The Terrible, Wonderful Things I've Done in Far Cry 3

Shaun stress-tests the Far Cry 3 sandbox to see if it can accommodate his unique brand of madness.

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I swear I'm not a bad person. In fact, I like to think I'm a pretty good guy. But set me free in an open-world action game and I immediately set off in search of ways to entertain myself at the expense of every living thing in the gameworld. I won't usually play an entire game like a crazy lunatic, mind you. I just like to size up the sandbox and get a sense for how strict the boundaries are before I settle into the story. So after spending an hour goofing about in Far Cry 3's sandbox earlier today, you can imagine how delighted I was when the game didn't just let me run wild; it was practically an accomplice.

First, some context: Ubisoft's press demo here at Gamescom has story missions disabled so that folks like me can get a sense of what the game's open-world tropical archipelago has to offer. Altogether, I was given roughly an hour of time with Far Cry 3's sandbox with no real rules to speak of. What I learned in that time is that Far Cry 3 is a game absolutely stuffed with hazards, creatures, collectibles, side quests, and random little events to grab your attention. It is, in many ways, a direct response to Far Cry 2's gorgeous but relatively empty landscape.

The game does its best to nudge you in certain directions so that it's not all just mindless wandering. One example is the collection of a dozen-plus radio towers you can climb to unlock information on your map screen that ranges from enemy outposts to plants used for potion-crafting. (Yes, that's the Far Cry 3 team taking a bit of inspiration from the Assassin's Creed team.) These towers actually get more and more dilapidated as you progress through the game, making each one more of a hazard (and thus a reward) to scale.

But once I broke free from those subtle guide markers, I just kept trying crazy new things in order to see what results the island had in store for me. What would happen if I took off from a mountain with a hang glider and tried to suicide bomb into an enemy at full speed? One slightly injured but very angry pirate, as it turns out. What would happen if I threw a grenade into a pack of peaceful mountain goats? Nearby pirates heard the commotion and came charging my way--also quite angry. What would happen if I ran over a friendly civilian, or drove a jeep off a cliff, or straight-up knifed a tiger? It was like a bizarre form of scientific research, but with more explosions and tiger maulings. Oh, the number of times I was mauled by a tiger.

I even managed to find legitimate ways to goof my way through what would normally be a more serious combat situation. Like in Far Cry 2, there are different enemy camps strewn about the world (not respawing ones this time, fortunately) that you can clear out to bring in friendly forces to that part of the map. Having decided that simply defeating these pirates with a standard gun wasn't enough, I decided to try using a sniper rifle to pick off their radios from afar, preventing them from calling for backup. Then I found a jeep and just started swerving around and spinning donuts in their camp until every poor soul fell victim to my terrible, terrible driving.

In a few cases, it almost felt like the sandbox was messing around right back at me. At one point I found a side quest tacked to the side of a building asking for someone to help take out a couple of dangerous bears killing local villagers. Oh, why not! I happen to enjoy a good bear hunt. Only in this case, my quest took me into a pitch-black bear cave with nothing more than a flashlight and a shotgun designed for close-quarters encounters. Yes, what began as a simple side quest ended with me practically playing a survival horror game in order to survive.

There's all sorts of stuff I could mention, but at this point you probably get the point. Far Cry 3's open world is an impressive one. It's filled with all sorts of quests, collectibles, and emergent gameplay moments that practically demand you goof around and experiment just to see what happens next. Combine this with abundant fast travel options and enemy camps that don't respawn and you have an open world that's much livelier and less tedious than Far Cry 2's. We can't wait to play more--tiger maulings and all.

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Discussion

75 comments
peeger
peeger

Looks good, I thought FC1 was the best game I ever played at the time, While playing I thought the mutants were weird, but in FC2 I kinda missed them.  I guess Its not so much the mutants as the story that led them to be there and it was more tense knowing of them.  Far Cry 2, although I played forever, never seemed to get where or what I was doing after I missed a few days.  It didnt have me focused on one fact, which evidently, I must need.  I love open worlds, but sometimes letting me wonder off just gets everyone dead and I dont know what I am looing for, (something about diamond in hidden suitecases.  Well I played (FC2) on and off for probably a coupld years, it got uninstalled or not backed up when I rebuilt my rig and didnt ever get finished.  FRC, I couldnt stop playing.  And Crysis is the best games ever, Only I hit some rare glitch about 3/4 through the newest one and never finished.  I am waiting until I forget some of it and go back and start from the start again someday.  Anyway, I cant wait for this game.

squidbilly22
squidbilly22

nice, i like the feeling of laying waist to a village permanently .......can't wait to let out my inner pyromaniac again..

BuyaPC
BuyaPC

That sounds awesome. I really really wanted to like far cry 2 but damn that game got boring after about 2 hours of doing what felt like the same thing over and over. This game looks cool and i love open world games but theres not too many good first person ones out there. i really hope this turns out to be good but ive been let down by ubisoft montreal many times before so it wouldnt be a shock for this to be a stinker too.

Psycold
Psycold

Finally a return to Far Cry 1 but with much more to do

mcjarty
mcjarty

no1- was kick arse, no2- meh, take it or leave it, no3- looks awesome( fingers crossed)

Psmitty456
Psmitty456

Never played the first two but this game definitely has my attention!

s_emi_xxxxx
s_emi_xxxxx

Ubisoft please remove the Tiger killing from this game.

chaos-06
chaos-06

I can't wait for this game. Seems like the true successor to Crytek's original. Ubi doesn't even seem as bad as EA these days who have just ruined the C&C franchise trying to push their free 2 play bull.

translucent17
translucent17

I was really on the fence about this but im starting to get excited for it.  I love reading that a game studio actually addressed the problems and annoyances and guess what the game is better for it.  never got into farcry 2 i really wanted to but respawning enemy's makes me angry and fixing a nut on my car moter every 5 seconds was just silly.  I love the idea of opening enemy camps to allow for friendlies to move in, i have allways wanted to see more games that have a greater reaction to the players actions, the saboteur is a good example,  it just doesnt make sense to kill a bunch of enemies just to have them back there 5 mins later but I think dragons dogma had a decent Idea with having the enemies respawn after a couple days, FO3 did this as well in some areas, also fable 3 had an interesting take on player decisions/ in game outcome. 

DeathProofDelta
DeathProofDelta

I couldn't get into far cry 2. If there is a demo, i'll have a look at this...

dinosaur-123
dinosaur-123

great ! I'm really going to enjoy bear cave hunting

nameaprice
nameaprice

As long as the A.I. is better this time round it should be great

davetbeau
davetbeau

I'm excited about the presence of Tigers. 

 

Slinqy
Slinqy

Finally, enemies don't respawn after you've cleared a camp. It's just going to be me, my knife and sniper rifle, and maybe a couple of mines.

War_Slammer75
War_Slammer75

When will Ubisoft show the Far Cry 3 editor so I can feint of excitement

SHOW IT UBISOFTTTttttttttt........

deadpeasant
deadpeasant

Its nice to hear that the're addressing the issues in Fary Cry 2, and that was still a good game. This game is shaping up to be very interesting indeed. 

skunkpants
skunkpants

I liked the open world of FC2, but at points it got very tedious in the open landscape and felt empty. Hopefully the enemies won't have the perfect vision and aim from 1 km away like they do in other open world games. I hate hiding behind cover (a tree) and take a sniper shot from a distance only to find that the camp knows my location to the mm within seconds. Even though I'm behind a bush and far away. Look forward to this installment!

eminem197795
eminem197795

Far Cry 1 < Far Cry 2. I hope you see the pattern.

Nathalmighty1
Nathalmighty1

Sounds fantastic, I am really looking forward to this release!

karlsduck
karlsduck

Thank Goodness, I'd been concerned about the openness of the game, that hadn't really showed it off at all!

Venom_Raptor
Venom_Raptor

Far Cry 2 was amazing, but Far Cry 3 is the real sequel I've been waiting for. It sounds outstanding, can't wait!

hoscba
hoscba

Sound awesome, looking forward to this island of insanity. 

Joeguy00
Joeguy00

Does anyone know the DRM situation with this one?

pcostix
pcostix

If Ubisoft lose the checkpoint respawn(Farcry2), I'll forgiveve them for changing the ip so much (from Farcry to Farcry2) and I'll even buy your game.

itchyflop
itchyflop

soooo looking forward to this Robinson Crusoe shit 

joey16666
joey16666

Great article. Wish it was longer.

DITHRICH
DITHRICH

i like to see my self as a good guy as well....but tell that to my victims....

TheGreyArea
TheGreyArea

Wow... Far cry takes a modern step towards The Elder Scrolls kind of premise! EVERY hope I have for this game, is that as much of what has been described in this article as possible, is extended to the co-op mode. It sounds excellently suited to enjoy with a friend. 

Carlito2222
Carlito2222

Enemy camps that don't respawn... Oh yes! The respawning camps were the reason I didn't play the whole story in Far Cry 2

xsonicchaos
xsonicchaos

sounds like the true sequel to the first far cry. it'll be awesome.

eddyoshi
eddyoshi

Thats sounds awesome, had never played any of the far cry games and this one sounds promissing

asifah30
asifah30

AC3 vs FC3 ???

 

I will go for FC3. And I am sure it will be the GOTY...........

gamergath
gamergath

I'll go insane if I ever get my hands on Farcry 3! Woohoo!

squall_83
squall_83

Non respawning camps. That's a great thing. Taking a pointer from Elder Scrolls it seams. It makes you question your actions and feel a lot more attached to your world. I like it.

dbzpranav
dbzpranav

 @s_emi_xxxxx Ok so lemme get this straight, in a game, killing people who are shooting at you is fine, killing a virtual tiger that is attacking a virtual version of you in a virtual world however, is offensive?

HiroArka
HiroArka

 @s_emi_xxxxx Survival my friend! If a digital Tiger threatens to send you back to a check point you need to send it packing to Feline Heaven.

deadpeasant
deadpeasant

 @skunkpants Actually thats a really good point. I hope they will have more realistic AI this time around aswell. Whats the point of a sniper rifle it you can't possibly stay hidden.

BuyaPC
BuyaPC

 @eminem197795 far cry 1 along with crytek is way better than FC2 and poopiesoft montreal. I hope they learned their lesson about how boring 2 was so 3 will be good

Jaga_Telesin
Jaga_Telesin

 @eminem197795 WTF?  Far Cry 1 was a classic, and highly enjoyable.  By contrast, FC2 was an utter POS, and very annoying with respawning camps.  Your math is fail, or your sarcasm is transparent.

Keeonwow
Keeonwow

You do know that Far Cry 1 and Far Cry 2 were made by 2 completely different companies? The name was just handed on to Ubisoft. I should have you know that when Crytech finished with Far Cry, they moved on to the Crysis project which I'm sure everybody preferred over Far Cry 2.

cromen
cromen

 @Carlito2222  I got sick of it too. But i managed to complete the game :D but after that i traded it to CoD 4 :P

Jaga_Telesin
Jaga_Telesin

 @squall_83 Uhhh, no.  They took a pointer from Far Cry 2, which people hated due to the instant-respawn roadblock camps.

DrTrigger
DrTrigger

 @squall_83 You can kill everyone in Dark Souls. Important people and everything.

squall_83
squall_83

This makes me think... Why hasn't anyone, that I know of, made a game yet where you have an open world, like Elder Scrolls, in which you can kill EVERYONE! Elder Scrolls was the closest thing I can think of that tried this idea but, they still left all of the important characters immortal. I understand that they would do this for the sake of preserving the continuity of the game but, why not explain to the player beforehand that it is possible to ruin things if they want to. Then create alternate scenarios if you kill people who are important and drive the story in another direction completely. Even if you want to, maybe you're crazy, kill everyone. Congratulations you just earned the worst ending in the game. You're a freak. True... Multiple.... Endings.

chronocommander
chronocommander

 @Jaga_Telesin Chill man, he/she is only stating his/her opinion, that's what comments are for, no need for personal attacks when stating yours.

nesticles3
nesticles3

 @squall_83 That's a good idea except there are other random events in the game like dragon attacks and NPC's attacking each other which can kill important characters just as easy as you can.  They have enough broken quests and achievements/trophies as it is.

topeira
topeira

 @squall_83 why cant you kill everyone in a game world? can you imagine how boring the game will get half way through if everyone stays dead? i'd HATE to play a game that makes every bit of fun in it finite so i run out of content and action the more i play. for me i dont like the fact that in FC3  outposts stay empty. i dont think they should respawn after 10 seconds like in FC2 but i dont want the game world to run out of things to shoot even more. in Skyrim you can sometimes kill important NPCs but you lose more than you gain - you lose the ability to take missions from them. you lose progress in quests. you lose the prizes or perks these NPCs would give you. in general - you lose gameplay. there are plenty of reasons why you cant kill everyone in a game. it's not for nothing that there hasnt been games that allowed this. it's a bad idea.  

patto87
patto87

 @squall_83 Pretty sure i Morrowind you could kill anyoneif you were strong enough. It just said that you have killed an important character and the main story could not be completed or something, but it still let you play on in a doomed world

shantd
shantd

 @squall_83 - I figure what you propose will happen eventually. As to why it hasn't happened yet? It would take a lot of work, bottom line. And only a small percentage of gamers who buy the game will actually bother killing everyone to put it to the test. So for the developer, it's a whole lot of work with not a lot of payoff. Still, I like the idea. Your first playthrough you're the hero. 2nd playthrough, you're the bane of the world, destroying everything that you see...and in both scenarios you can still beat the game? Count me in.