Far Cry 3 on Xbox 360: reviewBy Danny Hoxton
Beyond the reach of civilisation lies a lawless island ruled by violence. This is where you find yourself stranded, caught in a bloody conflict between the island’s psychotic warlords and indigenous rebels. Struggling to survive, your only hope of escape is through the muzzle of a gun...
If, instead of hobbling around on wooden legs with parrots on their shoulders and counting their pieces of gold, pirates had been wielding AK47s, drug-running, kidnapping, torturing and murdering young holiday makers, they’d easily have made it into the ranks of Children’s Most Scary, convincingly nestled between zombies and werewolves. Well, welcome to the Rook Islands and prepare to be terrified.
Far Cry 3 is a beautifully designed open-world stealth action RPG — yes it really does encompass all three elements and with surprising ease; as the opening cinematic kicks in, you may be excused for thinking you are playing the hotly anticipated game version of Danny Boyle’s The Beach.
As Jason Brody, your first objective is to rescue your friends from the tyrannical pirate Lord Vaas — your former captor and the murderer of your brother. As you embark on this challenge, you find yourself embracing the new Rakyat tribe which has taken you under its wing. It is very hard to find yourself caring for Jason’s friends, which is surely an intentional ploy on the part of the game developers, as the game seems more to be about personal evolution and departure, which in many ways makes it far easier to get over their perils and plight, and fully embrace your new Rakyat ways. Everything about this game feels unpredictable and hostile; at any moment you are at risk of being savaged by the wildlife and enemies appear to be lurking everywhere. This leaves you constantly asking questions and entering seemingly innocuous situations with trepidation.
The characters in Far Cry 3 are amazing and as you descend deeper into the drug-induced nightmare, you can’t help but find yourself completely immersed in this new world. Whether hand-gliding and taking out your prey from above or wrestling crocodiles and dodging gecko attacks, there always feels like there is something more to be done and the game gives you the freedom to carry on exploring for as long as you like.
Far Cry 3 pushes a lot of boundaries — I had preconceived prejudices about console RPGs, and this game has helped me to overcome this. The talent tree ‘tattoo’ is a really cool idea (you will find yourself obsessing over getting a ‘full sleeve’) and the stealth elements are awesome — one of the beautiful little innovations is scouting the area with your camera which pinpoints the enemies to avoid. As an FPS, the game adds nothing new, but it doesn’t really feel like an FPS title; in a really positive way, it feels merely coincidental. Far Cry 3 is story-driven, open world action and is stealth at its very best.
The Multiplayer function is the only major let-down in this game, but when you’re having this much fun playing in Story mode, you’ll realise that you didn’t really need another multiplayer FPS and be glad that the developers committed their time to creating such a beautiful game, memorable characters and innovative storytelling instead.
You will find yourself playing this game with a smile on your face; you will want to explore every nook and crevice of the Rook Islands and you will want every upgrade you can get your hands on. Without a doubt you will become immersed in this world and yeah, you’ll also have a renewed fear of pirates.