Far Cry 3 Sanely Delivers The Same Results, With The Same Methods

Perhaps ironically, perhaps not, Far Cry 3 opens with a psychotic bandit lecturing you on the nature of insanity. Crazy is doing the same thing, expecting different results, goes the oft-quoted saying. And again, for the third time now in this series, you are surrounded by a jungle, up to your arse in trouble.

You're soon up to your neck in it, and beyond, as the bandit kicks a cinderblock, bound to your feet, into a deep pond. The protagonist, this time a guy named Jason Brody, struggles free of his bonds and surfaces in a cavern in a two-stage quicktime event. He then transits into a one-man ambush of the bandits' camp, a scene of civilian executions and other atrocities.

Far Cry 3, due in 2012 for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360, seems to deploy much of what made the first two games critical successes: Richly detailed environments with complex lighting and heart-in-your-throat sound design. The drowning escape sequence, Brody is fighting to free himself, surrounded by dozens of corpses tethered to their blocks, arms bound and raised over their heads in a ghostly pose. In the shootout, Brody was free to use the sniper scope to scan a very broad environment, using it to identify hostiles, assets, and his objective, a helicopter. The thugs went about their business in the desaturated colour of the scratched-up scope. I saw all of this in a live gameplay demonstration at E3 2011.

What unfolded was reasonably conventional combat that, while plainly the optimal way to negotiate the challenge, was not forced by the game itself or funnelled to the key points by the environment. Brody sought out a zipwire to begin his guns-blazing party crashing, but I got the sense he could have run in on foot and handled business that way, if a bit more difficult.

Enemy AI appeared very challenging, as the demonstrator was constantly flanked and taking fire, but naturally shrugging it off. Cover was abundant and firing from it blindly was the predominant tactic I saw. A sense of action-movie desperation pervaded the encounter.

Introducing the sequence, our demonstrator said only that Brody had found himself on an island, his boat had been destroyed, his girlfriend had been kidnapped, "and everyone here is crazy." It seemed to be in the South Pacific, as a wrecked World War II-era fighter was part of the landscape during the brief exploration period preceding Brody's capture.

The game is being developed by Ubisoft Montreal, which handled Far Cry 2 and served up the rich visuals one expects of a game series with its roots in CryEngine. I was shown the game on an Xbox 360.

In the windup of the opening battle, Brody fights his way to a helicopter, puts a gun to the pilot's head and orders him to take off. The helicopter is barely airborne when a rocket-propelled grenade slams into its fuselage, bringing it down with an ear-ringing explosion.

Brody blacks out and awakens where he started. Surrounded by jungle, up to his arse in trouble, and the bandit lecturing him on the nature of insanity.


    I think more of the same is a good thing with this game. I finished the 2nd wanting more of the same, though its the incidental details that make it a "new" game. Hopefully it has co-op which would be great!

    Looks pretty good, you dont perhaps know what quarter of 2012?

    Farcry 2 would have been game of the decade material if it wasn't for all the respawning enemies on the checkpoints. Also if they could make the story less linear and more of a free play search for the jackal where you do missions for supplies and info, that would be great.

    Though the only reason these points got to me was because the rest of the game was top notch.

    Maybe too they could have a bit of Sims style renovation of your tin shed home, that would be good too.

      It was re-spawning that killed it for me too. Driving back through an area 5 minutes after clearing it out and having to clear it all again was just painful. I would have liked to see the respawning happen after a game day or 2. A little bit more realistic and gives you a little lee-way once a mission is complete to be able to get back out.

      Having said that I dropped about a hundred hours into FC2 and enjoyed it all.

        I quit the game about 5 hours in after being killed at a checkpoint I'd cleared about 5 minutes before. Shame, there was a lot of potential there.

    hope they fix the AI in this one, FC2 was terrible, no point in having a silent weapon as soon as you shoot it they know where you are, im sure even knife kills alerted the whole village.

      I never had that issue in my four playthroughs of the game so it must've been one helluva bug or something.

      I also never had ANY issues with silenced weapons.

      Dartgun FTW.

      I had this problem - on Crysis 2. Also, I have a bug where the sneak appears unreliable. That's how I found out you can just run through the levels - I couldn't employ any actual strategy.

      I had similar issues with silenced weapons and so didn't use them, however I found that the enemies were practically omniscient. If I fired my weapon then disappeared into the bushes no matter what I did I would still be under fire. It seemed impossible to lose them once they knew where I was, even if I couldn't see them they were still shooting me through the leaves and undergrowth.

      Still the game had positives for every negative. Interested to see how this game turns out, I would hope for something more open world like Farcry 2, but the earlier games were still pretty fun linear.

      Running mainly the MP5 Silenced Markarov and the DartGun I found only the MP5 was unreliable when it came to stealth.

    FC2 was, for me, the defining game of this generation. And interestingly given the 'insanity is doing the same thing twice' line, it was a game that you needed to be inventive and varied in the way you played it, to get the best results from, because the crazier you got, the more the game came with you. If you haven't played it for a while, give it another go, it's great.

    I remember playing through FC2 and not realising that you could purchase weapons until well past the middle of the game. Up until that point I was just using whatever I picked up off corpses.

    Great game that unfortunately didn't quite deliver on the Jackal side of things IMO. Heart of Darkness this wasn't.

    Somewhere, David Wildgoose has just taken off his pants...

      He hasn't been on twitter since the announcement... I think he's on a Charlie Sheen style bender somewhere.

    I really hope they bring the aging system back (you know, how you couldn't hold on to a gun for too long otherwise it would rust and blow up in you hand), it made for a much immersive sense of realism that persuaded you to experiment. Also I REALLY hope they bring mods tools for this game

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