Monday, May 27, 2013

Kate Reviews: Far Cry 3

Dip your toe into the crazy-end of this shark-infested pool.

You'll thank me later.

 

Pros
  • Interesting story with music that develops mood and tone
  • Really fun gameplay
  • Intuitive controls
  • Can play how you want (stealthy, snipe-y, guns blazin')
Cons
  • A bit too much repetition with some of the side missions
  •  Dialog was occasionally stilted
  • The plot didn't go deep enough; the really good bits were near the end and felt like they were just too little, too late.

 The game is played from the viewpoint of Jason Brody, but Jason is a constantly developing character; the wimpy kid I began with matured with each challenge he faced, and the choices he made in this terrifying jungle led him to become a tough foe to be reckoned with.  The questions he faced were tough as well.  As I made decisions for him, I found myself contemplating how I would react in those pivotal circumstances.

This game included some neat mechanics and features that I enjoyed.  Parts of Jason's arsenal can be upgraded and improved greatly by hunting required beasts and using their skins to make the upgrades.  It never felt like a mini-game to me and was seamlessly incorporated into regular gameplay.  It felt very natural and made sense.  Even the collectible hunts made sense.  There are relics and treasure chests to find, but even the hardest to reach usually was in a location that helped give me a sense of the history on the island.  Receiving XP was an additional incentive to seek out those hidden nooks and crannies.  I also appreciated that the map could show locations of the collectibles so I never felt like getting them all was unachievable.   The Lost Letters of World War II collectibles chronicled the hardships of those past residents of the island on which Jason has found himself .  The Memory Cards that can be found in laptops across the island also tells the sordid history of the drug business that's operating on Rook Island. 

I also found great fun in the vehicles of Rook Island.  Hang gliding was particularly fun for me, but there were several types of boats, ATV's, cars, and jeeps.  Driving controls felt good.  

 Okay, now I have to talk about the sharks.  Some bodies of water have sharks (and even crocodiles!) but I didn't know that the first time I encountered one.  I'm swimming around in the ocean, diving down to pick up a relic and a bit of loot, and WHAM! I start getting ripped by a shark.  You'd think the ominous music would have tipped me off that the water wasn't safe.  My heart was pounding out of my chest and after that I never ventured into the water without first surveilling  that beautiful blue-green water first. Every time Jason swam in the ocean, my heart rate increased.  As much as I hated the sharks, they added to the suspense and tone of the game.  My suggestion? Snipe before swimming ;)

A counterpoint to the inherent danger and suspense was the moments of WTF.  Sometimes it was the plot twist you didn't see coming or the funny reference or joke that was just the change-up pitch that was needed.  

As with most games I play, I didn't really know what to expect.  I really enjoyed it and it's going in my top 10 games I that I've played this year. 

I played this game on: Xbox 360          I bought this game for: $0