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Far Cry 3

I think Far Cry 3 is the year’s best PC shooter. Here’s why.

Leopards are dicks.

I’ve been playing Far Cry 3 on PC for the last couple of days now, and I’m astonished. It’s a brilliant game, an open-world first-person shooter that hasn’t stopped surprising me.

Crocodiles are worse. There you are, picking little blue flowers to make a syringe of tasty drugs and one will leap at you and try to bite your arms off.

It’s got everything I’ve wanted in an FPS since Half-Life 2. A vast open world that’s ripe for exploring. Meaty weapons. Astonishing character acting. A great baddy. And, best of all, angry animals.

GOD DAMN WHAT THE HELL BEAR.

I think I’m in love. Here’s why Far Cry 3 is my favourite shooter of 2012.

Lifted from Ubisoft's Youtube Channel.

It starts with a baddy and a bad situation: Vaas Montenegro. Vaas has captured you and your chums. They’re all perky Californian slush fundies: twenty-somethings with enough money to afford skydiving and adventure holidays on deserted islands.

But the island isn’t deserted. In a brilliant introduction, it’s revealed that the island has been hijacked by Vaas and his pirates. And they’re ready to kill on a whim - for kicks, for laughs, or just because they’re plain bored.

Without question Vaas belongs in the pantheon of brilliant PC gaming villains. I’d put him alongside Wallace Breen, Diablo, Jon Irenicus from Baldur’s Gate 2. Any day. He’s hyperactive, violent, and ever so slightly effeminate. Clearly motion captured, his performance throughout the game is stunning - you can feel the fury and rage bubbling over his expressions; but also his sickened sense of amusement at your predicament. He’s a monster; and he’s one of the few monsters in games you can feel afraid of.

But he’s also the perfect foil for Far Cry 3. This is a game in which you’re given more guns than you can carry, and a vast island to explore. What that triggers in the player is a desire to create and force chaos. When you’ve got a bow and arrow, explosives, a flamethrower, and an endless supply of jetskis and assault rifles, a player’s only reaction is to cause chaos. What’s interesting about Vaas is that he’s even more mad than the player; even more violent, and even more distractible.

So: about that island.

It is simply stunning. Far Cry 3’s set on a tropical island - well, more of an archipelago, like the very first Far Cry game. It’s also an open world, where you’re free to mosey and explore at your own pace. There are broad objectives, alongside exploration led goals. The main thrust of the plot: save your friends and get off the island, guides you, but you’re mostly free to figure out what to do yourself. Extraneous activities include clearing camps of baddies, stealing loot from lockers and chests dotted in every cubbyhole, reactivating radio masts (Far Cry 3’s analogue of the towers you climb in the Assassin’s Creed games) and crafting.

Yes, crafting.

Crafting is key to understanding why Far Cry 3 works so well. The game is seething with life: from dewy little deer things, to angry bears and territorial crocodiles. And plants. Never forget the plants. Combining the skins of dead animals together means you can carry more cash, (ooh, lovely snakeskin wallet you’re carrying there), more weapons (lovely leather rucksack) and everything in-between.

Also lifted from Ubisoft's Youtube Channel.

Meanwhile, you’ll consistently earn XP for kills - both human and fauna - and points earned from levelling up will unlock new abilities or buff your character. Skill plays a part in increasing your XP: you’re rewarded for silent takedowns and headshots, and for other skill moves. Very quickly, you’ll discover you’re able to leap from a tall building, skewer a man on your machete, duck, roll, headshot, then pop a syringe to highlight every baddie in the vicinity. Combat... flows.

And occasionally, it becomes ridiculous.

The situations Far Cry 3 throws at you are just hilarious. Releasing an angry Emu so it pecks your enemies to death. Driving through a full-scale firefight on an ATV while delivering medical supplies. Sneaking into a camp to assassinate a leader, but leaving chased by Komodo Dragons. Having drug induced sexy times. With a lady!

And lifted from... GamingCrackleHD's Youtube Channel.

That’s the final part of the puzzle. It’s a mature game: there’s a delightful NPC friend who’ll fill your boots with magic mushrooms. There’s a slightly baffling subplot about your latent mystical abilities. And more: more that I’m keen not to spoil.

That’s what I love about Far Cry 3, really. It’s surprising. Surprising and clever. It has vast ambition, but it understands that nothing works in a shooter if the basics of shooting and fighting don’t feel right. Its scale is enormous, but you could throw a rock in any direction and discover something new and exciting. It is fast, fluid and violent, but often in pursuit of crafting new wallets and handbags.

Most of all though, it’s mad. In my opinion, it’s the year’s best shooter.

WTF? Sharks?

Here's a playlist of our favourite, mad Far Cry 3 videos...

You reading the Far Cry channel at PCGamesN. Follow our Far Cry Twitter account for updates. Sponsor plug: check the prices for Far Cry 3 download with our retail partner Green Man Gaming. 

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KatsumotoJP's picture
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Wow. This one had completely passed me by, but it's shot right up my list now.

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"Crocodiles are worse."

It's "worst", idiot.

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It's correct to use 'worse' when comparing leopards to crocodiles. Read this sentence, ' crocodiles are worst than leopards'. Idiot.

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@daveyj. ~Utterly irrelevant given the context. Never mind reading your crappy sentance, I'm reading the ARTICLE. And it's WRONG. And you're a moron. And so is your mum.

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@Stig2k

You missed his point dude.

At the top it says "Leopards are dicks." later "Crocodiles are worse."

Its completly valid.

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@Stig2k You're wrong. "Crocodiles are worst" makes no sense. Crocodile are THE worst...Crocodiles are worse...worst cannot follow are

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@daveyj. ~Utterly irrelevant given the context. Never mind reading your crappy sentance, I'm reading the ARTICLE. And it's WRONG. And you're a moron. And so is your mum.

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@stig2k When attempting to correct a published writer, (in this instance, a long-standing and well respected ex-editor of an internationally famous magazine), you really need to get things right, especially if you then follow things up by calling them an idiot. Sadly, you've not managed this.

Your 'correction' is wrong, as others have pointed out before me.

In addition, when stubbornly sticking to your aforementioned assertion, it's helpful if you don't resort to childish insults.

Oh, and sentance isn't a word. It's 'sentence'. Learn about the skills involved in reading and writing, spot an actual grammatical error and then post. In the meantime, do us a favour and refrain from posting, I somehow feel stupider after reading your ill-informed and nonsensical drivel.

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@Stig2K - Face it you're wrong. My sentence was contextualizing what you said in relation to the article. So the 'crappy sentence' was me spelling out what you essentially would have written. Plus leave out the insults as it only highlights how stupid your first statement was.

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@Stig2k

Oh! You got SERVED

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Your a disgrace Stig2K.The reviewer is giving an opinion,and a good one too.I,for one,enjoyed it and I am looking forward to the game.

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SamfisherAnD's picture
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Fuck. This. HEAT!

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This game is, at the moment, my favourite since the latest Uncharted. I get bored of games pretty easily and so far I am not.

And Stig2k is the worst corrector in the world. I can't think of anyone worse.

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@STIG2K

I know this is an old thread and I don't normally degrade myself to this kind of internet squabbling but I had to create this account in order to ease the rage that's building up inside of me. Stig2k, you are a moron. Please save your nonsensical babel for somewhere else. You arrogantly critique someone else's well-written article when you clearly have no understanding of how syntax or grammar should be properly used. Anyone with the most basic knowledge of the English language would be offended by your idiotic ramblings. How embarrassing for you.

On a lighter note: Great review, Great Game- GO BUY IT!

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Read the book "How to out-moron yourself in 2 posts or less" by Stig2k, or you can check his later book "Natural Selection at work - how to commit virtual suicide on a worldwide website"

Both books are 2 pages long, and feature pictures of the baboon family the author was raised by.

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It's a little unfair to say that Vaas is a 'PC gaming' villain. *eye roll*

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I agree, all your points seem to be based on the free roaming aspect of this great game ^^

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