farcry 3- the review
no reviews yet? ill jump in. its a long un, tldr is at bottom.
I really enjoyed farcry 1 and its semi sequel, crysis. both games involved "open" gameplay with multiple paths to victory, but did it in a non corridor shooter fashion, i.e. while you were kinda forced through certain areas, that area was quite large and had plenty of ways through. so while it was driven by the story and set piece events, you could also explore, and apart from the fucking lame alien parts of these games, i think they are some of the best when it comes to that form of gameplay. the storylines were fairly silly, but also fairly non intrusive to the gameplay. the combat in both was stellar along with the gfx, and i must have played through both at least 4-5 times apiece, trying various methods.
farcry 2 was, to me, a massive dissapointment, despite having some nifty features- the non intrusive HUD is IMO one of the most under rated features of any game ever, considering that nobody else seems to have tried it since, with the exception of maybe dead island. however the game was let down by having a truly appalling storyline, extremely lazy ai implementation (yeah, we could have a faction system, and that would seem like a really obvious way to do it, but na **** we lazy everyone shoots ya) overly respawning enemies which were too easy anyway so became more like a chore anytime you wanted to drive anywhere- which you did, and often, for 30 minute stretches of fucking boredom in between the same 4-5 mission types. farcry 2 was one of those games that got the open world thing right and then forgot to actually put anything in it. and lets not even get into the fucking awful malaria bullshit.
so that brings us to FC3.
The first thing i noticed about this game was that i didnt like the characters except the bad guy. im not sure why they decided the main character should be some moronic frat bro on holiday with his equally brotastic mates, or why they would make this seemingly lost and frightened kid who was saved by his fairly badass army brother the main character. who would quickly overcome his fear of death etc to mow down hordes of enemies, become an expert with every gun known to man including a bow, be able to easily overpower and stab to death heavily armed mercenaries with no training, etc. this aspect of the game REALLY got on my tits, in fact, smiply because it is so completely nonsensical and unneccessary (he could have had an army background or something to give it a level of plausability)
as an interesting aside, it seems the natives of this island are maori... a little like dead island which seemed to have a pretty high rate of maori in it. not the only thing they have in common, in fact this game feels like a strange ripoff of dead island in many ways, with its quasi rpg action system, crafting, high levels of unneccessary crap that you loot off stuff, the ai system, the brotastic characters... throw in some zombies and its basically a sequel.
where it fails in regards to sandbox games like skyrim, dead island et al is in the quest system which is STILL fucked. it is still the same bunch of boring quests, most of which are whispered from some unseen voice, with absolutely banal objectives. kill this pirate with a knife. kill these dogs with a shotgun. deliver these supplies to this area. these are the same kind of boring as **** no face no name quests that i avoided like the plague in FC2.
the reason i have 200+ hours in skyrim (apart from a bad habit of leaving it switched on when i go to work) is because the side quests are engaging and different. even if they are all at their core similar (go here, kill/collect this, give it to this guy) they cover it with enough story and depth to make it interesting. the daedric quests, the brotherhood assassin quests, the sword in the stone, all these quests are totally unneccessary yet the game makes you want to do them by fleshing out their stories. FC3, just like FC2, totally fails to do that. not to mention that there arent really any quest rewards in this game apart from money (which has almost no use except to stock up on ammo now and then, since guns in this game are free for some strange reason) and experience to drive its odd rpg system. which again, kinda fails because....
this game is fucking EASY. i cranked it up to hard and its still just really, really easy. it gives you guns for free for unlocking towers, so once youve unlocked a few you have access to the best guns in the game, i got the bolt action sniper and heavy machine guns unlocked after i think 4 radio towers. enemies are crap shots and blind, and half of them are cowards who run and hide anyway. i ignore the skill trees for the most part, along with the syringe system, because you just dont need to, the game isnt hard enough to warrant it. when a player is forced to enact their own restrictions- such as playing with only bow and knife- to make it at all challenging on the hardest difficulty, you fucked up the game design.
speaking of design, the less said about the UI the better. this part REALLY confused me after the stellar UI in farcry 2, they traded it in for what has to be one of the most obnoxious and intrusive UIs ive ever seen. it CONSTANTLY pops up to tell you how to play, that you should be doing this quest or that quest, some **** rings you while you are doing your own thing, fucking neverending tutorials, boring info on every piece of crap you pick up... it is just awful. the menus are awful, and are lazily ported from console, so much so that mouse scroll doesnt work in half of them. the bizarre game saving system is... i dont know, i still havent really figured it out. when you die you just respawn back at a safe house, and im not sure whether it reverts to a save and sticks you back in one, or whether it just does that every time you die... either way there is zero penalty for dying in this game.
also, what the **** ever happened to the cool physics we had in crysis 1? where you threw a grenade into a house and the WHOLE FUCKIN THING FELL DOWN TO RUBBLE. that was AWESOME.
so what DOES it do well? its pretty. the combat, while easy, is quite engaging, and the voice acting is rather good (especially the hilarious maori cuzzie accents) the gameplay itself is a big improvement over FC2 and its grinding journeys of self hate to do 5 minute quests. the crafting system is interesting and engaging, and the story so far is quite well done. also, fucking hang gliders. (han gliders? hangliders? none of these words look right)
THE TL;DR EDITION
Very pretty game, big environment, interesting guns and combat, good voice acting (rare in games) lots of missions, interesting crafting/rpg system
Missions are mostly boring, game is too easy, poor enemy ai, poorly implemented and extremely intrusive UI
horrible console port interface is obvious, talent trees are pointless, story is crap and unengaging, massive world void of any interesting things to do
i wouldnt buy this game, maybe wait for steam sale and get it for twenty bucks. 6/10. or just go play crysis/fc1, which are fucking ten times better anyway
Thanks for the review, saves me some time and money..the TV ads looked ok so was hoping for a massive improvement on FC2 which was as bad as you say.
Re the fat boy main character, perhaps their trying to appeal to lazy arse gamers..u know give 'em a character they can relate to..