ambient music. I found it was too loud and overshadowed some of the dialog... Also it ruined the ambience. Voice acting is top notch and everyone did an amazing job.


Gameplay/gunplay is really well done, and the guns "feel" very solid. Flamethrowers bring fire, which if you played Far Cry 2 was pivital. Fire can push your enemies back or in a direction that gives you an advantage... You can also catch on fire, so care is needed you don't get caught in a burning building. Sadly, you can set a building on fire, and when it goes out, nothing really looks that different. That is sadly something I figured they would have improved on, but with a large world like Far Cry 3's I'm sure they don't have the resources to make everything destructible.


Hunting is also critical... You can hunt anything from dogs to goats to lepards to tigers and bears... Skinning these animals yields materials that you can use to craft larger backpacks to carry more loot, as well as larger packs for ammo, etc. Very helpful and gives you motivation to actually go out and seek a shark in the water and go hand-to-hand with nothing but a knife... so you can make yourself a nice large wallet to hold more money.


I spent 20 hours to beat the game, and it felt just right. The plot pace was done very well, and it never really dragged on for me. I had just finished Assassin's Creed 2, which felt like it took FOREVER.


I did noticed some very interesting similarites between those two games. The open world areas can only been seen on the map by climbing "mini-games" where you climb towers and survey the surrounding areas... Far Cry 3 was a lot better because it didn't have NEARLY as many of these towers as Assassin's Creed has... I think it was only 18 towers as compared to Assassin Creed's 73... And with Far Cry 3, doing this unlocks guns, whereas in Assassin's Creed, you don't unlock anything for doing it, so there is little reward other than unlocking the map area.


There are lots of fun places to explore, and things to collect if you are into that, but just playing through on the main quest, and hunting was enough for me... I basically unlocked most of the skills but never felt overpowered, and also, I never felt like the game was overwealmingly challenging... like Assassin's Creed where I kept having to replay from a checkpoint 100+++ times due to a stupid misstep causing me to fall to my death over and over again...


Once you beat the main story, you have the option of going through and exploring and unlocking things, which is nice.


The game also has Co-Op (which is more like Left 4 Dead and NOT playing through the solo campaign with a buddy, so I've heard) and Multiplayer, though I haven't tried either of those yet.


Overall, I highly recommend this game. They've ironed out a lot of problems that older games had, though some more patches and optimizations would definitely help.


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