I’m by no means a specialist in first-person shooters, and only once in a great while I even find interest in playing those kinds of games. My aversion is alleviated by mixing the gameplay with something else, making it feel less like a war simulation and more like a different video game altogether, that just happens to play like a war simulation. I also enjoy single-player games more than multiplayers, and as many FPS games lean towards the multiplayer culture, I often feel like those games aren’t meant for me. That’s why shooters with clear emphasis on the single-player experience are much more interesting to me.
- Name: Far Cry 3
- Genre: Action | First-Person Shooter
- Released: 2012
- Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
- Publisher: Ubisoft
- Platforms: PlayStation 3 | Xbox 360 | Microsoft Windows
Crytek, later recognized for the Crysis series, developed the first game in the Far Cry series released in 2004. That game was essentially a semi-linear action game, distinguished by its wide open areas that allowed the player to develop their own ways to approach their objectives. The game itself, while beautiful to look at, was still essentially a straightforward first-person shooter. After Crytek relinquished the IP to be worked on by Ubisoft Montreal, the games became noticeably different from the first one, putting more emphasis on open world gameplay and free exploration.
Far Cry 3 seemed like a game I’d enjoy: it had simple FPS mechanics, but it was basically about free roaming, capturing key locations, developing combat tactics (whether it’s all-out offensive or a more stealthy approach), and discovering locations. However, my time with this game ended up giving me an opinion very different from the general consensus.
To start off, Far Cry 3 is a game that would benefit greatly from being as immersive as possible. Said immersion is crippled by the fact that it’s mostly ridiculously easy: I constantly found it hard to accept that a tourist barely out of his teens could take out a dozen armed pirates in an outpost by himself. I understand the whole point of the game is to see our hero Jason become a sort of a jungle warrior, but the difficulty in fighting the bad guys doesn’t really change – it’s always just as easy.
Luckily, combat is but one segment of what the game has to offer. The bad news is, I can’t say I enjoyed the other parts of the game that much more, either. For example, there’s the radio towers that you’ll need to activate in order to reveal the map of the surrounding area. These radio towers are old and rickety, and as you climb up to the top for the first time, it really is a thrilling experience, as you partly expect it to collapse any minute.
However, there’s a total of 18 radio towers, each one a different kind of platforming challenge. For me, it must’ve been the third or fourth tower where I thought to myself, do I really have to do this dance every single time? Because the platforming stopped being fun pretty damn quickly. Not to mention that one of my biggest pet peeves with games is platforming sections in games that aren’t actually platformers.
Unfortunately, the radio towers aren’t the only thing about Far Cry 3 that becomes tedious quickly. There’s also a great deal of collectibles, which reward you experience points – even though there’s a few different kinds of collectibles, they’re all basically the same. They’re also usually in places either in plain sight, or in such difficult spots that it would take you forever to organically discover them, unless you buy the regional treasure maps, which in turn eliminate the whole point of investigating.
Exploration is essentially pointless, because even though the game looks beautiful and some of its locations are breathtaking, there’s really not much you can find, unless you like to just look at caves and stuff. Then there’s the hunting aspect, which sounds great on paper, but quickly becomes a chore, as its significance diminishes with each new item you craft using the animal skins. A number of side-quests are also available, but they’re hardly anything more than a quick distraction.
If there’s one good thing about Far Cry 3, though, that must be the story. And maybe not the actual plot itself, as much as the presentation: most of the game’s voice-acting is absolutely top-notch, and I’d be hard-pressed to find better in a game. Vaas, one of the main villains in the game, is one of the most compelling video game characters I’ve come across.
I was honestly pretty disappointed in this game, and even though it’s mostly a matter of taste, I must honestly say I think Far Cry 3 is a bit overrated. Apart from its awesome visuals and fantastic voice talent, there’s very little that separates it from a bunch of other games that are just more fun to play.
My Far Cry 3 Platinum Trophy popped on March 17th, 2016, after a bit under two weeks of gameplay. I’d estimate it would amount to a maximum of 30 hours. The game has no “point of no return”, and there are no mission-specific missable Trophies, so the order in which the Trophies are unlocked doesn’t matter. The Trophy list is quite easy, and not many of them require a lot of effort or skill – at most just some endurance for frustration.
I essentially activated all radio towers on the North Island first, before embarking on most of the story missions taking place there. After gaining access to the South Island, I did the same, unlocking the entire map before doing anything else. After that, I went after the side missions, collectibles, and any miscellanous Trophies I had missed so far.
I often attempted joining co-op games after I stopped playing the campaign for the day, as it can take a while to successfully complete every co-op mission: most of the time, you can’t choose which mission you play, so you might have to wait a while.
After gathering all other Trophies, I rushed through the main questline to unlock the last remaining story-related Trophies, as well as the Platinum.
Although I didn’t enjoy the game itself as much as I had hoped, the Trophy list was pretty good, in that the miscellaneous Trophies were all pretty reasonable, even fun. The co-op Trophies ended up being quite frustrating, but only because it took me so long to actually get to play the missions I wanted to. The satisfaction of Trophy completion was a little diluted by the fact that you only need to collect 50% of the Relics for the Archaeology 101 Trophy, but honestly I would’ve gone mad if I would’ve needed to gather them all.