It’s rare that we ever set foot into a world like the one Ubisoft have created with Far Cry 3. Somewhere between the Indian and Pacific ocean’s lay a tropical island, your completely free to explore and do all the cool things that you would want to do like jet skiing, hang gliding or sky diving. But don’t be fooled, that isn’t entirely true because this island is dangerous and at a moment’s notice can eat you alive, you must tread lightly.
You play as Jason Brody who just seems like a normal guy, you and your friends have been taken captive by the pirates of the island. Jason doesn’t seem to have any combat awareness unlike his older brother, but as things turn from bad to worse Jason truly turns into a total badass. At first your only goal is to find your friends and get off the island but as time goes on Jason develops more personal goals, specifically revenge. Far Cry 3 does hold your hand a little at the start of the game, teaching you everything that you need to know to survive but once you are free to do as you please, you have the whole island to explore and there is tons to do.
The missions in Far Cry 3 are very unique, you still have your basic missions as you will in any game but its how Far Cry 3 uses drugs to add a crazy element to certain missions. You will find yourself tripping on mushrooms and walking through strange caves.
What makes Far Cry 3 such a pleasure to play is its characters and not specifically Jason. There are two guys that are at the head of pretty much everything, Vaas who is the mentally unstable leader of the pirates and the one who captured you and your friends. The other is Hoyt, the leader of the whole thing and who is just as unstable as Vaas. The two are so insane that some of the moments that you experience with them are unforgettable.
I can always tell when I am truly getting sucked into a game because I will end up going off somewhere that has nothing to do with the story for hours on end. The island is literally a paradise from its looks, the colours are all vibrant with loads of green and turquoise blue seas. What is more this island feels so alive, you could just be walking along picking plants when you see a tiger attacking an enemy camp, literally just out of the blue. Everything reacts the way it would in the wild, especially the animals. I always would find my way to the highest points of the island and just end up looking out to the vast horizon. If you have a chance to play this game on a PC that can handle ultra graphics I would really recommend it, it looks stunning.
Now there are tons of things to be done on the island, but radio towers are a high priority as they allow you to see certain areas on the map once you have climbed to the top of the tower and flipped the switch. There are 18 to find overall and as you find one it will reveal key spots around that area of the island, such as enemy outposts and spots that may have rare items. These radio towers also open up fast travel points where you can buy and sell weapons and even buy new weapons that are unlocked as you discover more radio towers. What is great is that the radio towers all offer a small challenge, you must climb your way up the creaky tower and jump over broken sections.
There are other ways to travel around the island other than fast travel, there are a number of cars, boats and gliders to choose from and each one feels very realistic but all easy to control. You can find certain vehicles that offer a mission like a medical supply run where you have to race the clock to get supplies to a certain point on the map.
The truth is you will probably find yourself walking a lot of the time anyway, there is so much stuff to pick up and find that you will want to be on your feet anyway. You can gather plants and hunt animals for the fur or whatever else it may be, these are all used to either make syringes that can give you health, help with hunting or combat. Animals are mainly used for crafting items like a bigger wallet, bigger bag, ammo pouches, you name it. There are even rare animals around the island that can be found through hunting missions. The more of this stuff that you do the better Jason will be in the game so I would advise spending some time and hunting some animals. I personally like taking the bow and arrow out and hunting them tribal style.
Far Cry 3 also throws a ton of weapons at you which allows you to kill people in numerous ways. Certain weapons allow you to add either one or two attachments, you can add scopes, extra mags or silencers which always can help when trying to be stealthy. You can also change the colours of your guns with different themes. There’s also bow and arrows, flare guns, repair tools and flamethrowers. The flamethrower is amazing because when you unleash that thing the fire will spread naturally, if you light a tall patch of grass alight that fire will spread really fast. As I said before the bow and arrow is my favorite, you can make special arrows with grenades or Molotov cocktails, which allow you to fire them accurately and deal serious damage.
As you kill animals or people you will earn experience points and the more effectively you kill them the more points you get, head shots are a great way to rack points up. With these points you can spend them in the talent tree, there are 3 different trees to choose from but you can mix and match between them. These skill points can either give you permanent buffs, or help with healing effects, but the best ones are the take down skills. When you are close to an enemy you can click the right stick and stab the enemy right in the neck, it looks brutal but its so effective, the skills will allow you to chain these kills and one even allows you to kill one guy, take his knife from his pocket and throw it at another enemy. These are awesome and add some real flare to the end game.
It is the simple animations that make Far Cry 3 a truly unique experience. When you heal Jason will use a number of animations depending on how he was damaged, if you are attacked by an animal you will bandage your arm up. If you are shot Jason will actually get a knife or a stick out and pull the bullet out of his arm, it looks so real and I was shocked when it first happened. The worst one was when I fell off a radio tower and when I healed my thumb was broke and Jason literally popped it back in! There is just so much within Far Cry 3 that you will be right at the end of the game and still be seeing stuff that you haven’t ever seen before.
There are also plenty of collectibles to collect ranging from memory cards to relics and they are scattered throughout the entire island, some will be in cool caves or underwater lagoons. These can also help you unlock more weapons and clips in your diary.
As if everything that you get in the solo campaign isn’t enough there is an extensive coop campaign available. In the multiplayer side of things there are a number of game types to choose from, my personal favorite is the capture the point game mode. Far Cry 3 borrows from games like Call of Duty with different weapon loadouts, leveling up and kill streak bonuses, but it does it all in its own way which is really nice to see. The maps are varied and all have plenty of room for some great moments, along with the cool decision at the end of each game, where the highest scoring person on the wining team will decide the fate of one of the enemies, by either showing mercy or punishing them.
There’s also a co-op mode where you and four friends take on specific missions. Each of the missions is different and come with a story, albeit not a truly mind blowing one. It’s a good addition and gets the job done if you have an urge to play Far Cry with a few friends. Unfortunately it isn’t open world and more often than not turns into a true first person shooter but it’s fun while it lasts.
Far Cry 3 offers a brilliant story that starts and finishes extremely well. There is so much available on the island that you could find yourself playing for hours on end and not even attempt a mission. With even more to do after the main campaign Far Cry 3 is an easy pick up for all gamers.