Digital Salad Stranded On A Paradise Isle – Far Cry 3 Review

Christmas has gone now, and that means that the shops have gone into full-on sale mode. Everywhere is sale crazy, from Steam to the high street emptying its shelves. In all of this shopping chaos I took the chance to pick up a reasonably priced copy of Far Cry 3 on the Xbox 360. It’s a very popular game that’s been around for a year or so now, so I thought I’d give it a go while I’m having a bit of a hiatus from Guild Wars 2.


Stranded on a tropical island filled with pirates who want nothing more than to kill you and your friends, or sell you if there’s some money to be had. It’s not all that original as far as plots go, and is a little to similar to “The Beach” film from 2000 for my liking. Its the same idea really, idyllic island turns nasty.

Digital Salad top tip, don’t go to ‘deserted’ tropical islands, it never ends well.

That said though, the fantasy island of Far Cry 3 would be beautiful if you could ever relax to take a really good look at it. That’s the first thing with Far Cry 3, you’re always watching your back and your adrenaline’s always up. Its nowhere near as bad as in Far Cry 2, where you had to find or buy regular injections otherwise you would die. Again, Ubisoft seem to be borrowing plot lines from Hollywood a little too much with the Far Cry series.

I wished Ubisoft would tone down the pace a little more, even more than they did between 2 and 3. I certainly appreciate the safe zone of Amanaki town though, and while that is pretty and vibrant its just not enough.

I really enjoyed finding random easter eggs though, like an over grown Japanese WW2 gun emplacement. They’re interesting in what is otherwise a pretty deserted, if fairly beautiful, island.

So its pretty. Well, it is, but talking of “The Beach” got me thinking. Films make them far prettier. Surprise surprise there, massive budgets and a boatload more experience sees to that. Comparing video games to films is a classic ruse of those who don’t really understand video gaming, but bear with me here because I’m going to commit that cardinal sin of video game writing and compare a video game to a film.

The setting of "The Beach" - unfair comparison to Far Cry 3 or not?
The setting of “The Beach” – unfair comparison to Far Cry 3 or not?

Far Cry 3 can be compared to films like “The Beach” for one good reason, it’s not really a game. Well, it is a game. You go around finding radio towers to reveal the map (Ubisoft recycling from Assassins Creed much? – it even has the same cut scene!) and fighting pirates out of their bases.

Outside of that, of which there isn’t actually all that much – an hour or two’s worth at the most, the main meat of Far Cry 3 is the story. The story of Far Cry 3 is mediocre, but what I’m really trying to get at here is that its not a video game story. As with many modern games the story is told through cut-scenes with the occasional quick time event, but these really are few and far between in Far Cry 3. Its not all that interactive. I’d argue that it is about as interactive as sitting down and watching “The Beach” to experience the same story.

A standard Far Cry 3 gun fight
A standard Far Cry 3 gun fight

As for the game play; the gun play and taking over bases is a well worn mechanic that you can get in many other games. Indeed, there’s lots of offerings in the strategy genre that could offer a more in-depth modern military base capture experience.

As for the gun play, your Battlefield 4s and Call Of Duties will always outclass Far Cry 3, although the guns do stand up to these giants fairly well. Radio tower jumping puzzles-lite are something you’d find in the Assassins Creed series from the same developer.

I think that’s perhaps my problem with a lot of modern video games (not sure if I’m being hipster or just old here). There’s not all that much to differentiate Far Cry 3 from a film, which can pull off what it does far better. What little there is that you don’t get in a film you can find elsewhere, in other games, in a far better situation.

I do like Far Cry 3 for all that I say, but its certainly not worthy of much money, much time or a very high review score. Its solid and polished, but its still just a very polished grey lump. There’s many other video games as well as other medias that I would probably choose over Far Cry 3.


Digital Salad –


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