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Far Cry 3 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £26
inc VAT

It takes a while to get into, but this varied open-world shooter is worth the effort


Once you’ve made a weapon sling and some ammunition pouches, the game starts to open up. You can snipe from afar, charge in with an assault rifle or plant traps all around a base, luring the enemy out with a well-placed thrown rock. There are several ways to approach an objective, and this helps keep assaults on an enemy base feeling fresh.

It is possible to concentrate solely on the main thrust of the story and ignore the wider conflict between the island’s natives and the pirate invaders, but this will make your life much harder. At first, almost the entire island is under pirate control, so you run a high risk of being ambushed on your way to any objective – a dangerous waste of ammo. To improve matters you can attack enemy checkpoints, after which the section of island surrounding the checkpoint will fall under the control of your allies. You can also climb radio towers – a fiddly endeavour from a first-person perspective, but one which will reward you with valuable mapping information, free weapons in the island’s shops and a stunning view. The game ends up playing like a darker, more brutal Grand Theft Auto, with a lot more open space and wild animals.

Far Cry 3

You get great views from the island’s radio towers

The game also has a co-op mode, but we found this disappointing. It follows a different plot arc, that of a crew on a cargo ship having been cheated out of their money by a corrupt captain, and the subsequent chase across the island. It’s an arcade shooter experience which occasionally branches out into sub-games like quad-bike racing, and completely lacks the atmosphere of the single-player campaign. We also found the online aspect intrusive when in Story mode; when you go into the menu to craft a new mine pouch from a recently-skinned leopard, you’re confronted with adverts for the Far Cry 3 Store, which nicely breaks immersion and reminds you that You Are Playing a Computer Game.

Far Cry 3 is very much a slow-burner, and takes a surprising length of time to get into. However, it’s worth bearing with it, as once you start developing your skills and abilities the game rapidly becomes compulsive. There are many, many hours of varied open-world gameplay here, and watching Jason Brody’s descent into darkness is well worth the time and effort.

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