Far Cry 3

AKA Wildlife Death Fun…

AKA Kill All Dogs, AKA Woohoo Hang Glider…

Hey! Long time no see! Hope you are well.

As usual, I’ve been away doing things, like moving in with my girlfriend, and being a prick. But I’m back! Again. And I’ve been playing Far Cry 3.

“But didn’t you hate Far Cry 2?” I hear me ask myself. “Yes, I did” I reply, one eyebrow arched at the thought of the verbal slapdown that is to come. “So if you hated Far Cry 2 so much, then why did you get Far Cry 3?” I ask myself, with a bit too much sarkiness for my liking. The eyebrow drops to match the other, as the retort falls out of my lips; “it lets you kill sharks”.

Now don’t get me wrong; in real life, I don’t give a shit about sharks. Apart from basking sharks (which are shit), most types of shark live thousands of miles away from me. I don’t care what happens to them. Well, if they went extinct I’d be a bit pissed off, I guess, but generally I live a shark-free existence. In Far Cry 3 though, I live for shooting sharks. Little underwater leggy-chompy bastards. One of the gun holsters that my character has in Far Cry 3 is made out of shark skin. I know this because I shot a couple of sharks, sliced the skin off their corpses, and made a holster out of it. This fact makes me happy.

Anyway, sharks aside, there’s a bigger point to be made here. Finally, someone has made a Far Cry game that I like. No, better than that, I fucking love it.

So what is Far Cry 3 like? Well, it’s kinda like Far Cry 2 (calm down!), but without a lot of the frustrations, and with a fucking fuckton of fun. Seriously, I haven’t just ran around a game world for the fuck of it like I have in this game since, ooh, Just Cause 2? It’s like a Club 18-30 holiday for an adventurous psychopath who hates animals. You can steal cars, you can borrow dune buggies, you sometimes find a quad bike or three, and sometimes you can even throw yourself off a mountain via hang glider! Madness!

And along the way, don’t forget to look at all the exotic wildlife, which delights in eating some human. Probably getting their own back on behalf of all the cows, pigs and horses. Bastards.

Your roam around a tropical island is initially forced via tutorial missions, which take about an hour to get through. Then it’s up to you – follow the story missions, unlock more of the map, clear out some of the enemy outposts (which then become fast travel locations for you to use); there’s never less than a billion things to be done at any one time, and it’s totally up to you as to what you do, or when. For example, as soon as I could, I went on the kind of rampage that would give the WWF heart attacks. No, not that WWF, the one about animals. I basically rampaged my way across the place with a machine gun, determined to skin everything I could get away with to make all the weapon holsters, wallets and backpacks you can (Weapon holsters give you an extra weapon slot, bigger wallets let you carry more money (?!) and bigger backpacks let you hold more things in general). So yeah, my hitherto-unknown accessorising side made an appearance and forced me to bling myself up. So I did.

After a good few hours, I’d slaughtered enough species to start my own “exotic meats” company, and I wanted more. MORE, ALWAYS MORE. So then I decided to open as much of the map as I could, which involves going into uncharted territory, finding a radio tower there, climbing up to the top of them (it’s worth pointing out here that only two of them have snakes on, but the fact that ANY of them have snakes on makes me spend hours going up them, a millimetre at a time. I fucking hate snakes. Anyway, I digress; I was talking about opening the map up by climbing the towers….), opening a power box and removing a chip board, and voila! Another section of the map is unveiled, a free ride on a zipline to somewhere exciting, and I’m off again. ALWAYS MORE TO DO.

According to Steam, I’ve played this game for 36 hours now. I’ve done four? Maybe five of the story missions? And I did two of them today. And I’ve still not unlocked the second island. And I’m still finding new things.

Now I know that I’ve done fucking loads of the stuff you’re meant to do between missions. I also know I’ve not done any of the “drop these medicines off to the villagers before the time runs out!” missions, because they’re shit, so fuck them. Basically, I’ve done all the awesome shit first, and left the rest. Which is cool! Because you shouldn’t be forced to play the shit parts. In fact, playing the story missions today made me realise that the designers have done a superb job of making the enforced, the-player-must-complete-this stuff really entertaining, and the stuff that isn’t as strong is relegated to optional. Awesome!

What you need to know, what I need to communicate to you, is that Far Cry 3 is brilliant. You start out being hopeless at it, but then you work out what you have to do to survive, to make it easier on yourself, and by then you’ve gone from “oh god I’ve got to kill a tiger but I’ve only got two clips for this pistol and I’m gonna die I’m gonna die” to “I’m going to kill seven men by using only two bullets from my sniper rifle. Watch this”.

Oh, and in case you give a shit, the story is a bit terrible. Nice use of a mass grave though, reminded me of the only decent part of Homefront. Oh, and whoever plays Vaas gives a decent, hammy, let’s go loop-de-doop mental performance as the bad guy, which is a stark contrast to everyone else. Oh, and the co-op missions are fucking cool, too. Not tried dethmatch stuff yet. Co-op is awesome enough.

Overall – nineteen dead and skinned tapirs out of an island.

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