Developer & Publisher: Ubisoft
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 (reviewed) & PC
Far Cry 3 is an open-world, first-person shooter from developer and publisher Ubisoft, but classifying the game to its most glaring labels doesn’t do it justice in the least. Far Cry 3 is bold, has a real sense of direction in its storytelling and features a diverse set of characters that sets the game apart from any other game you’ve ever played. It’s difficult to call Far Cry 3 a video game, because every aspect of the new title is incredibly well thought out, and the raw emotions you feel throughout the campaign will stick with you long after you’ve powered down the game. The adventure of Rook Island is surely one of the best of the year, and its the only game that can truly test your own moral fiber as you and the game’s protagonist, Jason Brody, learn to become survivalists and cold-blooded killers together.
The story of Far Cry 3 is simple to understand but impossible to fully understand and appreciate without playing the game for yourself. The game begins with Brody and his friends arriving on Rook Island, unaware of the horrors the beautiful island paradise cloaks. Just when you realize the young teens are just as annoying as they are intended to be, the group is captured by a group of deadly pirates, and the transformation of the game’s protagonist begins. The desperate escape claims the life of Brody’s brother, but the naive young man will soon stop at nothing to save the rest of his friends from being sold into slavery and escaping the nightmarish island. Brody meets up with the Rakyat who teach you all about Rook Island and its inhabitants. The quest to save your friends will test the sanity of the game’s protagonist, and watching him turn full on loony like so many others on the island is cinematic in its delivery and the most fun you’ll have in a game this year. Far Cry 3‘s superb storyline is only strengthened by incredible voice acting and some of the most realistic and compelling support characters seen in entertainment history. If you thought the ads for this game looked great, you have seen anything yet!
The action and player progression of Far Cry 3 is something special that deserves to be paired with such a spectacular storyline. High quality first-person shooter foray is all here including plenty of guns to choose from, a variety up upgrades including suppressors and scopes to outfit your firearms and a light RPG experience system that rewards new skills as you level up. What’s really different here is how interactive the environments are and the creative ways you can find to confuse and kill your foes. Silenty strapping C4 to an unsuspecting guard, unleashing a caged tiger and setting occupied buildings ablaze are all options here, and the freedom of choice in the shooter genre can only be compared with other games from the Far Cry series in both theory and execution. All of the action translates well to multiplayer, but as can be expected, the game’s storyline takes a nosedive for the cooperative campaign. Gone are the flashy characters, thought provoking narrative and cutscenes that are beautiful not only for the stunning graphics as much as the tale they weave. What you are left with is you typical action characters who provide hilarious commentary and snarky one-liners that feel very much appropriate for the action onscreen. The campaign isn’t bad, just different, and its a lot more fun with a full party of four since the missions present exactly the same challenges no matter how full the game is. Competitive multiplayer is much of the same you’ve come to expect from shooters of the new generation; it’s action-packed and fun, but is does nothing revolutionary either.
Far Cry 3 is the best game of 2012. This generation of gaming has been all about the evolution of the shooter, so it’s only fitting that we receive one of the best ever this close to the end of this console cycle. Far Cry 3 could easily compete with the best films of the year for the most entertaining and dark storylines told this year, and the addition of player’s choice makes the experience that much better. It’s worth noting that the game is still not for everyone, and if you’re looking to skip the story and jump into competitive matches, you’ll likely prefer other titles to Far Cry 3, but if you’re looking for a game with a tremendous storyline, a cast full of intriguing characters, a breathtaking setting, a bevy of game modes and some of the best visuals gaming has ever seen, look no further than Far Cry 3
Far Cry 3 is now available from all major retailers for the MSRP of $59.99 and can be purchased for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. Far Cry 3 is rated M by the ESRB for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Nudity, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content & Use of Drugs. For more information on the game, check out the official Far Cry 3 website.
5 out of 5