Video Game Review Part 2: Far Cry 3 (PS3)
All the same, you can read the first part of my Far Cry 3 review here to get my overall impression of this game, covering the main points as to why every gamer should play this video game at least once. However, for this part, I will cover Far Cry 3's single player, co-op, and online multiplayer game modes in detail.
Story: Surprisingly-Remarkably Unremarkable
There's no easy way to say this, but I found Far Cry 3's story entirely unremarkable. There are times during the story where a delightful combination of brilliant writing and incredible set pieces send tickling chills down your entire body as waves of pleasure overcome you, but they don't occur often enough to overshadow the rest of the dull story missions. No, instead its mostly one forgettable blur of shooting dudes in the face. That's okay, mind you, but the fact that just abut everything else in this game is flawlessly executed with impeccable quality really makes the story and its missions look bad in comparison.
Take for example, the character of Vaas, one of the main villains of the game and one of the best parts of Far Cry 3's story mode. Vaas's writing, voice acting (provided by Michael Mando), and design deserves every ounce of praise it garners, making top video game villain lists all over the internet. To get a taste of how well this character is, uh, put together, watch this short film created by Ubisoft and voice actor Michael Mando.
This guys needs more work, I say, and I will cry if he's not in Far Cry 4 as a mount or in some other fashion. Anyway, compared to his awesome skill, the rest of the story is just... ordinary.
Still, you will have more fun goofing off and murdering sharks than playing the actual story missions. This game's story is basically that guy that brings microwaveable pizza rolls and hummus dip to a party, despite being asked to bring literally anything else that people actually want to eat. Sure you try some hummus dipped frozen pizza rolls because, hell, you're drunk so why not? But in any other situation, you much rather enjoy the other, delicious food on offer/sex.
|Like fire sex?...That analogy was confusing.|
And that brings us to my favorite game mode of Far Cry 3: multiplayer.
Split Screen Cooperative? Shits Yeah!
I believe that its always a good thing for AAA titles to include a multitude of multiplayer options, don't you think? Why of course you do, and Far Cry 3 does so in a generous fashion that other FPS franchises could learn from. They won't learn from it, of course, but they could!
|"And we don't have to!" *toast*|
Two player split screen cooperative gameplay is available with it's own story and unique characters, growing to four players in total when played online, and you also have a good online competitive mode complete with an map editor to play with. The cooperative mode, I found, is good old fashioned split-screen awesome. While you can play cooperative online with up to four players, local play is where this mode truly shines, reminding gamers that its okay to play with actual friends you can touch.
The cooperative missions range from the unimaginative "shoot the bad dudes" to "defend this point by shooting the bad dudes", but who cares because you can do so with your friends and with an insane arsenal of weapons that include a flamethrower and a longbow. Trust me when I say that its old fashioned, simple, fun that'll pop your monocle out of your eye hole. Nothing more, nothing less.
Competitive Online Multiplayer + Map Editor = Awesome
Thankfully, the sense of freedom from Far Cry 3's deliciously fun single player mode translates well into its online competitive mode. Admittedly, a lot of the experience is similar to the juggernauts in the genre of FPS console games, but there are some major details lending Far Cry 3 an original flavor.
For one, customization is aplenty. There's more than 30 weapons and their attachments an power ups to unlock, including the all important flamethrower and recurve bow. The load out set up is very similar to other popular shooters so no surprises here, but that's okay because it works really well. You can also customize your arm tattoo and you also get to choose a taunt for when you lead your team to victory online.
One of the best features of all of gaming, for those technically and patiently inclined, is the extensive map editor. The learning curve is steep, but there are some talented and patient artists out there in the Far Cry 3 community, creating maps such as a Nuke Town from the Call of Duty Black Ops series and a recreation of Normandy beach on D-Day. There's a playlist that allows you to play only such maps created by the community and it is a nice touch indeed. It's as if Ubisoft is directly showing that it cares about Far Cry 3's gaming community in a wholesome, respectable manner.
|"Rookie mistake." - Activision|
Second, the gameplay itself is refreshingly nonrestrictive. In many modern-- Fuck it, in Call of Duty games, the maps you play on tend to have perfectly placed junk laying in your path to prevent you from backing out of a firefight a certain way. Or maybe a waist level barrel has an invisible barrier over it so that any attempt to escape by mantling over it is impossible. In Far Cry 3, if it looks like you can climb over it, go hog wild! Jump, mantle, and duck under and over anything you can as you have the freedom to do so in order to kill your enemy. My only complaint here is that not many players speak online which, if anything, is a complaint of the community and not the game itself.
The last evidence of Far Cry 3's unique approach to online multiplayer that I have to offer is the fact that this game still has a decent amount of gamers to play with online. Many times you will be waiting alone in empty lobbies for a good amount of time, but can you name any one year old console FPS game without "Activision" or "EA" printed on it's box that gamers still play in surprising numbers today? Exactly, there are no others. Far Cry 3 is one good ass flavor and this fact alone is testament to how great tasting that flavor is.
So Yes, Go Buy It Already, Jesus
Stop being weird and go buy it, right now. The best single player and competitive multiplayer experience will be found on the PC version, but if you have carbon based friends, you will want to go with either the PS3 or Xbox 360 version to take advantage of the two player split screen cooperative mode. And that, dearest reader, sums up my opinion of Far Cry 3. Far Cry 3, a game so good that you'll be crying like me when you learned that your save data became corrupted. Hooray!