Far Cry 3 Review (PC)

excellent
key review info
  • Game: Far Cry 3
  • Platform: PC
  • Gamepad support: Yes  
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A Far Cry 3 review on PC

The Far Cry series has distanced itself from other first-person shooters with gorgeous visuals and by approaching special themes like genetic engineering, in the first game, or the general idea of being a mercenary, in the second one.

Now, Far Cry 3 has arrived with the same stunning graphics as well as with a special story that deals with insanity and how far a regular man, in this case protagonist Jason Brody, will go in order to survive on a pirate-infested tropical island and what he'll do in order to save his friends.

Without a doubt Far Cry 3 is looking like a special first-person shooter experience, but can it deliver on its bold promises or should we leave it stranded on a tropical island? Let's find out.
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You are Jason Brody ...
... and you need to save your friends
Story

Far Cry 3 kicks off with the protagonist, Jason, and his group of friends partying like there's no tomorrow on a remote tropical island. Sadly, their getaway is cut short when they're kidnapped by a bunch of pirates led by Vaas, a deranged individual that leads through fear and has practically subjugated the whole island.

Now, Jason needs to survive on the island, get revenge on Vaas, and help the natives organize an uprising against the pirates and the mercenaries. Throughout this journey, Jason will recover some of his friends, make new ones, and meet with some very interesting individuals.

While malaria-induced hallucinations are no longer a problem, as they were in Far Cry 2, you still deal with some trippy situations, this time caused by ingesting mushrooms and various drugs. These sections flow with the main quest, which should take quite a long time to complete and will take you through all sorts of unique situations and quite a few tough choices.

While some moments don't really fit into the whole plot, you're definitely in for a roller coaster ride in terms of emotions.



Gameplay

Far Cry 3 is a first-person shooter and it does this extremely well. All of the different weapons feel realistic, from the pistols, to the rifles, flame thrower, or even a special composite bow, and you'll certainly enjoy wielding all of them.

Besides being a shooter, however, Far Cry 3 is also a pretty competent role-playing game. You have three different skill trees representing different combat disciplines Jason can specialize in. There's the Heron, which focuses on increased movement and sharper reflexes, the Shark, which increases your health so that you can jump right into firefights, and the Spider, which deals with stealth abilities and special takedowns.

You won't have to make that many choices in terms of which trees to focus on, as you can easily progress through levels and earn skill points that can max out any category and become a true master of the jungle.

You should know, however, that being stealthy in Far Cry 3 is rewarded with more XP, so you should pay a bit more attention to the Spider specialization. Sneaking around the island is greatly helped by a special attention reticule, just like in Hitman: Absolution for example, which shows how aware enemies are of your presence.

Besides the skill trees, Far Cry 3's RPG credentials also include a full-fledged crafting mechanic that allows Jason to use the different items he finds on the island (from plant leaves to the skins of animals), which are stored in your inventory, represented by your rucksack.

You can manufacture special syringes that cause various effects, from healing to the ability to spot animals easier or more resistance to different damage, but also make upgrades for your wallet, rucksack, or various other holsters that store weapons, ammo, and more.

The islands Jason will explore are nothing short of huge and you can move around by using different cars and jeeps, not to mention jet skis or boats, as well as various hang gliders. You explore the environment in a manner similar to Assassin's Creed, as you need to ascend radio towers (don't worry, you'll use stairs) in order to disrupt the pirates' communications, and take over their hideouts, which are then filled by allies and converted into fast travel locations for you.

Enemies are quite smart, will use cover and come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, ranging from regular pirates, to those who charge right at you or heavy gunners that are covered in armor. Their behavior is also pretty realistic and their patrol patterns feature different situations, like going to pee or cleaning their weapons.

There are but a few grievances with Far Cry 3's gameplay, as hunting animals is a bit awkward, as when you don't need to hunt them down, they're pretty much everywhere, but when you decide to kill some of them in order to harvest their skins, they're nowhere to be found.

Some enemies also tend to notice you even if you're breaking their line of sight while a few won't notice that you're sneaking around right in front of them.

There are also quite a few bugs and glitches, especially on the PC, where the Uplay service causes some annoying issues. What's more, I experienced constant crashes when trying to enter the multiplayer mode at work, although everything went smoothly when I tried to play online at home.
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Meet unique individuals ...
... and take down your insane enemies
Multiplayer

Far Cry 3 offers not just a full-fledged competitive multiplayer but also a top notch cooperative one, that has its own plot and characters.

First up, let's talk about the competitive online experience, which allows players to take on others in a variety of modes, including standard ones, like Domination or Team Deathmatch, but also special ones like Transmission or Firestorm, which both provide some rather great twists on the competition seen in multiplayer.

In order to show off the participants’ insane nature in the online experience, at the end of the match the best character from the winning team decides the fate of the best one from the losing one. He can either kill him or spare him, each with special gestures that can be unlocked by progressing through the online mode's levels.

Those who don't like competition can enjoy Far Cry 3's cooperative mode, which is set in a standalone story six months before the single-player one. The plot is a basic one about betrayal, as four unique characters band together to kill a boat captain who sold them to the pirates.

In order to find the captain, they'll go through a variety of adventures that are quite impressive and pretty varied, as at some points you'll defend a position from invading enemies, go on the offense and storm pirate strongholds, or engage in short competitions like a sniping one.

The whole co-op experience is top notch and, while there are a few glitches relating to enemies and their behavior, you'll have a fun experience alongside your friends or even with complete strangers.



Graphics and Sound

Saying that a Far Cry game is stunning visually is practically a misnomer, but Far Cry 3 delivers an extremely impressive experience, especially when you consider the huge environments and the various things you can do in them.

From admiring the views on top of hills and mountains, to strolling down the island's various beaches, you're in for a great experience, especially on the PC. We used an Nvidia GTX 560 Ti card, coupled with the latest beta drivers that give an increased performance in the game, and the results are very impressive.

In terms of sound, Far Cry 3 also delivers a great experience. The soundtrack is a bit too eager to play electro music during your encounters but the voice actors are top notch, culminating with villains like Vaas that really make you think you're dealing with insane individuals.
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Explore the game's island ...
... in different vehicles
Conclusion

Far Cry 3 is a stunning game that delivers not just a great shooter experience but also a role-playing one with surprisingly decent stealth elements. Factor in the great graphics, the impressive single-player story and the top notch cooperative and competitive modes, and you're in for one of the best games of the year.

There are a few glitches and issues that need to be solved but, once they're fixed by Ubisoft, the game will be nothing short of stunning.

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story 9
gameplay 10
concept 10
graphics 10
audio 9
multiplayer 9
final rating 9.5
Editor's review
excellent
 

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