Farcry 3

I have literally just finished this game.

I am utterly blown away by it.

I’m not a very good gamer if I’m honest. I get bored of games too easily, I’ve played Skyrim twice and each time I’ve done a fair number of the quest lines only to trail off again, I’ve started any number of other games and not finished them. The Bioshock series, and Mass Effect are the ones that I have played through all the way from beginning to end and as you may have noticed these are games with very strong stories.

Far Cry 3 definitely has very strong story, and also a story that keeps you interested. The whole struggle to rescue your friends and help the natives of the islands in pushing the pirates out is very engaging one. Add to this the exploration side of things that equalled (for me at least) the exploration in Skyrim. Plus it doesn’t harm that the island itself is absolutely gorgeous!

Since starting the game I have taken probably 4 hours of game time break from the thing, usually when I was too tired to make sure I wasn’t going to get eaten by every wild animal in the entire place! That said it is not often that a game grabs me to and actively stops me playing anything else, which is probably a good sign.

As part of the game you have to do a large number of varied things, from climbing up the radio towers to take the scramblers off them, to assualting pirate and paramilitary bases to clear them for the Rakiat. Personally I did the Radio towers first mostly as not being able to see the map was causing me issues. As someone who really does not like heights I can say that there were a number of times when I was near the top of them that I felt a bit of vertigo coming on. Not for Pirate Island proper health and safety, oh no they cover the steps with barbed wire and occasionally actually remove the damn things! The game got a whole lot easier to navigate once they had been done however, as not only is the map revealed but three interesting locations are pointed out to you for each tower you complete.

The Outposts meanwhile were a different kettle of fish. As you take them out Pirate patrols decrease so it makes it easier to navigate. However on the main island I did the outposts all in one go after doing the radio towers. I think this was actually a bit of a mistake, as it meant for the rest of my time on that island there were very few Pirates actively stopping me, leaving me just with the wildlife to contend with. Also doing them in one go made them feel a little “samey” to the point that I decided to start making things interesting for myself by doing things like clearing the base with the bow, or only by luring enemies into land mines, and in one instance by using something I titled the “Boom Shack” (all the C4 and one land mine). In some cases this was quite a nice challenge and I would say I probably cleared 60% of the bases without raising alarms, sometimes due to stealth, sometimes by applying my usually restrained skill at extreme violence. Why the Pirates didn’t say to themselves “This Jason Brody, he’s one dangerous motherfucker, perhaps we should take up crazy golf instead.” I don’t know, if it had been me I would have been sending the triads my Pirate CV about 4 bases in.

One thing I did find out very early on in the game was that I was seemingly delicious to EVERYTHING. At one point every time I went through one of the many bushes on the island I almost immediately got attacked by a Tiger, Bear, Pack of Wild or Rabid Dogs, Psychochicken (Casowary) and at least once a herd of angry buffalo. Having your carefully arranged ambush disrupted because a Boar had swallowed your head and was busy chewing on it, while funny the first time but gets steadily less so. In the end when I needed to definitely be safe for a minute I took to murdering every furry thing within 200m before dealing with the actual people shooting at me. If the Sumatran tiger had not been endangered before Jason Brody got to the Island they damn well were after the fact.
Pride of place however goes to the bloody crocodiles.

I do not know who programmed thos murderous stealthy handbags-in-waiting but they need first a handshake, followed by a smack in the face. I have played Bioshock, even that game did not make me jump as badly as the sodding crocodiles in this game. Their modus operandi seemed to be “wait until Mawdrigen has forgotten we exist in this game, wait till he is 3/4 of the way across the river, then NOM and ROLL”. Suddenly having your screen filled with teeth is worrying I can tell you. At least once I had to restrain myself from hammering the “C” key through to the other side of the keyboard.

Which brings me to a gripe, and is one I share with Yahtzee Crowshaw.

Quick time events suck.

Seriously game developers, they suck. If you find yourself wanting to put one in, go fill your trousers with angry angry hornets until the need subsides. This game makes a lot of use of them, mostly when dealing with the “boss” fights, which aren’t boss fights in the traditional sense of the word. All it really means however is that you either get it first time or have to keep at it until you learn the sequence… Meh.

The Island itself very much catered to the Explorer part of my brain, and in addition if the place was not covered in pirates, angry animals, and psychotropic plants I would really like to go there. Running on my machine it looks utterly stunning, and in fact I found about 8 or 9 graphical glitches (usually people ghosting) during the whole game, and that’s probably due to my graphics drivers. The sound scape of the island works really well too, and the occasional musical interludes are good, but its the sounds of random combat going on in the distance that makes it feel like a real warzone. Regularly I ran over a hill just in time to save some random Rakiat… who usually said thanks and stepped into the jaws of a passing tiger.

If you have not played this game, it is currently cheap and damn well worth the money for the story.

Now to play Blood Dragon…


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