Yo Ho, Oh No, A Pirate’s Knife for Me – Far Cry 3 Reviewed

6 Apr
Trouble in paradise...

Trouble in paradise…

It’s been a while since I’ve played a shooter with a mouse and keyboard – at this point an Xbox controller just feels more comfortable for that type of game (at least to me).

But, sometimes you’ve got to leave your comfort zone – especially when you’ve just built a new gaming PC and want to see a game in all its ultra-settings glory. The sale on Steam didn’t hurt either, though after playing this I would have gladly paid full price.

Far Cry 3 is a first person shooter where you play Jason Brody, a thrill-seeking partier who makes the mistake of choosing to visit an island run by slave-traders. When the local pirates kidnap him and his friends, he alone manages to escape. With the help of the locals and some powerful tattoos, he embarks on a mission to free his friends and take revenge on those in charge.

Fans of the Assassin’s Creed series will find similarities in this game – there are high vantage points you can reach to reveal sections of the map, outposts to take over that remove enemy guards from parts of the map, and mini-games and side quests dot the landscape. The in-game maps have that AC look and feel, and among items you can buy are maps that reveal the locations of chests you can open to make more money.

Having played the first Far Cry  I was expecting good graphics, but these are just mind-blowing. With all the details turned up on the PC version, it really does an incredible job of rendering realistic scenery. Who needs a tropical vacation – just turn on a fan and wander the island. Just watch out for sharks if you go for a swim.

The sharks you'll meet won't all be as friendly as ol' Frosty over here...

The sharks you’ll meet won’t all be as friendly as ol’ Frosty over here…

And when you tire of wandering through paradise, you can burn it to the ground. Whether by flare gun, Molotov  or flame thrower, the fire simulation in this game is beautiful enough that you’ll frequently find yourself placating your inner arsonist. Terrain and buildings do seem to recover quickly once the fire is out, though, which is unfortunate. Persistent damage would have definitely added to the experience.

The RPG elements add a new twist to the series. You can unlock tattoos as you gain experience, which grant you different abilities (such as sprinting forever or killing an enemy by jumping on them from above). I wish the selection of abilities was larger – it’s quite possible to unlock all of them before the game’s story ends – but there’s nothing quite like unlocking the ninja combination of infinite sprint and stealthy running to open up game-play possibilities.

Combat is fun, and seems to reward stealthy tactics over run and gun. Enemy AI is decent, and will hunt around for you once alerted. Throwing rocks can divert their attention, though, allowing you to sneak by unseen or to go in for the silent kill.

There is some trouble in paradise, though. While guns and ammo can be purchased from vending machines all over the island, increasing capacity for ammo or loot (both of which start out too small to be really useful) requires you to hunt and skin different animals throughout the map. There are hunting quests that dovetail nicely with this, but it can be a pain to abandon your quest for vengeance to hunt enough dingoes to craft a wallet or quiver.

Ink Monster Looms

I’m gonna need a bigger bow…

The story is pretty good – until the ending (Assassin’s Creed fans will see a similarity here as well). The “boss” battles are mostly quicktime events, and while you are given a choice at the end of the game, it’s glaringly obvious what choice the game thinks you should make.

Still, the sheer immersiveness provided by the graphics and the fun combat makes this a must-play game in the fps genre. If you have the horsepower to crank up the settings, I recommend getting the PC version.

I can’t wait to see what they do for a follow-up.

Now, who do I have to flambe to get a maitai over here...

Now, who do I have to flambe to get a maitai over here…

9 dead pirates out of 10

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One Response to “Yo Ho, Oh No, A Pirate’s Knife for Me – Far Cry 3 Reviewed”

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  1. Get the Hell Off Me, Bloody Eagle! – FarCry 4 Reviewed | Two Geeks, One Blog - January 30, 2015

    […] when I reviewed FarCry 3, I came away from the experience very impressed overall. The Blood Dragon extension that came out […]

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