Ubisoft heads back to the tropics with their third interpretation of the expansive Far Cry series. More than a simple shooter, Far Cry 3 is an adventure, and one that should be explored by any fan of the genre.

Fans of the “Far Cry” collection know what they are in for with Ubisofts latest entry in the series. “Far Cry 3”, like its predecessors is an expansive open-world adventure, tilted towards realism while giving the player the freedom to play the game how they want. Genuinely, it's your game - your world - so you are free to explore and handle situations on your own. Expedition-ready gamers with determination are needed, and for those who want their hand held all the way, you'll have to look somewhere else. While Far Cry 3 pushes you in the right direction, you will never be smothered, and how you solve each mission is left up to you. Creativity is in the kill, they say. Remember this is your game, and one you'll likely love, if you don't mind the freedom.

The end-goal of Far Cry 3 is simple - save your kidnapped friends and escape from the crazy dang island. Starting off as a leisurely vacation on a fictional tropical island, the narrative quickly turns into a nightmare. Your friends have been abducted and survival becomes more than an instinct as you become their saviour. Your character, Jason Brody, is a typical “guy” who unwillingly embraces this role and then transforms with it. Fixated on the twisted psychopathic, Vaas Montenergo, the man behind your crews abduction and extortion, he becomes your muse in your path to salvation. While you're tracking down your friends you will also be helping the Rakyat tribe retake the island as you do odd quests while maturing into a fearsome warrior. This is only the basics, and throughout the narrative, the characters and questions become more complex. Ubisoft is crafty with their plot development, so expect to be wrapped right up in this adventure. For a quick example, the film/book “The Beach” would be a good comparison. You go, Leo, umm, I mean Brody.


Returning to its roots, the open-world island setting is far more interesting than the desert jungles of Africa. Game progression is handled much the same, although more depth is given to your character with experience points, skill trees, and a neat little crafting system built into the infrastructure. The progression between common man to deadly predator is handled perfectly. Far Cry 3 does an impeccable job at making you feel like you are the predator stalking your prey. The simple things matter, and all the loose ends are tied up. If you have the time to give, Far Cry 3 only becomes more rewarding.

The action can be adapted to your play style, yet, a slight lean has been pushed towards stealth. Whether it's stealthy knifing or balls-to-the-wall gun battles, Far Cry 3 mechanics are tight. All the conveniences like blind-fire and peeking around objects are present. Marking enemies and a heightened “sense” also develop, which plays off your predatory instincts. Although taking down your enemies from the seeming invisibility bush is rewarding, you can also take the opposite route by arming yourself with the heavy guns and cooking them alive. Flamethrowers, RPGs and explosive arrows are all part of the equation. No matter the approach, a strategic mind will be your greatest asset. The A.I. isn't overly sharp, so it's the numbers you need to watch.


The island itself is massive, almost dwarfing Africa (which was more than enough). Having a play area this large can feel daunting at times, although the addition of wildlife and crafting helps pass the time. Fast travel is also present, so you don't have to worry about travelling for twenty minutes to reach an objective. As before, vehicles for all terrains, land, sea and air are available making it twice as fun to “jet around town”. The geography of the island is rather diverse, although mainly jungle, all the small crevasses make it enjoyable to explore. Side missions and collectibles are all part of the experience, adding an extra element to the game, if you're not solely in it for the main quest.

The production values tie all this together, and boy is Far Cry 3 a looker. Given the ambition of the world, the effort is valiant even with a few rough edges. The shining moments are the audio in all its forms (soundtrack, voice, effects) and the expert acting is excellent when dealing with each main character. These “island folk” sure have swagger, which goes a long way to make you care about the prose. Also, its nice to see the beautiful greens and blues of the tropics. It's a location that few games take on and a nice change from the long list of “war” shooters.

The only real complaint with Far Cry 3 is a repeating issue with the series; motivation. True, Far Cry 3 is far superior than the politics driven Far Cry 2, however its strengths are not fully utilized. After all the care in crafting this engaging story and characters, they are sadly underused. More interaction between any of the characters would have been welcomed. Sure, you can fake this by playing co-op, which is entertaining, it just lacks the emotional depth that you get from Brody in the single player campaign. If not in co-op or solo, the “what to do's” is absorbed by a competitive multiplayer front that is more than capable, just not why we bought the ticket in the first place.


Far Cry 3 is by far the best in the series. An engaging adventure that has all the elements to keep you hooked for hours on end. The narrative, extras, and open-world is at the top of its game – and while it might be a little too expansive for some gamers, those who embrace the island will get more out of it. Standing out on a pedestal, this is one island retreat you'll never forget.

  • Expansive open-world environment to explore.
  • Great storyline with some outstanding characters.
  • Lots to do, lots of ways to do it.
  • Solid combat mechanics; with some excellent stealth mechanics.
  • Excellent character development and customization.
  • Production is spot on. If it wasn't for the wackos, I'd be visiting.
  • This destination might be too big for some gamers.
  • Some of the side missions are too basic.
  • While mindless fun, the co-op seems unnecessary.
Quote: "Far Cry 3 is by far the best in the series. An engaging adventure that has all the elements to keep you hooked for hours on end."
Reviewed by Downtown Jimmy | 12.09.12 | Platform Reviewed: Xbox 360

Similar Games: Far Cry Instincts: Predator (6.5) | Far Cry 2 (9.0)


Far Cry 3


Ubisoft Canada


US Release
November '12


X360, PS3

Players 1
Online MP 2-14
Co-op 2-4
5.1 Surround
HD 720-1080p
D/L Content