When Far Cry 3 was first announced fans were enamoured by Vaas, the actors psychotic performance captivated audiences and gave many excitement for what Far Cry 3 might become. Fast forward in time and many lost hope for the game being “Far Cry” enough, many believed it looked too linear, gave the player less options and in all was not the game they had hoped for. The game lost its edge that it first had, the momentum was completely gone and many forgot the game existed in a busy 2012 Christmas season. However, Far Cry 3 opposed critics of the game with what many believe is the best Far Cry experience yet. Far Cry 3 proved its worth giving players not only the best Far Cry experience, but one of the best adventures this year.
Open-World games usually lose my attention, from the repetitive nature of travel, to the empty world around me. However Far Cry 3 is able to make exploration exhilarating, the world around you is living on its own and you are just a guest on the island. Exploration is one of the keys that make Far Cry 3 a must-play title, personally I hardly ever used vehicles to get around the map and it made exploration that much more exciting to go on foot. The feeling of stumbling onto a hang glider within the red zone of a radio tower, using it to infiltrate a outpost and take down the entire enemy platoon within a minute. These adventures are not created by Ubisoft or by any developer, they are created by the player and that is what makes Far Cry 3 so special.
If there is one thing I enjoy about gaming it is the unique stories we are able to share with one another, the Mass Effect series did it, Deus Ex did it, Walking Dead and Dishonored also accomplished this. I love the ability to tackle situations the way I want, with no strings attached, just given the options and being told “Go for it”. Far Cry 3 does this amazingly well, for example. My first run-in with the komodo dragons wasn’t pretty, they crept up on me in a pack and I literally jumped out of my seat. They leapt at me and sent me off the side of a cliff into a river below, if that wasn’t enough they landed me on top of my very first crocodile and from there Steve Irwin would have been proud of the fight I provided. Having survived the most hectic 10 seconds of my Far Cry 3 life at that moment, I knew hardly anyone would have experienced a moment similar and I realised the vast amount of random encounters that were on offer.
Being the obsessive compulsive gamer that I am, I wanted to upgrade all of my rut sacks and ammo carrying capacity before I continued on with the main story. One of those upgrades required collecting shark skins and what better way to acquire this then with a jet ski. After stealing a jet ski I then spent the next 15 minutes lining up sharks, then ramming them, sending their lifeless bodies to the ocean floor. The intense moment of swimming to the bottom of the ocean, skinning the shark and swimming back to the jet ski is a moment I will soon not forget. Being afraid of deep water in real life, even the thought of deep water in games freaks me out, these intense emotions are something no game has been able to replicate.
These jungle expeditions made my experience grander than any storyline could, being attacked by a group of wild boar, having an entire outpost destroyed by a tiger because I was in the right spot at the right time. These stories have been shared with many before and I assure you, no one had these experiences occur.
Open-world games have been done before, from Hong Kong settings, fictional Los Angeles or even the wild west, they are no stranger to the gaming industry. Yet Far Cry 3 has a special feel, it provides a fresh take on the genre getting you away from the hustle and bustle of city streets, from the empty deserts of the wild west. It brings you to the Rook Islands, home to evil pirates and most importantly, home to some of the most unpredictable and vicious wildlife around. And that, is what makes it one of the best of 2012.
Jamie Briggs manages Analog Addiction where you can find all his latest reviews, interviews and features and also like them on Facebook. Also follow his daily life on Twitter @AnalogAddiction and their videos on YouTube.