Real talk: I did not expect to like this game. The main character is a male (I usually don’t enjoy having to play as a male) and the main weapons are guns (I’m not really a fan of shooters, though the Borderlands and Mass Effect series captured my heart). And yet, here I was having a ball, skinning dogs, sneakily taking down a gang of enemies, and staring around in awe as I zip-lined down amongst the beautiful jungle canopy.
This game is good, sick, twisted, gorgeous fun.
The plot is very fanciful but interesting. You are a stranded rich adventurer who is kidnapped by pirates along with your family and friends. The game revolves around your journey to rescue yourself and your friends from these psycho pirates.
I don’t know why this game didn’t win more awards. The characters were so interesting. The bad guy is quite insane, yet somehow compelling, the supporting characters have questionable motives, and everything is flavored with culture. Nothing is whitewashed. and I really appreciated the diversity in this game, even if the main character was the typical brown-haired white guy.
Speaking of the main character, he was fairly un-sympathetic to me. He’s technically a pansy rich boy forced to be a warrior. I don’t really like that kind of protagonist, although I can see how this “realistic” protagonist would appeal to some.
That crazy pirate holding you prisoner is named Vaas. Vaas is beautiful. And crazy.
I will also say that the characters are not revolutionary. There is quite a bit of troping going around, what with the natives needing a magical white man to free them, and the black person (Dennis) having all of the mystical knowledge. Although I’m generally very uppity about this sort of lazy writing, I also went into this knowing I was playing a Far Cry game (ergo, I didn’t expect to like it at all) and so was more tolerant of it than I would be of a game I “expected more from.” For more on the racism, check out this article and the one it cites.
The graphics are astonishingly gorgeous. You will hear me mention this repeatedly throughout this review. Like no. Surrusly. Gorgeous. I would sometimes just sit and absorb the setting.
The open world environment is often compared to Skyrim, and a lot of the same mechanics apply. I can hide in the bushes waiting to kill someone and instead be murdered by a tiger. Or I can lead the tiger to the group and let it murder my enemies instead.
The first time a snake bit me, I screamed. I actually scared my friend on Skype, who, seeing my face, thought that something horrible had happened in real life. I loved the animals and what they added to the game. Even if I did get eaten by a crocodile because I was too busy screaming to realize that I needed to beat it off of me.
Oh, and killing and skinning animals became oddly addicting. Yeah, I said it. I enjoyed killing animals in this game. You can’t make me feel any worse than I already feel by admitting that.
Stealth Matters Not
I can be stealthy or not stealthy, but game doesn’t try to make it matter, which is cool. I liked not having consequences for my play style, because I am not the most consistent person.
I enjoyed many things about the map. Fast travel was a lifesaver, the map had an easy waypoint system, and revealing the island depended on climbing radio towers, which was a really cool feature that showed off the area and the graphics.
Oh also, pro-tip: they do not really explain a lot in this game. SAVE AND SAVE OFTEN. The easiest way to save sometimes was to visit a fast travel location. This automatically saves and gives you a place to sell loot before venturing off on an adventure.
I like that the tutorial menus have little interactive videos instead of pictures…it was especially helpful since the controls can be complicated.
Playing a person who is grossed out EVERY SINGLE TIME they skin an animal started to get on my nerves.
And then, in real life, the game is not really noob friendly. I found one of the first tasks very difficult and ended up playing on Adventurer mode. I had trouble telling when I actually hit the things I shot. The camera angles also made me feel seasick, something I didn’t get in Borderlands, but I’m not that familiar with first person shooters, so it could simply be the first person view.
They don’t explain very much in this game, and there are a LOT of controls to learn.
I also hated the finicky controls for looting. I spent precious minutes trying to angle myself properly over a body so I could loot it. The loot mechanic is also the same as the weapon switch mechanic, which really ends up sucking because dead bodies drop their weapons right next to them. Yeah. Have fun accidentally switching out an awesome gun while trying to rob a dead guy.
The good news is that you can get that gun back without having to buy it again. Once you buy something once, you “own it” and can simply return to the store and pick it back up if you make a mistake.
Where Will I Go?
Where do you go when you die? Well in this game, you never know. If you saved, you will have all your loot and experience, but you may be miles away under a radio tower you haven’t visited in ages. I don’t really know how the mechanic works, and I haven’t noticed a pattern yet with regards to where I respawn. But at least I have all my komodo dragon pelts!
I don’t understand why I have to use the camera to tag enemies. It makes no sense since cameras don’t do that, and it’s annoying to have to do it every time I want to murder folks. I think it’s pretty strange.
Speaking of the camera, there were so many items and options that sometimes I forgot what to press. For example, when I wanted to switch between my two guns, I could not figure out how to do it. I could figure out how to open the menu, but that was it. I also often threw bombs or injected myself with syringes while looking for something else.
Driving is the devil. The supply drop missions make me feel bad about myself, because I can’t seem to accomplish what looks like a super simple task. Just get to the next flare! *Crashes into rock*
This is not really a bad, more like a strange. The store system can really trick you into buying lots of weapons and supplies when you are actually going to get them for free. Pro-tip #2: liberate radio towers to get things for free.
In short, the multiplayer is super laggy, the co-op is okay, and the map editor is really cool. I don’t think that the online content makes or breaks this game.
Oh, and I get to play as a black woman in co-op. That always endears a game to me. ❤
This game is so much fun to play that the minor mechanics issues, lazy writing, and multiplayer problems that I had were unimportant. Stunning visuals, psycho villains, and addicting gameplay await you in the jungles of Far Cry 3!