Far Cry 3 puts you in the shoes of Jason Brody, a rich kid who is partying with his friends on a tropical paradise island near Bangkok. However, as becomes apparent in the game’s opening, everything is not quite as idyllic as it seems.
With your friends scattered and captured it’s left up to you to try and get everyone together and escape from this hellish nightmare.
Fortunately there are plenty of guns around and lots of armed enemies to take out in the process.
The setting is beautiful and the developers have done a great job of creating a stunning and believable environment for you to mess around in. And mess around you will because Far Cry 3 is positively loaded with things to do in addition to the story missions.
The story itself starts strongly, wavers in the middle and finishes well – though it felt like there were different directions Far Cry 3 could’ve gone in that might’ve been better suited to the early story stuff. I certainly would’ve liked to have seen it take longer for Brody to turn into a frenzied killing machine after his fantastically timid beginnings but having said that, it does fit in with the story stuff that follows.
Enemy AI is ok on the whole, though it has to be said it’s at its best when unscripted emergent events happen – like wild animals rushing in and attacking you and your enemies. Some of those moments were superb and gave the game a real feeling of vitality and freshness.
The missions were good overall and I felt that Far Cry 3 was well paced, aside from a few instances and one particular ‘boss’ battle that felt a little out of place. Mainly due to it’s length rather than it’s place in the story.
Having everything in first person gives the game a nice feel, especially when driving a vehicle. And it says a lot that for the most part I avoided using the fast travel system and would just drive wherever I needed to go.
On your travels you’ll encounter random enemy patrols or wild animals and for me, these were some of the highlights of my playthrough. Likewise capturing enemy bases was always fun and I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge presented by the radio towers you need to activate to unlock chunks of the map.
I did feel the story outstayed it’s welcome a little, possibly trimming an hour or two off the campaign might’ve helped but the characters dreamt up by the developers are pretty awesome and it was nice to see some colourful personalities that were fun to interact with.
Unfortunately during an early mission I experienced several game breaking glitches that meant restarting the mission. Whether it was a game crash, an online connection error that froze the game on the pause screen or something else, it meant redoing the same mission 4 times, which was pretty frustrating. The game also locked up on me a few times beyond that and because of Far Cry 3′s lack of manual save options I lost a fair bit of valuable progress.
I found the multiplayer offering to be pretty robust and good fun. There isn’t anything revolutionary here but it’s solid and will offer further hours of gameplay within the universe. There are also a batch of co-op missions that you can tackle with friends which further boosts your potential playtime.
Overall, after initially being impressed with Far Cry 3 by the end of the game I felt a little let down by the way the story developed. I felt a couple of great characters were wasted and I suppose having enjoyed the opening it just highlighted the disappointment by the time the game ended. Added to that were the technical issues that disrupted my playthrough and it made for a slightly disjointed experience.