A bunch of rich kids literally drop onto the wrong tropical island as they are captured by a nasty gang of people smugglers. Jason Brodie is Far Cry 3’s main protagonist, and unlike his military serving brother is not familiar with jungle warfare, but he needs to learn fast as the need to free his siblings and friends on Rook Island becomes top priority.
Far Cry 3’s story weaves around Brodie’s coming of violent age, clanging into a number of mystic hurdles and rudimentarily formed “you are just like me” discussions between the good and bad guys along the way. But it all serves well as the structure to this excellent sand-box game.
Whilst the game has been incorrectly described as Skyrim with guns, there is plenty to do here. There are a number of mechanisms that combine to force players into all facets of the game. Hunting is integral to progress here: In order to carry more money, ammo, weapons or loot Brodie must craft items out of the various fauna that infests the jungle.
Then there is the syringe crafting from native plants that can boost your ability to hunt, survive and combat your fellow (but evil) man.
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Popping a dose of combat drugs will greatly enhance your ability to take down (just like in Star Trek) all those red shirt guys that are out to get you. A better way however is to wield one or more of the myriad weapons available in this otherwise tropical paradise.
Where Far Cry 3 gets closer to Skyrim is in the RPG system. Three skill ‘trees’ are available to Jason Brodie, all of which enhance the Tatau (Tattoo) that he earns early in the game. Gaining extra hunting, combat or other skills will become invaluable to progress in the game.
Far Cry 3 is genuinely fun, the aforementioned game structure melds well with the stealth of jungle combat, the side quests and activities, taking down radio-tower transmitters (themselves small-scale platform puzzle quests) and interesting collectibles that flesh out the story.
Reclaiming a hostile people-smuggler outpost for the rebels can take some planning. The game lets you approach each camp a different way. Go in guns a blazing or, more sensibly, scope out the guards with your camera, isolate and disable the alarm system to prevent reinforcements, and then stealthily take out as many foes as possible before alerting the rest of the baddies. Or, more entertaining, is to shoot open (with a silenced sniper rifle) the lock on a caged tiger or bear, stand back, watch and then take advantage of the ensuing panic. Great fun.
Far Cry 3 deserves to be at the top of any early 2013 purchase lists, it is a game full of brutal action in a setting that, whilst requiring a healthy pinch of salt and a setting aside of large proportions of reality to accept, is a fresh fun way to spend some shooter time.