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Far Cry 3 inspired by Heart of Darkness

Dec 12, 2012

By John Powell - G4 Canada

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Far Cry 3As critics, we are besieged by all sorts of material every year. All manner of shooters, role-playing games, puzzlers, race games and rhythm releases come across our desks. With so much to weed through to find those rare gems, when something different, something unusual appears, it is like a breath of fresh air.

Far Cry 3 is one of those games.

As rich kid Jason Brody, you are used to living the high life, not having a care in the world except maybe where the next adrenaline rush can be found. The wanton decadence comes to a screeching halt when Jason, his family and friends are captured by pirates. We are not talking about Captain Hook pirates either. Far Cry ain’t Never Never Land. The pirates and their leader Vaas are as ruthless as they come terrorizing the tropical island with the barrels of their machine guns and blades of their machetes.

Far Cry 3 Forced to fight for his life and become as savage as the jungle around him, Jason is a reluctant hero. At first, he cringes at the violence and brutality. He is sickened and saddened by the ferocious environment he must come to grips with in order to save himself, his friends and his family.

Jason’s plight is the hook of Far Cry 3. The characterizations and the happenings, grip you from the moment you escape the pirate camp until you finally exact vengeance on Vaas for all he has done to you and the island residents. The unflinching personal revenge story cleverly evolves into a larger theme of dark justice as more details of the civil war come to light.

The jungle of Rook Island itself plays a vital role. The picturesque setting hides many hidden dangers and resources to help you survive. It is not uncommon for alligators, sharks or pumas to stalk and attack you but the crafting system allows you to create backpacks, holsters and other useful objects out of their skins; that is if you manage to survive the encounter. The plants around you can also be collected and combined to synthesize anything from animal repellents to healing antidotes.

Far Cry 3 My only problem with the jungle is that like the other Far Cry games, you take damage from falling. Some of the cliffs and rocks are hard to maneuver around and traverse. The last step can often be a doozy. Far Cry should implement the forgiving Halo approach where unless you tumble from a ridiculous height, you don’t suffer any substantial damage. It would make traveling around the open world environment so much easier.

The tactical warfare elements Far Cry fans have come to expect from the series are in full bloom here. Rather than rushing in with guns blazing, you can distract enemies to get the drop on them, set malicious traps in the jungle, snipe them from above or even fill a jeep with explosives and send it right into the enemy camp, driverless of course. You can even pull a Tarzan unleashing wild animals on the unsuspecting pirates.

So fun, take that Marlin Perkins.

Far Cry 3 When not engaged in the campaign you can explore Rook Island (which is really a set of islands separated by lagoons and rivers) and locate pirate bases, communication towers and secondary missions, rewards. Tire of that and there are the co-op and multiplayer modes which don’t nearly have the depth of the campaign but are still great distractions. Just know that the co-op is more rail driven and linear; not the open world concept of the campaign.

Known for their robust storytelling with Assassin’s Creed and Splinter Cell, Ubisoft is the AMC of game publishers and developers. Story really does matter to them. With Far Cry 3, Ubisoft has its own Heart of Darkness. Jason’s Marlow-esque journey is equally as tragic and equally as unsettling as he systematically loses his humanity becoming corrupted by the feral nature of the inhabitants and Rook Island itself. It is something to see, feel and experience.


Far Cry 3 Far Cry 3
Format: PlayStation 3
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
ESRB Rating: M for Mature
Official Site:
Rating: 9.5 / 10


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