Hands-on: Far Cry 3 (Single-Player)

By Brendan Caldwell on October 10th, 2012 at 5:00 pm.


We sent Brendan to play Far Cry 3′s single-player. Here’s his report.

I’m halfway through skinning a dead Komodo dragon when all my suspicions about Far Cry 3 come to a head. I’m standing on the overhang of a massive cliff, just going to town on this corpse. Bunching its bloodied hide into a bundle like a supersize tortilla wrap drenched in red chilli sauce. And I’m thinking: ‘Man, that was one grumpy lizard. But it’s okay. I’m safe.’

Of course, it took me a while to reach that point. Far Cry 3 starts off strong. Angry-ox-on-a-hot-day strong. You’re a spoiled Californian holiday-maker called Jason Brody and your journey to the islands of the east with a bunch of friends and family has gone awry. Somehow you’ve ended up alongside your brother in a bamboo cage, listening to a rambling psychopath pirate called Vaas and waiting to be ransomed. The escape sequence doubles up as the tutorial, naturally, and soon enough it’s ‘hold X button to save brother’s life.’ After you fail miserably at that (sniff), you get chased into the jungle and Jason kills his very first man with a machete in the neck. You can tell from all the swearing and trembling that he did not enjoy this. He escapes and is taken in by the Rakyat warriors – a modern-day tribe fighting against the pirates and Vaas – and this is where the real game begins.

It’s become a pattern for each Far Cry game to try and be distinct from the last in some way. And this game starts blowing the African dust of its predecessor off its shoulder right from the start. Vaas is unlike the Jackal – your Kurtzian semi-nemesis from the previous game – in that he actually feels like a person. As interesting as the Jackal was, his mumbling voice acting and quick-fire monologues meant his message was nowhere as near as profound as it could’ve been. With Vaas, Ubisoft are swapping out profundity for real character. He’s emotive, expressive and genuinely uneasy to watch. A mood-swingy hyena of a man, the kind of guy everyone knew in school and didn’t really want to hang out with because you never know when he’ll snap. He’s Joe Pesci in Goodfellas, if Joe Pesci in Goodfellas had been exiled to the South Pacific and shaved himself a Mohawk instead of becoming a ‘Made Man’ in that empty basement.


From what I saw the characters don’t stop there. Dr Earnhardt, the druggy with a medical qualification, visibly sways as he goes from being caring and attentive to dangerously delusional. The plan is for him to take care of your rescued friends but you can never quite trust that he won’t mess something up. Sadly, it’s Jason Brody himself – the guy you play as – that’s seems the most inconsistent from what I played. This is because of how ridiculously quickly he goes from being scared rich-kid to King of Murder. After seeing his brother kill someone during the tutorial, he almost panics. And he’s on the verge of tears when he first kills someone himself. But within 30 minutes of that scene you’re offloading an AK-47 into pirate heads and torsos without a second thought.

After this battle, I approached a poster – one of the many around the island that denote a bounty hunting side quest – and activated it. “The Rakyat are hunting pirates,” says Jason coolly. “This feels right. I’ll do it.” And that’s that. He’s totally fine with death now. It probably would have been more believable to ease him into the fighting sequences slowly. Or have him vomit after a fire fight, or uncontrollably break down in tears every so often, or something. But then, this is an FPS.


And as an FPS the idea is to let the player kill as much as they like. I don’t know how you reconcile that with a character that starts off so obviously afraid of things. But there we go. This is a game after all. And believe me, if Far Cry 3 was a food, it would taste like pheasant. Gamey. Between missions the world is open for exploration. It’s quickly established that there are some housekeeping things you have to do to make progress. Radio towers puncture the idyllic tropical landscape and you have to climb these and sabotage the circuitry at the control switch in order to wipe the shroud from your mini-map and reveal notable locations nearby.

There are plants almost everywhere with which to make medicine or ability-enhancing drugs. There are recipes that help you breathe underwater for longer, or follow an animal’s scent trail, or simply heal your wounds. Animals themselves can be hunted down and skinned, allowing you to craft wallets for holding more money, ammo pouches, grenade pockets, weapon holsters (you can only carry one gun at the start and have to craft more of these holsters to hold the maximum of four) and bigger rucksacks for carrying around more loot.


Passing missions and gleefully shooting people (or sneaking up behind them for a bit of the ol’ stabby-stabby) will earn you XP with which you can unlock abilities. Far be it from Far Cry 3 to eschew the trend of putting RPG elements into a shooter. There’s every other species of tree on this exotic island, so why not the humble ‘skill tree’? Admittedly, this does have a neat visual trick to it. Every time you buy a new skill, a small tattoo will appear on Jason Brody’s arm. As you acquire more and more skills the tattoos – said by the Rakyat to bring great power and blah blah blah – start to entwine. The idea is that you’re left with a sexy sleeve that allows you to use men as human shields, cook grenades, heal yourself without medkits and so on. As well as endearing you to tattoo-fetishists the world over.

For a while I indulged in these side-missions. I killed a family of boar and made a bigger lootsack from their skin. I chased some goats around the side of a steep hill and macheted them to death so that I could craft myself a pistol holster. In between these events I picked some flowers. They were pretty.


But it’s the story and characters that drove me on, really. I followed Dr Earnhardt’s directions and went to a sea cavern to collect some mushroom specimens he needed to help treat one of my friends. There followed what I hope is the first of many drug-trip sequences of the game, wherein walls breathe and vines waver like the tide. It’s gum-lickingly stylish. By the time you emerge from the cavern, half a day has passed in the space of ten minutes and this is remarked on by your character as being very “woah.”

It’s now that I spot the Komodo dragon. Well, first I hear it hiss, then I spot it. After I riddle it with more bullets than I could have expected a giant reptile to endure, I bend down to skin the beast. And I guess that’s when I do my best thinking – in the idle moments of a game, waiting for an animation to finish – because it struck me how bored I was of skinning animals. Of all these AssCreed-like interactive chores. If I had stopped to take the time to do this in Far Cry 2, I would have been somehow punctured in the chest with a rebar from an enemy hiding in a shrub one hundred feet away. Remember that? Remember how you could never really feel comfortable in the indeterminate African countryside? Not even for ten seconds. Because here comes a jeep, a posse of war-hungry militiamen. Remember how isolated and anxious you felt when you saw the last plane leave the country at the very beginning of the game? How oppressive it was to be surrounded on all sides, not by a pristine azure ocean, but by an unconquerable desert?


Well, I didn’t feel like that when I played Far Cry 3 for the first time. I didn’t feel under threat. I felt safe. And that’s probably the word I would use to sum up my first impressions of the game itself. ‘Safe’. Ubisoft have made a gorgeous, characterful and finely-tuned game. But in doing so they appear to have stripped out what was fresh and vital about its predecessor. I’m just going to out and say it: the buddy system is gone. The most memorable moment of Far Cry 2 for me was running out of morphine and being forced to put my good pal out of his misery with a bullet in the head. (It didn’t matter that he didn’t have a personality as such. So long as he rescued me from death, time and time again, he was my friend). All that is gone, replaced by your bog-standard ‘load-you-back-at-the-start-of-this-challenge’ death. More’s the pity, because it looks like the writers are fully capable of creating some really vibrant characters this time around. And that’s not the only thing they took out. Scavenged guns no longer jam, injuries don’t seem to happen as often… Don’t get me wrong, the second game was far from perfect (and I’m glad to see that when you clear a roadblock in this instalment, the road stays cleared) but it’s like some higher-up execushite walked into the dev studio and ordered them to rip out all the interesting design ideas in time for the sequel because the alternative – to try and build on these mechanics – was too risky. “Play it safe,” says the execushite to the creative. “Play it safe.”

All this isn’t to say Far Cry 3 isn’t a contender from the scant two and a half hours I’ve played. I still had a good time trekking through the lush jungle and hallucinating the day away. For an antagonist like Vaas and edgy allies like Dr Earnhardt, I’m more than happy to give it the benefit of the doubt. It’s a game that has obviously been painstakingly refined. But refined – I fear – in the wrong direction.


I didn’t really think all the above in the time it took me to skin a Komodo dragon, of course. I was just getting some hide to make a new pair of boots or something. But the feeling was there, you know? The suspicion that something didn’t feel quite right. ‘Man, that was one grumpy lizard,’ I thought. ‘One beautiful, lovingly-crafted, grumpy-as-grandads lizard. But I guess it’s okay. I’m safe. I’m standing by the edge of a cliff on an island full of pirates, with an AK-47 in one hand and the bloody remains of an endangered reptile in the other. And I feel safe.’

Far Cry 3 is out – in some weird reversal of the usual practices – on November 29th in the EU, 30th in UK, and on December 4th in the US.

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94 Comments »

  1. Crainey says:

    Best opening paragraph I’ve read.

  2. GallonOfAlan says:

    Far Cry 2, faults aside, was great.

    YES. YES IT WAS.

    • obie191970 says:

      Warts and all, yes it was. And while I’m sad to hear about some of the things yanked from this installment, I’m really happy that the checkpoints stay cleared. It was the one thing that got really monotonous in that second helping.

    • Yosharian says:

      No, no it wasn’t.

      • Arglebargle says:

        Agreed that it wasn’t. Some terrible design decisions and crappy implementation. And they knew about it in beta. Sad, because some parts were done well.

        • Caiman says:

          Far Cry 2 was fantastic, a breath of fresh air, a challenge. It was flawed, often frustrating, but when it worked it was brilliant. Unfortunately too many people complained like you did, and now we have its neutered sequel, another generic by-the-numbers shooter with prettier graphics and more swearing. Enjoy.

          • Arglebargle says:

            Far Cry 2 was (in your words) frustrating, terribly flawed, to the point where it failed commercially. The developers knew the problems were there. Some were actually designed in intentionally. This is not brilliance in execution. The Far Cry 3 crew may fail. If they just regurgitated the poor designs of the FC2 crew, it wouldn’t create a much different result either.

          • HexagonalBolts says:

            I don’t understand how anyone can consider Far Cry 2 itself as anything other than neutered already – it was a bland shooter with alright weapons at best, copy and paste characters, dull missions, a non-existent storyline and absurd enemy spawning… What did it do amazingly? Because I am completely missing it.

          • harmlos says:

            What did FarCry 2 do amazingly ? Scenery. Shame about the constantly (re)spawning jeeps full of angry men with big guns preventing you from enjoying it properly.

          • Shooop says:

            It didn’t work. The only thing it got right was the setting and the story. Everything else was mundane or hopelessly broken.

      • Ganjatron says:

        Same here, I couldn’t stand much of the 2nd installment and so far everything said here interests me way more than 2 could ever do.

    • Inigo says:

      Far Cry 2 wasVRRRRM RRRRWRRRR VRRRRRRRMM NO GODDAMMIT NO NOT AGAIN

    • The Random One says:

      I’m playing through it for the first time right now. It’s great. It’s just not a very good game.

    • Casimir Effect says:

      Yes. Yes. Yes it was.

    • Iskariot says:

      Yes, I loved Far Cry 2. I t was a breathtaking game. And I even learned to enjoy the roadblocks. I became an ace in eradicating them with my Dragunov. My enemy feared me and no roadblock could defeat me.

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      Gap Gen says:

      It was a highly flawed game but yeah, I enjoyed it, and it did some brave things. Plus the Benny Hill-style chases every time you hit a checkpoint were amusing after a fashion.

    • sinister agent says:

      I found it to be one of those games that was frustratingly close to being great, but its horrible flaws just overpowered it. It can still be great at times, but you kind of have to force it to happen.

      I’m very disappointed that they’ve taken out … well, all the original, immersive ideas, it sounds like. Jamming and horribly common injuries and the Rescue Friend Squad (I’m not callihg them “buddies”. Sod that) were in need of improvement, but they were were all the potential of the game was. Removing them entirely is throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

    • Flint says:

      Regardless of whether you love it or hate it, I think both sides can agree that it’s one game which REALLY could have used some mod support.

    • mbp says:

      Hated Far Cry 2. Probably the most depressing game I have ever played.

    • Radiant says:

      It was a couple of patches away from being a great game.

    • Stromko says:

      I remember thinking Far Cry 2 really needed some mods to bang out the dents, and then reading about how the game had intentionally been made almost impossible to mod.

      I realized that Ubisoft were total dicks to remove free value from their game like that, and this was before Always On DRM (which evidently shall mar forever all games released with it, even if new ones don’t use it). It begged the question ,what do I call someone that continually f**ks over their customers when they were already total dicks before?

    • Urthman says:

      Am I the only one who thought Far Cry 2′s “mumbling,” “quick-fire monologues” were much better than the cringe-worthy overacting in most video games, including the crap in these Far Cry 3 videos.

      • sinister agent says:

        The dialogue itself wasn’t a problem. It was just badly delivered – it felt very much like everyone was blurting out all their lines as quickly as possible so the sound would take up less file space.

        • Screamer says:

          That’s exactly why they did it, the game wouldn’t fit on a 360′s disc otherwise. Speak volumes of the kind of developer that will do something like that :/

    • Shooop says:

      No.

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      Qazinsky says:

      I also enjoyed Far cry 2. Great immersion, filled with the standard 80′s-90′s action movie weapons, free roam. The weapons might have jammed a bit too fast for my taste, but that’s ok, because that’s also the reason why I got to see my own rocket decide to fly in a weird loop and just come straight back.

      Installed it recently, but I can’t really play it on my current computer, the NPCs are bugged and starts jumping up and down and while seeing the quest giver and his bodyguard headbanging in sync to a song only they could hear might be fun for a while, I just gave up on it.

      • barrkel says:

        I got weapons from the weapons dealer, and refreshed my weapons between every mission. Result: my weapons never jammed. Ever.

        The weapons only jam if you’re not careful with them. If the infinite supply of replacement weapons bugs you, just think of it as cleaning / servicing.

        Far Cry 2 was at its best for me when travelling between missions, planning my approach. The infinitely-respawning checkpoints and jeeps meant that the roads weren’t safe – so the right thing to do was to avoid roads and checkpoints, not frustrate yourself repeatedly doing something you don’t enjoy. Seems like a lot of people saw targets they could shoot, and couldn’t resist shooting them, even though the results were unpleasant.

  3. woodsey says:

    Hm, I thought they’d said the buddy system was in. Perhaps it appears after the first 2 1/2 hours? Unless they told you explicitly.

  4. wodin says:

    Perhaps with XCom and Dishonoured this was bound to play third fiddle I feel. Maybe if it had been released another time it might have got a better response?

    Still no one seemed that hyped about during development it either..

    What I want to know is is the spawning still in, where you have to kill the same ones over and over and over again?

    • Reefpirate says:

      I think this one is less hyped because there isn’t much there to hype. I’d be interested to try it because I’m a big fan of the series… But I still don’t know what the pitch is. Far Cry had the innovations in graphics and large open jungle maps. Far Cry 2 had this cool sort of GTA in war-torn African country kind of pitch where you have to improvise your own attack plans on tons of different outposts. What does this one have? Liberal use of swear words? Sex, drugs and dubstep? The whole build-up to Far Cry 3 is just one big ‘meh’ from me.

  5. quaunaut says:

    See, this disappoints me. Far Cry 2 was one of my favorite games the year it came out- for all of its “faults”, it got so many things right that gaming really deserves someone else going further down that path. Not giving up on it.

    I think I’ll always miss gun jamming. And vomiting after a firefight would have totally been suitable, and in-line with the series that brought us malaria.

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      LTK says:

      I agree. An Amnesia-like sanity meter would be a good fit here, although I suppose it shouldn’t need to be visibly implemented. I’d love to see a mechanic where your character just becomes blood-crazed and violent after an hour-long killing spree, possibly accompanied by bonuses to damage and health but friendly NPCs won’t go near you unless you take some time off to calm down and recompose, which gives you back the ability to craft and trade.

      A mechanic like that would provide a new kind of incentive to play non-lethally: you might avoid killing not because of experience bonuses or the like, but because it unbalances your psychological state.

      I really hope this game turns out to be moddable…

      • hello_mr.Trout says:

        that is fantastic idea/mechanic for this type of game! commendations!

  6. Glen Moyes says:

    D’oh. I was really hoping they kept the jamming mechanic in the game. The sense of everything being unreliable (your weapons, your health through malaria, and allies dying) made Far Cry 2 one of my favorite games.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      The weapon degrading mechanic was toss.

      The problem wasn’t the concept, the problem was that it didn’t really add any tension or danger, it was just a trivial issue that had to be dealt with repetetively. I never felt “Oh no, will my gun make it through this firefight” just “Oh, it’s degrading again, better go replace it”. Either put the mechanism in properly (e.g. guns are scarce and if you don’t maintian them and they break they’re gone for good and/or expensive to replace) or don’t put it in at all.

  7. airtekh says:

    Nooo! This was not what I wanted to hear. :(

    I loved FC2; and I hate to see that they’re not building on the best ideas from that game.

  8. Yosharian says:

    So I guess since I hated Far Cry 2 with a passion, I’m going to pass on this one… Kinda figured as much, but still disappointing to be right.

    The one thing not clear from this review, is how the questing works in the game, because in Far Cry 2 the questing was this horrid, GTA-style faction-grind bullshit.

    • Reefpirate says:

      Well I think you’re reading this all wrong then… The problem for me is that this game doesn’t seem to be using any of the ideas from Far Cry 2. So that should be good for you who didn’t like that game, no?

      • Yosharian says:

        Hm, no thats not the gist I got from it. It has dropped a few elements of Far Cry 2 but it’s mainly the same thing. It’s still a lame attempt at making an FPS game more like an interactive movie.

        • Dominic White says:

          Huh? A main complaint about FC2 was that it was completely non-movie-like. It wasn’t scripted or organized. It was a big sandbox without much context to fights beyond your own actions.

          • x1501 says:

            The main complaint about FC2 was not that “it was completely non-movie-like”, but that instead of giving you a sense of open-world immersion, it forced you into tedious, boring repetition with no end in sight. So the complaints had more to do with its extremely repetitive encounters, continually respawning enemies, bland story, uneven pace, and its rather annoying travel system with those never-ending ramming cars and road checkpoints, than they did with the game not being fully scripted in the manner of CoD.

          • Yosharian says:

            What about the hollywood plot and bland, badly-written characters? The ‘press x to remove bullet from wound’ crap? Far Cry 2 was all style over substance, aside from the endless faction quest grinding which was just mindless repetition.

            “It wasn’t scripted or organized. ”

            What about the respawning checkpoints? That isnt scripted? Far Cry 2 isn’t a fucking sandbox game anymore than GTA is.

          • Mman says:

            How is FC2′s plot remotely “Hollywood”? The brilliant ending in particular is pretty much as far from “Hollywood” as it could be (too bad it’s pretty much the only part of the game that’s brilliant, hardly anyone got far enough to see it, and half the people that did whined because it wasn’t a mindless power-fantasy).

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          Vandelay says:

          FC2 had it’s faults, but I certainly don’t remember it being like an interactive movie. In fact, some more set piece moments spread out through the game might have helped mix things up a bit.

          It had some great mechanics going on and I wish that they could have been used in a better game. Shame this one doesn’t look like it will be it, but it will probably be enjoyable still. A good sale buy I predict.

        • haradaya says:

          That’s crazy talk. Far Cry 2 is one of the few games that isn’t scripted hollywood bullshit. When it felt like an action movie, it was when you did something creative, crazy, and got out in the end with only a few scratches. Only in select story missions did it force an outcome on you. Small steps, that Far Cry 3 seems to cover up more than I wanted.

  9. Arglebargle says:

    I am suspicious of any review by someone who thought Far Cry 2 was a good game. We obviously do not share the same reference points.

    Still, nice read.

    • Yosharian says:

      Phew, I thought I was the only one.

      • Arglebargle says:

        Some so love the free ranging, run-about-and-shoot aspect that they can ignore all the other dumb parts.

      • Glen Moyes says:

        I think when a lot of people say it was good (as is my case) it might be more accurate to say that FC2 was refreshing, different, but primarily did a very good job at communicating a certain emotion—in this case tension due to an unreliable and chaotic world—that the game was enjoyable.

        Something that was pointed out in this week’s Extra Credits episode is that a game doesn’t have to be “fun” to be “good” or enjoyable. I’m not sure if “fun” is the reason why people didn’t like FC2. It did have some frustrating shortcomings, but you definitely felt something while playing that game that you didn’t feel anywhere else. Same reason why I liked Mirror’s Edge: shortcomings up the yin yang but it was so massively different and did such a good job at delivering on an emotion that no other game did.

        Huh. After writing that I think I just figured out why some of my favorite games are ones that I only played through once: Far Cry 2 and Mirror’s Edge being the only two. (I’m not counting racing games that I liked, which are inherently repetitive and by the time I beat them I’m ready to move on.)

        • jorygriffis says:

          I like this comment quite a lot. I actually have never finished FC2, but I have taken many, many stabs at it, and have taken those stabs with both the PC and Xbox versions. The fact is that the game is at times very unpleasant to play; but doesn’t that seem reasonable in the wildly unpleasant world it takes place in? I think it took a lot of skill and courage for Clint and the game’s designers to create those feelings of tension, unease, isolation and amorality, and like Brendan implied above, it is a real wonder that the game managed to slip past Ubi management unedited. Of course, Ubi management did apparently force the game to be relased basically unfinished, but I still think it’s a brilliant game.

        • Yosharian says:

          Mirror’s Edge was a great game. I’m not sure how you can place it and FC2 in the same paragraph.

          But really, I’d rather not get into the whole FC2 debate again, I’ve been through it so many times on this site already. Let’s just agree to disagree.

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          Dilapinated says:

          I loved Mirror’s Edge. I think my second (Pacifist) playthrough was interesting for me, but it does depend on how much you can stomach the iffy Close Combat decisions. Timing those disarms.. Ugh. =_= But yeah, playing through without shooting a single dude makes for a slightly different flavour to the same main dish.

          I’m sincerely hoping they make a sequel.

    • Shooop says:

      You’re not alone.

      I do love FC2′s setting and story. Those were excellent and refreshing. But the game they were wrapped around was absolute trash.

      There is and will never be any excuse for nearly bullet-proof enemies who respawn the moment you trip an invisible line. And their AI was par of Ubisoft’s course of pushing full steam ahead into capturing the award for worst AI possible.

  10. ResonanceCascade says:

    I can’t say I’m too excited about Far Cry 3, but boy was Far Cry 1 awesome, despite falling into the bad third act trap that so many shooters seem to struggle with. It’s so rarely a part of the discussion any more whenever the topic of great FPS games comes up, and I’ve never really figured out why.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      I loved Far Cry 1. It felt so free-ranging, before the whole “oh my god its so linear” thing was a thing. That first mercenary camp you could approach from any direction, that felt awesome. And for me back then it was DIFFICULT. I remember those waves of blue heavily armoured soldiers in the later level , with the SWAT visors, and wishing to high heaven that my M249 wouldn’t run out of bullets because the next wave spawned quicker than the damn reload speed. First time a game really gave me that shaky feeling. And the first person jeeps! Bullet holes in the windscreen! And the binocs! And being hunted in the bushes! Is that red arrow just in front of me? Or in the bush next to me?

      **rustle rustle**
      **rustle rustle**
      **HUD arrow swings wildly**
      “WHERE DID HE GO?” Ohh thank fuck *moves*
      DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA shit
      **quick load**

      It took me almost 5 years to have a machine that let me run the graphics at full. 5 bloody years.

    • Werthead says:

      This. FAR CRY and HALF-LIFE 2 were, for me, the last great FPS games (though neither was perfect). There’s been a fair few of ‘solid’ FPS games that have come out since, including CRYSIS and BIOSHOCK, but nothing that’s grabbed me the same way. Mostly we’ve seen a devolution of the form into the short, cheesy manshoots of CoD and its ilk.

      I think the main complaint against FAR CRY is the mutants, who are annoying, but not particularly outrageous by FPS standards. Balanced against the wide-open levels, the decent weapons selection and the tremendous freedom on how you approach each objective, that seems like a minor complaint at best, especially given that the mutants are only really the main enemy on a couple of the maps and later on the much more enjoyable-to-fight mercs come back in a really big way.

      Also, the characters and story were toss, but when the gameplay was so enjoyable, who cares?

      • SuperNashwanPower says:

        Far Cry and Half Life taught me to love choosing my weapon carefully and switching on the fly. I got a massive buzz out of exactly that playing Black Mesa recently. Far Cry mutants – switch to the auto-shotgun at close range, then pull out the scoped assault rifle to headshot a soldier. Then a quick stab of the grenade key for that advancing group, hit the fire mode button and tap tap tap another headshot with the guy that took cover. P90 the one that flanked you AND SCENE. Once your fingers got quick on the number keys, the switching could get almost poetic. I used to reload again and again just to pull off a set of kills in the exact way I wanted.

        That was something I loved about Crysis 1 and Warhead too – getting creative with the game. Crysis 2 had some brief moments of this, like the church level. but otherwise lost so much.

        OH OH I just remembered the island level in Far Cry 1. The big open one, with the fat boys. God that was amazing. And the other one, with the speedboats. Fuck that game was good.

        • SuperNashwanPower says:

          Also in all fairness, CoD was good up to and including the first Modern Warfare. I remember loving CoD 2, it felt so quick. I later played the first one, and the expansion, then I guess it must have been onto MW1 from there. I did have World At War, but it felt kind of wank by that point.

        • Geen says:

          Amen!

  11. eks says:

    Have you been told about the DRM yet? I ask this in every Far Cry 3 article, but come on, I can’t be the only one that is waiting on the answer to that question. It’s going to dictate whether or not I buy and play this game.

    Please Brendan, just tell me now so I know whether to keep bothering to read (and get excited) about this game.

    • x1501 says:

      “[A] mandatory one-time activation, performed via Uplay PC. An internet connection is required for this one-time activation process. Once activated, the game can be played online to enjoy new social features in single player and multiplayer, such as Friends, Party and Chat, or switched to offline mode in the Uplay PC settings menu for a single player experience without broadband connection.”

      • eks says:

        *Cries*

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          Joshua says:

          Calm down, that’s exactly like Steam and Origin.
          (Okay, so mabye Steam and such is also quite bad, but it has been around for the past 8 years and if we are going to cry about it all the time we’d have enough tears to irrigate the sahara).

  12. Brun says:

    Remember how you could never really feel comfortable in the indeterminate African countryside? Not even for ten seconds. Because here comes a jeep, a posse of war-hungry militiamen.

    Uh…wasn’t this one of the things that was almost universally agreed upon as one of the worst things about Far Cry 2? It was difficult to explore the world because you were constantly having to deal with fast-spawning, high-powered enemies.

    I understand where you’re coming from – the constant threat of entering a difficult firefight at any time does add an element of tension to the game, but one of the biggest things that sets Far Cry apart from other shooters is the huge, explorable world. There’s no point in putting a big explorable world together like that if you aren’t going to let your players stop to enjoy it. Far Cry 2′s world was so dangerous (and full of annoying respawns) that trying to explore it was a pain in the ass, and that’s generally been the number one complaint about Far Cry 2.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      Grenade launchers stopped the game being scary, but that effing mortar dude. The one who travelled between the Dogon village and that island. Whose aim was sharper than a piece of paper, with an insult written on it by Noel Coward, then rolled into a point, dipped in lemon juice and then poked in someone’s eye.

      Sharp.

      Yes I stole that from someone somewhere.

    • MikoSquiz says:

      Really, this sounds like a vast improvement on Far Cry 2 all around.

      But then, I suppose that’s rather damning with faint praise.

  13. Brise Bonbons says:

    Skinning animals to make wallets to hold more money? Bigger bags and holsters?

    What have you done to us, WoW?

  14. BirdsUseStars says:

    Okay, so who else is mainly put off by this by having to play as a whiny bro-dude the whole time? I want to play John McClane, not Shia LaBeouf.

    • Brun says:

      Seeing as how so much of the rest of the game seems to be a satire of the modern FPS, it’s possible that the choice of the player character as a CoD dudebro is similar satire.

      • SuperNashwanPower says:

        There’s a fine line between satire and just making a shit copy of the thing you are satirising.

      • Dervish says:

        Satire implies humor. I don’t see any satire in these videos, just a tinge of chin-stroking about violence, maybe.

  15. Ergates_Antius says:

    If I had stopped to take the time to do this in Far Cry 2, I would have been somehow punctured in the chest with a rebar from an enemy hiding in a shrub one hundred feet away. Remember that? Remember how you could never really feel comfortable in the indeterminate African countryside? Not even for ten seconds. Because here comes a jeep, a posse of war-hungry militiamen

    Yes. I remember how fucking tiresome it became, very quickly. None of the fights were particularly challenging, it was a war of attrition. Going anywhere just because a slog because you’d be refighting the same battles at the same checkpoints over and over, and inbetween the checkpoints you’d be constantly interupted by a drip-drip of enemies. Ubisoft built a beautiul world that begged for exploration – then made going anywhere a massive ballache.

    Animals themselves can be hunted down and skinned, allowing you to craft wallets for holding more money

    This just puts an image in my head of a man looking down at a huge pile of money on the floor, then looking at his small wallet, then back to the pile, then his wallet. He shakes his head, sadly, and walks off leaving the money behind.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      Did no one figure out that you could drive off road and effectively cut out the checkpoints? One of my favourite activities was going offroad whilst looking for diamond cases, then sniping checkpoints from a distance in the scrub. Or just shelling them with the mounted grenade launcher.

      • Yosharian says:

        That would be fine if the quests weren’t so grindy.

        • SuperNashwanPower says:

          Having Zoltan send me from a radio tower to kill a TARGET OF OPPORTUNITY in the middle of the no-fire zone and getting chased by angry South African men talking about the area between your ass and your balls. 400 times.

          Pinnacle of gaming right there.

  16. jorygriffis says:

    Does anyone but me feel like Far Cry 3 looks a bit racist, orientalizing, xenophobic? I was always really pleasantly surprised with how even-handed Far Cry 2 was in dealing with a pretty sticky situation–war-torn post-apartheid Africa–without being particularly racist and without minimizing the real-world version of its in-game strife.

    “Virginal white people trapped on isolated island of freaky, cannibalistic tribals” makes me pretty uncomfortable, all told. Wasn’t that fear a bit more culturally relevant sometime around the turn of last century?

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      This game would have been awesome if it was an isolated island full of angry Rotary Club members from Basingstoke. Like Hot Fuzz set in the South Pacific.

      • Shooop says:

        I would have hit the left button on my mouse after setting it over the pre-order link so hard it would have broken my desk.

    • kud13 says:

      Except the tribals are your friends.

      The White Man pirates are the enemy, and you are the White Comanche….. err, sorry, White Rakyat, there to save the tribe from the insane cruelty and Greed of your fellow White Man.

      Never you mind that the insane head of the pirates is the brother of the tribe’s Rihanna look-alike shamaness….

  17. Wut The Melon says:

    “Playing it safe”

    Sounds like Ubisoft… why do they take so many game with great potential (first AC, now this) and ruin them by making them dull, ‘accessible’ AAA titles? I mean, other than the loads of money it must earn them?

  18. malkav11 says:

    I’m mildly disappointed that FC3 doesn’t seem to be running with the best bits of its predecessor, but frankly it sounds a hell of a lot like the sort of game I want to play anyway.

  19. DigitalSignalX says:

    I’m going to stop reading RPS articles about “hands on” if you guys can’t control the spoilers. The entire 2nd paragraph needs to be edited IMHO. Really looking forward to this title, but would have liked to experience some of this for myself instead of “oh, that’s what that guy wrote about.”

  20. xaphoo says:

    All of these changes sound positive. As a committed devotee of frustrating games like DayZ and Dwarf Fortress, I found Far Cry 2 to be something else altogether — frustratingly terrible. It was meaningless repetitive fighting with an open world getting in the way, or vice versa, a useless open world stuck inside an mediocre arcade game. Their coexistence ruined each other irrevocably. One of the most unpleasant gaming experiences of my life.

    This sounds much better. But, knowing their design sense, I’m still going to stay away.

  21. Premium User Badge

    thesundaybest says:

    I wish there was an RPS where there were no reviews, and all I’d read we’re the stories the writers crafted from playing the game. FTL. Mound and Blade. Just stories and nothing but stories. No this mechanic could be better, or this frame rate wasn’t high enough. Just people crafting narratives out of gameplay and letting me know, in a way only RPS seems able, what it actually feels like to play the game. Not my dollar per hour return, or what graphics card would run it best. Just the stories. Beautiful, wonderful stories.

    Yes, I would pay for such a site. I’d pay to have them bind these stories into a magazine, or make it into an ebook.

  22. HalfDane1975 says:

    A great write up as always. I didn’t mind the jamming and exploding guns in FC2.

  23. alilsneaky says:

    Far cry 2 is one of the biggest duds I ever had the displeasure of playing…

    You can’t be serious lamenting the loss of the shitty buddy system, weapon jams and all the other obtuse mechanics and respawns and ridiculously tenacious AI of the first game.

    Fans complained about ALL of those, they listened and removed them and now suddenly they were good things? Jesus christ.

    I am glad to hear the writer bash the rpg chorefests like assassin’s creed though, that shit needs to go away in shooters.
    More gameplay, less chores and tasks and filling bars.

    • Premium User Badge

      Qazinsky says:

      Well, obviously the people that hated these mechanics complained about them while those enjoying them did not and now the latter has a reason to complain while the former sits quiet.

      Simply put, people haven’t changed tune, different people are complaining.

      Edit:
      While I am not lamenting about it, I am seriously gonna miss the buddy system and the weapon jamming (although it was a bit too rapid for my taste).

  24. dirt trumpet says:

    Well, surprise, surprise. So, FC3 has been made for those who didn’t like FC2 , not those of us who did.

    Good article, especially the execushite – the bane and homogeniser of creativity everywhere. Ah, that’s better!

  25. Premium User Badge

    Qazinsky says:

    Looks good, looking forward to Far Cry 3, just wish the Steam store would carry it already, I am lazy and usually buy my games through that.

  26. cunningmunki says:

    Am I the only person on the planet that would actually like to see a proper sequel to Far Cry, which continues the story of Jack Carver? Or is at least related to the story in some way or another.

    I feel like one of those poor rejected souls that wanted a proper sequel to Quake.

  27. Richeh says:

    Tastes like partridge? Skill tree?

    That’s the kind of quality prose I’ve come to expect from RPS, kings of terrible-puns-in-the-title. Bravo, sir. Bravo.

  28. D-e-f- says:

    This hands on just made my decision which of my remaining 2012 pre-orders to cancel a lot easier. Thank you!