Review of Far Cry 3

by Paul

With beautiful scenery and a long, enjoyable campaign, Far Cry 3 certainly was worth the four year wait!

Ubisoft's Far Cry series is well known for its looks and also its large, open worlds. Far Cry 3 is no different as it sees you, Jason Brody, attempt to learn the jungles of the Rook Islands in order to save your friends initially from Vaas, the crazed pirate lord of the island.

Speaking of the Rook Islands, Far Cry 3's game world is much larger than its predecessors. Each area is filled with its own wildlife from sharks to cassowaries! There's also plenty of collectables and challenges to satisfy the completionists bringing the game's total length to an impressive minimum of 30 hours.

The Campaign

Far Cry 3's campaign starts with you being teased and held captive in a cage by Vaas with your brother Grant. After a daring escape, Grant gets killed and Vaas chases you away, leaving you to fend for yourself.

From here, the campaign sees you attempt to rescue the rest of your friends from the pirates with the help of the local tribal people, the Rakyat.

They teach you that in order to survive and free your friends, you must learn the ways of the jungle. Part of this process involves getting tataus (tattoos) which is a new and novel method of representing a character's skills and rank.

As with previous instalments of the series, the island is littered with outposts which can be liberated to provide you with safe houses, fast travel points and gun vendors.

The number of outposts in the game is pretty much spot on. There's roughly two per "section" of the map and that's more than enough to keep you occupied without becoming bored.

There are also multiple rewards for clearing an outpost of enemies. Getting caught and allowing the pirates to sound an alarm will net you 500xp plus several waves of re-enforcements, getting caught but without an alarm being sounded will grant you 550xp and finally purging an outpost without being detected at all will give you a lovely 1500xp - well worth it.

An enemy outpost in Far Cry 3
An enemy outpost in Far Cry 3

Each "segment" of the map can be revealed via the disabling of radio-scrambling antennae. Doing this also adds the locations of side missions and distractions on the map, more guns become available at various vendors and also the occasional free weapon.

There's plenty to do other than the main storyline in Far Cry 3. "Path Of The Hunter" quests see you hunting rare animals in order to craft their hides into the highest tiered, most useful items for yourself.

Supply deliveries are a timed event and send you racing through the jungle on a variety of different vehicles passing marked out flares to deliver medial supplies to needing tribesmen for a monetary and XP reward.

As such events are only unlocked after disabling the antennae, it means that you're not barraged with millions of things to do at once and instead are fed a steady stream of optional things to do.

If you somehow manage to get bored of all the missions Far Cry 3 provides for you, you can hunt the local wildlife for more of their hides to again further develop your character. Doing so allows you to increase ammo capacity, inventory size and quiver capacity amongst others.

With so much on offer, it's almost impossible to get bored on the Rook Islands.

Hunting deer in Far Cry 3
Hunting deer in Far Cry 3

Graphics & Audio

The Rook Islands are stunning - there's no denying that. Ubisoft have done an excellent job at creating a great looking jungle environment without everything feeling similar.

There's plenty of variation. Some areas are beach themed whereas others are thick dense jungle. It provides you with enough of a difference to really notice when you step from one area to another.

Far Cry 3 has a day/night cycle and this is something which always seems to make me enjoy games more. There's something about sneaking around during the middle of the night that makes it that much better. Plus, it's a pretty sight if you happen to be hang gliding off a large cliff at sunrise.

One complaint would be that there's somewhat of a lack of weather. It's very bipolar over at the Rook Islands, it's either bright and sunny, or violently stormy. Perhaps smoother transitions or intermediate stages of weather would've worked better.

The guns in Far Cry 3 sound very meaty and sound like they're really going to do some damage which is always a good thing. Far too many times a game feels like you're playing a NERF simulator if a gun has weak audio.

The wildlife's audio helps to make the game far more atmospheric. I've had experiences where I've been sneaking up to take out an outpost before hearing 'ssssss', looking down and finding a cobra at my feet. Little events such as this add that extra edge to the game which really sets it apart from others.

Never smile at a crocodile...
Never smile at a crocodile...


Personally, I feel that Far Cry 3's multiplayer isn't as good as the single player. This being said, I've never really felt Far Cry as anything more than a single player experience, so it's not that much of a bother to me.

It's a generic multiplayer. Similar to most FPS games. It has the standard controls, but it also has a few little quirks which actually make it unique, such as the ability to land hallucinogenics on the map, forcing enemy players to view everyone as a target.

It's by no means a bad multiplayer. It's certainly enjoyable, but I wouldn't say that it's Far Cry 3's strongest point and I feel that Ubisoft didn't try to make it the next best online game which was the correct decision as I feel they'd of sacrificed a lot of the single player to enhance the multiplayer.

The guns feel and act just as they do in single player and the map and level designs are interesting too. I can't remember the last time I played on maps that were set on a tropical island and it's certainly a fresh feeling, but I'm not sure how long that will last.

One amazing part of Far Cry 3 is the map editor. It's one of the best I've seen allowing for full customisability. It's very easy to use and users have the ability to share and download other people's maps as well as playing multiplayer games on them.

Far Cry 3's exceptional map editor
Far Cry 3's exceptional map editor


Far Cry 3's certainly worth a buy if only for the single player. It's one of the better looking games of 2012 and is definitely worth a look if you enjoy any form of open world games.

If you take the multiplayer to be free content then it's actually reasonable. It shouldn't be bought with hopes of playing just the multiplayer, but it's a decent addition to an already incredible game.

Its excellent campaign and gameplay is going to keep you occupied for a long time yet and when you've managed to complete it, other users' created maps will keep you entertained for a few extra hours.

Overall, Far Cry 3 is potentially my favourite release of 2012 and has kept me glued to my screen ever since I got my hands on it. Other games that're meant to be reviewed are still in their cellophane wrappers thanks to this!

Far Cry 3

Far Cry 3 X360

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Far Cry 3

Far Cry 3 PS3

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Updated: 01/19/2013, Paul
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Seelyon on 06/20/2015

I revisted Far Cry 3 not too long ago (while waiting for Far Cry 4 release) and its still my favourite from the franchise.

Paul on 01/10/2013

At the moment it's going to be stupidly expensive for a console: $999. If they got it to maybe half I think it'll do well.

JoHarrington on 01/10/2013

Sounds exciting. I'll look out for that.

Paul on 01/07/2013

By steam I meant valve and not yet, but it's in the pipeline. I'm hoping it's a modular pc console thingy meaning that you can buy and easily replace components of the console whenever it's needed :)

JoHarrington on 01/07/2013

Steam has a console? :o

Paul on 01/07/2013

Might be wise to see about steam's console first! :)

JoHarrington on 01/07/2013

I really need to get an XBox.

Paul on 01/02/2013

I think one of the best features about Far Cry 3 is that you can neglect the main story missions and still really enjoy yourself. I wouldn't recommend totally neglecting the storyline, but for people that have issues with not being able to play for extended periods of time, it's a great game to have just to play for 10, maybe 20 minutes a day and still have it feel very productive!

I'm finding it very hard to think of reasons why people wouldn't enjoy this game. It's pretty much impossible not to like it and it's certainly ranked very highly in my top 5 of 2012 which will (hopefully) be out shortly!

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