The immersive and beautiful world of Far Cry 3 is entertaining, as the intelligent storytelling and elaborate plot establish a foothold for video games as a new (and unexpected) medium of art. Many view video games as an avenue to mindless violence, but the deeper layers of the journey contained in Far Cry 3 are sure to conjure astounding emotional responses.
Far Cry’s franchise is known for their single player campaigns and for good reason. In the third installment of the title (all games surround unrelated characters and settings, so do not worry about the previous games), a group of college-age thrill seekers end up on a tropical island in the South Pacific. Known as Rook Island, this place is tainted with a sordid past of Chinese Treasure Fleets, WWII war crimes, drug dealing, and more. Now pirates that conduct a heinous slave trade dominate the island. These pirates capture the player and your friends and their sadistic leader begins to torment your existence. Also inhabiting the island are the native people fed up with the oppression, and so begins a revolution. Many threats apart from the murderous pirates exist on the island, including tigers, sharks, and even komodo dragons. To survive, the player must embrace the ways of the jungle and become a warrior.
The path begins with innocence, but in the quest to survive and save your friends, you become submerged in violence. This journey alludes to the novel “Heart of Darkness,” and as the player ventures deeper and deeper into the depth of the jungle, the line between sanity and madness becomes blurred. Missions and narratives in this game are capable of “shocking your socks off,” as well as evoking spine-chilling eeriness. Quotes from Alice in Wonderland often appear in loading screens, and elevate the purpose of the storyline to another level.
Not only is the story of the game highly alluring, the action sequences and options for customization are sure to fit all play styles. Whether one enjoys aggressive and loud weaponry, or rather a silenced and stealthy arsenal (complete with recurve bow), Far Cry 3 presents both preferences for the player to decide. The game does not contain an extremely large number of weapons (around 30 all-together), but nearly every gun can be outfitted for personal preference. Additionally, the game presents an intricate skill tree that progresses over time, granting players a variety of special abilities like advanced takedowns and prolonged sprint. These skills come in handy when trying to clear an enemy camp without alerting any of the guards.
Aside from the main storyline, there are other activities to take part in on Rook Island. Racing leagues, minor quests, hunting, knife throwing, wanted posters, relic hunting, supply drops, radio tower activations, lost letters, and the crafting of syringes and equipment all keep the player busy. Instead of rushing through the main story, try to savor the experience of this videogame by slowing accomplishing all of these minor tasks in-between missions.
Some small aspects of this game do deserve some criticism. Most notably, minor characters in this game have low sound quality when talking. Initially this is a disturbance, but as time goes on, the other qualities of this game outweigh this problem. The multiplayer is also lackluster. Because the focus of Far Cry 3 is an unmatched single player story, this is understandable, but it should be noted that the game does have its limitations. It is recommended that the user play the game on the hardest difficulty and attempt to gather 100% of the items in order to maximize the value and splendor of the story. Rushing through each mission would definitely subtract from the experience. Honestly, the single player is so good (worthy of a replay in the future), that the game is a must play. Far Cry 3 not only advances the sandbox FPS genre (and videogames as an artistic medium), but also induces rich emotional responses and unforgettably gratifying gameplay.
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