This Game is Ridiculous
Ridiculous. This is the one word that perfectly embodies the incredible experience that is Far Cry 3. It permeates every aspect of the game, peeks out from behind every mechanic, and saturates every struggle in the game, be it the meta-narrative or an intense firefight. 89 % of the time, this is a good thing, as demonstrated by the score on your right. Sometimes, it becomes tedious, tiresome or terrible. But that is largely mitigated by the ridiculous scale, scope and variety that Far Cry 3 has to offer.
Ridiculous Static Story
You are Jason Brody, born with a platinum spoon in your mouth, the one percent of the one percent, coddled by your family's wealth and fueled by a wanton disregard for responsibility and pragmatism. Members of your family and close friends parachute onto an island to enjoy the ultimate survivalist dream. Things go awry as you and your loved ones are taken captive by the chillingly psychopathic Vaas. After a narrow escape, you hook up with Citra, leader of the native Rakyat, embark on a spiritual journey, and subsequently launch a systematic campaign to eliminate the pirate threat from Rook Island. The silver spoon is replaced by the assault rifle, the Porsche with a quad bike, the family pet with Komodo Dragons, and the mansion with captured enemy outposts. Brody goes from a sheltered, cocooned existence to a one man army. Ridiculous.
For a game so exquisitely designed, the story turns out to be one of the most disappointing elements. It starts off strong, reeling you in with a clever cocktail of linear levels and the terrifying, monologue-obsessed Vaas, and then lets you loose in the jungle to do your bidding. Unfortunately, the strength of the story gradually wanes out and the later parts seem crude and duct-taped. Additionally, the fluidity and dynamism of the sandbox is sometimes blemished by ugly, scripted mission segments that stagnate and pollute an otherwise extraordinary experience. In a sandbox game, it is bizarre to see missions that fail because you walked past an invisible barrier, got spotted, got someone killed or failed a quicktime event. It is cumbersome, it is unnecessary, and it is ridiculous for all the wrong reasons.
Ridiculous Emergent Stories
The sandbox mechanics, fortunately, come to the rescue here, as emergent gameplay results in unique and unprecedented situations. The world is teeming with life and you will often find yourself lurking about just mesmerized by the dynamic world unfolding around you. Wild beasts stalk one another, vehicles laden with pirates, tribal folks, or civilians dart along the bumpy roads, animals attack settlements, opposing factions erupt in a sudden bursts of decisive brutality. All of this continues to happen with or without your intervention.
As combat is dynamic, unleashing a duo of caged felines on an unsuspecting encampment may seem like a good idea as they rip and tear through terrified pirates, but poses a major obstacles when you realize now you have to go in to take them out yourself. Stalking wildlife through the foliage takes an ironic turn when you realize another beast is about to sink its jaws into you, while you were distracted by your own prey.
A major portion of the game is spent liberating enemy outposts. This is where the sandbox nature of the title truly shines, as you can use any number of ways to go about the task at hand. It is a testament to game design if you have to essentially repeat this activity over three dozen times and it never runs out of steam, or gets boring. You can be as inventive or as dull as you please. Run in guns blazing (don't!), or methodically stalk and impale enemy combatants on your blade. Take out enemies from a safe distance with a silenced sniper rifle or release wild animals from their captivity to wreak havoc in the camp. Deal with the alarm by getting up close and personal with it or disable them from across the camp, shooting them one by one before a guard can trigger them, or simply choose to ignore it as you pump lead into the enemy and take on the alarm-activated reinforcements with reckless abandon.
You will need to scale towers, which is presented as a bit of a platforming puzzle, reach the top, make some tweaks to the transmitter and the surrounding areas is revealed to you. It feels very Assassin's Creed, which is a fair juxtaposition considering that both titles share the developing studio. Once you have liberated an outpost, it turns into a sort of safe house for you and yours, complete with an automated store. These outposts can then also be used as fast travel points, thus eliminating the need to painfully plod through half the terrain just to get to your next objective. Once captured, you can also take on hunting and assassination missions to expand your influence in the adjoining terrain.
Lush visuals, truly open-ended gameplay, no skill point starvation, a plethora of activities and missions to engage in, emergent gameplay, cool skill-tree, outpost captures are awesome
Illogical at times, story starts strong but stagnates quickly, infrequently quirky AI