I am, I assume, halfway through the story of Far Cry 3, because I haven’t gotten to the second island yet, but have killed the pirate guy… apparently.
I have… a few complaints.
Don’t know the best place to begin, so I’ll just start into it. Far Cry 3 is a shooter… specifically a good feeling shooter. The movement and combat feels natural – meaning my character pretty much does what I have in mind when I press the buttons that will presumably make him do it. The weapon sounds are nice, and the enemy death animations are nice… and all that. The shooting aspects are well-rounded. But there’s far more than shooting in this game. And in nearly every other category, it falls short, if not completely misses the mark.
And the game is pretty, too, but not as pretty as I expected. I know graphics can only be so important to gameplay, but from Crytek, I’ve come to expect the best. Crysis was absolutely amazing graphically back in its day. And Far Cry 2 topped even that! But when Far Cry 3 developers were tempted with the idea of a GIANT explorable world, they gave in, and as a result gave up the adept graphic methods. Don’t get me wrong, it looks great for the most part, but certain nuances I really miss. For example, in Crysis, back in 2007, the leafy bushes around the player would bounce and move as he crept through them giving a real nice sense of mass from first-person view. Far Cry 3 did not include that. Also, you could shoot through tree branches and stuff, making the trees a lot more interactive than Far Cry 3’s trees which are just environmental prettiness. And a huge thing with Crysis was the deconstructable structures. You could throw a grenade and watch a shack blow apart into pieces, or even punch through walls. That aspect left. As a result of these things, Far Cry 3’s world feels a lot more… static. But that’s the price you pay for such a big map without load times. And about the environment… the island motif has kind of been done to death at this point. If we are going to go back to the island setting, it would have to be absolutely killer to make up for the unoriginality. Needless to say, this game doesn’t quite do that.
Now, I would like to mention how much I don’t like the first-person cut scenes. They suck. If that’s going to happen, at least let me look around. Instead, this game takes full control of the view, shakes me around, and shoves the big ugly faces of many characters in my face. In my opinion the first-person cut scenes worked in Call of Duty 1, and their use since has only been pretentious and bothersome. I would much rather just watch a scene using good cinematography and allowing me to actually see my character. Far Cry 3’s cut scenes don’t help me connect to the story and character at all.
Now, getting to the bulk of my distaste – the story and characters…
It’s all worthless. It’s funny that the Far Cry game with most emphasis on story also has the worst one. It is truly miserable… where do I begin. First of all, the player character and his group of friends – they are all the definition of douche bag, pardon my French. The two girls are acceptable as characters, but they are both super hot and beautiful like two little Lara Crofts. What does that add to the story other than shallow visual interest? But his guy-friend, Oliver, is the true crime. Gold chain, bleached bed-head, and a crooked flat-bill cap… doesn’t that pretty much say it all? And any time he opens his mouth pretty much confirms my initial judgement. The player character, Jason (which happens to be my name), is not much better. He is probably the least sensible, realistic character in the history of video games (I admit that may be an exaggeration). But really, how could he be all afraid of the island initially, have not experience in being bad-ass, and then go romping around knifing well-armed pirates? And he says, “fuck”, way too much as if every situation calls for it – why doesn’t he have anything better to say? Probably because he literally doesn’t have anything better to say. Or… maybe the writers don’t. And then he goes through this really fake-seeming transformation where he adopts a warrior way of life… or something. He’s stupid, and I have to pretend that I’m not him to enjoy the game. Far Cry 2 had it right when the left characterization out completely for the player character. In these games, just let us be nothing more than a GUN unless we are going to be given a worth-while story. Far Cry 3’s characters makes me hate my own generation, like a lot of stoner comedies… but I’m getting off topic.
I’m not done.
The main pirate is a shit character. He embodies all the typical thug-villain essence, that we see a lot these days. I always personally liked villains that had an identifiable quality… Not Vaas. And if there was a character more full of shit than him, it would be Citra. Yes, the sexy-ass, seductive, intimidating, but ultimately FLAT native chick. Her character description does not require a single word more than SEX. How dull. And, very annoying, I might add.
More shit characters include Buck and the pot-smoking old guy. But enough about that.
Now, the silver lining.
The exploration is decently investing. Occasionally, you’ll find interesting landmarks like WWII remnants, and cool rope bridges. And waterfalls are almost always beautiful. On top of that, the radio towers have been a plus. Climbing them is exciting, and the view is always nice.
The leveling up and purchase of new skills is a good way to keep the player interested in the combat. It’s fun to see your character finally pull off that takedown move that you’ve been wanting for a while.
And the best thing, for me, about Far Cry 3, is the outpost infiltration. I personally love stealth-action, which is the genre this game originally was. The availability to investigate these outposts and take them over in any way you want is the most fun part for me. I love the options and the freedom of it. The only problem is, there is a limited amount of these outposts. Once I take all of them, I will probably sell this game.
Far Cry 3 is not a bad game. It has great mechanics, but the story either needs tons of work or needs to be non-existent. If the exploring was completely free of context and characters, then you might have something.
p.s. The title of my post is a reference to one of the things the henchman talk to themselves about when they don’t know you are behind them. I’ve been hearing it A LOT, and it’s really starting to make me laugh.