Parent Talk: The ESRB rates Far Cry 3 M for mature because of blood and gore, intense violence, nudity, strong language, strong sexual content, and use of drugs. This isn’t a game for minors in any way, shape, or form.
Plays Like: You assume the role of vacationing Jason Brody. Things go horribly wrong when pirates kidnap his companions and he’s forced to unleash hell on all those around him. While doing so, all from a first-person perspective, Jason’s mind begins to deteriorate as he comes to terms with the monster he is slowly becoming. From the outside in, it plays very much like your typical modern-day fps, but once you get involved, you realize it’s much more.
Review Basis: Ubisoft sent over the PS3 version of the game, and I played the PC version as well. Finished the single-player campaign and tried all the different multiplayer options.
Far Cry 3 is an excellent first-person shooter that grabs hold of players from the moment it begins and very rarely ever lets them go. It features a disturbing storyline, tries new things, and only has a few shortcomings that prevent it from becoming a modern-day classic. All things considered, this is one you’re going to want to play.
An open-world you actually want to explore. The Far Cry series is known for featuring lush and super realistic environments that beg to be explored. The same is true here. There are two incredibly large and detailed tropical islands for players to sink their teeth into. These islands are filled with wild life, enemies and so much more.
Story missions have you progressing the story in a natural way, but once you let loose and venture off into the wild, anything goes. You can take out command posts so you can eventually quick travel to different locations or top off your ammo, you can liberate animal hostages, take out radio towers and so much more. It all comes together in a wonderfully accessible and fun package.
+ Excellent storyline that focuses on Jason’s inward journey instead of his shallow and one-dimensional friends. There are some truly deep and disturbing moments players will live out over the course of the game.
+ Make use of your surroundings or prepare to die. It’s a great feeling being given a bunch of seemingly useless tools, only to realize that each one serves a purpose. Don’t use stealth properly, or fail to jam a radio transmitter and you’ll find yourself taking a dirt nap.
+ Incredible variety of activities and missions. From driving an ATV to hunting wildlife, there’s almost an endless amount of things to do to keep you busy outside the main storyline. These unique missions almost never feel forced, they simply flow with the setting and the situation Jason finds himself in.
+ RPG elements are light, but work well. As you earn experience new upgrades unlock giving Jason access to more health, skills and unique abilities.
+ Cooperative missions help flesh out the campaign, with up to four players taking part, and the online multiplayer is exactly what you’d expect. One nice addition is the multiplayer map editor, where players can go absolutely wild.
+ A wonder for the senses. Not only is the music sweeping and majestic, but the visuals are just incredible. The PC version requires a powerful rig, but is the best option to see just how stunning the game can look. That said, the console versions are extremely detailed, and are clearly pushing the aging hardware to their limits. The art design is also top notch.
+/- Freedom is great, but when the game tries to convince you to move on to the next objective it reaches Navi-level irritation. How many times do I really need to hear the exact same phone call telling me to go to such and such location.
– Some odd design choices are frustrating. One of the worst is dying, re-spawning and making your way back to where you just fell, only to realize all the enemies are back, but all the ammo you had picked up is gone.
Always-on DRM for the PC version can be extremely annoying. While playing the offline campaign expect to get booted from the game because the online servers have gone down for some reason. Gah that’s frustrating!
Far Cry 3 is one of the best shooters from 2012. The single player campaign is superb, and while some bizarre oversights keep it from becoming an instant classic, it will be remembered for many years to come. If you have a PC strong enough to run the game with “high settings” I highly recommend going that route, but the console versions are impressive if that’s your main platform of choice. Whatever you do, give this one a spin. It’s excellent.
Final Score: 9/10