by Ingvi Snædal
previewed on PC
Long Lost Love Affair
I could not have been a bigger fan of the original Far Cry. The open world was so colourful, the landscape so inviting, the visuals so captivating, and the enemies so not Russian. I loved climbing to the biggest hilltop, sniping a few bad guys from a far and then running down the hill spraying every single gram of lead I had towards my enemies. Far Cry 2 I was not as enthusiastic about. In fact, I was downright disappointed with it. Perhaps owing to my glorification of the original, I expected it to be a continuation of its excellence, or at the very least retaining its all important sense of freedom and exploration. What I found instead was a game that had me sticking to the roads while I travelled between places and kept pestering me about taking my medication. It was a good game but failed in comparison with its older brother. It is because of this that I haven't been sure about whether or not to be excited about Far Cry 3. With the information we now have, however, it is looking to have a much stronger kinship with the original.
An Island Getaway
Far Cry 3 takes place on an archipelago somewhere on the border between the Pacific and Indian Oceans. It was originally believed that only one island would be featured in the game but one developer hinted towards there being more than one and another stated that it will be “10 times bigger” than previous games, suggesting an archipelago. The return to a tropical island also brings with it a return of the colourful setting we loved in Far Cry and missed in Far Cry 2.
The Islands lie outside the range of any map and our protagonist, his friend, and his girlfriend stumble upon it by sheer coincidence. They dock their boat, go ashore and get to drinking with the natives. When our soon-to-be hero awakes, he is tied up. He is brought back into the bar by a couple of heavily armed men where he overhears the leader of his captors talking about his girlfriend's monetary worth and then witnesses the execution of his friend. This forces him to attack his captors and make his escape. Very little has been revealed about the protagonist's background. Early information suggested that he was a survivalist who knew very well how to handle himself in a combat situation, while recent information seems to suggest he is simply an Ernest Everyman who was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Regardless, he will soon be forced to teach himself the art of surviving in a hostile environment where sharks and wildcats are the least of his problems. They, unlike the rest of the living things on the islands, don't have guns or explosives strapped to them.
Insane Is as Insane Does
The game's characters are quite insane, with one of them repeatedly misquoting Einstein's definition of insanity before killing people. If the information about the different pre-order bonuses available is looked at, there is apparently also a character who straps explosives to monkeys. What he hopes to accomplish by that is uncertain, but it goes to show that logical thinking goes right out of the window when you take an island void of all government or sense of community and populate it with rival groups of bloodthirsty pirates.
As with previous instalments in the series, you will be able to freely move anywhere on the map you want. This allows those of us patient hunters to carefully survey our targets and thoroughly plan out our attacks. The protagonist will also carry a camera which he can use to inspect distant objects and targets. This will come in handy when planning attacks on heavily guarded compounds, which you undoubtedly will do in your quest to find your girlfriend and escape the islands and the insanity they represent.
Information seems to suggest that vehicles will be available, although a jet ski is the only one we've witnessed the protagonist himself driving. With the islands being uncivilised, one wouldn't expect to find many roads on it. It will therefore be interesting to find out whether or not there will be any cars available, and if so, what kinds.
The game will feature some sort of experience system, most likely one similar to Borderlands or Dead Island, with each kill giving you experience points. What you will then be able to do with those points is still hazy, however, as no details have been made public on that front. A map editor based on the one that came with Far Cry 2 will be available and multiplayer has been confirmed. More details on that are eagerly anticipated and I for one am very curious as to whether or not we will be able to use the experience points we gain through our single-player time in online matches. I only recall one game which featured that option, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Vegas 2, and it is one I wish more developers considered.
With the information available, hope has been rekindled in my pessimistic little heart. The return to the tropical setting, the vast explorable wilderness, and the wacky characters all serve to put a slight smile of anticipation in the corner of my mouth. Let’s just hope they don't ruin it by making the perception-altering drugs they've hinted towards mandatory.