In Far Cry 3 you are Jason Brody, a former athlete who has graduated college in Los Angeles. You’re quite the daredevil and soon find yourself on a resort island called Rook Island, where you and your friends have been spending some quality time. Soon however, your little vacation turns dark, as pirates take you and your pals hostage and before you know it, you’re stuck in a crate with your brother Grant.
Before long, you find yourself in a struggle to escape your captors, who apparently have a very violent streak, headed by their leader Vaas (the crazy, wide-eyed jerk with a Mohawk in all the trailers), who wants nothing more than to send you to an early grave for trespassing on their area. The escape sequence that follows is pretty nail-bitting and gives you an idea of the dangers that you’ll encounter, from the pirates themselves to the ever-changing terrain and environments.
As you find out pretty quickly, the game is all about survival, and will push your instincts and ability to adapt to the fullest extent. You’ll need to know how to gain territorial control, hunt animals and craft items using a number of plants and more to help you to survive.
After escaping Vaas and his cronies through a river, you come across a man named Dennis Rogers, a Libyan who has made the island his home. You’ll be introduced to the Rakyat people from Amanaki Town, whom you will assist in getting rid of the pirates who also inhabit the island. In fact, that’s one of your first missions, as you’ll join Dennis and Co. as you try and infiltrate a village that is occupied by the enemy. It is here where you’ll learn how to use cover and pick your shots as you work your way to the inside, before ultimately taking over the village and raising your flag to show it’s under your control.
As you progress through the game, you’ll make use of its RPG qualities by upgrading Jason’s abilities to make him a more potent killer or perhaps stealthier, such as his ability to Sprint Slide and use the Silent Take-Down ability. Another main aspect of the game is the need to use the crafting system, as previously mentioned to create medical potions. You’ll find it necessary to find and procure leaves of different colors, along with animal skins (by skinning them, no less) and more. Though you’re on an island, you’ll quickly find that this island is actually quite massive, letting you explore its many areas and crevices to help you on your journey. As such, you don’t automatically get a map for each area you visit, but rather you’ll need to climb power lines and take out guards in order to take them over. Once you’ve done so, you’ll not only get a map of the entire area, but you’ll also unlock a wider variety of weapons and ammo at local shops.
One of my favorite sequences early in the game is when Jason is swimming underwater, as he finds himself in a cave in search of some powerful mushrooms. As Jason’s psychedelic experience unfolds, the game plays mind games with you, using warped images and colors; making you wonder if what you’re seeing is real or part of Jason’s mind-trip.
Visually, Far Cry 3 is pretty damn appealing, from it’s exceptional lighting, to it’s changing time and weather effects. The island looks gorgeous; whether you’re in a cave, underwater, atop a hill or in a village. Traversing the island, you’ll be able to man boats, jeeps, zip-lines or even hang-glide from high areas. Zip-lining in particular is a cool way to not only travel, but you can see for miles what lies ahead. What I did find odd however, is that the game just doesn’t make great use of physics, more specifically when it comes to destruction. Buildings, trees or large objects seem to be a bit too static when you consider everything else the game seems to be doing well in terms of presentation but alas, we’ll see how it all plays out when the game releases in December.
Despite some minor beefs, the game looks and plays pretty solidly and my lengthy time with the game gave me confidence that gamers will enjoy what they see when the game hits the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.