Well, before I get ahead of myself, let me preface that. I am not a very good gamer. Also, I didn’t finish Far Cry 3.
Because, Far Cry 3 is stupid.
The stupidity starts early. Fire the game up, select a difficulty, load up a new campaign…and wait. While you’re waiting, you’ll enjoy a barrage of half formed images barely coming into focus and poorly associated word pairs flash across the screen. Pokemon seizures meet 4:20.
The developers tout the fact that they’ve immersed our hero (whatever his name is) in a world larger and more…immersive…than the previous games. Sea turtles swim through the surf, fully self aware, making decisions to avoid dangers while pondering the existential links between recursion and genius within Godel, Escher, Bach (it won a Pulitzer, go look it up!). In reality, they contribute to the mindless chaos of stupid. To be honest, living in Florida and having a crippling fear of sharks (yes, even virtual Jaws) prevented me from spending too much time with the turtles. However, if they were half as stupid as their terrestrial comrades, they wouldn’t know the difference between a hungry bull shark and something to eat. More on this later.
It is a first person shooter which rewards your for three methods of combat: jumping out from behind a banana leaf and cutting some dude, spraying a full magazine of ammo at a roving sentry and going empty in less than half a second, or waiting around for a tiger to wander through the area all the while pointing and laughing while it mauls a fort full of heavily armed…kidnappers? Murderers? Thieves? Sci-fi nerds who didn’t understand WTF was happening in Oblivion? Combat is non-existent. Gun choices are terrible: full automatic something #1 or fully automatic something #2. That’s it.
Ok, so it isn’t a strong first person shooter. It must be a kick-ass adventure right? That would mean upgrades! Leveling! Crushing the weak under the merciless heel of your boot! Well, you get tattoos. Of dolphins. Apparently that helps you during the aforementioned knifing of dudes. Oh, and you can kill wildlife and make stuff out of them. Not content carrying 10 vials of hallucinogens? Kill some pigs and make a bag with tassels! That should help out, right? My personal favorite is the daunting task of upgrading your…WALLET…with the skin of two man-eating sharks. That’s like, impossible, right? If only there was a thread of hope. A lifeline you could cling to while you engage in the most primitive of struggles: man versus beast. Something like a Zodiac. With a machine gun. Yeah, that should work. Be right back sharkies!
This game is partially a stealth game. As such, you spend a lot of time sneaking around in the grass as you try to silently approach a fort filled with evil Mohawks and bandanas. Good plan. Stealth is a great addition to any game. Some of the classics of my childhood were stealth games punctuated with brief explosions of violence. Tenchu. That is all. Far Cry 3 is not Tenchu. As your sneak towards your unsuspecting quarry it is very possible, nay, highly likely, that you’re being stalked by a tiger, or a komodo dragon, or some giant flightless bird looking to sate its need for fresh meat like the carnivore it was born to be. You know it’s a carnivore because the game says so. Right there, over its head, a non-mistakable icon full of teeth and claws and blood. Those are the facts. There are random animals spawning across the environment and some of them are labeled as predators. However, these additions to the game also bring buckets of stupid with them. During your travels, it will be hard not to notice that one of those tenacious carnivores stalking the island is none other than a…water buffalo. A cloven-hoofed herbivore is labeled as a meat-eating predator. Not to be outdone, heaps of stupid are dumped unceremoniously upon the player in the form of a random animal spawn in the middle of a fort or objective. It is impossible to deal with a marauding tiger while sneaking around trying to pick adversaries off tactically. Fortunately, when you inevitably fail due to random animal inflicted massacre, you’ll have the chance to watch that trippy loading screen. Forever.
It didn’t offer anything to any gaming genre. Lackluster shooting, uninspired stealth aspects undone by the RNG, and nap inducing leveling and character improvement mechanics.
Did I mention all the flowers you have pick?