I was up from 12 until 2:30 am so forgive me for not doing it right now. I need sleep! (it's funny, I say that but I know I won't sleep...)
So umm, enjoy!
Farcry 3 hit store shelves a couple of weeks back and the reason I'm late (by my standards and probably for you guys too - sorry!) is because I was seriously trying to find a way to justify spending £40 on this title. I finally gave in to all the madly positive reviews this game has received and I'm actually happy to say that I'm eating my own words with the biggest smile on my face.
Not only does this game offer unprecedented hours of gameplay, depending on what type of gamer you are of course, but it also offers one of the best storytelling in a game that I haven't seen since the Metal Gear Solid Saga.
With that - I'm going to open up this review and won't stop until this euphoric feeling has gone. So prepare for another one of my long reviews guys and gals!
Well I'm going to come out and say this - I like Vaas. He's so randomly crazy that he's actually likeable. That is, when he isn't setting everything on fire or stuffing you in a hole in the ground while he explains what the term 'insanity' is actually defined as, by Einstein, which is the picture at the start of the review!
You start off with a little montage-esque sequence of super-crazy, adrenaline-fuelled stunts that these American teenagers get up to on their vacation. What someone didn't tell those kids on their parachuting session was that they'll be captivated and held ransom as soon as they arrived on the ground.
By blood-thirsty pirates nonetheless who love the colour red.
You manage to escape, however that came at an extreme sacrifice - no spoilers here, that's not how I operate!
Upon your escape you wake up with a tribal tattoo - or tatau, which grants you special powers. Or perks if you want to stick to traditional gaming phrases. This tattoo has also earned you the respect of the rebels nearby and now you've found yourself in the middle of a revolution.
Clearly Jason (that's you) only wants to save his friends. That's if they're still alive at all. However, later you'll find that in order to save your friends, you must be able to survive and become stronger. So upgrading your 'perks' or, the tatau (I prefer tatau - makes me feel exotic) in order to become a more efficient killing machine pretty much.
It's not often that this deserves a whole section to itself, but this game's characters and their voice-acting really takes gaming to a whole new level.
I'll be honest - again. I wasn't expecting an epic campain game where the characters are so life-like that I actually want to help them, and not just as Jason.
The voice acting for each character is actually excellent (by character I mean the main characters to the game's story, not the regular NPCs). The survivors, or Jason's friends, are particularly convincing as poor souls with no clue of how to survive. Jason's voice actor is one that I've particularly taken a shine to, he's so convincing that I feel like my character is going to faint from all the blood but as you continue playing you'll start to notice that Jason has a remark for most interactive actions. He'll yell 'F$*%' when gutting an animal and state that it's 'disgusting'.
The best moment where his character really shines through and allows you to get a sense that he's not the tough-guy type (well from the start anyway) as he cringes at the site of a dead man and slightly panics as he stabs an aggressor. All in self-defence, yet he seems sorry, a very interesting insight to a character that has never been portrayed as effectively as it has been, in Farcry 3.
As a free-roaming RPG, I feel the map is a key element of the game. After all, it dictates what you can do and where you can explore. As a result, it definitely deserves a mention and a detailed one at that - so why not give it a section of its own?
So I'm just going to come out and say that I'm annoyed the map isn't bigger. Don't get me wrong, this map is amaze-balls, but I love this game so much that I wish there was more for me to do. So if I'm being fair, then the game's map is freakin' epic. However, if I'm being a little selfish and critical - for no reason other than to pick something bad from this otherwise amazing game, it would be that the map wasn't ambitious enough.
But what I said was stupid because the map is brilliant and gives you tonnes of things to do, even after you've finished the whole game. You can set yourself fun challenges like hunting for animals with certain weapons or making it from one end of the forest to the other without getting killed (it's pretty challenging on the hardest difficulty).
I realise I didn't talk much about the map and I mentioned hunting up there. However, once you guys and gals get this game. Trust me, the map speaks for itself. In fact, if it could speak for itself or could write, it would write the best piece of work you will ever see in your life - it's that good.
Want to know what else is awesome about this game? Hunting. Assassin's Creed 3 tried the hunting feature - wasn't very fun (to me anyway, we're all entitled to our opinions as long as they're fair!) and it didn't really give you an incentive to hunt. Other than you had to in order to pass a level.
Red Dead Redemption tried the whole hunting thing too. Now that was the best. Notice 'was', not is. That's right, Farcry 3 is actually making me think about which game has nailed hunting to a T. Even though I think it's pretty unfair to compare a 3rd person RPG to a 1st person one, I reckon the basic principles should still be compared.
So, what will seal the deal for you in terms of hunting in this game?
Do you jungles? Are you familiar with Big Boss from Metal Gear Solid? If so then you'll feel like you're Vic Boss but playing in his perspective. Just imagine that and this game gets 100x better. Or even Red Dead Redemption. If you loved hunting in that game then you'll love it here.
How about I stop comparing it to other games? This game doesn't need comparisons because it sets a standard of its own that not too many games have succeeded in. Just the feeling of stalking an animal and then going in for the kill with the reward of skinning that animal. I'm against animal cruelty but there's something in this game that just makes you feel like the manliest of men. Yes even women will feel like men when playing this game anyway (I kid).
Well here's where I thought this game wouldn't deliver. I tell you I laughed at myself, for a good 20 minutes. While it isn't the most accurate-sharpshooter-type game out on the market, it definitely won't get you frustrated.
Here's a handy tip: turn aim-assist on. I normally hate the idea of aim-assist, but in this game, it works quite well. Only once or twice it's aimed at something I wasn't planning on shooting and that's after 15 hours of gameplay.
The weapons feel like they'll hurt the enemy. Every time you squeeze off a round (or couple of hundred), you know that you'll be satisfied. The designers have hit this weapon design right on the head.
Battlefield weapons all feel like they're effective, however they also feel quite sluggish. Call of Duty make they're weapons feel like toys (then again it is an arcade-type shooter so fair's fair). Farcry 3 has got the balance right. The weapons feel 'meaty' and have just the right balance of weight and feel to them.
I will say that even though many people hated the jamming animation of the weapons in FC2. I loved it. In fact it's one of the factors that pushed me to get the game. I feel like they should have kept it in Farcry 3 but have it applied only to weapons that are from the enemy or in pretty bad condition - exclusively. I thought that the weapon jamming feature is another addition to the unique attributes that make Farcry, well, Farcry.
Overall, the gameplay is quite awesome. I have had no problems with getting used to the controls - I do have another pet peeve which is changing the melee button to Circle (on PS3) but that's not really something I can hold against this game when it has offered so much.
What I found to be an interesting addition to the game, was the inclusion of the stealth element in such a vast map. If someone came to me and said they were releasing a game where you can choose between playing a free-roam RPG guns blazing or taking a stealthy approach, I'd laugh them out of my room. I just didn't think it would be possible on such a huge scale - too many factors to consider.
Well hats off to Ubisoft for making this a reality, and it's not something that was done to an iffy level. This stealth element works everywhere and at anytime in the game. I often say this every chance I get and this time is no different. The gamer must always have full control of the game in order to totally immerse them in the game. Ubisoft has accomplished that. Giving the gamer access to everything in the universe and at any time without any annoyances. That is one of the biggest achievements since GTA 3 was turned into a third person sandbox game, and what annoys me is that not many people have highlighted this.
I am seriously thinking about getting this game, again, for the PC just so I have an even better resolution for the great visual representation of the island.
The animals look realistic, the character animations, sky, jungle.
On that note, the jungle is really dense at times and can lighten up like a regular jungle will in reality. But what amazed me further was the way the water looked in the game.
Diving underwater without goggles in reality is represented in the exact same way in FC3. Totally similar in terms of the graphics and how it should look. As for the jungle and scenery everywhere you look - the game has really raised the bar for other free-roam RPGs everywhere. They're going to have to produce something even better to take my eyes of this game.
Not much to report here. While the music isn't terrible, it is quite average. Then again it's not something you should be looking at when playing a game like this. Really you be listening out for jungle noises and the unique sounds of each animal in this game.
The constant noise in the jungle is a true testament to how alive this game can really feel at times, and this game's audio design is just enough to really let yourself get involved with this game. The sound of the weapons, forests, vehicles. What I got excited for was the interest to detail such as the shuffle of each footstep, the crunch of a patch of grass or the constant clinking of your gear as you move.
I don't hand out these marks lightly as I hope you readers have noticed by now. This game is literally the one I have been waiting for in between my wait for the next Metal Gear video game.
Not only does this game offer hours of campaign gameplay - but even more. Your imagination is seriously the limit on this game, and not many games offer this to the gamer. Normally you just finish everything and find another game.
Well not this game - it's got enough to keep you happy until the next big thing.
And that's just it - this is the next big thing within the RPG genre of games.
So in a nutshell - I haven't found anything to annoy me or anything that I reckon will annoy you guys and gals out there. I thought about what it would be like for pro players vs noobs, but really and truly. This game caters for all.
If you haven't got it - GET IT!
P.S. It may seem like I'm being paid to write this what with all my praise for this game.
However you have to consider that; a) I'm still underground, b) I started this blog because of people that posted biased reviews and c) this game is actually good and I always let you guys know if I think a game is bad. Even if everyone loves it.
Thanks for reading this far - I realise this game has an online element to it and I thought it would be unfair to give this game a score based on the online factor added to it too. So this online feature will have its own review to better reflect the fact that it very much is a separate beast to this game.
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