This Image Encapsulates Far Cry 3’s Bummer Screen-Clutter

This Image Encapsulates Far Cry 3’s Bummer Screen-Clutter

Far Cry 3 is a really, really good game. One of the year’s best, I’d wager. I’ve had so much fun with it that I’m playing it again, just for the heck of it, and shooting for 100% completion.

One of my big gripes, however, is the unfortunate amount of screen clutter. The problem is even worse on a second playthrough, when I’m already familiar with the rules, objectives and mechanics.

The game’s invasive, pestering heads-up display is one of the most annoying in recent memory. My annoyance is doubtless due in large part to the fact that the game itself is so good, its world so lovely and immersive, that I wish it’d get out of my way. Far Cry 3 is a game that demands to be documented with screenshots, but the invasive HUD stymies every attempt.

Rare is the moment when there isn’t some sort of message on screen, either a note nudging you on towards your next story goal, a tutorial for a skill you mastered the first time through, or a tip on how to overcome your current obstacle. All of these are perfectly helpful for some players, but unfortunately, more experienced players can’t turn any of them off. Not the tips, the tutorials, the objective reminders and waypoint indicators, or the info-stocked mini-map. (And by now I hope we all know how I feel about mini-maps.)

This image up top is from a hunting mission in the game, and I think it sums up how annoying the HUD can be. Here we’ve got not one but two text boxes on the left-hand side, as well as the mini-map in the lower-left. Not only that, but you’ve got to do this mission with an RPG (which on its face is awesome, since you’re hunting rabid dogs… with a rocket launcher), so the right side of the screen is filled with a huge weapon.

The result is greatly reduced visibility, a problem that would’ve been greatly mitigated by giving players the ability to turn off or minimize the HUD in the options menu. Alas, the game allows for none of that. All that’s left now is to hold out hope for a patch. Given how deep, unpredictable and flat-out fun Far Cry 3 is, I can see myself playing it for months and even years to come. It’s a shame the game will always treat me like a newbie.


  • When will they learn. Small minimap and health/ammo in the corners, not near the corners IN the corner and menu for objectives.

    • Apparently there are a whole load of bullshit rules about where elements of the HUDs have to sit on Xbox (and I assume Playstation too) – Jonathan Blow had a gripe about it at some length in one of his talks. It’s basically to cover people with RIDICULOUS amounts of overscan on their tvs and folks with their sets set up wrong. But this could be fixed quote easily by allowing users to move them (even if it’s only one of three positions), and I am sure there’s no reason at all for it on PC.

      • It _shouldn’t_ be such an issue on the PC, anyway, as the Field of View _should_ be much higher. Whether or not that actually happens is anyone’s guess.

  • I expected something akin to Crysis’s different difficulty modes and restricting more and more of what was displayed. Oh well wait for a patch after the player outcry and or wait for modders to come to the rescue.
    I still really hope the pc versions map editor has AI pushed to more than just 25, or again modders can come to the rescue.

  • Hopefully someone works out the console command or .ini tweak before I buy and play this game. Sorry to drag up the old “master race” thing, but that’s why I’ll always be a PC gamer.

  • ” the first time through”

    Well considering “the rest of the world” hasn’t even played it “the first time through” you can’t really complain about such things.

    I know what you mean though.. maybe patches will bring a way to customise that..

  • Based on having not played it properly yet, this seems to be the only real set back to an otherwise very well executed game. I for one am frothing at the mouth for Thursday but I can see this being a huge let down for me. Too much distraction and constant reminders = irritating. The demo build I played on PC for all of 10-15 minutes didn’t appear to have this issue. It wasn’t mission based though, just free roam on a focused portion of the map…

    Hopefully this can simply be a patched in HUD option and includes a NO HUD pre-set. Surely a mod will surface before too long anyway so I’m glad I’m getting it on PC.

    A game like Far Cry 3 needs to be admired and not inhibit your vision in such an open (seemingly chaotic) environment. There’s no excuse for claustrophobia on top of a mountain.

  • i have been watching the game on youtube (gogo learnin german from youtube let’s plays) and i can see anything in the gameplay nor in the screen shots about a cluttered UI.
    That UI is fine and if your saying its too much clutter you are fooling yourself.

  • So, it’s a FPS (a genre invented on PC) that’s primarily catered towards consoles players? Once again Ubisoft proves money is more important than a solid product.

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