Retrospective Replay: Farcry 3

Published: February 22, 2015 11:00 AM /


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This week, I re-installed Farcry 3. Farcry 3 was originally developed by Ubisoft's Montreal studio and was released to the public on December 4th, 2012 for Windows, The Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. It is a first person shooter where you take the role of Jason Brody, an American on vacation in the Cook Islands in the Pacific Ocean, where he and his friends get caught up in problems with an international drug cartel that has taken over the islands. Long story short, Brody finds himself in the position of having to fight an entire army to get his friends back and off of the island.

As far as shooters go, this game has good mechanics. The weapons included are diverse enough and behave differently enough to give you interesting, meaningful choices. Character progression involves gaining experience to unlock abilities and weapons as you go through the main story line. You gain money in the game by completing tasks and missions, along with looting the bodies of your enemies, which can be used to unlock weapons, and re-stock ammunition.

As you have a limited number of slots to use for weapons, you cannot simply carry every weapon you come across, and not all ammunition that drops is cross compatible with every weapon you pick up. This pretty much forces you to pre-plan how you intend to go about fulfilling your tasks and taking out enemies. As the weapons themselves all have variations (except for a few types) that can be silenced, all play styles are supported, more or less. If you are good at it, you can even go about taking camps without setting foot in them by sniping guards.

The feeling of the weapons and their impacts leaves me wanting more, however. Some of the weapons have modifications that just simply don't make any sense. For example, why would you ever put a scope on a revolver? Okay, I guess you could given that many revolvers retain accuracy to huge distances, but given that this is a game and you have weapons better suited for that kind of thing, it just seems a little silly. Maybe it just isn't how I play shooters, but there are options that just make me think that they could haveve made other, more interesting options available instead. Another example would be that while you can shoot through some materials, such as bamboo and aluminum, you cannot for example shoot through normal plywood. The weapons themselves just leave a lot to be desired in terms of how they should actually behave, and there are a number of cases where I feel like they collectively fall short of the power they should have behind them.

The artificial intelligence in this game is better than in past versions of the Farcry series. You are given the option and ability to sneak through a camp or base in order to silently kill all of the NPCs there without being seen. If you spook them, or they see or hear you, they will sound an alarm which will summon reinforcements. These reinforcements can come in various different methods - sometimes they come in cars, or boats, and every so often they will arrive by a Black Hawk helicopter, with its own weapons. That said, the AI does have its flaws.  If you know how, you can make the AI run into issues and do things like unintentionally kill themselves. You can see more of that in this video by Youtuber BirgirPall. So while the AI is decent in terms of making for interesting combat, that is about as far as it goes.

The NPC types are also different enough so as to give a challenge if you are either under-equipped, or are not expecting the challenge they present. However, if you try to stay in one place, they will eventually group up and attack you all at once. In order to stay alive, you need to keep moving and being unpredictable. Using cover and hiding can and will save your life if you get overwhelmed. All of this combined with the shooting mechanics can make for interesting encounters. The ability to lay explosives and create traps or diversions to attract attention from nearby guards can also make for some interesting makeshift challenges if you get bored.

Storyline wise, this game really isn't interesting. It is fairly bland and there isn't much depth or entertainment to be found with it, in my opinion. There are a few moments in the campaign that you find yourself doing things like burning marijuana farms down by means of flamethrower, or flying a wing suit across a channel. Otherwise, it involves a lot of climbing up towers in the typical Ubisoft style, and there really isn't much else there to be had. Story wise, there just isn't anything all that interesting here. It is, at best, shallow and more than a little cliche at times. If you like how Ubisoft does all of its level design in the rest of its titles, this is more of the same.

In closing, should you play Farcry 3? Maybe. Graphically, for being a fairly recent title, it is decent and you can make good use of powerful graphics displays to enjoy some very nice scenery. If you are interested in shooters, and don't mind Ubisoft's typical level design style with climbing towers or their horrible DRM in the form of UPlay, yes. Otherwise, Farcry 3 can be safely passed on. You can buy it on Amazon here.

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I have been a gamer ever since I can remember, starting with the Sega Genesis and original Nintendo consoles. I graduated to frogger on an ancient IBM home… More about Keith