About halfway through ‘Far Cry 3,’ I started to wish they’d let me play as one of the bad guys. That’d be an interesting premise: play the first half as the “good guy” fighting for survival, then the second half as the “bad guy” who’s hunting down the “good guy.” In the case of ‘Far Cry 3,’ I’d almost completely lost interest in trying to keep my character, Jason Brody, alive. I just didn’t like him.
I did like the game, though.
I don’t know how (or if) the ‘Far Cry’ games were intended to fit together. I’ve played the first two, but didn’t finish either. Besides the names, I’m guessing there’s really nothing to connect the three games with each other, based on what little I saw of those first two. No matter.
The main character in ‘Far Cry 3′ is Jason Brody, just a regular dude trying to save his friends from the nasty folk on Rook Island, a game world of staggering dimensions. As Brody, you start killing the bad guys early, and he seems to take to the killing easily enough. Which is good, ’cause there’s lots of killing to be done. Lots. Along the way, you meet a bunch of other people far more interesting than yourself, including Vaas, the dude on the cover with the mohawk and one of Rook Island’s main baddies. I liked Vaas. He needs his own game.
There’s radio towers to climb and re-activate, there’s animals to kill and skin so you can craft gear, there’s outposts to liberate. And there’s the story missions, which are pretty fun for the most part, although I could’ve done without those drug-induced hallucination missions (I hate those). Some of Brody’s quest is a little proposterous, but that’s forgiveable. Even without the story, the game offers plenty to do.
I just wish they hadn’t blown all their creativity on a handful of supporting characters. Not only did those few characters get the best lines, they apparently got nearly all of the voiceover budget. Out in the game world, you’ll hear the same lines of ambient dialogue among Vaas’s pirates, the Rakyat warriors, and Hoyt’s privateers over and over and over. The main factions are almost entirely composed of male members (none of the enemies, as far as I could tell, were female), so I’m sure that makes recording dialogue easy.
There are times in the middle of some of the missions when the game will take control out of your hands and you’ll be forced to watch Brody stumble through a burning structure or scramble to the next action sequence. I hate it when games do that. It’s one thing to lock out a player during a cutscene, but to do it in the middle of an action sequence is just plain wrong. And don’t get me started on those QTE-driven knife-fights. So out of place. In a game of this scope, these are minor complaints, but I’ll mention them because they bug me.
I played through being as stealthy as possible. You get more XP for liberating outposts without triggering alarms, and even more if you can do it without being seen by anyone. This means staying hidden, knocking off bad guys with your sniper rifle or taking them down with your blade. Lots and lots of bloody fun. They give you some customization options for your weapons, and you can craft syringes that give you temporary abilities like fire resistance. There’s a skills tree that I managed to fill (with the exception of two skills I could’t take because they required certain in-game actions that I never got around to doing), and I finished the game with spare skill points, which probably should never happen in a video game. Oh well, it’s not an RPG.
I stayed away from the multiplayer. Nothing there for me, I’m afraid. I don’t have much of a desire to go back and replay ‘Far Cry 3’ any time soon, but I am looking forward to playing ‘Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon.’ It’s the Michael Biehn fan in me. I’ll tackle that one after I finish ‘The Last of Us’ and ‘The Walking Dead.’ I’m currently splitting my time between the two. In sort of a zombie mood, I guess.
And Ubisoft, if you’re listening: Make ‘Far Cry 3: The Story of Vaas’ happen!
(Image credits: Ubisoft)