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FarCry 3 starts with you, Jason Brody, traveling to a remote island in search of fun in the sun with his college friends. But things take a turn for the worse when Jason and his friends are imprisoned by the viscous militant pirates that control the island.
Jason soon escapes from the pirate's clutches, and he turns to the local resistance that are rising up against them for help in rescuing his friends and getting off of the island, but things get far more complicated as he gets caught up within the resistance.
Throughout the game, the player is sent on a variety of missions. Each of these missions give the player a chance to use each of the unique weapons and vehicles that are scattered around the island. There are many weapons on the island, such as assault rifles, submachine guns, pistols, crossbows, and many more. The customizations that are available to purchase from stores around the world allow the player to add skins, sights, silencers, and many more options to your weapons.
There are also multiple vehicles for the player to make use of, such as trucks, boats and quad bikes. Although there is not a huge variety of vehicles, there are plenty of them around the island to make use of. You're never far from a group of your buddies in a jeep.
The island itself is gorgeous. The lush sands that run along the coastline look fabulous against the shimmering backdrop of the light blue sea. Every texture is detailed and sharp, and the models, especially the NPCs, are very detailed. The thick forestry and flora is very crisp and look great. Overall, all of this renders very well, and even on lower-end computers, this game can look great on medium level settings. My Assus N55S could run FarCry 3 at a stable 30FPS, even in heavily populated and wooded areas. The game is very well optimized, with many graphical options for lowering details such as textures and shadows, in order to compensate for older machines.
FarCry 3 is a very immersive game. The ambiance around the little villages and towns in amazing. At night you can hear the sound of fishermen, husbands and wives arguing, and other little details that just make the whole island feel like it's actually populated by real people. The little details like posters, litter adoring the streets, and minigames like poker and bird shooting also add to the immersion.
Overall FarCry 3 is a very fun game to play, with a lot to offer to many types of gamers. Whether you just like to sit back and enjoy the glorious view of the tropical island, or go exploring in search of treasure and relics, FarCry 3 has something to offer for everyone.
The far cry series began as a sci-fi/horror shooter, then morphed into an interesting African adventure with the protagonist as a mercenary in a faction-ridden war torn country where blood diamonds were the currency. Although it was at times excellent, it did have a number of intrinsic flaws. With the release of Far Cry 3, Ubisoft has managed to erase most of them to produce their best effort in the series yet.
Beginning the game, you find yourself locked in a bamboo cage on an unnamed Pacific island along with your older brother. Captives of a ruthless pirate gang along with the rest of your friends, intended for ransom before being sold into slavery. A particularly deranged pirate with a Mohawk and a goatee has taken an interest in you both, and things are about to go from bad to worse.
As a first person shooter, you quickly come to grips with the controls. You can walk, creep, climb, swim, run and jump. Aiming, firing and reloading are all easy to do. Where the first challenge comes is with a huge array of abilities which can be unlocked, some of which require some deft control movements to pull off. You do normally get a momentary visual clue, which is helpful.
There are a number of different vehicles scattered liberally over the island (actually more than one island) that can be driven or commandeered. You're not only confined to land this time, and can use gliders in the air and water bikes and boats on the ocean.
Exploration is a key experience of this game, with a vast array of places to visit from ruined temples to cave subsystems, world war 2 Japanese bunkers, towns, jungles, farmsteads and strongholds, you are never short of something to do. Two core activities you will find yourself repeating throughout are the unlocking of mobile broadcast towers and the conquering of enemy outposts.
Unlocking a mobile tower involves climbing to the top, often a difficult experience with jumps over chasms. You will get to unlock weapons and get cash this way, as well as reveal all items of interest within a certain radius. Conquering an outpost will convert it to your side, generating useful experience and all the goodies you can loot. This is another improvement on its predecessor, where cleared checkpoints repopulate.
There are a nice array of weapons, many of which can be upgraded and personalised. Fire makes a welcome return, with the game engine using projected burn rates and prevailing winds allowing you to cut off and incinerate enemies. Be careful you don't inadvertently incinerate yourself. Being on fire is an unpleasant experience, forcing you to abandon what your were doing in order to pat yourself out. There are more gruesome experiences though. You can heal yourself to a certain extent without having medikit, with attendant pliers pulling bullets out of bloody holes, or pushing shards of shattered bone back inside. Yum!
Far cry 2 had degradable weapons. The more you used them, the crappier they became. Guns would jam. Knives became dull. I'm happy to report they pulled that function here. It would frequently become tiresome. You do have a limited number of weapons that you can carry, and that helps the suspension of disbelief that first person games often install, where you seem to be hauling a trailer full of guns behind you.
I mentioned that you can unlock abilities, these translate to tattoos on one arm. You have three categories, Spider, Shark or Heron. Shark specialises in attacks, Heron in survival and Spider in hunting. An example of a combat ability is sneaking up on an enemy, killing him with your machete before throwing it for a second insta-kill on a nearby enemy.
Another aspect of the game, and one that will prove to be controversial is killing and skinning wildlife in order to create bags or holders or straps so you can carry more weapons or ammo, or grenades, or whatever. You don't feel quite so bad killing an animal that suddenly attacks you, but hunting down a rare tiger in order to machine gun it to death before skinning it made me feel more than a little dirty. I would have liked the developer to have provided an alternative here, even if it was buying a synthetic alternative in stores.
The Pacific Islands location is great. You have crystal clear waters teaming with sharks, steaming Jungles to yomp through, all with a great clarity of colour and draw distance. You can get ambushed by wildlife. I almost wet myself as I tried to ford a river, only to get dragged underwater by a lunging croc! There are a number of antagonists, including the fella on the front of the case. Voice acting is generally excellent, but there is one huge fly in the ointment.
You play as a American tourist who becomes this efficient killer. Fair enough, but prequel memories show you and your mates as little more than a bunch of douches, to the point that I was almost rooting for the pirates. You get to rescue a few of your friends, and at the drop of a proverbial hat, they seem perfectly fine with seeing people killed left, right and centre, even cracking wise. Or they suddenly and inexplicably become proficient soldiers themselves. It is incredibly jarring. Once they're safe, they lapse back into why's this all happening dude, mode. There's so much scope for further plot development here, and Ubisoft has wasted it.
Friends aside, other characters are a mixed bunch. The main antagonists are great, Vaas particularly, though the silly dream sequences in which you fight them were an awful idea. There's also a white suited ponytailed CIA spy who is every cliché rolled into one. I loathed him with a passion, and he's supposed to be a good guy. Thankfully he's offset by the hilariously offensive Buck and the endearingly dotty Doctor Earnhardt, of whom we see far too little.
This is a vast sandbox, just how I like 'em. With almost no exceptions, you can go anywhere you can see. The main missions are generally done quite well, with a few standouts, especially the dunking scene you may be familiar with and a "Flight of the Valkyries" moment that you probably won't be. Side missions vary between collecting items, racing against the clock or killing specific targets in certain ways. If I were assembling a wish list for Far Cry 4, it would be to invest additional work on the plot, especially character development, have less skinning and more of everything else! A worthy 4 out of 5 stars.