“Have I ever told you… the definition of insanity?” These words are spoken by a true sociopath. A man by the name of Vaas, the very one who forces you into Far Cry 3’s jungle, where you will embark on a journey that, may or may not, reveal the depths of madness.
The latest from Ubisoft features a story of self-discovery in the worst kind of situation. Jason Brody and his friends have been kidnapped; in an attempt to escape, he is forced to watch his brother be shot down. With nowhere to go, Jason runs into the jungle and sets off on a path of destruction and disillusionment as he fights to survive the harsh terrain and save his friends.
Vaas isn’t the only colorful person you meet throughout the game. The cast of crazies living on this island perfectly reflects the horrors that take place their everyday. A crazed CIA agent, an Australian treasure hunter, and more await your arrival. The jungle is just as alive as the characters that inhabit it. It is an ever evolving ecosystem that will work to save you, all while trying to kill you. Navigating this world is made easy though, thanks to a well thought out fast travel system and plenty of vehicles.
As Jason Brody you will work with the natives who inhabit this land. They are the Rakayat, led by Citra, a beautiful yet conniving woman, who believes she is divine. Through joining her cause you are given purpose and the resources to become the killing machine you’re meant to be. As you carve your way through Vaas’s pirates, you gain XP to put towards skills that can be used to become a better killer, survivor, and hunter. Not everything here is upgradable through XP though. Hunting is both fun and a priority if you are interested in crafting better holsters, syringes, wallets and more. The animals that reside on the island are alive and more than happy to make you into a snack.
As you progress, you will have opportunities to remove the control Vaas and his pirates have over the island by taking over their encampments. Each one presents an opportunity to use your skills and cunning to find creative ways to rid those murderous pirates from their base. Bases can be taken in a number of ways. Release a trapped bear and watch as it kills everyone, start a fire that will engulf everything, put your stealth and machete skills to the test as you sneak through the camp silently cutting down every last person, or just go balls to the wall and shoot every mother licker in the place.
A page is taken from the Assassin’s Creed series when it comes to opening up the map to find these hideouts. Creating a simplistic platforming system through the use of old Radio Towers, Ubisoft makes a space for you to work your way up, then upon reaching the top, flip a switch, get treated to a full 360 pan of the environment you just opened, and then zip line back down. If only you could spread your arms, kawkaw like a bird, and jump into a pile of hay. This freedom has become the staple of the series, however, what is created this time around, not only gives you choice, but what feels like a real, ever-evolving world. This world is indeed a violent one. As you progress through the story Jason will slowly begin to realize how much he enjoys being a killer. This awareness is all thanks to a script that asks you to consider what it means to ruthlessly murder hundreds of people to save those you love.
However, Freedom comes at a price. The script is riddled with incoherencies. The idea of “what is insanity” never really comes fully into play. With such heavy topics at hand and a mix of wonderfully acted characters, it really is too bad to witness the script crumbling into pieces once the second act kicks off. The ideas presented don’t get the full treatment they deserved. The island is why you will stick around through the stories hard to swallow moments. It features a deep history for anyone who is willing to do some digging. Moments of drug induced realities are fun additions, albeit some are indeed ridiculous, others offer great art direction and entertainment value.
If you never noticed how aged that console you have is, you will now. This paradise is constantly interrupted by technical hiccups that spawn from hardware unable to support everything on screen. Though there doesn’t appear to be any game breaking bugs, you will encounter screen tearing, especially in high action sequences, as well as some frame rate drops. These hiccups won’t spoil the game, but they will take you out of the experience.
Jason Brody’s journey is pure entertainment made even better by an island that is begging you to see every last polygon it has. Plunging into madness couldn’t have been more fun or better looking. “Have I ever told you… the definition of insanity?” The question’s prominence throughout the game stands as both its foundation and at times its weakness. The first half of the game will force you to ask that question yourself, only to throw it away for cheap tricks once you’re halfway in. This island and its inhabitants are the games strongest characters and exploring, killing, blowing up, and progressing will be the reason you find yourself addicted. Now if you don’t mind, I have some pirates to kill.
Far Cry 3 might not be all is think’s it is, but if you got some games to trade in I would say this jungle has plenty to keep you happy.
Far Cry 3 is worth TRADING IN FOR.