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IHC Video Game Reviews: Far Cry 3 (Xbox 360)

For those that don’t know, Far Cry is an FPS with an RPG element. Think a realistic version of Borderlands. In this iteration, you play as Jason Brody. Now, I don’t want to give away the main plot lines (google the intro video if you must know), but let’s just say you are forced to become the “hero”. While you’re busy saving your friends, you also get to learn the way of the Rakyat, the local warrior tribe on the island.

GAMEPLAY

Since I’m skipping over the Story line, I’m going to break up the gameplay into 2 parts.

PART 1

Being a first person shooter, it handles about the same as similar titles. The cool thing about FC3 is that your arms are almost always in frame. Whether you’re swimming, climbing, or driving, you get the perception that you are physically doing the activity. It took me a minute to grasp the entirety of that, but once I did, the game started to feel “more real” to me. An example would be the driving. At first, I was overcorrecting my steering, but once I focused on my hands on the wheel, it made that aspect a lot more fluid.

Another huge point in the game is the stealth mechanics. Let me tell ya, the stealth in this game is truly remarkable. You have an endless supply of rocks that you can toss near an enemy to get him walking in a certain direction. The great thing about this is that you can absolutely fuck with the AI. I’ve lead enemies straight into a group of Komodo dragons just to watch them get torn apart. And it was extremely gratifying. With that, you also have the ability to “stay hidden”. When you’re near an enemy and undetected, you can perform a Stealth Takedown. There is a certain exhilaration when you execute one of these moves. I’ve literally had my own heart pounding while I would be closing in on my victim. Oh, and you can actually snipe enemies and not alert the rest of the faction (unless they see the body). If you are seen, you can still duck back into cover. At that point, since the guards are alerted, they will fan out and look for you. But not in that “they know exactly where you are”, but the “they know the general vicinity and will spread out and search for you” way. This actually works to your advantage since they’ll break off into a search party and that makes them easier to hunt! But it does lead me to a gripe. After clearing out an enemy camp, there will be times where more guys will sneak up. In the scheme of things, it makes sense, but it doesn’t make it any less annoying though.

PART 2

The RPG aspect is well done. There’s a skill tree system that gives you “warrior boosts”.   There are three different skill sets based off of animals (Heron, Shark, and Spider). As you level up these skills, you gain tattoos that correspond with your rise up the warrior chain. As I’m only about a dozen or so hours into the game, I haven’t figured out the actual importance, but I’m sure it will present itself soon. As with the skill tree, you can upgrade all of accessories. These upgrades pertain to ammo packs, arrow quivers, your wallet, and a handful of other items. The cool thing about this is that everything is upgraded using animal pelts. This puts a unique spin on it as you have to hunt for your upgrades. And trust me when I say that this can pose difficult. Plus, it’s not every day you can say you killed and skinned 2 leopards just to upgrade your wallet!

OTHER STUFF

While there is a lot of stuff going on, the pacing of the game is good. You never feel obligated to carry on the main story quest, and it doesn’t effect your ability to level up. In fact, I’ve spent most of my time going around trying to collect relics and opening up the map. The scenery and environment feels like a big playground. And the new areas you open up expose additional side quests.  This alone can make you forget about the actual mission. 

Weapons are critical in this game, but I’ve done most of my killin’ with the hunting knife. There’s a certain joy you can take away from sneaking up on an enemy or animal and planting a couple quick strikes to the jugular. But most of you probably won’t giggle like I do. 

On a side note, when you collect items and unlock things, you have to read the blurb about them. Whoever wrote those has a serious dislike for his ex-wife and mother in law.

OVERALL

While this game is certainly fantastic, it’s not without it’s flaws. The angles while in stealth and while driving could use some refinement. And not being able to shoot an enemy through a flimsy wooden structure is kind of annoying. But the game does equip you with a camera that you can use to scan a compound and track the enemy. So, the nit-picky points are easily drowned out by the originality and other perks. And the lead bad guy (Vaas), is definitely rememberable. Even if he is a just a wee bit psychopathic. So, I give this game a solid 4/5 hearts. It’s definitely worth sinking some time in as it’s not your run of the mill Call of Duty games. Oh, and you can hunt sharks with a sniper rifle!


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