Far Cry 3 is an open world first person shooter that takes place on a beautiful island. On this island you will fight for survival against pirates, warlords, and exotic animals. But wait there’s more, your brother and friends are held captive by a super psycho pirate named Vaas, and it’s up to you to save them. On the plus side, you have plenty of time to suck up local color in the process.
Rook Island is your playground and there are plenty of distractions to keep you from your goal in the single player campaign. When the game begins you are only able to carry a single weapon and your wallet won’t exceed one thousand dollars. Right away I recognized this as a problem because I’m a big spender when it comes to buying weapons. After the brief tutorial on how to be a hunter and gatherer, I went right to work. Players must follow recipes when crafting items such as weapon holsters, knapsacks, stimulants, and medpacks. I have to admit this aspect of the game drove me a little crazy. It felt like such a time suck and a chore to pretend I’m some sort of expert leather worker and hunter. Suddenly after 10 minutes in the jungle I know how to craft wallets and backpacks out of animal hides. That’s just silly talk.
It should be said that the island is huge and not once did I ever feel like space was limited. Even when I found myself on the beach there was always a boat or WaveRunner waiting to be commandeered. Traveling is relatively easy once you start exploring and eliminate enemy forces at pirate camps. After a camp is cleared it becomes a fast travel location and you can come and go as you please just by selecting it on your map. However, it’s also fun to drive around in jeeps and see what kind of trouble you can get yourself into. I spent a large portion of my time shutting down the jamming transmitters on all the radio towers on the island. Doing so will uncover all the regions on your map and shop owners give you weapons free of charge.
The story mode steals the show in Far Cry 3. Your character starts off as a fraidy cat with a weak stomach, but by the time the credits roll you are one tough S.O.B. It’s definitely fun watching the transformation take place with the protagonist, Jason Brody. From the moment you fire your first shot as a cowering victim, your taste for blood starts to cloud your fears and will ultimately help you in your quest for survival. Soon you will be stabbing several enemies in the throat without giving them a second thought.
For the most part players get to choose how they want to go about accomplishing their missions. Those who prefer the run and gun style (like myself) will certainly feel right at home in Far Cry 3. Although at some point in the game I started taking a more stealthy approach to killing my enemies. Perhaps it was my survival instincts taking over, but the game just felt more satisfying to me when I took the ninja approach. There are a few occasions where the missions require complete stealth and you must avoid detection at all cost. Other times you get to play Rambo and shoot every bastard on your screen.
Jason Brody is introduced to several characters on the island and each one has their own agenda for you. At times I felt like an errand boy but for the most part the missions stuck to the main plot of getting your friends rescued. Players are always given the choice to either explore the island or continue to the next mission in order to progress the story. This model serves as a great way to allow players to set their own pace to completing the game.
The voice acting was superb and I really enjoyed listening to what each character had to say. Especially Vaas, the super psycho pirate I mentioned earlier. That dude loves to talk and made me feel uncomfortable on more than one occasion. Which isn’t a bad thing. I just wish he was in the game more. After the opening sequence we only run into Vaas during cutscenes. Perhaps if we were to cross paths while exploring the island we might feel a tad bit more vulnerable. We go from being the hunted to the hunter in just a few short moments after the game starts. If there were more encounters with Vaas, I might want to get off the island sooner rather than later.
Overall my experience with Far Cry 3 was a joyful one. The controls are easy to master and there wasn’t a single occasion where I wanted to throw my controller out the window in disgust. There are several side missions and mini games to keep you busy for hours on end. The single player campaign has some fun adventures that will take you inside ancient temples, beautiful white sandy beaches, and riding over mountain tops. The flora and fauna mixes things up quite a bit and you must remain vigilant at all times. You never know when a tiger might leap from the brush and pounce your unsuspecting ass. It’s a jungle out there and your friends are depending on you to get them home safe. It took me just over 13 hours to complete the single player campaign. I didn’t rush and explored every inch of Rook Island. I encourage you to do the same.
Pros: Open world, tons of guns, fast travel, vehicle options, awesome graphics, fun story.
Cons: Minor screen tears, having to craft items, driving feels wonky at times.
Replay Value: 8
LEGACY SCORE: 8.5
Far Cry 3 is available for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. This review is based on a retail copy for the PlayStation 3.
You can follow Justin on Twitter @Edgyarmo and see what the island has transformed him into.