Review by hyjinx17
"One of the best open world shooters plagued by a few annoying issues"
Introduction: Far Cry 3, the latest in the long running game series has just been unleashed upon us, but is it worth your time
Far Cry 3 on it's surface is a first person shooter, but given a bit of time the true depth becomes very apparent. The shooting in the game is just as solid as any other AAA shooter on the market. Guns feel good, the bow is fantastic and melee executions are gritty and fantastic. However, where the true fun comes from is the tattou system. The Tattou system is this games version of skill trees and when you pick new perks, the tattoo on your arm becomes more complex. While the shooting mechanic is changed very little by this system, faster reloading, quicker weapon swaps etc You're execution abilities are GREATLY amplified. From the ability to throw the knife of someone you just executed into another enemy to using their gun to kill many other enemies, from killing someone on the ledge above you to killing two people that you jump on, the tattou really expands your range of moves.
Combat areas, for the most part, can be handled either stealth fully or in open combat, it's really up to you. The map is absolutely huge, consisting of 2 main islands and it is populated by little villages, enemy encampments you can take over, hunting spots and radio towers which uncover more of the map. Hunting in this game can be a good bit of fun and certain pelts are used to craft bigger bags for items, ammo, explosives etc culminating in needing to kill a special version of an animal to get the biggest bags. Unfortunately, once you get all the bags, hunting has very little appeal. There are also quite a few plants to be harvested to make health syringes as well as other drugs that have a variety of effects. Healing however, doesn't require a health syringe, they are just more effective. When you don't have any on hand, you get an animation varying from bandaging some cuts to resetting a broken bone and even digging a bullet out of your arm with your teeth. Driving in the game is functional, but it will take some getting used to for anyone not used to first person driving.
Unfortunately with all that good, there is some bad. Possibly the worst decision by the design team is how falling works. Falling 10-15 feet auto kills Jason, but if there is a proper inline, you can slide all the way down a mountain side. I have seen my friend who does Parkour fall, not jump, fall at least 2o feet onto concrete and just walk away on multiple occasions, but our so called Perfect warrior can't handle a 10 foot jump without dying, it's pretty dumb. While the tattou system adds quite a bit of flair to the game, a lot of the more interesting things requires you to complete a certain number of missions, and some of the best ones don't get unlocked until the end. As an extension of this problem, once you have cleared the main story and have conquered all the enemy bases, there are very few areas where you can find enemies, despite being allowed to return to the island to play around after the story. I, for example, never found an opportunity to use the takedown where I use the gun of someone I executed to kill other enemies because by the time I got it, there where no situations left where I could use it. So if you want to play with all the powers unlocked, you have to stick to one of the few areas where enemies keep respawning, which gets old fast. There are also some very annoying combat design decisions. First, your mines can kill you through walls, even if you aren't standing right near said wall, so don't set a mine outside and hide in a building. All Molotov wielding enemies are world class pitchers that can hit you in the head with the bottle from half a mile away and when you kill them the molotovs burst, lighting them on fire, but they can chase you down for that same half mile unless you shoot them more. Fire is also really annoying to deal with. Grass burns for a very long time and spreads way to far and while it's realistic, it's annoying because you'll find yourself having to run far too much when it's involved, which discourages the use of the flamethrower.
The story opens up with Jason Brody, his 2 brothers and their friends partying on the island having a grand old time. Unfortunately for our protagonist, this was just what they caught on camera in the previous days. They have found themselves captured by a bunch of pirates headed by Vaas, one of the most well written villains in recent memory. He is the guy you absolutely love to hate and you absolutely can't wait for him to make his next appearance. Jason and his older brother attempt an escape, but unfortunately, Jason's older brother doesn't make it. Thus begins Jason's quest to find and rescue his little brother and friends. Jason quickly hooks up with the locals who want nothing more than to kill Vaas and rid their island of the pirate scum. The first half of the story would easily get 9/10, but unfortunately it peters out after the untimely loss of an important character. As for the endings, of which there are 2, well I won't say they are bad, but I'll put it this way, they won't be remembered for being good or bad.
This game is gorgeous to both look at and listen to. Character models are absolutely outstanding and facial animations are top notch. The various animals look so real and the jungle feels alive. I almost had a heart attack when a shark attacked me while I was swimming in the ocean. Some of the sequences when your hallucinating from blood loss or um other means, look and feel genuine. The textures are also top notch especially considering it's running on 7 year old hardware. The voice acting is also fantastic, especially Vaas. The voice actor delivers his lines so well, it makes you feel like he is really there in your room, taunting you. Jason is also well voiced and while not as memorable as Vaas, at no point does his voice get annoying.
Replay Value: 7/10
The single player campaign, if you only do the story, lasts about 12 hours, but easily reaches 30+ hours if you capture all bases, do all side missions and hunt for all the lost relics. Like I said in the gameplay section, there is a point where there's just nothing else you can really do in a single save, but it is probably worth it to play through twice, one with stealth and one with open combat and to see both the endings. There is also a fairly fun and challenging co-op mode that gives you different missions to play through from the main story with a buddy. There is also a multiplayer function, though I did not try it out. I have heard it's ok and more than functional, but with the sizable single player and the co-op missions, the multiplayer is just another feature that adds more content to this already sizable game.
Far Cry 3 is an absolutely fantastic game to end 2012 with. From the fantastic island to the memorable characters you will have an absolute blast exploring, hunting and seeking revenge. You will regret it if you don't give this one a chance.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/07/13
Game Release: Far Cry 3 (US, 12/04/12)
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