Far Cry 3 review
Brilliant with a few minor bugs stopping it getting the full 10 (single player)

The good:

- Controls are spot on
- Brilliant Graphics
- Excellent Story (even if it is a little dark)
- Great Single player longevity.
- Freedom

The bad:

- Occasional bugs/glitches no major crashes but enough to stop it getting the full 10
- Pause/inventory/map screen is a bit messy and unattractive


(this is a review for the single player)

First of all the map is both beautiful and vast and an absolute pleasure to explore, so much so that I have spent numerous hours just walking round Rook island just looking for little caves and ancient ruins to explore.

The graphics make the island look lush and vibrant and the designers were not afraid to use bright colours to make this Island a paradise. This alone makes those murky brown shooters seem drab and as outdated as an old ladies curtains.

The vibrant and beautiful island creates a stark contrast to the games over arching story, which is dark, gritty and disturbing, and superb in its execution, I do not want to say any more about this as I think every player should discover it for themselves.

The character development is also top notch with the protagonist progressing from a spoilt rich kid to something resembling a far darker part of human nature, and this is done through not just the story but the mechanics and game play features all of which help make it such a rich experience.

This is a step above the other FarCry games, it does the whole sandbox driven missions very well, with even the side quests (e.g. Wanted Dead Missions). not feeling too repetitive as the player can approach each one in numerous ways

The in game controls are as tight as they come with fast and agile gun play that is bolstered by and large arsenal, of which almost all the weapons are fun too use and act as they should in a game, for example you can obtain a flare gun, which at first just sounds like an awful weapon, but once you realise the most buildings have straw roofs then you start seeing numerous options that having such a weapon gives you, most foliage is also flammable allowing you to set fiery traps for your enemies (just watch out for a change in wind direction or the quick spread of the fire)

The weapons in game benefit from a selections of add-ons you can purchase from the shops, these come in the forms of new sights, silencers, scopes and extended magazines, which means you can make the weapons you like fit your play style whether that is a Rambo wanna-be or a Sam Fisher.

The melee combat works as it is supposed to with brutal knife take-downs being the main attraction here, with a variety of different ones you can unlock as you progress but I will talk about the unlocks a bit later.

The driving controls are a lot better in this game than in FarCry 2 however it still forces you to drive in FP view, which I can understand keeps the Immersion but will not be every players cup of tea (Their are not many, if any forced driving sections and I for one spent very little time in a vehicle).

The upgrade system in the game is an interesting one with multiple branches to develop. First of all there is the crafting system, this allows the player to upgrade what they can carry for example gun holsters (which allow the player to carry more weapons) or a Wallet which allows more cash to be held. The crafting system relies on the player going hunting for the friendly and not so friendly critters on the island, skinning them and then using their skins to craft these items. Red Dead redemption used a similar mechanic, and once again its not for the faint hearted.

The other upgrade system is one that runs on a basic XP system where once you have a certain amount of XP you gain a skill point that can be spent on any available upgrade. As the player progresses through the games more unlocks become available.

Unlike most upgrade systems as long as you play on the appropriate difficulty you never feel like a god unchallenged or weakling with no hope, this is due to the fact that many of the upgrades you can obtain are not just scaled buffs for your character like you would see in the likes of Saints row 3, for example you can never be 100% fire proof there is just the one level that makes you only slightly more resistant to being set on fire. There are obviously the standard health buffs in there so you can deal with the more powerful enemies, but they are by no means the most interesting upgrades, especially since there are upgrades that allow you to pull the pin out of a grenade whilst it is still in a bad guy's bandoleer. So you may find yourself holding back on getting the health upgrade so you can get something far more awesome.

So now on to the few negatives in the game. The biggest one for me is the Inventory/upgrade/ map screens which are all in the pause menu, These screens are both ugly and messy, they are functional in most ways but it is easy miss some of the information that they give you because of the awful colour scheme and the three different fonts, I know this seems like a knit-pick and that is because it is, but as in the first few hours of the single player you will be spending a fair amount of time navigating these screens it is such a shame to keep switching from such a good looking game into an ugly menu is just annoying.

My other small complaint is the bugs/ glitches, they are only occasional and hardly game breaking but because they are there it is worth mentioning, many will probably fixed with later updates.

Finally, this game offers you a large amount of freedom with the option to use everything you would expect; cars, boats, hand-gliders, guns, explosives and stealth but very rarely forces you to use any of them. If you are looking for a good FPS that gets away from the brown linear shooters we are so saturated with, go and get a breath of fresh air and visit Rook island, you won't regret it.

Reviewed on XBOX 360

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