Wot I Think: Far Cry 3 (Single-Player)

By Jim Rossignol on November 21st, 2012 at 5:00 pm.


The third game in the Far Cry series has arrived, bathed in sun, populated by sharks and murderers, driving too fast along a dirt track, with the grass on fire all around. But is this a holiday of a lifetime, or a trip to the wrong side of the tracks? I pulled on a scratched pair of aviators and scavenged a shotgun from the body of a fallen games journalist to tell you wot I think.

There’s crafting in Far Cry 3. Crafting. This makes for some unexpected moments. I didn’t expect, for example, to be collecting leaves, and to be accidentally killed by a cow as I fled from a “YOU ARE LEAVING THE MISSION AREA” warning. Yes. Unexpected. Especially when the mission was leaves. Nor did I expect to want to steal a car a drive around the island with the specific intention of finding a goat so that I could take its skin. But within about an hour of starting the game that’s exactly what I was doing.


You see, Far Cry 3 allows you to carry up to four weapons, and your machete. But when the game starts you only have a single holster. Want another one? Make it. Make it out of a dead goat. That’s where this game’s mind is. Guns are basically free, with a bit of exploring, but the capacity to carry them, well, you have to gut that goat. Initially I couldn’t believe it – this is a first-person shooter, not an MMO – but then after a while I realised that Ubisoft Montreal have basically followed my own advice about how to approach open worlds. Rather than take Far Cry 2′s “it’s all about the shooting” approach to the game, they’ve made it more of a place, more of a world. And despite a few stumbles along the path, it’s dragged me in.


Sure, you still drive about an island, getting into gunfights. There are still baddies patrolling constantly in jeeps, and there are bases and checkpoints full of hostiles all over the island, but there’s so much else going on, too. There are friendly NPCs, there are neutral NPCs. There are villages with people chatting and playing cards. There are pirates looting bodies on beaches. There are leopards hunting deer in the forest. There are bandits and boat patrols, there are hang-gliders and a magic mushroom merchant on the hill. This is a game which absolutely rewards exploration, which makes the most of its open world, and which populates it in a way which is absolutely ludicrous and unrealistic, and which makes it absurdly entertaining.

It’s huge, it’s silly, it’s beautiful, and it’s fiery.


What I am saying is, that despite the incongruity of the leaf mission, and despite some of the other design woes which I will outline later – despite, even, the bizarre mystic subplot – this is a marvellous game which understands how and why open world games are thrilling. It’s also layered in skill trees, and a (largely superfluous) inventory, to make this game feel like it has a lot more going on than some other open-world shooters we could mention. The result might sound a little Skyrim-with-guns, yes, but no. It’s nothing like Skyrim. In a Bethesda game I never caused two bandit jeeps to crash into each other, only to set fire to half of the jeep passengers with the flamethrower, and watch the other half be eaten alive by giant lizards. No, sir.

Far Cry 3 has kept me smiling. Hell, it kept me up all night. And it’s been a while since a game has done that. [/Tired old man.]

More details, then. You play a Californian thrillseeker who has been skydiving over the Rook Islands with friends. As it turns out, this was a thrill too far, because the South Pacific island chain has been overrun by a band of pirates. The madmen who lead the pirates have captured your whooping Cali-chums and you are the only one manages to escape. The mission to rescue the surviving skydivers is the linear plot which drives through the middle of the game. Once you get past the obligatory linear tutorial hour, you are given quests which further this end, and in the time between them, or enroute to them, you have your run of the island. You can hunt, loot, sell random junk, buy stuff, and just cause mayhem. You can explore, and you are rewarded for exploring.


And I want to stress that the story is pretty good, at least if you delete the memory of the ridiculous Uncharted-like mystic bullshit section, narrated by the game’s most annoying character, which is excruciating. Apart from that section of tomb-leaping awfulness, it’s well told, with some interesting characters, and it even has a few touching moments. You are not a silent protagonist, either, and this gives is an odd feeling at times, watching yourself interact with other characters, muttering comments that aren’t your own. It does work, though. And a couple of times it’s really accomplished. Even with the absurdity of a random American kid being mystically inspired to be a warrior, and going from crying about stabbing someone in the first few minutes to not crying about burning people alive in their dozens just minutes later (and in fact being pretty pleased with the flamethrower).

It’s a nonsense pulp fiction, of course, but aren’t they all? This is just one of the better ones. Normally I would just be focusing on the achievements of a dev team working in sandboxy modes, but this isn’t just about the open world, no. I genuinely wanted to see what happened. An all too-rare feeling in shooterland.


But let’s get to that most important asset: the island environment itself. It’s beautiful, huge, sprawling, and teeming with activity. Then there’s the sheer value of exploration. As mentioned, you are rewarded for exploring. While the world is open to you from pretty early in the game, you need to unlock the map itself – and the delivery of new weapons – by switching on radio masts across the island. Each of these is a rickety structure which must be climbed, and then descended from via a zipline. They essentially constitute a mini-game of their own, and each one unlocked allows you to pick up some free guns from the merchant back in town.

Perhaps “mini-game” is wrong. It’s more like “vignette”. In the way that console cowboy classic Red Dead Redemption filled its landscapes with little events that could happen to you – or be avoided entirely – so Far Cry 3 litters your path with things that might happen, or might be avoided. Some of them might be emergent – such as animals attacking bandits in the middle of a firefight – while others are more scripted, like the radio towers, or like the shakedowns and murders you’ll stumble into as you travel around the island.


Missions, meanwhile, take two forms. Some can be picked up from billboards – a bit of bounty-hunting here, a little wildlife hunting there – or they can be followed in the main plot. It feels a little incongruous that the missions, when activated, have a mission area, and set limits – meaning you can fail and have to reload. But these are tight with the fiction, and have believable parameters for failure. For example, in one stealth mission you can’t afford to be spotted or the data you want will be destroyed. If that happens, it’s game over. Usually this sort of stuff feels unfair and arbitrary, but Far Cry 3 handles it admirably. Most of the time.

Admirable might be the best word to describe what’s going on here as a whole. It feels right. The movement is right, the guns are right, the violence is spotless (and bloody), and the way it executes a balance between stealth and all-out megadeath is, well, admirable. Far Cry 3 is one of the most pleasing uses of an open-world structure I have seen in a mainstream game. It balances the need to have a plot with the freedom to mess about in the margins with the requirement for a detailed world that seems to be carrying on without you. The vignettes and happenings mean that you don’t feel as if the world is revolving around you, while at the same time what is happening to you is the most important thing going on in that world. It’s a tricky tightrope to walk, and Ubisoft Montreal have been dancing all over it.


There are some problems, of course. One, which is most worrying in a game that’s just a couple of weeks from release, is that I have been getting a few hard crashes to desktop. I have about the most generic gaming PC setup you can get right now, so that’s a concern. It’s occasional, granted, but it is there, and it highlights the checkpoint-based saving system (although you can save at any time in the menu, too), which I had not otherwise paid much attention to. I think a checkpoint save largely works here – it means that a death is a big hit in terms of time (while at the same time you never lose too much) – but the crashes highlighted that I was being pinged back across the island to the last thing that had happened.

Not all the missions are particularly good, either. The lowest point probably being a “stealth” scene where I followed a man through a village. A man who, for no clear reason, didn’t just walk home, but would stop every twenty paces of his excruciatingly slow stroll to have a look around. Teeth-grinding stuff, but mercifully a rare moment amid hours of lunatic driving and gunplay. Similarly there are escort missions and infiltration missions (where 90% of guards stand with the back to you, waiting to be stabbed) which do not impress.


There are other niggles, like the menu, which has a bizarre layer of extra clicking to get you to the stuff you want to look at. It’s such a minor thing, but I found it a constant annoyance – if I hit “assault rifles”, I want to browse assault rifles, I don’t want to have then “accept” that choice to look at them. (While I am on the topic of weapon grumbles, way too many of the bandits are armed with AKs. More weapon variety would have made combat a lot more interesting, especially in the early stages of the game.)

Then there are the constant notifications and reminders. These are so frequent, and so annoying that I assumed there MUST be a way to deactivate them in the options. I cannot find one, and now growl each time the game pops up a placard saying “DO THIS MISSION. Y’KNOW, IF YOU WANT.” Get out! GET OUT.


They get in the way. And perhaps I shouldn’t mind, because it’s such a gamey game, if you know what I mean. There’s always a hang-glider ready to go when you want to fly off a cliff. The landscape is littered with things set up just so, as only a really artfully crafted game can be. It’s heavily scripted and at the same time thrillingly free-flowing and open. Perhaps the signposts shouldn’t annoy me, but they do. Such a big, stupid piece of UI to be constantly crammed into my awareness.

Anyway.

The PC port is largely pleasing. You can alter the FOV a bit, with a slider, and it’s possible to play in a borderless window, making it easy to tab out and tell John about killing a crocodile with a landmine. It also looks pretty damned good, running well on my machine, and with plenty of detail turned up. And the detail options are wide ranging, with multiple options for texture detail, post-processing, and so forth. It supports MSAA anti-aliasing, and you can turn off mouse acceleration. All in all, a good showing from the options department.


Always-on UbiDRM is gone, of course, but you do have to activate the game through Uplay the first time you play the game, and you need to use Uplay to launch it, even if you are launching it in offline mode. Offline mode basically reduces you to just the story option, snipping co-op and multiplayer options out of the main game menu. Cloud saving and achievements vanish, too. It’s pretty much as you’d expect from a modern game, and Ubi seem to be making it work for the PC. (Which I am certain, as I read these words back to myself, is a statement inviting this game to deliver a world of serious bugs, currently invisible to me, to the PC version at retail. But, hey, that’s life. I’ve been enjoying myself, and I’m going to report that.)

Let’s conclude, because I should wrap this up and go racing off down the beach in a stolen jeep. Last week we started to compile our end of year list – the games that will sit atop the site in December, as a reminder of what the year had to offer. As of this week I will be firmly entering Far Cry 3 on that list. In all honesty Far Cry 3 had barely entered my consciousness before now, despite the endless flood of trailers and preview jabber. In a year that contained Dishonored and Borderlands 2, I barely gave it a second glance. Perhaps it was residual disappointment from other “open” FPS games or perhaps it was just a baseless cynicism on my part – a feeling that Ubisoft wouldn’t be able to do anything that really captured my imagination.


But they did, and it has.

Far Cry 3 is a huge thing, and I am only really reporting on the lavish single-player campaign here. There’s co-op and true multiplayer, too (although no dedicated servers, as our newsfeed previously noted). There’s even a map editor app for multiplayer, as there was with Far Cry 2.

And let’s make a note of something about this third game as I close: It’s better than Far Cry 2. Whether or not you liked that game is, I think, irrelevant. Because it has kept what was good – the mad rallying of the driving, the fire propagation, the needlessly horrifying first-aid – and builds on everything else. For some people, I am sure, this will be game of the year. It’s certainly the game I hoped Far Cry 2 would be back in 2008. This new game doesn’t quite manage to clinch 2012 for me, but I have awkward tastes. For most people, I suspect, this will be cocktails and barbecues on the beach. Right as the year closes, we have another reason to be cheerful.

Far Cry 3 is released on November 29th in Europe, November 30th in the UK, and December 4th in the US.

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210 Comments »

  1. DickSocrates says:

    *scrolls hurriedly to the bottom* *ack, no score!* *goes to a different website*

      • dontnormally says:

        (he’s trolling)

      • vandinz says:

        Would be nice if you had a “would I buy it and why” section at the bottom if no score. Just to give those who cba reading the whole thing as an idea of what you thought.

        • Unaco says:

          I find (if it’s a WIT for a game I’m not interested in personally, but just want to know the Hivemind’s view on it) skipping to the bottom and reading the last paragraph is a pretty good way of getting the impression of the WIT. They always seem to be very good of summing everything up at the end there.

          • mr.black says:

            Agree. RPS, do not even think of changing your WITs, I’ll start throwing old paper at my screen when I’m on your site!

          • Jesus H. Christ says:

            I always read the last paragraph first too. As for changing the format, I’ll raise your ‘old paper’ and see you ‘used toilet paper’.

          • Kingdok says:

            dont ever change

        • gibb3h says:

          I’d like to see some more “Verdicts” complete with Optimus thumbs myself, but WITs are always informative given time to read them

        • Guvornator says:

          Just read the whole thing. It’s what it’s there for…

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          Gap Gen says:

          RPS, could you stop writing and just have a big smily face if you liked it and a big frowny face if you didn’t? Or like maybe a video of a happy duck and a sad puppy.

        • sonofsanta says:

          Dear Writer-person,

          When you have finished giving me lots of lovely words for free, as you do every day, being a true artist of the keyboard as well as a consummate professional, please write just a handful more so I can ignore all the other effort you put in for me because I am stupid like that.

          Yours,
          Someone who could go ANYWHERE ELSE ON THE INTERNET AND GET THIS but still feels the need to come to this perfect little corner and try and drag it down.

          (to actual RPS people, ignore them all. Even the people saying about the Optimus thumbs cos they were never on WITs anyway, they were for the verdicts. Silly people! Your words are marvellous, and all I need.)

          • limimi says:

            Dear Writer person,

            Some of your readers have some suggestions for things they would like. They aren’t demanding anything and they probably won’t hunt you down and kill you, or even stop reading, if you don’t do as they ask. They noticed a comment section at the bottom of your site and thought to themselves ‘you know what I would like? Thing. Maybe the writer persons haven’t considered it, I should mention it.’

            What utter, irrevocable stains on humanity.

          • Ich Will says:

            Maybe a computer game reviewer hasn’t considered game scores? Really? Thank god RPS doesn’t have scores.

          • Crazy Horse says:

            I give this comment a 8/10

          • scatterbrainless says:

            You just ruined RPS’s metacritic ratings rating. You horrible, horrible robot monster

        • grenadeh says:

          IT does have you are leaving the mission area. Often times you have no idea you’re leaving the mission area because it doesn’t actually show an area. The hunting missions all do, others do not necessarily, like chasing down the convoy near the end – which was my fault for not seeing the road in front of me.

    • elevown says:

      LOL- way to prove yourself a moron that nobody will miss!

      READ the god damn article and learn about the game and then descide if thats something you would enjoy! A score tells you NOTHING!

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      You must be new he – oh, you are gone. :/

    • Unaco says:

      Clearly though, it reads like a 7 out of 10.

      • VileJester says:

        No I’m sorry but to me it felt more like a 14,18 out of 17,3.

        • Unaco says:

          What’s that in Euros?

          • RiptoR says:

            I’m more interested in what the score would be in peggles…

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            Naum says:

            In Steam sales, it’s 33% off.

          • Unaco says:

            Meh… Peggles. Euros. What’s the difference?

          • Ich Will says:

            In the giant list of EVERYTHING RANKED BY SCORE, as compiled by metaranks.com who average everyones score on everything ever, it is situated between Star Trek Voyager and Director of Photography Philip Bloom. Sweet.

      • eco099 says:

        brink( horrible game ) was a 7/10 fable 3 was a 7/10 and farcry 2 was a 7.5 . FARCRY 3 reads like a 8.5 to 9 out of 10!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      It clearly says at the bottom there Far Cry 3.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      I would be interested to know how he clicked on the “opinion, away!” button, after navigating to a different website.

  2. Novotny says:

    What a pleasant surprise.

    • Ian says:

      That’s my feeling too. I’ve gone from months of ranging between “meh” and “It looks like it could be decent” to, upon reading this, “Oh……really? Well that looks splendid.”

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        Fontan says:

        My thoughts exactly. I enjoyed Far Cry 2 a whole lot and knowing that the third is even better has made me excited for this game now.

        • ramirezfm says:

          Same here. I loved FC2, maybe except respawning enemies, and I thought FC3 will be… somehow less of a game. Something like what Absolution did to Hitman, but now. I have to get it!

          If I can find it on Steam…

      • Screamer says:

        Nope not until I’m 10000% sure those respawning patrol checkpoints are gone! Otherwise bargain bin….maybe…

        Edit: Lol answered just below!

    • Low Life says:

      That it is. I’ll have to give this one a go – I really wanted to like FC2, but some of their design decisions made the game so frustrating that it was not possible.

    • elfbarf says:

      Indeed.
      I got my copy of the game for free from a friend of mine; I helped him build his PC and he gave me his voucher as he wasn’t very interested in it.

  3. GallonOfAlan says:

    Says ‘FarCry 2′ in the middle there, a bit of an old typo I think.

  4. Trithne says:

    Wait, does it have YOU ARE LEAVING THE MISSION AREA or not? I mean, isn’t it on an island like FC1, and you describe it as being explorey and stuff, but that first paragraph doesn’t have sarcasm tags or anything. How will I know?!

    • LukeNukem says:

      I read this as meaning yes.
      “It feels a little incongruous that the missions, when activated, have a mission area, and set limits – meaning you can fail and have to reload. But these are tight with the fiction, and have believable parameters for failure.”

      • Trithne says:

        harrrumph. That leaves me somewhat upset. I mean, I guess if they do fit the fiction and aren’t arbitrary on-screen death timers, then I can accept it. Have to wait and see.

      • Jim Rossignol says:

        Yes, that’s how it works. And it upset me initially, but actually it was fine.

        • frightlever says:

          Heh, it works in MMOs, like GW2 (why oh why does everyone hate you now, GW2? Can’t they see you’re still beautiful?) so why not. Probably better that than collecting a laundry list of side-quests to do that have to be run all over the whole map.

          Farcry 2 could have gone from a 6 to an 8 just by making the checkpoint re-spawns a little slower and ideally making faction standing mean something.

          I likes the sound of FW3 though.

          • haradaya says:

            There’s no respawn time. They respawn when you get far enough away from the checkpoint so that the land sort of leaves the computer’s memory. Then you come back it will have been reloaded and reset. An oversight, but not one I feel should put the game down as hard as people let it. The more you know.

          • scatterbrainless says:

            The respawns didn’t bug me as much as the rather erratic/nonexistent stealth. A strong stealth system would have made that game. By “made” I mean, “made more awesome than it already was, which was many an awesome.”

  5. Premium User Badge

    Faldrath says:

    Oh wow. Previous coverage of this game had turned me off, as it looked to be just too silly and limited, but this review hits all the right notes. It would be nice to finish the year with a decent FPS (and I did love FC2).

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      The beauty was buried there, all along :)

      I’ve played every ‘episode’ for want of a better word – all the Crysis games, both the Far Cry games, am a massive, massive fan, and to me it always looked like FC3 was going to have the best bits of all of them. Am really glad to see that is the case.

  6. aliksy says:

    I stopped playing Far Cry 2 because enemies would respawn minutes after I cleared them out. Has that been addressed?

    • Novotny says:

      I rather hated that myself. FC2 was a dreadful let down for me.

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      El_MUERkO says:

      yeah, constant re-spawning psychopaths was an immersion destroying fuck-up, as was removing all the pauses for breath in the dialogue

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      There’s a couple of set up fights where baddies spawn in a town, but they do not respawn at checkpoints in the world as per FC2. Instead lots of different stuff spawns randomly all over the island.

      Something I forgot to mention, actually, is that if you get into a big fight with pirates then after a couple of minutes a jeep turns up to reinforce them, which is a neat way of doing it. So they’re not “respanwning” but they do get back up.

      • Spider Jerusalem says:

        the respawning checkpoints is all i came for.

        now i can not hate this game.

        \o/

      • SuperNashwanPower says:

        Thats the old Far Cry 1 method – if you didnt take out a camp quick enough, one of them would sound an alarm and call in reinforcements. I think Far Cry 2 might even have had a ‘flare’ system along the same lines.

        I used to love trying to stealthily take out that first camp in Far Cry, nobbling the alarm button before some douche could press it :)

      • caddyB says:

        That’s acceptable I guess.

    • shagohad says:

      it also makes planning ahead an intersting factor, for example before taking a camp I mine the entrances, should things go sour and the back up be called, they all hit the mines on the way in….

      sigh… i love this game….

  7. yurusei says:

    “Far Cry 3 is released on November 29th in Europe, November 30th in the UK, and December 4th in the US”

    This perked my ears up. Later release for the US? Is this a typo error? Or proof that justice does exist in this world?

    • Unaco says:

      NO OCEANS!

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        Stellar Duck says:

        I can settle for reverse oceans just to annoy them a bit over there for once.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          Why would that annoy us? It’s honestly a non-issue.

          • Reefpirate says:

            Please just act annoyed to make them feel a bit better.

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            Stellar Duck says:

            Well, you’re right of course. It’s objectively a non-issue. But when you’re forced to wait most of week to play, say, Dishonored, it can get a mite frustrating when everybody and their dog are talking about it at great length.

            So I’ll take this opportunity to be petty, just to satisfy myself, if in a meaningless way.

          • Unaco says:

            Of course it’s an issue. It has its own tag on RPS and everything. There’s a twitter hashtag (#nooceans) and John regularly writes about it… he even wrote about it today, with Scribblenauts. Can’t be a non-issue if John is Crusading against it, surely. It’s almost as important to the future of gaming as Developers putting save games in the same place.

        • mr.black says:

          Heh. So someone at Ubisoft must have said something like “Deploy the Anti-oceans!”

    • Ottoman_SFE says:

      Distributing games to thousands of retailers for simultaneous release is complex, especially across multiple countries. Hence releases are often delayed a bit in Yourup since publishers don’t want to screw over every store with an early digital release.

    • KingCathcart says:

      Hello, so the UK in no longer part of Europe.

      Those sneaky Tories kept that one quiet.

  8. derbefrier says:

    Well I am sold. Sounds like a lot of fun. Co-op is always a plus too! But the US is the last to get it? Heresy I say!

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      I think the co-op is really limited, but I’ve not had a chance to look yet.

      • Premium User Badge

        Dilapinated says:

        The EG review said there was some sort of seperate campaign involving people going after their ex-captain, or somesuch.

  9. Squirly says:

    DORITOS!

    Am I doing this right?

    In all seriousness, I was getting kinda annoyed with all the trailers as of late. Probably just me, but it felt like I was getting swamped with info I didn’t really want to know in too much detail (because I like a bit of a clean slate in my gaming). Good that the game at least delivers.

  10. diebroken says:

    “That’s where this game’s mind is. Guns are basically free, with a bit of exploring, but the capacity to carry them, well, you have to gut that goat. Initially I couldn’t believe it”

    Hmm, perhaps… Do any of the guns have slings on them, or can’t you just loot dead bodies of the enemies for holsters/slings?

    • Salt says:

      Or you could skin the dead people. Possibly just use their limbs as-is.
      Decapitated pirate’s jaw used to holster a pistol. Use someone’s hand as a bipod attachment.

      It’s a world of possibilities!

  11. Surlywombat says:

    Do publishers take “box” quotes from comments sections on popular websites I wonder.. If they do they can have:

    “So far so good?”
    “This is one game that won’t make you cry?”

  12. Turin Turambar says:

    Bah, it’s easy to make a game better than Far Cry 2! :P

  13. Berious says:

    Omg that doggie looks adorable :3

  14. Xardas Kane says:

    Finally, I was worried for a second I’m not going to get my open-world fix for the year. Had high hopes for this one after this year’s E3, glad to hear it didn’t disappoint.

  15. Barnox says:

    What I desire to know is how deep the crafting hole goes.
    Am I just making a few bits that I’ll quickly tire of? A few holsters, a bandage or two and a ball of goat bait?

    Or is it a lot of things, like scopes, car improvements, “sprint-longer” pads for armour…?

    • The Random One says:

      I want to make an N2O tank for my car out of bear bones and mushrooms. And in the game.

  16. Vraptor117 says:

    Eh, I liked Far Cry 2′s more serious tone and setting that was refreshingly removed from the mainstream shooters of the time. Can you imagine another developer doing a game that involves a clear parallel to most African wars/genocides (especially since a few are still ongoing)?

    Anyways, this is about Far Cry 3 and I’m glad to see that it kept a good thing (fire) and added in something that FC2 was supposed to have (wild, predatory animals). I am disappointed that they threw parts of the baby out with the bath water (weapon wear, buddy system). Yes, some people did like those mechanics.

    I’m surprised that you didn’t say much about the guns. How do they sound, feel, play etc?

    Finally, a word of warning to others. Ubisoft barely supported FC2 after it was released, leaving a great game to wither on the vine. I will not purchase FC3 until I see evidence that this attitude has changed (and I don’t mean more DLC; I mean substantial, consistent patching of notable issues).

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      The feel of movement etc is good, but the guns are mixed. Shotguns seem a bit woolly, but the assault rifles and such are really tight.

      The most annoying thing, I think is that the AK, which is the easiest weapon to pick up ammo for, is very weak.

      The gunplay is pretty good overall, though, you just have to get tooled up.

      • almostDead says:

        There should be an industry standard shotgun sound and feel, that’s the absolute bare minimum agreed to induce a satisfying nod. Id should be benchmark for this. A pants shotgun feel shrivels my gaming enjoyment.

        • SuperNashwanPower says:

          This might be controversial, but I loved Doom 3′s shotgun the best. That awesome THUNK and seeming semi-deafness that followed. It almost sounded more like a massive metal piledriver, but still it was awesome.

  17. Phinor says:

    You mentioned the FOV slider but does it have any numbers attached to it? Hopefully it’s more than some silly five degree adjustment.

    Other than that, I had already decided to ignore this game. Now that the reviews have hit Internet, I’m not so sure anymore.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      It’s a multiplier of the standard one, rather than in degrees. Goes up to 1.5, I think, so I guess that’s about 90? Maybe.

  18. povu says:

    If it doesn’t have the malaria feature it’s already instantly better than Far Cry 2.

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    Lambchops says:

    Never liked FC1 and was put off FC2 by people’s descriptions of it.

    However this review has me intrigued I have to admit. The main thing that puts me off open world games is a lack of focus and narrative, sure I like to explore and wander, but I evnetually get bored of the sandbox. From the sounds of it, it seems like this game is more aligned to giving me what I want to do.

    Would be surprising if a series I’d written off provided me with a really enjoyable game but it would be a pleasant surprise. May well pick this up later on.

    • almostDead says:

      I can’t see anything not to like in FC1 until the aliens. FC, the original, blew my mind in the open world, kill people by any approach, steal a boat if you want to, gameplay. I don’t think I’d ever played an FPS like it.

      • SuperNashwanPower says:

        Agreed – FC was stunning to me. I lost count how many times I replayed it. I actually liked the mutants, so I must be the only person on earth who did.

        The later SWAT team type enemies were so cool though. I loved the weapons as well – that scoped assault rifle made me feel badass.

        • gibb3h says:

          Yeah, I liked the Mutants too, wish they’d made an actual sequel to it

      • Premium User Badge

        Lambchops says:

        I never got past being sniped through massive amounts of foliage by guys I couldn’t see.

        Clearly all the perseverance I had towards such things was drained by hours spent getting past the sniper town level in Allied Assault as a young lad!

        Perhaps I should fish out the box from wherever it is stored and give it another try.

        • YourMessageHere says:

          If you do, it sounds like you need the binoculars. Use them to scout ahead and they’ll put a little radar dot on your minimap once you’ve spotted an enemy – completely eliminates the “I’ve been shot from nowhere, again”-type frustration.

  20. Roz says:

    I didn’t(and probably won’t) play far cry 2, but far cry 3 looks great! Not £40 great, but will definitely pick it up in a sale.

  21. SirKicksalot says:

    Can we get a second opinion from Brendan Caldwell? His hands-on raised some huge concerns for me.

      • SirKicksalot says:

        Most importantly, the plethora of AC Brotherhood style chores and unlockables. That’s too “gamey” for me. Eurogamer says FC3 is Ubi’s best game since ACB, so my alarm bells are ringing. IB Times (I know) criticised FC3 for having a patronising fixation on content.

        For the record, Skyrim and AC2 are games whose theme park design never bothered me but ACB was too much.

        Also Brendan notes that FC3 feels too safe compared to FC2. FC2 keywords: oppression, isolation, anxiousness, grittiness.

        Edit: is it just me or is some of my text red?!

        • luukdeman111 says:

          What kind of sorcery is this? It’s pretty red indeed….

        • SuperNashwanPower says:

          For me its all black. It has Jim’s pink border though, for extra manliness

        • m3metix says:

          In the review Jim mentions it being “a gamey game” and from the gameplay videos I’ve seen it does look like they put some Assassin’s Creed in there. This isn’t a big deal to me, especially since it looks like they put the right parts of AC in, but if you want something that approaches immersion the same way FC2 did or focuses more on simulation like STALKER then you might find it lacking.

        • Jim Rossignol says:

          I don’t think it’s any more themeparky than Skyrim, but equally it’s no Stalker.

          It’s bright and hyper-violent. re Unlockables, most of it makes sense within the fiction, and I didn’t bother with a lot of them. It’s mostly just a big open-world riot. Similar to FC2, but with much more joy to it. It might be FC2 without the grit, but they replaced the grit with, I dunno, cocaine or something.

          • SuperNashwanPower says:

            I really wish someone would just produce a complete and utter rip off of STALKER. I want to rob a bank and give 4A Games a billion quid to do it.

            I’m still pining for the loss of STALKER 2, and we’ve had so many “nearly but not quite’s” dangled. First it was off, then on, then off.. Survarium looks OK if you are a MP type person (which I am not personally), and we had the news about Bethesda picking it up which came to nought … sigh.

            TBH my one consolation is waiting for Lost Alpha to come out to get me some more Chernobylian vodka-soaked tuna sandwiches (its been delayed :( ). I miss being in that world. Dumb thing to say I know, but it felt awesome being there.

  22. matnym says:

    From the footage I’ve seen the UI looks really bad annoying. It’s funny they decided to do the exact opposite of the one of few features they got amazingly right in Far Cry 2; the minimalistic UI.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Yep, it’s terrible.

      And you don’t get FC2′s awesome map, either. The map in FC3 is truly rubbish.

      • felisc says:

        what ? noOoOOo i loved that map.

      • SuperNashwanPower says:

        Is this going to be moddable?

        • Jim Rossignol says:

          Unlikely. The multiplayer map ed seems like the only concession in that direction.

          • SuperNashwanPower says:

            BOO

            Hopefully if it fires the community imagination, they will figure out how to hackily make it moddable, Dark Souls style.

      • TheTingler says:

        Also under no circumstances buy the Loot maps from the store. They basically break the main map, or at least they did for me.

        Also annoying: on some missions 20+ hours into the game being told to “hold Left Shift for Sprint” or “Hold C for Crouch; crouching silences your movements”. Very small annoyances, but I don’t know why Ubisoft felt the need for those “helpful” messages. The main mission reminders are indeed very pushy, popping up every few minutes.

    • Arglebargle says:

      For me, bad UI is the difference between full price now and $10 a while from now. It’s also sometimes the difference between playing the game, or deleting it from the hard drive and bemoaning the loss of $10.

  23. CaLe says:

    Why can’t I get this on Steam? Americans can get it there.

  24. magicwalnuts says:

    Great Wot I Think, Jim. As per usual, your review tips me into the, “want to buy” category. As opposed to the other, less exciting one, that your WITs wisely steer me away from. But I’m wondering, you make some oblique references to another, or other recent shooters that promised open world game play and didn’t deliver. I’m wondering what game/s you’re referring to?

  25. SuperNashwanPower says:

    I TOLD YOU ALL WHAHOOOO
    I SAID IT WOULD BE AWESOME
    I said some stuff about people from Basildon too
    NOW YOU ALL WANT IT
    Yayyyyyyyyyyy
    **basks in the glow of the very shallowest of personal validation**
    **Hugs Jim**
    **Waits for pre-order to show up**
    |Also sorry, Basildon.

  26. Hematite says:

    Jim, the thing I really liked about Far Cry 2 (arguably the only thing to like) was its unusual and well-realised setting. Far Cry 3 sounds like a significantly better game in general, but the setting sounds very ‘generic jungle’ which would be a shame. Can you comment on how the island ‘feels’ when you’re just tooling around not involved in the plot?

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      I’d also be curious to know how / if the combat compares to the Crysis games. A lot of the videos showed gunplay that really reminded me of the slick, satisfying shooting of Crysis 1 and Warhead.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      It’s less interesting as a setting than FC2, but more interesting as a world, if you see what I mean. It’s a bit more generic jungle isle, but there’s SO much going on.

      Re combat: I didn’t feel it was super polished gunplay, but the possibilities mean it’s always fun. Go in stealthy, stab dudes, and when the alarm is finally sounded, set everything on fire and run away screaming. It’s great stuff.

      • SuperNashwanPower says:

        Sounds good to me.
        Also, I want to punch a shark with a piece of C4, in an aquatic suicide pact (that the shark probably didn’t agree to). Hopefully I can do this.

  27. Lokik says:

    Pleasantly surprised to hear that the game is great. Loved the first one (except those stupid monsters, of course) and the second was fun until I learned that the checkpoints respawn. Will definitely check this one out.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      Three words for those mutants:

      Point blank shotgun :)

  28. GreatUncleBaal says:

    I bloody loved Far Cry 2 and its limited open world, for all its faults. I was wanky enough to start one of my missions in a river at sunset, queueing up “The End” by The Doors, and paddling towards the village where my target lay. There was more gunfire and less cow-bifurcation than Apocalypse Now, but it was great fun nonetheless.
    Hearing they’ve worked even more on the “open worldiness” and ironed out some of the kinks is hugely appealing. For some reason this hadn’t really been on my radar, but I’m going to have to take a look now.

    • Lagwolf says:

      What no ride of the Valkyries? Just kidding… I like to play games with my own music in the background too & yes I select it for the right vibe for the game.

  29. bob. says:

    Released in Europe before US! This single time, suck it bitches! We are the Alpha region! Hahaha!

    • Syra says:

      I am Alpharius.

    • geoffreyk says:

      So when the UK is behind the US in releases, we’re all in agreement about oceans and the internet. But it goes the other way around, and look who doesn’t seem to care?

      Hypocrites!
      /s

  30. dongsweep says:

    So where is the cheapest place to pick this up for steam? I see my trusted Green Man Gaming is running a 20% off sale and Far Cry is sadly absent!

    And thanks Jim, you made me buy this. I was on the fence before but you touched on all the parts I was concerned about. Great review!

    • Phinor says:

      It doesn’t activate on Steam so if you want it on Steam, you have to buy from Steam. Cruel, I know.

      There’s one remote possibility that Amazon.com asks Ubisoft for some special made Steam keys like they did with AC3, but I wouldn’t put any hope on that actually happening.

    • almostDead says:

      I just went to GMG from the UK and there appears to be a 30% coupon specifically associated with FC3. It is about £25. Seems to be a great deal.

      • SuperNashwanPower says:

        IF they actually have enough keys and process your order properly. A lot of people end up waiting some time after release for their keys, or GMG fails to take payment (they claim that banks believe they are a gambling site and block them, however when my bank looked GMG had just failed to take the money. There was no block).

        Others may find them OK, but their forums suggest that my experience is quite a common one. The low price is great, but buyer beware.

    • Salt says:

      I don’t think it’s Steam codes, but there have been a few preorder offers on friend-of-RPS SavyGamer.co.uk for £20.

      Although maybe I should link the recent feature on preordering.

  31. Rao Dao Zao says:

    Gosh, they let you disable mouse acceleration? Next they’ll be giving us crosshairs.

  32. yourgrandma says:

    Has the AI improved? Can you actually attempt (non scripted) stealth in this game?

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      Not to be a dick (well OK maybe a tiny bit) but I could stealth to my hearts content in both games. You could even pull it off in FC1 with ‘loud’ weapons by being super-accurate with single-round fire mode, then moving quickly from where you fired. The AI would search where you were. Then there was the silenced MP5 but it was weak at range. You had to get close.

      FC2 you really needed for the sun to be down for stealth to work – the difference was like night and day. Lol. Pun. Ha har. Har. Someone here did mention a way to do it in daylight too, but for me I could only pull it off when it was dark. Silenced pistol was best, headshot. The dart gun was ok too but limited ammo.

      • yourgrandma says:

        Far cry had plenty of foliage to hide in making stealth possible. Far cry 2′s AI was broken for stealth and was pretty much instantly alerted by anything which in turn let everyone knew exactly where you were. Also the savanna didn’t have many places to hide, You couldn’t even go prone in the grass. I don’t even think the bushes provided cover anyways.

        • almostDead says:

          Didn’t you just have to buy the camo suit in FC2, then stealth worked during the day as you thought it would?

          I liked FC2 apart from the enemy respawns, fixed weapon loadouts and the fact there was no point picking any guns up.

        • SuperNashwanPower says:

          @grandma – go back and set your (in game) watch til night. Now try it.

          Suddenly all those supermen with binocular vision will be pussy cats ;) You do have to be quick with kills, but its perfectly do-able. Also yes you do need the camo suit, but it does eff all if the sun is out.

        • Dervish says:

          Far Cry 2′s stealth is certainly twitchy in a few ways (foliage can hide you, tall grass does not in my experience), but if you want to talk realism, only being able to kill 2-3 guys at most before some kind of noise gives you away is not unreasonable.

          It may be “broken” in terms of not fulfilling the gamey “I should be able to kill everyone in the base without any alerts” expectation that we’ve all been trained for, but it’s really not as stupid as it is often portrayed.

          Fussy and unpredictable, sure–even annoying–but I object to the idea that myopic deaf guards that make stealth easy should be described as “improved” in terms of AI. One might wonder why we expect to be able to walk up behind a man and kill him with a machete in perfect silence.

          • SuperNashwanPower says:

            Maybe I got a patch all you guys missed, but I could happily take out whole bases without being detected. It was tough but very doable. Odd, feels like I was playing a different game.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Yes, you can stealth in a non-scripted (and scripted) way. The Ai isn’t great, though. Functionally complete, is how I would describe it.

  33. DK says:

    So have they completely ruined the incredible beauty of nature from FarCry2 by making it silly and over the top? Because the screenshots sure look like someone slapped FarCry 2 with a Saints Row 3 silly-filter.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      Can’t wait for my unlockable tribal fertility dildo bat

    • Dervish says:

      Nature is not as brown as you may have been led to believe. Not even in Africa.

  34. Neurotic says:

    Well chalk me up for a bit of this. I’m thoroughly ‘meh’ on the Crysis series, but the Far Criers can do no wrong in my tiger-skin book.

  35. RagingLion says:

    Wow. This is a review that amttered for me and that I needed. Far Cry 2 is one of my favourite games – I loved everything about it in the previews before that came out but I haven’t been grabbed by this one. I’m still not convinced I’ll like this one as much despite your own statement to the contrary but maybe I’ll give this a go now.

  36. Premium User Badge

    bear912 says:

    “… the needlessly horrifying first-aid…”
    They kept that? Heck yes! I’m sold.

  37. almostDead says:

    Reading this has made me reinvestigate what FC2 mods exist. It doesn’t look too promising, but FC2 could be really, really worthwhile I think with some tweaks.

  38. AJ_Wings says:

    I totally forgot about this game…

    Oh well, time to rectify that mistake! *goes to steam*

    • almostDead says:

      ….. to find the Autumn sale has started and get totally fucking sidetracked buying like World of Goo and Gemini Rue and XCOM instead.

      • LennyLeonardo says:

        World of Goo and Gemini Rue. World of Rue and Gemini Goo . Goo Rue Rue Goo. Goo Goo Rue. Rue Goo Goo. I’m stuck.

  39. Premium User Badge

    The Sombrero Kid says:

    because it’s ubisoft i’m going to assume it’s got activation limits till proven otherwise and not buy it if it turns out to not have activation limits i might pick it up when i’ve more time to play it, sounds decent

  40. Berzee says:

    One way in which it will not be better than Far Cry 2 is in the Wholesome Clothing department.
    Thus: hopefully it’s better than Far Cry 2 in the modding department. o_O

  41. Totally heterosexual says:

    Soooooooooo… does the tribal lady get naked?

    THIS IS IMPORTANT MAN

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      Is she Vaas’s sister? They look scarily alike. However, noticing that means you can no longer find her attractive.

      • Totally heterosexual says:

        You kidding? That just makes it better.

        Vaas himself is nothing less then a hottie.

        • SuperNashwanPower says:

          You might like the YouTube videos then. Look up Far Cry Experience – I think its the actor they based Vaas on.

          The “movies” themselves I found really disturbing, and Vaas amazingly psychotic. He sent a bit of a creepy chill up my spine in a way thats hard to put my finger on. Oh here they are:

          http://far-cry.ubi.com/fc-experience/en-GB/episode1/index.aspx

          • Totally heterosexual says:

            Evil is sexy afterall.

            Also no one answered my question :(

  42. Eight Rooks says:

    Surprised an RPS writer seemed to like the story more than the other reviews I’ve read so far. After the pitiful mess Clint Hocking left of the plot (such as it was) in Far Cry 2, and the way absolutely nothing you ever did made any significant emotional difference to the world… I already thought Vaas seemed surprisingly disturbing, actually honest-to-God disturbing, for a videogame villain but to hear that people whose opinions I actually listen to seem to be enjoying the fiction here is a lot more than I was expecting.

    (Seriously, I could barely stand Far Cry 2′s witless storytelling, and was pretty much disgusted by the ending – words and the business of getting them in the right order are pretty important to me, and there are few other videogames who did this so badly it felt like a slap in the face. I’d very much like the best bits of FC 2 with an actual entertaining narrative, pulpy or otherwise, ta.)

    • simulant says:

      The frat boy protagonist and contrived back story have me cringing after 30 min of play. If it were a movie I’d have walked out already.

      I could also do without the crafting system. One of my first tasks is to kill two pigs in order to make a bigger backpack out their skin. Pretty silly considering I ran past something like five unused duffel bags while escaping, not to mention wasteful. Not my idea of fun…. hope the combat is worth it.

      Making a syringe out of green leaves can only be described as magical.

  43. vandinz says:

    The fact they’ve allowed reviews to be released before the launch of the game tells me they’re confident people will like it. PC Gamer gave it 89 so things are looking good.

  44. Premium User Badge

    JiminyJickers says:

    Can you actually save whenever you want? i.e. not just make a save game that goes back to your latest checkpoint.

    If it is purely checkpoints, then I’m going to cry.

    • neofit says:

      I’d like some more information on this one too. Apparently there are checkpoints and you can save anywhere from the menu. But the lack of a quiksave button is rather strange for a proper save-anywhere system. The way it is worded in the article makes me think that there are checkpoints, and you can use the menu to manually save *your status*, e.g. exp, inventory, etc., but that upon reload you will still respawn at the location of the last checkpoint, not where you made your save. I hope I am wrong. I do not want death to have any meaning in terms of wasted time in any silly single-player shooter.

  45. kalidanthepalidan says:

    Most importantly… dothenpcstalkthefastesteverandstringalloftheirsentencestogether?

  46. cocanut says:

    Poor Mrs Rossignol :(

  47. Syra says:

    You had me at paragraph one.

  48. requisite0 says:

    BUT WHAT ABOUT MOD TOOLS!?

    :’(

  49. mr_jones says:

    Please, please tell me Ubisoft have reduced the respawn rate of enemies at checkpoints to something a bit more reasonable. In Far Cry 2 you could kill everyone at a checkpoint, drive down the road for ten seconds, turn around, come back, and they’d all have respawned. It made getting around a massive chore as you kept having to kill the same enemies at the same checkpoints over and over again, it was so tedious.

  50. Bob says:

    Oooh, thanks Jim. I’d pre-order but I’m broke, fortunately I think it’s released here in Australia around the 30th…a payday. Damn fortnightly wages.