Far Cry 3 is a first person shooter action adventure game that takes place on a remote tropical island somewhere in the Pacific and Indian oceans. It centers around the main character, Jason Brody, which players get to control. Jason, his two brothers and his four friends leave Santa Monica, California for a vacation. The opening scene shows them all having fun, partying and just being young. They all go skydiving and unknowingly land on a beach full of pirates. Jason and his friends are abducted for slave trafficking. The scene then shifts to a first person view from the perspective of Jason, whose hands are tied above his head while being caged up with his brother Grant. Vaas Montenegro, the game’s villain, and quite possibly one of the best game villains in the history of videogames, makes his speech to the boys. After Vaas leaves, Grant helps Jason escape but it costs him his life. Jason is further saved by an island native named Dennis who helps him on his quest to save his friends and seek vengeance for his brother.
Far Cry 3 is a very addictive game and one of the greatest games released in years. It is almost like the Uncharted game series except in the form of a first person shooter. The first person perspective really helps make the game seem more realistic. It also borrows elements from Red Dead Redemption and Assassins Creed. There’s quite a bit of platform jumping, treasure hunting, numerous side-quests, and so many things to do. The game takes place in a massive open world where you can rely on a jeep to take you from one location to the next, island-hop on a jetski or fast-travel from one safe house to another on the world map. The world of Far Cry 3 is huge. It’s probably even bigger than Skyrim. Traveling around on foot on Rook islands is not exactly a walk in the park because there are pirates all around. They will chase and shoot at you if you’re detected and call for reinforcements to make sure you don’t get away. Funny thing is they also yell out profanity, and there are a lot of profanities in this game. It is rated Mature 17 for a number of good reasons and therefore should be kept away from young children. There’s a lot of cursing, sex and topless nudity, and drugs (i.e there’s a scene where the character goes looking for a mushroom and experiences psychedelic hallucinations. The main character also seeks wisdom and power from the island’s spirit via hallucinations and dreams conjured from some kind of potent herbal drink). Furthermore, Vaas and his crew grow weeds on the island and one of your missions is to destroy these weed fields.
Gameplay relies heavily on stealth to avoid foolish head-on attacks from enemies. There are boulders, bushes and trees to hide behind as you eliminate your enemies one by one. You have an arsenal of weapons at your disposal ranging from handguns, assault rifles, snipers to flamethrower, grenade and rocket launchers. New weapons are unlocked as you activate the 18 radio towers located throughout Rook Islands. For each radio tower, your task is to figure out a way to climb to the top and activate the circuit box. The more radio tower you activate, the more weapons you’ll get for free. When a radio tower is activated, you get an eagle eye’s view of the surroundings and this reveals the surrounding area on the world map, reminiscent of Assassins Creed. This doesn’t come as a surprise since the majority of the talents that work on Assassins Creed is involved in the making of this fantastic game.
The storyline is kind of plain and cliche where your character spends the first half of the game running around as somebody’s errand boy, then shoots his way into enemy territories, defeats the villain and becomes a hero respected by all. But what easily makes up for the game’s simple plot is that it’s such a blast to do these things in Far Cry 3. The locales on Rook Islands are rendered well and their depictions look rather realistic. There are old ancient temples covered in moss, underground caves left behind by the Chinese military, and white sandy beaches with crystal clear water. There are also all kinds of wild man-eating animals roaming the islands and their surroundings such as tigers, komodo dragons, black bears, leopards, panthers, sharks, venomous snakes, crocodiles and many more. The animals will chase and attack you if you stand or swim close enough. Some of them take longer to kill than others. The game requires that you hunt these wild creatures and skin them for crafting pouches and leather upholsteries to carry your money, ammo and other inventory items. Health and combat booster items can also be crafted from various different plants grown all over Rook Islands. New recipes become available as Jason levels up. New skills and abilities can be unlocked (or “learned”) as Jason progresses on his quest. Each time Jason becomes more powerful, he gets another tatau stitched on his left forearm. Tatau is a symbol of power and commands respect from the island natives.
The music is decent but I usually play with the music off to make it easier to pick up on sounds of nearby animals. If you stand in one place for too long, there’s a chance that a tiger may pounce on you from out of nowhere. But usually these animals make noises when they’re within the vicinity so you can either track them down or avoid them altogether.
There is also a string of eccentric and odd characters that you encounter on your adventure such as Dr. Alec Earnhardts, Buck Hughes, Sam Becker and Hoyt Volker (Vaas’ boss, the head of the Privateers). The interesting angle on Buck is that he’s the one who buys your friend Keith and keeps him as his sex slave. Keith seems very traumatized by this as you can see when you save him. He wants you to keep it a secret and to never talk about it with anyone. Vaas also has a sister named Citra who is like the island’s priestess and known to her people as “The Warrior’s Goddess”. She communicates with the island’s spirit and can bestow powers to help you on your quest if you can prove yourself a worthy warrior. That is unlikely going to be a problem for Jason who seems to be a relatively fast learner. After all, he’s gone from not having shot anyone before he steps foot onto Rook Islands to an expert gunman in a matter of days.
This game has two different possible endings depending on the choice you make at the end. The events that lead up to it is full of suspense, adrenaline, and explosions. Jason meets Sam Becker, a German-American CIA agent stationed on the Island posing as a mercenary for Hoyt. Sam plays an extensive role in many of Jason’s missions later in the game. With his help, Jason’s able to infiltrate Hoyt’s hideout and take his vengeance upon Hoyt and his minions himself.
Far Cry 3 should be played by everyone who owns a PS3. I haven’t tested the Xbox 360 or the PC version so I can’t attest to the framerate, bugs (if any) and gameplay on those systems. The PS3 version is almost glitch-free as I haven’t experienced anything negatively wrong worth mentioning. Graphics look amazing, even during scenes with very fast motion. I also haven’t experienced very noticeable screen-tearing or game freezes during my gameplay which is a nod to the Ubisoft team that apparently works extra hard to ensure us of a very high quality product. This is a very good first person shooter adventure game with many fun missions. I highly recommend it to anyone mature enough to play it. This game also has multiplayer capability. This review is based on the single-player campaign.