Far Cry 3 is everything and nothing you expect it to be. Teased with memories of ecstasy, the game instantly catapults you into distilled fear and anxiety. There’s nothing quite like the abrupt murder of your brother right in front of your eyes to initiate the transmogrification of your very being.
“Fire, Plague, or Strange Disease,
Drowned, Murdered, or, if you please,
A long fall down the basement stairs.” – The Walrus
The heart pounding onset of your journey, of the most epic survival trial is nothing but a taste of what’s to come. No matter how prepared you think you might be, you aren’t, not even remotely so. For the first time since the announcement of Far Cry 3 you make a connection with the protagonist, Jason. You are cast in his shoes and he becomes real. Throughout the development of the game, the villains had stolen the spotlight in teasers and trailers, but this is Jason’s time.
The rise of a saviour
Testing the boundaries of morality, Far Cry 3 plunges you into a dark hole of self-doubt. You’re fresh meat, an irresponsible adrenaline junkie, but now it’s time to do some growing up. How far will you go? How many are you willing to kill to save your loved ones? Their safety is your first concern. But everything comes with a price. Nothing is free or pure of heart on the Rook Islands. You’ll have to scratch a few backs to get where you want to be. This alone has you trapped in a web of aberration; you have no idea what you’re getting into.
Nevertheless, you brave the first steps to become a cold blooded killing machine and it brings you to your path as a saviour, even though you were never the leader of your social pack, you have taken on the responsibility to save your friends scattered across the Islands. You receive your first ink and set out to find all of them.
The non-survivalist’s guide to becoming a tribesman
The Islands pull no punches and make no excuses for it. You’ll have to hold your own to survive. This includes hunting, foraging and facing off against the most vicious predators you’ve ever seen on television, pirates and slave drivers.
To increase your loot sack size, wallet and ammunition pouches, you will have to hunt and skin animals for crafting. This isn’t one of the most tedious tasks in the game and items can easily be upgraded at a fast pace leaving you free to reap havoc and piss just about every one off you possibly can. Foraging however, is something you will do throughout the entire game to craft syringes to heal, or boost your chances of coming out on top while in combat. Healing syringes are critical but combat and hunting syringes are optional.
Not exactly having a choice you are allied with the Rakyat tribe, one of their leaders, Dennis is the man who found you in the jungle after escaping the bat-shit crazy clutches of Vaas. To become one of the tribe, you will need to get inked up. Completing missions, kills and taking over bases earn you XP to level and skill up. Each skill point you spend, will earn you a new tatau (tattoo). Taking over enemy bases, will award the territory to the Rakyat and become a friendly base where you will be able to stock up on ammo, purchase new weapons, empty your loot sack and fix your body armour. You will also be given hunting missions and special assassination missions where you are required to perform a melee kill on a pirate leader. It will also unlock a new fast travelling destination.
Just like there are many wonderful ways to skin a cat, there are different ways to take over a base. You may choose the stealth approach and disable the alarm and sneak back out to find a good spot up in the trees and foliage to pick’em off one by one using a scope, or you can rush right in guns a blazing and burn the place to the ground with flamethrowers, Molotov’s and other explosives, but be prepared for reinforcements to show up. Taking over a base can be very tactical if you want it to be. Enemies can be identified by zooming in with a scope or camera, it shows you exactly what kind of enemy it is, whether it’s a sniper, assault gunner or big ass man with lots of armour and a flamethrower, you’ll be able to plan which you want to eliminate first and which weapons will be ideal to do so.
A feature which I fondly refer to as Assassin’s Cry requires you to reach towers across the islands and “unjam” the signal. This reveals the surrounding part of the island on the map, so that you can now view the roads etc. on both the big and mini map. The feature is very similar to the feature in Assassin’s Creed where you reach the top point of a tower and reveal a part of the map.
I usually detest mini-games, but Trials of the Rakyat are the most fun mini-games I’ve ever played, it’s very straight forward. “Here, take this and kill as many pirates as you can.” There’s also poker, sharp shooting, racing cars and knife throwing. Travelling surprisingly adds to the fun as well. Whether it’s by hang glider, Jet Ski’s or jeeps, it almost makes you want to not use the fast travel option.
Sweet, beautiful, merciless psychopathy, this is the land of tyranny.
Tyrants of the highest tier of psychosis are one of the things that make this game exceptionally brilliant. Impeccable voice acting and flawless animation have brought to life the most lovable and disgusting tyrants you have ever seen. Vaas, the man engulfed in the new world of human trafficking, his mind stolen and shattered by Hoyt, the lover of burning human flesh. Buck the historian cannibal and Citra the Island succubus; these are all the demons you will conquer through mind blowing, explosive, fear inspiring, blood drenching, high as Keith Richards, tear your face off missions.
What I absolutely loved is that you don’t have to do 20 hours of side missions to be able to successfully complete storyline missions. Just by taking over bases, and the occasional assassination quest or hunting quest, you will earn more than enough experience to easily get through the main missions. These missions are not insane at all when listening to insanity dialogue, simply because you aren’t doing the same thing over, and over again. Each mission is unique and adds a whole new kind of crazy to the story. Each mission will test you in a completely different way.
Far Cry 3 allows you to be a skilled hunter, takedown artist and above all gives you not only the story of a life time, but a much needed first-person-shooter that is absolutely out of this world. You not only get to save your friends but have the choice of who you are to become. You may choose the respect and adulation of the tribe you have earned to lead or complete the initial task. It will take you on the wildest emotional rollercoaster, and leave you exhausted and satisfied when it finally spits you out.
To my absolute regret I haven’t been able to play the multiplayer yet; we’ll be doing a separate review for that. In the mean time, here’s a run down of the game modes.
- Battle Mix: A rotation of Team Death Match, Domination, Transmission and Firestorm.
- Team Death Match: The team with the most kills wins.
- Domination: Capture and hold the command points to win.
- Transmission: Capture and gold the active transmitters. A transmitter that is overheating scores more points.
- Firestorm: Burn the enemy supply depots to start a firestorm. Then capture the radio to fuel the fire.
When you’re caught staring in the face of madness, Far Cry 3 is the thin line between becoming the beast and cutting it’s head clean off. It’s the FPS experience of a life time.