Far Cry 3 Review: Welcome to the Jungle!

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by Brandon Mietzner on December 26, 2012 in Gaming

When Far Cry first brought us to its shores in 2004, PC gamers were given a real treat: open-ended gameplay and a highly-detailed world. Far Cry 2 brought us an even bigger world, but never hit cruising speed with most people. Does Far Cry 3 have what it takes to return us to paradise, or should it have remained at sea?

Game Issues & Final Thoughts

The audio in Far Cry 3 is wrought with problems. The weapon sounds are quiet, like the AK, but when it’s fired the AI can hear it from almost 100 meters away. There is no option to turn down the music or voice volume individually; there is only a master volume, or you turn these features off. That’s it. There were also times when someone was talking and their voice would change to another audio track, explaining the same thing but with a totally different accent.

The voice acting was top-notch, but there were times when people were yelling and I couldn’t understand what they were saying, presumably overwhelming the mic. The overall music wasn’t memorable, but there was a moment they introduced Flight of the Valkyries and played it again during a later level. It was a nice touch.

Far Cry 3 Screenshot
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The lack of customization doesn’t end with the sound; the controls are also problematic. I personally use the F11 key to gather my screenshots and was unable to change what uses it in the game. When I did hit it, it would restart the level. Another annoyance is the weapon selection, which was clearly designed around gamepad use. When I tried to change the mouse wheel from its default of cycling through the Molotov and grenade to the weapons in my inventory, I couldn’t stop it from cycling the default selection.

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The graphics have always been the center piece of the Far Cry games, and Far Cry 3 does not disappoint in that department. The draw distance is phenomenal on the ground but when hang gliding or indoors, I did notice some pop-ins. I also encountered a few reflection and missing texture issues, but nothing game-breaking.

These issues are almost inconsequential when you consider how much is going on and how few times you see them. There were a few performance hiccups; I was being told I had 35+ FPS but the game was obviously running sluggish. I resolved this by turning down the post-processing and disabling the Ubisoft overlay. There are no load screens, unless you go into a mission indoors or fast travel. Aside from that, the world is seamless. The game fully supports multi-monitor resolutions as well.

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The game saves between checkpoints, but it also lets you save wherever you want as long as it isn’t in the middle of a story mission. The downside to this is that if you stop playing during a story sequence, it won’t load the game where you left off; you have to start that mission completely over – very problematic if things come up and you have to quit the game suddenly.

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I normally don’t bring this up, but Far Cry 3 is what I would call a very mature game. There is a lot of swearing, painted over nudity for one female character, gambling, human trafficking, drug and alcohol use. This is not a game for those of a squeamish nature. I am glad that a game was unafraid to include these themes; too many times game developers are too timid to touch them.

Far Cry 3 Screenshot
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The game features co-op, but it isn’t “true” co-op. The story is completely separate from the single player story and is limited to small sections of the islands. After playing many games with co-op where people can join and leave as they please, I found this very limiting and uninteresting. The multiplayer isn’t much better; there are classic game types but limited to 14 players. When I tried to play during the review, there was literally no one playing. This could be because it’s all matchmaking and there are no dedicated servers to play on. I did however find that the included map editor had been used and there were many interesting maps posted.

In the end, Far Cry 3 took me on a fascinating journey at first, but by the middle, my interest had become lost. Anyone who is on the fence should wait until this comes down in price, this way if you don’t finish it, you won’t feel so bad for paying the full price.

Pros:

  • Graphics
  • Very open world
  • Foliage provides cover

Cons:

  • Audio Bugs
  • Story losses focus
  • Co-op / Multiplayer is lackluster
  • Lack of options to customize the game
  • Enemy AI / Tactics

Far Cry 3 Screenshot