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Far Cry 3

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#1 Virgil Vox

Virgil Vox
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Posted 31 December 2013 - 01:19 AM

Far Cry 3 is an amazing game that does just about everything right. I loved it. I'm not usually a fan of FPS but this one got its hooks into me from the start and never let go.

The game centers on Jason Brody, who along with older brother Grant, younger brother Riley, and several of their friends, are on a whirlwind vacation. They're told about a deserted island that they need to visit. So they skydive onto the island, only to discover that it's actually home to pirates who are going to sell all of them into slavery. Jason escapes and finds shelter with the Rakyat, the original inhabitants of the island who are waging a war against the pirates to reclaim their island. They will help Jason save his friends if he will help them against the pirates.

The story really is amazing. The cast of characters are great and feel real. It helps that they got an amazing voice cast. In particular is Michael Mando, who voices Vaas, leader of the pirates and an extremely crazy individual. Some might recognize him as Vic on Orphan Black. Vaas is a horrible person and you really want to see him die, but at the same time he is an engaging character and I found myself anxious to see what he would do next.

I especially liked that the story isn't afraid to go to dark places. Jason is murdering a ton of people and it is changing him. The first time he kills it freaks him out and he's not sure if he can do it again, but later he says that although he hated killing, now it feels like winning because it is allowing him to save his friends. One of Jason's friends is sold to a guy named Buck, who is raping him and he lets Jason know that he's doing it. So I like that it recognizes that killing all of these people and doing these horrible things will change a person. That's not to say the entire game is a downer. There's some crazy cool characters here and some really fun missions. But the game doesn't shy away from owning up to the darkness of what is going on.

The gameplay is great. You can upgrade Jason to carry four guns at one time. He also carries grenades, molotov cocktails, and mines. Most guns can have extras equipped, like a bigger magazine or a silencer or a scope. Jason also has a knife he can use, which comes in handy when you're going for stealth kills.

There are a ton of upgrades to get. Some upgrade Jason's health, or stealth ability, while some allow him to kill an enemy, grab that enemy's knife, and throw it at another enemy. Whenever you buy an upgrade, it shows up as a tattoo on Jason's arm. So there's physical evidence of how far you've come which is cool. You can also upgrade the amount of money Jason can carry, how much loot he can carry, how many syringes he can have, how much ammo he can hold, etc. Most of these are upgraded by killing an X number of animals and skinning them.

There is a lot to do on the island. You have your main story missions of course, and those are plentiful and varied. There are also pirate outposts that you need to take over. You can run in guns blazing, or take a stealthier route. I usually went stealthy, picking pirates off one at a time with my sniper rifle. Or, if the pirates were stupid enough to have a caged tiger or bear, I would shoot the cage and let the animal do my dirty work for me. The outposts get harder as you progress, but taking them over is worth it. It clears an area of pirates, so you don't have to worry about running into a random patrol. It also acts as a fast travel point, along with having a store to buy weapons, ammo, etc.

There are also radio towers across the island. Climbing these will unlock the map, showing you all the roads, outposts, and loot in the area. It also allows you access to free weapons. I will say that some of the platforming was frustrating in first person because it was hard to tell if I was completely on a small little beam. I fell to my death on more than one occasion because of that.

There are also side-quests that open up. Many of them are hunting, where you are given a specific weapon and told to kill any number of animals. You might have to hunt a bear with a bow and arrow, or go after rabid dogs with a bazooka. Then there's the missions that have you hunting down specific pirates on the island and you have to kill them with a knife.

You can also hunt and pick plants. Hunting is good because animal hides allow you to upgrade all of your carrying capacity, and you can also sell them for money. Plants can be crafted into a variety of syringes, like health or resistance to fire damage or the ability to breathe underwater longer or have animals not attack you.

The island itself looks amazing and what I really like is that life goes on whether you're there or not. You might be traveling and come across a tiger chasing down a deer, or a group of Rakyat fighting a group of pirates, or an animal chasing down pirates or Rakyat. Pirates and Rakyat will patrol the roads in cars, and sometimes those cars break down and they might need your help in fixing them.

The downside is that the island looks too similar. It's basically all green and lush. It looks great, but there's not a lot ot distinguish one part of the island from another. Whereas in a game like Tomb Raider or even Saints Row the areas have their own personalities.

It could also get annoying when I'm going uphill and suddenly I'm sliding down because the angle is too steep even though it didn't look it. Yet I move over a little and it's fine. Also, falling down from heights can kill you, or injure you. That's fine, but there were times when I was falling from up pretty high and sustained little to no damage, and times when the height wasn't that great and yet died or almost did. There's no consistency at all.

The controls could also be a problem sometimes. To heal, you have to hold down Y. That's great, but sometimes in the heat of battle I would hold down Y and nothing would happen and I would die. Or it would bring up the map. Just little things like that.

Those quibbles aside, Far Cry 3 is an amazing game and experience. I will definitely be playing this again.
"You will give the people an ideal to strive towards. They will race behind you. They will stumble. They will fall. But in time, they will join you in the sun. In time, you will help them accomplish wonders."

It's a recession when your neighbor loses his job: it's a depression when you lose yours.
-- Harry S. Truman

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