Far Cry 3: Benchmarks and Review

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If you've been itching for a game to showcase a new video card, or to rub in the faces of your friends, with their 2005-2006 Xbox 360s and PS3s, Far Cry 3 is that game. It eschews the space-gray corridors or military battlefields of other franchises for the lush tropical environments the Far Cry series is famous for, and the game absolutely shines. After years of cooling our heels as publishers delivered console titles for DirectX 9-era hardware, the game is a welcome breath of fresh air.

We've put together a comprehensive look at the game, from performance benchmarks to how it plays and whether or not it's worth your gaming dollar.

Graphics:
Far Cry 3 is an enormous, open-world game. Most reviews have focused on the graphics, and for good reason -- this game looks stunning. Foliage is beautifully rendered, the island environments are gorgeous, and the character modeling is some of the best we've ever seen.



The graphics artists that worked on Far Cry 3 outdid themselves. Even simple scenes (the screenshot below is from a drug-induced hallucination) are gorgeous. Stark, nearly monochromatic lighting is combined with a few bits of color and great texturing to create a memorable shot with minimal components.



The game, however, is absolutely capable of more. Feast your eyes.

 

There are, however, some issues with certain settings. The game offers three types of ambient occlusion -- SSAO, HBAO, and HDAO. Only one of these -- HDAO -- actually works properly. The other two produce extremely odd visual effects. We confirmed the bug on both GeForce and Radeon GPUs; the two brands handle the three settings the same way:


SSAO, HDAO, and HBAO shown from left to right. Only the middle image is rendered properly

SSAO gives the game a cell-shaded appearance, while HBAO is imprecise and overshadowed. The only way to turn ambient occlusion off is to edit the game's XML configuration file, and the setting will return to "On" if you change any of the other graphics options on the page.

Every now and then, an odd low-resolution texture pops up.



It's like Far Cry 1's ground textures hopped a bus to Far Cry 3. It's odd to see such a crappy texture popping out of otherwise beautiful landscape, but we suspect this is something that will be addressed in a future patch.
 

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My first true love was the first Farcry. Farcry 2 unfortunately broke my heart. Now this one comes out, and I'm too scared to even attempt throwing my rig at it, for fear it will be unplayable. For now i'll hold out until these holidays pass over and I can pick up a new GPU.

I'd like to point out that the "lines" in the textures, like farcry 1, were very beneficial in the first farcry. Where there were lines is where you could climb, so people would climb way up in the mountains and sit up there and snipe. We even had competition's late at night to see who could climb the furthest. These spots were especially beneficial during tournaments, because most of the players didn't know how to "climb", so we'd often use these spots for our advantage.

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The first person driving really bugged me. I mean, I get that they're going for immersion, but there's a fine line between immersion and ruining fun, and for me it was the latter.

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No this is not what I wanted to hear for an entirely selfish reason!

Without a desktop at school I've been playing games on my Roommates Xbox 360 since mine is back home with my younger brother and I just purchased FarCry3 for the 360... -_____-

My justification behind it was a youtube video that showed not much of a difference between the two... My gut instinct told me to know better, but for some reason I believed youtube and was enticed by the fact it was a way for me to explore the FarCry series since I've never played any of the previous games.

In case anyone else is interested in the comparison:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mz8paB0KOHQ

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Ouch, some aspects of the game are off-putting, like the crafting and poor humor, but open-world games are irresistible to me. If I can just get unaddicted from other games I'm playing at the moment, I'll get into this one, despite its issues.

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RWilliams:

Ouch, some aspects of the game are off-putting, like the crafting and poor humor, but open-world games are irresistible to me. If I can just get unaddicted from other games I'm playing at the moment, I'll get into this one, despite its issues.

I tried explaining this to my wife the other day, but she's not a gamer so she gave me the deer in the headlights look and a nod.

Ubisoft makes awesome games... in a sense.  Their games are gorgeous, and always are filled to the brim with potential.  Somehow though, they always seem to fall short somewhere, or all over the place.  Take Farcry 2 for instance, after you get used to the controls and such, it was a really fun game. 2 Hours later, and doing the same type of mission 20 times, you were bored.  But, if i were to show someone what computers can do versus a console, I'd pull up farcry 1,2, or 3 in a heartbeat.  It does seem that farcry 3 is better than the previous two, probably has something to do with crytek taking a break on this one. 

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LOL! "Deer In The Headlights Look"

My wife doesn't game either, but she sometimes banishes me to the PC room to game and stop bugging her about something.

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The best game of 2012, amazing!!

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Ive been playing this game for a few days now and I agree with Joel on the whole crafting issue. I hunted every bloody animal to find out that the last item in each set could only be crafted after completing a specific hunter quest. Thats annoying by itself but then you have to use a specific weapon to complete the quest. Who the hell wants to use bow and arrows to hunt leopards, i would rather use my sniper rifle and do it from a safe distance.

Ive also been doing a lot of side missions and they are fun for a bit, random poker games and knife tosses and shooting crows with a shotgun is just entertainment. thats basically what i want in a sandbox game and farcry 3 does deliver in spades so far.

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Oh and Vaas is an awesome character, just the right mix of psychotic and humorous.

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I like the part where they take all of your stuff but you still have that high dollar camera. I have played all three now and nothing has been able to beat the first Far Cry. The big cats and bears are tough to kill when you can't take one down with 30 rounds from a AK47. For the most part I love the game but it aint what I hoped it would be................

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