Far Cry 3 is dangerous. There, I said it. Someone had to. This game seems to be an amalgamation of decade’s worth of game design, masterfully forged into one solid game. The result is an incredibly well made, strangely addictive game. And this scares me, not only for the initial implications, but what it means for gaming down the road.
Headshot! Double Kill! Headshot! Last Shot! Triple Kill! Rank 25! Unlocked: Vektor! AK-47 Level 10! Unlocked: Marskman Scope! An endless tide of accomplishments pop up all across my screen, in big, bold, bright letters.
This game throws awards at you, as if you were Daniel Day-Lewis at the Oscars. It makes a genuine effort to shower you with praise, points and a perpetual stream of unlocks. And you deserve it, too! You’re a bad ass – or, well, at least I am. So bring on the rewards.
And the game does just that. You’re constantly unlocking new toys; between your character leveling up, your guns leveling up, and the decoder mechanics, you’ve always got a reason to keep on playing. The real genius behind the nonstop bombardment of rewards, is the fact that it continues to give you goodies, even when you’re not playing.
Logging off for the night? Start up your decoder(s), so that they randomly generate items for you, over the next few hours. That way, you can go to sleep dreaming of all the fun things you might be getting, once you wake up.
Perhaps you need to head off to school/work, in which case, set up a multi-hour long decoding session. To pass the time usually filled with monotonous labor, you can instead distract yourself with the decoding bar, which will eventually start giving you hints as to what you’ll be getting.
But before long, though, you’ll run out of things to decode. In which case, you’ll have to go back to playing the game, in order to procure some more decodable items. And this is the genius, that is Far Cry 3. The game is just as addictive when you’re not playing it, as it is when you are playing it.
Even the single player has these addictive tendencies to it. While not as obvious and manipulative as the multiplayer components, you can easily find yourself lost on the island for hours. Between a colorful cast of eccentric quest givers, and an endless list of endeavors to undertake, it’s hard to stop playing this game. One moment you’re doing errands for a possibly gay, almost-certainly-sadomasochistic Australian hitman, the next you’re off huntin’ gators and pickin’ flowers; only to find that it’s 4 in the morning, and you can’t quite tell where the past 6 hours have gone.
It is my belief that the animations, which are as satisfying as they are horrifying, play a large part in making this game so engaging. Everything from snapping bones back into place, to hacking flowers with a machete, is a sensual paradise. The sounds, swift movements, and gorgeous graphics all intertwine to make a real, living, breathing world; almost to the point where it’s hauntingly so.
Nothing illustrated this more than when I was being chased by a pack of wild dingoes, each one growling at me with a courage and constitution that few could call their own. Yet it was all shattered in a split second, when I landed a round from an assault rifle, right through the alpha dog’s head.
What was once the bearing of ferocious fangs, swiftly turned into an expression of bewilderment and fear, followed by the sound of whimpering moans and the pitter patter of paws, as the dingoes dispersed into the distance. I will, literally, never forget that moment, and I think, perhaps, games are becoming all too realistic.
When we have to consider the emotional ramifications of shooting things in a video game, we’ve gone too far. While indeed, the overall theme of the game is just that, it’s far too dangerous to have the player be so intimately connected with that emotional experience.
I mean, where does this end? Ten, twenty years down the road, will we have players coming away from games with post-traumatic stress? It’s clear that the formula for an emotionally engaging, completely immersive game is here. All that is (potentially) required, is the right application of intense storytelling and graphical prowess.
Far Cry 3 just scares me. It’s far too well designed, far too addictive, too immersive. It’s… it’s just far too dangerous. Interestingly enough, this makes it hard to review. On every level, it delivers a well crafted experience. If you’re on a budget, this is easily the biggest bang-for-your-buck game, that I have ever seen. The amount of time that you can spend (and want to spend) in this game, is ridiculous.
Stretching across all game modes, Far Cry 3 remains consistent in its polished, masterful mechanics. I just wish there was more strategy involved with fighting the different enemy types.
As an open world game, there are certain limitations that must be set on the graphical prowess of a game. Having said that, it’s still an incredibly beautiful island.
I hated the music in this game. Normally that wouldn’t be a problem, but due to the complete and utter lack of sound options, I couldn’t turn it off. As a result, hearing actual dialogue became really problematic at time, especially when the music blared and explosions were going off all around me.
The sociological experiment, that is the main story, is certainly not for everyone. In a bit of a twist, I actually found the madness more engaging upon retrospect, than I did while playing the game.
I can’t think of a game that gives you this much content, this well polished. Everything in this game is designed to keep you playing, and playing, and playing (even when you’re not playing).
The multiplayer, singleplayer and co-op are all, equally addictive and fun in their own, unique way. As I’ve said before, this game is so good, it scares me.