1 person found this review helpful
Date of review: 10.24.2014
ASUS Crosshair V Formula-Z; AMD FX-8350 (OC @ 4.6 GHz) + Corsair Hydro Series H80i; Corsair Vengeance 8 GB DDR3 1866 MHz; ASUS AMD Radeon R9 280X DirectCU II Top; Corsair Force GS 128 GB SSD; WD Black 1 TB; Corsair AX 760i; Corsair Graphite series 230T Black, Windows 8.1 64 Bit Pro.
Released in 2012, Far Cry 3 became a huge success, considered by many the game of the year (or at least the FPS of the year), something which I also believe it fully deserves. An open world FPS experience has never felt so polished before.
In the third installment of the Far Cry series you take over the role of Jason Brody, a 25 year old american daredevil who is currently on a holiday with his friends and brothers in Thailand. Everything is party and fun until the group goes skydiving over the supposedly uninhabited Rook Islands, only to land on a world occupied by pirates who deal with kidnapping and human trafficking…
While the plot is not as mature and meaningful as the one of Far Cry 2, it’s more than first meets the eye, being a carefully built satire.
Characters are very deep, and Vaas Montenegro is one of the coolest antagonists ever to show up in a game.
Though not directly related to the main plot/story line, the detailed history of Rook Islands (going back all the way to ancient China), the Rakyat (the native people of the islands) the Japanese occupation during the second world war, etc. adds a lot to the game and to the immersion.
Far Cry 3 looks absolutely stunning. Colorful yet wild, the tropical world has never looked so good and alive before, with breath taking landscapes and dozens of animals roaming/flying around. This is definitely one of those games you just enjoy by looking at. The variety is also impressive, from the lush jungles to the sandy beaches, from ancient temples to small villages, it’s simply a pleasure to roam around, and explore, and the small details really make it feel rewarding.
Combat also looks and thus feels great, with brutal animations and beautiful explosions, making firefights incredibly fun.
The day-night cycle (although somewhat short) is present as well and adds a lot to the visuals, creating sights which will easily take your breath away.
Of course, such visuals will require a decent system in order to run smoothly. With my current rig, I could run Far Cry 3 at 1080p Ultra details and 2xMSAA with very good frame rates. I did get some rare fps drops in very intense fight scenes, but even then the game was more than smooth enough to be played. Turning MSSA over 2x however, pretty much killed my frames, but this is absolutely acceptable.
If you thought visuals were the game’s greatest strength, you were wrong… the gameplay is simply fantastic. Far Cry 3 takes over where Far Cry 2 left off, but delivers so much more in a significantly more polished way.
The main plot is long, with varied and fun to play missions. The secondary missions/quests may not be as meaningful as in Far Cry 2 for example, but the game more than makes up for them with the unbelievably fun exploration, hunting, gathering, collectibles, etc. Really, collecting stuff and exploring has never felt as rewarding and as fun, whether you are searching for relics or letters from the Japanese soldiers (who occupied the islands during the Second World War), or whether you are hunting a rare white tiger or gathering herbs, you will have fun.
You could probably rush through the main plot in 15-20 or so hours, but if you allow yourself sucked into the world of Rook Islands you can spend 75+ hours and you will still have plenty of stuff to do. Simply awesome.
Of course this is an FPS, so one of the main questions here is, how are the guns? Short answer: great! There are well over 20 weapons to choose from, pistols, sub machine guns, assault rifles, sniper rifles, light machine guns and even exotics like the flame thrower or the re-curving bow. Also, almost all weapons are customizable, you can attach sound suppressors, scopes, extended magazines, etc. providing a truly varied arsenal which you can configure to perfectly fit your play style.
Long range and close quarter combat is usually viable in every FPS, but Far Cry 3 will also be completely playable using stealth tactics, even more, you will be rewarded for stealthy kills and takedowns (which are awesome by the way), or carefully and tactically liberating outposts without getting detected. Oh and do you remember the outpost re-spawn problem from Far Cry 2? It's gone! In Far Cry 3 a libreated outpost is taken over by the Rakyat, and will serve as a safe house.
As in the previous Far Cry installments, vehicles are also available. And I have to say (at least for me personally), the cars handle better and are more fun to drive than in many racing games… which is not something we are used to from an FPS.
But Far Cry 3 is so much more than a simple open world FPS… the introduction of RPG elements might sound scary for some hardcore FPS fans, but Far Cry 3 nailed it. During your adventures you gain experience and eventually level up, which is rewarded with skill points which you can use to unlock some incredibly cool and brutal takedown moves and other bonuses. The skills feel balanced, you’ll never become a Terminator, but they are also rewarding enough to make you want to unlock them.
And we are still not done, Far Cry 3 also has crafting! Now don't imagine a complex gathering/crafting system. You can gather skins and furrs from animals to create ammo bags and pouches, and different plants for different syringes which can heal you or provide different short term bonuses. Not much but it perfectly fits the game and the setting.
While the previous Far Cry games were ok when it came to sounds, they never really managed to impress me. Far Cry 3 is different, the soundtrack finally contains some memorable tunes, the ambient sounds are great, the guns, the explosions and combat in general sounds brutal, and the voiceovers are some of the best I heard in a long time, again with Vaas stealing the show.
Far Cry 3’s plot is linear, and there aren't many choices you can take, you won’t replay the game for the different endings, but for everything else, because Far Cry 3 is pure fun. And... for Vaas!
The third Far Cry game really managed to put an incredibly polished and fun gameplay onto the table. It would be nice if developers finally understood that visuals and content are important, but in the end, it’s the gameplay that will really make a game fun to play… because a good game is fun to play.
Great games however, are not only fun to play, but also look great and also have tons of content, and Far Cry 3 is one of these, it simply delivers in everything. Definitely a must have!