Far Cry 3: Benchmarks and Review

Article Index

Nitpicks, Conclusion

There are enough issues and immersion-breaking flaws in FC3 that I decided to wrap them into their own section.

The Map:
In real life, a map is something you draw to help you find things. In Far Cry 3, as you escape from Vaas' slave camp, you find a paper map and shove it in your pocket. This document literally fails at providing the most basic function of a map, as shown below:

You unlock new areas by climbing radio towers and removing jammers. Somehow this enables the Magic Paper Map to tell you where you are. Unjamming radio towers also gets you free guns. Why? Who cares?

Shop keepers all communicate via these towers, but don't worry, there are "Self service" ammo stations in every safe house.

You make new items for hauling garbage loot via leather you gather from animals. That's fine. But whoever built this portion of the game apparently has no idea what leather actually is. Here's a great example:

According to Far Cry 3, Jason has just skinned the boar. If you're wondering why Jason 1)  Appears to be holding a giant handful of intestines and 2) The boar is definitely wearing its skin, you're apparently smarter than Far Cry's animation team. What Jason actually does is gut the animal in question. Instead of throwing the viscera away, he shoves them in his rucksack, remarking on how disgusting the process is.

No kidding.

I don't hunt, but I know people who do. Responses ranged from "That looks like entrails," to "Why is he putting the pig heart in his bag?"

Normally I couldn't care less about whether or not a game accurately models leather skinning, but if you're going to go to the trouble of animating and modeling the process, you really ought to get it right. Alternately, this could've been a hilarious joke to punch home just how little Jason knows about living in a primitive society. You don't make deer leather out of deer intestines, and you certainly don't shove them in your knapsack along with the ammo and medical supplies.

This one gets better. Do you want a new holster? You need pig leather. Need a new ammo pouch? That's dog leather. How about a new flame thrower fuel bag? Better find goat leather. Apparently no one told the game developers that while different leathers are absolutely better suited to different tasks, subdividing crafting in this fashion is infuriating.

Not boar. Not buffalo. MUST BE GOAT

Lots of games limit the number of weapons you can carry -- this one limits the number of everything, including dollar bills. It's nearly impossible to build up a stash of useful items in the beginning.  If you have the wrong kind of leather, for example, you can't craft a larger rucksack. Time to throw away the extra leaves (a leaf and a boar skin take up the same amount of inventory space -- go figure).

The Really Insulting Humor:
My final nitpick is that whoever wrote the manual for this game really isn't funny. Here's a few samples:

It's one thing to throw in a few pithy statements or ironic observations. This is something different. Virtually every single entry contains a comment or two like the ones above. Individually, a few of them come off as clever or a bit humorous. Collectively, they're pretty damn racist, misogynistic, and Eurocentric. My sense of humor is both irreverent and pretty black, but this wore thin, fast.

A Worthy Buy -- If You Like Its Style
I don't much care for Far Cry 3. The open-world elements, exploration, and small-scale missions are all well-executed and the game is beautifully rendered, but the plot is dull, the characters are flat, and the humor, crafting, and weapon systems drive me batty.

Far Cry 3 does some really sexy things. If you're looking for a first-person shooter that doesn't take much thinking and showcases how awesome games can look, than this is a great purchase. There are tons of side missions and opportunities to explore the island; the game shines when it comes to picking up your weapon and trotting off in search of adventure. Radeon and GeForce cards both run the game well, and once Ubisoft patches up some of the lingering issues, it'll be that much stronger a product.

  • Great open-world exploration
  • Amazing graphics
  • Excellent sound effects
  • Vaas, the insane pirate, steals the show
  • The Manual / Survivor Guide. Seriously. 
  • Plot is boring, contrived, uninteresting
  • Some graphical bugs need fixing

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