The style of Far Cry 3 takes some getting used to. But they’ve really got it. It’s one of the games that really pays you back in terms of immersion. The graphics don’t immediately look “hey wow” until you’ve got used to the game and really immerse. Then I’m feeling an experience in a game I have not felt before. Far Cry 3 feels like a very new experience because the design is going for immersion in game, not screen shots for the front of glossy game magazines. I think I’ve captured some of that immersion in the stills on this page.
The creators of FC3 have obviously spent some time in previous instalments. This is really noticeable for fans of the series. There are ample references to the other Far Cry’s. The beached wrecks on the beach reminded me of the air craft carrier sequence in the original (the first) Far Cry and made want to go back and play it again which is always a good sign. Salt corroded hulls are smeared with atmospheric rust and colours. The creak and moan when you are going through their insides, promising to tell tales of previous sea adventures.
Dusk falls and a a thunderstorm rolls in creating a scene worthy of any Hollywood film. Then the storm passes and the stars come out (looking accurate rather than random).
Then the surprises start. Hang gliders can be held aloft for longer than expected compared to previous instalments. Were those thermals near the cliffs keeping me up ? Then my favourite. I’d looked for then had to imagine this in previous Far Cry’s. Wrecks ! Wrecks you can dive on ! FC3 suddenly becomes a free diving simulator.
But just when you thought you had escaped the island for some well earned peace of mind …
Vehicle handling is also fantastic. I’ve played quite a few car games and even a professional high performance car simulator so I immediately noticed what a pleasure the vehicles are to drive.
There are the much talked about animals and animal skins. Again this is another carry through from previous instalments. It was a much asked question about FC2 …. “when do I get to fight a Lion”. The tranquilliser rifle and the various game animals bought up some interesting possibilities that weren’t implemented in FC2. So the FC3 developers have been paying attention again. Not just “improving” on FC1 and FC2, both very good games in their own right. But using what is the main show here; applied creative imagination that lets the player run free with ideas and create their own storyline. There’s the usual GTA inspired game design like races and challenges but FC3 never loses sight of it’s Class A FPS origins. Where GTA was more knock about fun, FC3 has moments like the caged Tiger that I freed, initially attacking the bad guys but then, inexcusably, tracking through the middle of a ship and coming up behind me to my hiding place on that ship to kill me off ! Totally unexpected and never have I felt so deserving in my inattentiveness of being eaten by a Tiger !
So all in all FC3 seems to have broken through some kind of barrier or threshold. Where previous games played with interesting concepts to a certain extent they only went as far as the first generation of FPS video games could go. FC3 is the next generation of FPS made by developers who are prepared to really apply the technology and creativity at their disposal. Former games such as this, apart from some elements of the GTA series, often left me wondering if the developers were afraid to really see what the technology – and their creativity – could really do. This kind of game is really a God send in our current world that has reached almost fever pitch of social control and people embarrassed to be themselves. Something not uncoincidently reflected, I suspect, in the story line of finding tribal identity and one’s autonomous context in nature.