Released: December 4th, 2012 (North America)
Systems: PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Metacritic: 90 (PS3)
If you are anything like me, the first two Far Cry games disinterested you. So much so that when the third game in the franchise was released you ignored it completely. If you are anything like me you made a massive mistake not picking this game up.
The story fallows a young man named Jason Brody who, along with three of his friends and his two brothers visiting an island to party it up like the spoiled rich assholes that they are, only to be kidnapped by a pirate named Vaas. After escaping Jason meets up with a man named Dennis, who shows Jason the way of the Rakyat worriers (the islands native peoples) on his mission to save his friends.
That probably didn’t sound to exciting (even if it did sound better than the story’s in most other FPS’s) and to be fair, on a plot level the story isn’t much to write home about. What sells the games narrative is how the story is told. Jason goes through more of a character arc in this game than most others do in entire series, and that arc comes with some of the darkest moments I’ve ever seen in any game (though, not as dark as the white phosphorus scene in “Spec Ops: The Line”). However, as much as I loved the story to the game, about half way through there is a change in motivation and main antagonist that doesn’t ruin the experience, but feels some what unnecessary, as if the development team just wanted to make the game longer. But like I said, it didn’t ruin the game or even cheapen the experience in any meaningful way.
Another thing about the game that I, personally, like is that the camera never leaves the first person perspective, keeping the immersion intact through out the game.
Overall, while the story could have been better, it is well told and very much made me want to see the plot through, which is more than I can say for most games, and especially most shooters, but I do wish more thought had gone into the games second half.
This is where the game shines the most. When the game starts Jason is just a rich asshole who never shot anyone in his life. But after meting Dennis and getting the Tattoo that signifies him as a Rakyat warrior (witch grows as skills are collected) he becomes a hardened killing machine, so much so that his mental well being is up for question by the end of the game. In the early stages of the game these isn’t much you can do but shoot people, but after a few skills are earned it becomes a blast to kill your foes in either the quietest or loudest manner possible. You see, while the game leans towards stealth and more highly rewards players who take that approach, a head on attack is always just as viable an option, and never feels unrewarding either.
If there is any issue with the combat, it is that it never really evolves in any meaningful way. There are only three major enemy types, grunts that are easily killed with stealth or bullets, armored enemy’s with a week spot at the back of their heads, and about half way through, those armored enemy get an upgrade for their gear so that the week spot is gone. This means that if you want the combat to change throughout the game you have to focus on changing up you load out at safe houses, which is fun to do, but after a while I found a load out I liked, customized it to perfection and battles never seemed to be much different after that, but the battles were always a blast.
But that’s not what makes the game-play so brilliant here. You see, out side the main story missions, there are only 4 kinds of side missions. In most other games, this would be it’s biggest drawback, repetitive side missions you have to do over, and over and over again in order to level grind. Here, however, it only makes sense. Three of these reward you in obvious ways that impact game play. Do you want to have more than one Gun at a time and hold more ammo? You have to Hunt. Want to see more of the map and have more guns to buy? You have to Climb the Radio Towers and unscramble them. Do you want to have more places to fast travel and not be constantly attacked? You have to Liberate Outposts. The other main side mission there is, Supply Runs, I only did once then forgot about, so I’m not to sure what the rewards are for those (real professional, I know). Sure, there is poker and knife throwing, but I only did these once each, and there only rewards are more (or less) cash, witch I never felt short on.
In the context of the story, it wouldn’t make since for Jason to take long detours to make sure someone gets to a place in one peace, it wouldn’t make since for Jason to be waging a one man war on Vaas but then decide “you know what would be fun right now? Off Road Drag Racing!”.
With all the talk of ludonarrative distance in games like “The Last of Us” or “Bioshock: Infinite” it is nice to see a game where that really isn’t an issue. Jason becomes attached to the people on the island, so it makes since that he’d be willing to help them out with things like Supplies, sand everything else is a self serving effort to make killing Vass easier.
Game Play: 10/10
Music and sound:
This is where I have the lest to say, and am also the lest pleasant. I Hate the music in this game. When driving there is no way, (at lest not one that I was ever made aware of) to turn off the car radio and the battle music is this really unfitting electric crap. Sure, I get that not every game can have music I like (although I think Jason going on a killing spree with some power metal in the back ground would have been awesome), but EDM for the battles really seemed out of place, even if I could tune it out after a while. I think a more tribal type sound would have been better.
Luckily, everything else in the games sound design makes up for this. Every gun, every voice actor, it all fit together very, very well. Yes, you will hear some repeated lines when facing groups of enemy’s, but I never found it to be to annoying.
Music and Sound: 8/10
Overall Score: 8.6/10
I got a used copy of this from Amazon for around $25 and found some new copy from amazon for as low as $16.00. If you haven’t picked this up yet, do you self a favor and do so.