Last Level Press

Nutshell Review: Far Cry 3

Reviewer: Cliff Davenport

“Did I ever tell you the definition of insanity?”

Gamers, if you’re fans of  first-person shooters or sandbox games, buy Far Cry 3. Buy it right now. Really, go ahead, I’m sure Steam is already open in your task bar.  I’ll wait.  Squared away?  Good.

Allow me to start by saying that there is a very good reason for Far Cry 3 to have been called the "Skyrim of action games." Ubisoft Montreal has put together a blockbuster with this colorful descent into a surreal and bloody madness, refreshingly departing from the bland letdown that was the game’s predecessor.

The game’s action elements are solid, boasting tight, well-polished shooting, simple and intuitive driving controls, and a suitably varied array of ass-kickery available to players.  Its pseudo-RPG elements are also pleasantly deep for an FPS title, with each new ability, more often than not, granting a tangible aid or ability to players rather than an invisible stat boost.  The iterative augmentations to players’ melee and stealth abilities are particularly noteworthy, as each is often more brutally satisfying than the last, serving as fitting rewards for players and as visceral illustrations of the main character, Jason Brody’s transformation from stranded west-coast adrenaline junkie into a primal killing machine.  Each ability’s visual representation as a part of an increasingly intricate series of tattoos along Jason’s forearm is a nice touch of artistry and immersion as well.  

Between these abilities and Far Cry 3’s limited but effectual weapon customization options, it’s this potential for personalization that allows players to gradually carve out their own niche and play style in Far Cry 3’s organic and flexible combat system.  One may select increasingly potent health boosts as they level, and pack a shotgun, a hand cannon, and a fistful of grenades for wrecking pirate faces.  Another, like myself, may opt for a more stealthy approach, relying instead upon knife takedowns, silenced weaponry, and environmental hazards to distract and dispatch enemies.

Like bears.  In no other game may you make tactical

bear-strikes.  Developers, get on this.  Now.

An additional co-op play mode, complete with its own standalone story arc, alongside a fairly standard competitive multiplayer mode, keep Far Cry 3’s long-term entertainment value alive and fresh, offering multiple gaming experiences under one digital roof.  That said, it’s worth noting that the game’s multiplayer modes don’t  allow for near the customization or freedom as that of the single player experience, though that’s to be more or less expected.  The gift that keeps on giving, however, is Far Cry 3’s admirably user-friendly map editor, which its player base has already taken to creating some creatively insane arenas with.  

Sadly, Pokerface Deathmatch is not one of them.

On the technical end of things, Ubisoft obviously took their time with coding  and Q.A. testing this title, and it shows. Even on middling-level gaming rigs, Far Cry 3 runs with admirable efficiency, and it’s a real treat for the eyes if a more powerful system is at the helm.  Even on consoles, the game is gorgeous in every aspect of its presentation, from its smooth graphics to the diverse soundtrack, to say nothing of the actors’ stunning performances. Regarding the latter, my hat is way, way off to Michael Mando for his performance as Vaas, the game’s first and most memorable antagonist.  His “Definition of Insanity” monologue is still lingering in my mind, and I put this title down weeks ago at the time of writing this review.  

The standout flaw of Far Cry 3 is that there simply isn’t enough of it.  The single-player story is rather short, ends abruptly, and doesn’t have much replay value.  The side missions will only last players so long, and once players clear regions and islands of enemy factions, there’s no real sense that their victories are ever in jeopardy.  Once you’re finished with an area’s tasks, there’s just not much reason to go back.  No pirate raids, no upgrade or expansion missions, just shelters to store your stuff in.  This, coupled with the borderline patronizing hand-holding provided by the game’s vendors and map function (which even goes so far as to point players toward the supposedly hidden collectibles), keeps Far Cry 3 from really capitalizing on the dangerous wonder of its setting and the exploration thereof.  

In all though, Far Cry 3 looks, feels, and plays like a startlingly entertaining amalgamation of standard FPS fare, Assassin’s Creed, and Skyrim, and damnit, I want more.  

Rating: 7.8

Visuals: 9

Audio: 8

Controls & Mechanics: 7

Atmosphere & Experience: 7

Entertainment Value: 8

On a side note, if you haven’t seen “The Far Cry Experience”

video, check it out.  You will not be disappointed.

Troll Level: 9001

  Consoles: (PC), PS3, Xbox 360

  Developer: Ubisoft Montreal

  Publisher: Ubisoft

  Release Date (U.S.):  Dec 4, 2012

  Release Date (U.K.):  Nov 30, 2012

  Release Date (JP):  Mar 7, 2013

Final Verdict:


Share this page:

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google Bookmarks
Share on Reddit
Share on Stumble Upon
Share on LiveJournal
Share on Digg
Share via e-mail

Last Level Press © Copyright Cliff Davenport  Est. 2013.  Links | Legal Notices

comments powered by Disqus