Brutal Insanity in the Deep Jungle (E3 2012)
One of the games I looked forward to checking out the most at E3 was Far Cry 3. As a huge Far Cry 2 fan, I couldn't wait to get my hands on FC3 and jump back into the insanity and brutality of open world FPSing.
Far Cry 3 throws you right into the jungle, onto a chain of islands which developers promised at the Ubisoft booth would be both expansive and open. One thing the devs mentioned was that the islands would be far denser than the open savannahs of Far Cry 2. Players of FC2 will remember those wide open maps where they spent a lot of time driving and hitting respawning enemy checkpoints. FC3 will set the action at closer intervals, but it'll still offer the freedom to exploration. There are more scripted events and a deeper, linear story, but the philosophy of Far Cry 3 (as I was told at the booth) was "if you can see it in the game, you can walk there".
My Far Cry 3 hands-on preview began with naked boobs and tattoos. That's right. Right off the bat, our hero Jason Brody has a naked tribal chick grinding on top of him. I was then told that this instance takes place somewhere mid-game. Jason apparently has become one with the jungle (and the tribe) and is about to start on a rampage to destroy his enemies. Jason isn't a mercenary or a soldier. He's an average guy, more akin to Leonardo DiCaprio's character in the movie The Island. After Jason gives an inspiring speech to a group of indigenous people (seems he is their leader at this juncture) he sets out with an objective on the map.
I begin by diving off a huge cliff and landing into a lagoon. I then swim to a dock, where I popped out from under the water and silently assassinated an enemy soldier standing on a dock. Whether you are working stealth (Far Cry 3's stealth mechanics are much deeper than Far Cry 2's) or going in guns blazing, everything feels perfectly Far Cry. The spiritual, drug induced insanity side of the game has been ramped up too, and Far Cry 3 seems to be more about a sweaty, hallucinogenic test to the physical body and psyche than anything else. This is rather refreshing for those looking for something other than another military shooter. There seems that there will be plenty of twists and strange turns in the story line, but also those brutal elements of survival we've come to expect in a Far Cry game. Gun play is fast and furious, and those who have played Far Cry 2 will find it similar. However, whether you like it or not, gone are the long drives in vehicles, the jamming of bullets in guns, and weapon degradation that Far Cry 2 set upon players.
I also got my hands on Far Cry 3's multiplayer mode. Players take on four characters more akin to first rate world explorers rather than mercenaries. The multiplayer feels very similar to Left 4 Dead, but instead of zombies, you'll be taking on modern day pirates with moltav cocktails an AK-47s. I enjoyed the witty quips of the player characters, and also enjoyed that you were able to pick characters based on your style of gaming. There are options for sniping from afar or running up and blasting everything, or sitting back and chucking explosives. Though the multiplayer was linear, I enjoyed the Left 4 Dead style maps and objectives. Even playing FC3's multiplayer with three other complete strangers was a blast, and I wished that we had time for just one more round.
Far Cry 3 seems like a deeper game than an hour behind the controls can lend it. Far Cry 2 was a game that took some warming up to, and I think Far Cry 3 may be the same way. Regardless, it seems like it will be worth the time to get into the psychedelic story, brutal jungle fighting, and unique flow of gameplay and story. Just by looking at it, any gamer can tell Far Cry 3 is doing something different than any other FPS.
Three things describe Rando: Good beer, good food, and video games. On occasion, Rando flies a zeppelin through time seeking power crystals.
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