Yeah, work that backlog! Especially of those titles that were free with your graphics card! Yes, the first game to really give my machine the work around, it’s one of the very highly reviewed titles from last year. With the more or less empty window of releases during December highlighting this particular dove. But I’d review any blasted game as long as I could talk about it for a page, so I’ll just start digging with this ‘ere spoon!
Far Cry 3 (Single Player) Review
Release Date: 04/12/2012
Platforms: PC(Reviewed), Xbox 360, PS3
Developers: Ubisoft Montreal, Ubisoft Massive, Ubisoft Shanghai, and Ubisoft Red Storm
Rig: AMD FX-8320, 8GB of RAM, Radeon HD 7770, Windows 7 64-bit
The narrative diving board in Far Cry 3 is a bit eye catching. You are a parasite occupying an entitled schmuck from a rich family in SIlicon Valley, known as Jason Brody. Yet after going to a vacation across the miscellaneous islands southeastern Asia, him and his entourage end up skydiving right into the laps of modern day pirates, who take the heirs to millions and put them up for ransom. Not that it lasts very long, as Jason escapes and is off on a quest to save his bro, Grrrl, Stoner, and another two who I can’t recall a lot about seeing as how you get about 90 seconds to get attached to them.
Not that narrative is much of a driving factor for, say 80% of the game, due to how most of it is spent hopping around a tropical island, hunting for treasure, and setting animals on fire because it is funny. Though, what story that is there is actually very stylishly presented, with the unshifting first person perspective sealing the deal. It is the story of revenge, tribal tattoos of ultimate power, and occasionally popping some unknown substances into your mouth, sending you on a sort of vision quest. Which sounds rather keen in my humble opinion, but said opinion also filled in the blanks with the game acknowledging how stupid it is, when it does try to play itself straight a lot of the time.
Which is a bit questionable, seeing as how there are painted breasts thrown in after you take a gulp of something dreadful and are fighting a giant with a bow and an unlimited supply of dream arrows. Though, in many ways that ass to the fun, as you’re going through the jungles slashing Komodo Dragons with a machete while following a magical compass to get some ancient dagger. But I can’t shake the feeling that meshing that up with modern day pirates is necessarily a good call. Seeing as how in terms of gameplay, my Jason resembled a mix of a kleptomaniac, and another, more famous Jason who uses a machete.
Far Cry 3 took me about forty some-odd hours to beat, because of how you’re on a rather large pair of two islands with a plethora of animals to hunt, secrets to uncover, and even a handful of side activities that most often involve the former if you replace animals with man. Yet in order to unlock any of those, you need to first travel to each square kilometres residential radio tower and unlock the map. Then there are two conveniently placed bases for the pirates that you need to take down. Or in my experience, snipe out while occasionally releasing a tiger to eat a few faces.
Which certainly does sound fun, but things tend to lose their luster after about seventeen instances. Even using the game’s wonky first person driving to try and traverse a cliff before blowing up the jeep because the explosions are pretty. Or hopping on a seadoo to ram into a group of sharks or jump off a cliff with a hang glider and try not to do the same with either a shark or the evil force that is gravity.
I did expect as much, as I hunted for all 160 collectables in my quest, but my problem comes into play with how the game more or less does not expect or really want the player to do such a thing. Looking at the equipment crafting system, you need to get a maximum of four animal pelts in order to make or upgrade one of the several unseen pouches carried by Jason, but I managed to be fully equiped before I was done with the first island because of how little you ultimately need to forge a massive arsenal.
Instead, the only ways I could end up improving the mountain of power set before me was to buy weapons or get XP for the many skills unlocked throughout the campaign. Yet, both of those I managed to max out before I was halfway done with the second island. To the point where I even had enough to buy every paint job for every weapon and still have a full wallet. I’m not saying that a game should expect all players to be a completist like me, but from how there is no reward aside from a morsel of XP from getting all 120 of a single blasted item seems like the crafters never really imagined that anybody would try to clear their map of white icons.
Even then, I still felt like my work was pretty much done before I was tossed to the second island with a wingsuit in tow. In fact, I’d go as far to say that the second island feels more like a second campaign than anything. Not helped by how instead of dealing with the enthusiastic and wonderfully performed antagonist from the first half, you’re dealing with his boss. Even Jason himself looks different after donning an enemy uniform for the rest of the game. Something that may be miniscule in an FPS, but it is helped here by how regularly Jason’s body is shown when he would be looking at where his body would be.
Yet the question of whether or not these hindrances somehow make the game not fun has yet to be answered, and the answer is a very simple no. Repetition aside, this is a game where You can dash through a jungle, pick up some native herbs to make syringe based pick-me-ups, jump into a car, and crash into a water buffalo before ripping out its entrails. You can hop off of a hang glider into the sea and get into a tussle with a shark before you rip off its skin. Or you could be boring and just get into a shootout with some thugs with a high powered assault rifle, or flamethrower if you’re feeling a hint bit more ritzy.
All of which are sights that were probably the best looking thing game I’ve been able to play. I played almost the entirety of the game on what it viewed as optimal setting, which meant everything was on high or very high, and managed to run wonderfully, at least for the most part. In a condensed shell, the game’s draw distance can’t handle the copious amounts of fauna that lie below when soaring through the sky, and even sometimes on foot, objects faded themselves into existence.
Not that they were ever big problems graphically, as the game was a regular blast of greens, blues, and the bits of grey due to the regular spelunking adventures Jason partakes in. Granted, the repetition does apply here, meaning that once you’ve climbed up to the top of one two kilometer tall mountain, you’ve pretty much gotten seen every sunshine filled skyline in the game. Although, and this may just be due to how I like to keep my screen brightness low, nearly every instance where I was shoved into a dark cave or dusk coated jungle the game looked a bit too dark.
On the audio fronts, I’ll come clean and say that the lack of music in normal travel ended up being rather harkening to me to the point where I decided to try and see if I could play the game with a playlist roaring in the background. Well, at least for the big old exploration, while the normal missions are filled with dialog aplenty. Most of it being rather well performed and bringing their respective characters to life, like how Jason’s voice actor makes him sound appropriately unlike someone wielding enough firepower to take down an entire family of wild boars.
Far Cry 3 is a game that I am tied between really, really enjoying it, and having some big issues with it, which I can’t help but feel like I only encountered because I “played the game wrong”. It is a game where you can shoot deer in the head with a childishly customized tool of warfare in a rather lovely looking jungle. But is also a very repetitious experience that feels like it was done by several teams who were all doing the same basic things in order to make the game seem like more of a bang for someone’s buck.
A solid title that may be lacking in an infinite amount of different ways, or just a few big and difficult to ignore issues. Varies based on the title, but still worth giving it a go overall!