Sliding through the door after a long day at work followed by a rigorous workout at the gym, a few scant items ebb and flow through my mind: food, walk the dog, and FarCry 3. This review is based off of the PC version of the game, so console lovers need not pay the troll toll. It is without reservation that I write this review well before completing the main story, as I feel it will be quite a long time before I exhaust my man-hours taking in the many sights and activities that FarCry 3 has to offer.
Graphics-FarCry3 boasts some heavy duty graphics regardless of the system being utilized (PS3, Xbox360, or PC). My current PC rig (2.9GHz Quad-Core/8GB DDR3/Radeon 5770), has finally met it’s match. Playing on high settings (out of which many quality settings reach to very high, and ultra) seems to make 60 frames per second rare, though I admit I have found the sweet spot, rarely dipping below 35FPS. This is not to detract from the shear beauty of the game, as even lower settings render the beautiful Rook Islands wonderfully.
Diversity-FarCry 3 expands on previous entries by creating a believable open world environment in which to explore. From beaches, to jungles, to shanty-towns, to underground forgotten ruins, Ubisoft has created a diverse biosphere filled with dangerous wildlife, interesting characters, breathtaking scenery, and provocative mysteries. The characters of the game are truly believable and range from the obscenely rural to the genuinely crazy, peppered with the tribally sexy and topped with the courageous and heroic. Without giving too much away, the main character and his friends are forced to rely on their dormant instincts to survive in a chaotic world. These characters grow and expand as the story progresses, coming to terms wight the situation they have thrust forced into.
There are also quite a few different collectables hidden around the Rook Islands that contribute, when collected, to the islands’ deeper back story. From drug cartels, to WWII, to ancient civilizations, Ubisoft has done collectibles the right way, offering the play more than just bragging rights to what he/she discovers by giving deeper insight into the storied history if the islands.
FarCry3 also contains a unique system for upgrading items. By hunting different animals and gaining their pelts, the player can upgrade a plethora of survival gear ranging from medicine to loot sacks to additional gun holders. Special hunting quests also yield rare pelts to upgrade higher tier equipment.
Gameplay-Players are able to choose their gameplay style as both run-and-gun and stealth tactics are encouraged. Crouching on a nearby hill overlooking an enemy outpost is quite fun and made practical by the players camera which when used allows enemies, once spotted, to be tagged and tracked. This helps when trying to secretly infiltrate a base as you can keep tabs on the location of all enemies if you take the time to scout the area first, quietly taking bad guys down with the silent recurve bow. With this said, it is also quite fun to grab an assult rifle and go in guns blazin’ while throwing grenades, blowing up fuel barrels and setting fires that burn everything in it’s path (the fire dynamic makes a return from FarCry 2).
Voice Acting-In a time and place where quite a few video games still have subpar voice acting, FarCry3 rises above mediocrity and into the realm of the elite and superb voice acting games (Uncharted Series, Killzone, Heavy Rain). Even local villagers have had great detail applied to the quality of voice work which adds to the immersion into the game.
Game Length-When adding up all of the side missions, animal hunting, competitive missions, main story, and just plain ‘ole exploring, FarCry3 gives gamers their money’s worth. Don’t expect a short 5-10 hour game session as experiencing all of FarCry3′s content can cost you up to 20-25 hours Of your life.
Story-I realize I made a big deal about how well the characters are crafted and most would think that naturally applied to part of the story…These people would be right! While not bad by any means the only problem I have with the story is the lack of Build-up to the characters current dilemma.
~~~~MILD SPOILER ALERT~~~~
The game starts with the main character of Jason Brody kidnapped along with his brothers and friends by the deadly and admittedly crazy Vaas, a local pirate and village crazy! To me, the opening seemed contrived as the player miraculously gets left alone with a brother that just happens to be a marine that quickly allows both of them to escape. Bad things ensue and Jason leaves his brother only to be knocked unconscious and rescued by local wise man Dennis who in turn turns Jason into a cold-hearted killer. The story would have had greater justice done to it if the connection between Jason and his friends and family were allowed to be built up a little more prior to their kidnapping, which would make the whole vengeance/retribution/tribal assassin thing that much more believable. Don’t get me wrong, the story is still amazing, it is just in my opinion this change would have made it even better.