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Once every now and then the stars align and something comes out that sets the standard for things to come in the future. The automobile changed how we travel, Barry White changed how men try and seduce women and Ubisoft has now changed the standard for how all first person shooters will be measured in the future with the release of Far Cry 3.
Far Cry 3 starts out with a video of Jason Brody and his friends on vacation taking part in the activities that normal friends do while on hiatus. They drink sambuca, they party on the beach and they go skydiving over a jungle island. However things quickly turn south as you realize that the vacation is over. You are being held captive with your brother in a cage as a man named Vaas screams obscenities at you about how you are his (Expletive Removed) and how he owns you. After a few moments you escape into the jungle and eventually begin to rescue your friends and try and figure a way off the island. Sounds simple however Jason (aka you) are not space marine #4867 but more along the lines of a victim. If you want to get your friends back you need to learn to become a warrior. I say warrior and not solider because throughout the course of the game Jason never gains a soldier’s discipline but instead becomes almost savage in the way he handles certain situations (i.e. Stabbing everyone with your machete). As you murder your way through hundreds of enemies you get xp which you gain new skills with which to deal out even more murder. This is represented on your arm as an ever growing tattoo that starts out as a simple arm band and grows into a full sleeve.
Far Cry 3 is an open world first person shooter similar to Far Cry 2. The world is populated with Pirates who want nothing more than to kill you and jump up and down on your body, a native island tribe who just want to murder said pirates and take their island back and a huge assortment of wildlife ranging from tigers to komodo dragons that just want to be left alone and occasionally murder everyone else on the island. These elements bring Rook island to life and make it feel like a living breathing land mass that would exist whether you had stumbled upon it or not and succeeds spectacularly in immersing you into this world as you fight for your survival. Fighting for your survival has never felt easier either as Far Cry 3 boasts the tightest set of controls I have ever had in my hands. Nothing ever feels clumsy or clunky as you move your Jason robot around Rook Island.
The audio of a game has always been difficult for me to set pen to paper (or fingers to keys as it were) and pass judgment on. I have always felt that if a games music score does a job well done then I won’t remember it as something that sticks out overmuch when I look back on it but at the time it adds to the gameplay. If you put a gun to my head and told me to pick out a track from a shootout from Far Cry 3 you’re going to be one bullet shorter because I will not be able to do it. However if you told me to describe what the music does for me during actual gameplay I could tell you that it makes your heart pound a bit faster and your adrenaline pump a bit more as the music blasts a fast paced beat while you are busy committing pirate genocide.
It seems that no shooter is complete these days without tacking on a multiplayer mode that pits you against another set of enemies simply because you do not look like all of their friends. While some games just pin on the multiplayer so they have an extra feature to put on the back of the game case, Ubisoft has gone all out by not only creating a (at times) unique and always entertaining multiplayer experience but also adding a standalone co op experience and a extremely in depth map editor.
Player vs. player multiplayer is nothing new to video games as a form of reducing civilized people to screaming barbarians with a fixation on everyone else’s mother and Far Cry 3’s Multiplayer is no different. However it should be noted that in addition to the standard fare of Team Death match and Domination modes, Far Cry 3 brings something new and unique to the experience with the mode known simply as Firestorm. In this mode each team has two fuel depots that they must defend while simultaneously attacking the enemy teams Fuel Depot’s and each team must set both fuel depots on fire at the same time to start a firestorm. Once the Firestorm is started, certain parts of the map light on fire which blocks certain paths through the map. Both teams must then fight for control over a radio tower. If the team that set the fuel depots on fire captures the radio tower then the game ends and that team wins. However if the defending team captures the radio tower the firestorm goes out and the whole thing starts over again. This mode leads to some of the most pulse pounding moments I have ever seen in a multiplayer mode. The downside to the whole thing is that most people stick to Team Death match and Domination because…well…change is a scary thing.
This can lead to some frustration when the game has four people in the Firestorm mode but eight games active and you sitting in your own room. That is nothing that a patch can’t fix though. I do want to make a special note of an extremely entertaining feature that happens at the end of each game. The top three players on the winning team and the top player on the losing team appear in a cinematic and the top player on the winning team decides if the losing team’s top player is punished or shown mercy. You unlock different ways to punish or befriend your enemy as you level up and can perform animations from giving your enemy a drink of water to the dreaded tea bag. While it may seem like a gimmick and something that could get old fairly quickly it is actually a great addition that had my heart racing every time I realized that my team could lose and I was in the top spot.
In addition to the Multiplayer the game boasts a highly detailed map editor. With over 2000 different items and a fully modifiable game world gamers can create just about anything their twisted anti social hearts can come up with. The best of these player created maps are then put into circulation for the online community to play alongside the maps that the game shipped with. This feature basically gives Far Cry 3 an unlimited amount of free DLC.
|In closing Far Cry 3 is a once in a lifetime experience that simply cannot be missed. With stellar graphics, pulse pounding game play and an extremely entertaining multi-player experience, the only real problem to speak of would be a network issue where eight people are given their own game and no one can start rather than putting all eight into one game of fun, this is an issue that could easily be solved with a patch and in no way diminishes the value of the game. My recommendation is to shut down your computer right now go to your local game store and buy no less than eight copies of this game. One to play and seven to decorate your house with…that isn't weird is it?|