A couple of days late, but I have no agenda! Far Cry 3 caught my attention with the promise of immense open-world exploration with open choices, and boy did they deliver (partially at least). It is a first person shooter with sandbox game style. The single player gives you a massive map for you to explore as you please, the map construction and how you unlock certain areas is akin to Ubisoft’s previous title Assassin’s Creed. If you don’t know what I mean then I’m talking about the radio towers which help you discover the surrounding activities, similar to syncing an assassin while he’s on that eagle perch high in the sky. The only difference is radio towers prove a little bit challenging to get up as you progress through the game. Here is my review of this strangely insane game.
Far Cry 3 kind of throws you into this mess with little knowledge of what actually happened. One minute you’re sky-diving, the next you’re in a wooden cell with Grant the marine. Starting this game and not really having any experience with the previous Far Cry games, I was immediately confused but just decided to keep playing due to Vaas the quirky weirdo with a gun and maybe because I had faith in the story. As you play through the game, the story will progress as fast as you want it to, or as slow. Open world means that it is literally an open world for you to traverse through, so whether you want to hunt boars and liberate land as opposed to following the actual story is up to you! After discovering the hunting and crafting aspect, I spent a good two hours just hunting animals and crafting everything I could from bags to wallets to syringes. After all, you can never be too prepared! So although the story might be a little mumbo-jumbo at first, it slowly becomes clear (depending on your play speed) that you have to rescue all your friends who have been captured and ultimately take on the bad guy (pretty standard). However, it’s not the story or what you have to do that makes single player so fun, it’s the crafting, the liberating and the hunting, and of course meeting all these weird characters that entices you to play.
You have a host of different weapons by your side, and as you unlock maps you unlock freebies as well. Crafting certain items will increase your weapon or syringe capacity, there’s a lot of time and effort put into customizing your personal Jason in order to overcome the baddies. There’s also this mysterious tattoo that ties in with the talents you’re able to choose (augmentations or skills that will help you along your journey), these skills are divided into three different trees and have unique talents within. The ability to choose which skills, which items to craft and which weapons you use means that you can go about your missions in any way you please. Unless of course the mission forces you to be stealthy when you want to go rambo, that was disappointing at times (but at least the reason why we had to go stealth made sense). Single player offers you a lot to do, a host of different side missions pop up here and there every now and then, but there’s no one forcing you to do anything. The game basically entices you to just roam around and let your interests drag you from one place to another, and in the process you might find yourself progressing the storyline.
Co-op has you playing through this scripted campaign like gauntlet with three other players. I say “has you playing through” because there is no way you can do this on your own, and besides co-op means two plus right? The enemies in this mode are designed to be taken on by four people, one person will easily be overwhelmed. It’s set in the same place as single player, except that it is a linear mode with no exploration involved. Basically just shoot and loot (and complete objectives but that comes naturally). Just starting this mode, you would think “hey it’s kind of like Left 4 Dead without the zombies”, incorrect! Does L4D have quad bike competitions?! Despite having no scoreboard to rank yourself against your friends in the co-op game, at certain points it offers you a competitive ride through the jungle where you must best your friends in a friendly type of way. You’re all moving towards the same goal so the outcome doesn’t benefit anyone in terms of gameplay, they do however gain more XP than you for that certain bout.
The great thing about co-op would be that it tied into multiplayer. Meaning that the XP you gained in co-op would also count towards your multiplayer level and unlocks. I say “would be” because multiplayer is disappointing compared to single player and even co-op. At least in co-op there’s an objective and you know what you’re working towards and you have a full team by your side. Multiplayer just seems so lackluster, its only a few days after the initial release and lobbies are empty, and when you finally get into a game you can see why they are. The maps feel clustered, much like the MoH: Warfighter maps, except with more trees (or less? I’m not sure). The modes are standard and the only mode which does stand out, Firestorm, is completely chaotic. Blocking off parts of the map with fire on maps no one can navigate? Spells disaster in my mind. To be honest the only cool/refreshing thing I found with multiplayer was the ending scene after every game where the 3 victors get to choose the fate of the best player on the losing team, that was brutally awesome. The rest, game modes, maps and leveling system have been done better and leaves Far Cry 3 multiplayer looking literally like soldiers in rag-tag outfits.
The gameplay itself feels amazing in all modes, the guns are customized to look like they’ve been on the island for a duration with rust showing on some and others being scratched or battered. Little details to the guns make the game that much more enjoyable, despite the cut scene graphics having some bad cuts and the in-game graphics overlapping a little bit here and there. The game itself when stepping back to look at the big picture, looks beautiful from the top of radio towers you can see into the distance. The fact that you have your own little DSLR camera to capture this is all the more entertaining (it’s also useful for spotting enemies). Although in comparison, I think Assassin’s Creed looked a lot better in terms of in-game graphics.
To put it all together into a final score, single player was awesome, co-op was great and multiplayer was poop. Generally, I would enjoy multiplayer more than single player, hands down I love multiplayer. But playing through Far Cry 3 made me realize that sometimes the single player really does kick multiplayer’s butt. Far Cry 3 could’ve done without the multiplayer and just kept single player and co-op. But then again, if they had done away with multiplayer, co-op would go too. Maybe they could’ve taken after the Borderlands 2 co-op? If you enjoy a good single player campaign with a hell of a lot of substance and immense freedom, Far Cry 3 combines the FPS potential of Borderlands 2 with the free world exploration of Assassin’s Creed to create a jungle madness! Just don’t count on any multiplayer yumminess, because to me it was a flop and if I want to play multiplayer I’d go back to Battlefield 3 or Black Ops 2 (don’t hate, appreciate).