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Preview

The original Far Cry, developed by Cryetk, launched back in 2004 as a PC exclusive, and ended up being quite well received for its open-ended design and impressive graphics. At that point, Ubisoft Montreal took the reins and proceeded to develop more games in the franchise. A sequel, some good Xbox titles, and an atrocious Wii title later, and the franchise is regarded as a solid but safe shooter series. Ubisoft thinks that’s not good enough, as they’re prepping Far Cry 3 to be an intense and engaging shooter that holds up just as well in story and exploration as it does in gameplay. In order to that, they’re taking the series back to its roots and plan to build upon the foundation that the original Far Cry set in place.

For the third entry in the series, you’ll play as brand new protagonist Jason Brody. He’s taken a trip to a remote island with his girlfriend, and they eventually get separated, leading our hero to set out on a combat-heavy quest to find and rescue her. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s largely a copy-paste of the first game’s plot. However, the major difference is that instead of the enemies being a mercenary team protecting *SPOILER* scientific research on mutant creatures *END SPOILER*, the enemy this time around is a militia headed by a crazed psycho named Vaas. He’s started killing off the island’s villagers and otherwise caused a massive conflict to ensue, capturing Jason and his sweetheart. After escaping, Jason must seek the aid of several other insane individuals who reside on the island in order stop the eccentric Vaas and save himself and his love.

The setting will look quite familiar to anyone who has played the first Far Cry. That’s because Ubisoft has decided that what made the original game unique was the tropical island it took place in. Consequently, Far Cry 3 will provide players with a varied and unpredictable environment to wreak havoc in. From beaches to jungles, villages, and caves, the game is dripping with atmosphere and creates an inviting island that one would consider going to for a vacation if it weren’t teeming with lunatics. Speaking of creating islands, the level editor will return for Far Cry 3, and it promises to be deeper than ever. Although vehicles won’t be included in it, it will be more accessible and customizable this time around.

Surprisingly, the series has been known to provide engaging gameplay along with neat visuals. Ubisoft is looking to fix issues from the previous titles in order to bring players the best Far Cry yet. The game still retains the same open-world structure as #2, but the fast travel system has been greatly improved so that players can quickly get back to the story if they get tired of messing around in the landscape. Vehicles such as jeeps and gliders are back, but there are also a considerable amount of ziplines across the island to get the player around quickly. Like previous games, stealth is an option in addition to going in with guns blazing. One interesting design point is that your actions affect the game world considerably; complete more story missions, for instance, and the amount of Vaas’ men you’ll have to deal with decreases. Finally, the game is punctuated with sequences that don’t contain any combat whatsoever, such as harvesting plants for the Doctor, which should help add variety to the game’s structure.

“Dem graphics, yeah!” That’s what folks have been saying about the Far Cry series since its inception, and #3 looks to continue that trend. Explosions, a signature of the Far Cry games, look as good as ever and the tropical scenery looks lush and inviting. Very special attention has been paid to the character’s faces, which animate realistically and convey a lot of personality. Ubisoft promises that the jungle environment will ‘behave’ realistically and really sell you on the game’s world, as will the game’s impressive physics engine.

 

Will it be at E3?

Yes; it’s been confirmed by Ubisoft. While it might not light up E3 like Assassin’s Creed III will, we have a feeling the game will still catch quite a few people off guard at the expo.

 

What we want to see

We’d really like to see some destructible environments in the game that preserve the sense of destruction and chaos that Far Cry 2 had. We also want to see a wide variety of weapons and possibly even an upgrade system for them. Also, we’d like to see improved AI this time around, as Far Cry 2 really stumbled in this area.

Another thing we want to see is more variety in the activities scattered around the world. Far Cry 2 was massive, but got repetitive after a while due to recycled missions and objectives. We also hope that enough interesting characters will be around to keep the pacing in check.

 

 

Check back tomorrow for a preview of God of War: Ascension. What do you want to see in Far Cry 3? Let us know in the comments section below.

 

Michael Urban
Now an occasional contributer, Michael Urban is the former Editor-in-Chief at OnlySP and has the nickname "Breadcrab" for reasons his therapist still doesn't understand. From the moment he first got hacked in Runescape, he's been uninterested in multiplayer games and has pursued the beauty of the single-player experience, especially in terms of story and creative design. His hobbies include reading, writing, singing in the shower, pretending to be productive, and providing info and feedback regarding the games industry. It is an industry, right? You can ask him a question or send him spam at michaelurban@onlysp.escapistmagazine.com. Also, follow him on Twitter or the terrorists win. (@MichaelUrban1)

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