Far Cry 3 Preview: A Smart Game with Boobs in It? Impossible.
As in previous Far Cry titles, there’s more than one way to kill dudes in a jungle. You’re given several snaking paths to choose from, and can kill your way to your objective however you see fit. Generally, though (at least in this demo), you’re better off trying to be stealthy if possible, as the run-and-gun approach will trigger an alarm, making life more difficult for you. The jungle area in the demo basically had two broad paths: a higher path up to the left, which lead to an ideal sniping location; and a lower path to the right, ideal for either stealth takedowns or a head-on firefight. Also, while we didn’t see any evidence of this in the demo, Ubisoft Montreal has indicated that Far Cry 3 will be an open-world “sandbox” game with side-quests, like Far Cry 2 before it.
Stealth will only get you so far. In the next area, a pretty massive firefight ensues in a courtyard, and I’m given a taste of how FarCry 3 will handle itself as a loud, violent shooter. There’s quite a bit of choice in how you handle the situation. I jumped from the roof, onto an enemy immediately below, performing a jumping takedown-stab. I shot a cage, releasing a tiger into the middle of the area (yes!), which was pretty satisfying. You can also shoot barrels to make them explode, or shoot molotov cocktails to cause brush fires. Sneak up behind a lone gunman, initiate a silent takedown, then push the grenade button–you’ll shove a grenade into the poor guy’s stomach, and kick him away, creating a human bomb. Brutal.
After I cleared out the courtyard, a big guy in riot gear came out of a building ahead, wielding a blow torch. After several well placed shots to head, he went down on one knee and his suit started smoking. At this point, you can go up to him and pull off a special machete “execution” before he recovers.
Towards the end of the demo, Brody stumbles into Vaas’s lair, and we’re given a sense of the villain’s weird fashion sense. Green, blue and pink neon lights, bad graffiti, and TVs stacked all over the place–it’s like if the Joker set up his base in a Hot Topic store.
The demo’s trippy closing dream sequence follows suit aesthetically, as Brody walks down a misty corridor with floors made of TVs. He walks past characters he’s previously met, like Citra, who saunters around a stripper pole, before morphing into Vaas–who begs Brody to shoot him in the head. Um, what?
So, what do we have here? In the demo, we saw a first-person shooter set in a beautiful jungle, with a focus on stealth, choosing paths and using the environment. We also saw evidence of a first-person RPG experience, with ganing XP to level up your abilities and make you stronger. Reportedly, Far Cry 3 is also a big sandbox game with side-quests. And lastly, this all supposed to be encased in a deep psychological thriller, as you play a character thrust into dangerous circumstances he is not prepared for, going up against a sadistic, insane villain; all with this weird aesthetic–lush jungles, tropical see-through waters, mashed together with stacked TVs and neon lights, and trippy dream sequences (much of this is in the E3 trailer).
Far Cry 3 is taking bits and pieces from previous Far Cry titles, mashing them together and also peppering in brand new ingredients. Will this recipe come together? Far Cry 3 is nothing if not ambitious, and Ubisoft Montreal’s main challenge will be in pulling it all together into a cohesive experience. Having only played through one 10 minute demo (which was definitely fun), it would irresponsible of me to make a determination about whether the game will succeed, but it’s weird, it’s violent, it’s trying to be smart, and it definitely has my attention. It’s a shooter you should watch out for this fall, for sure.
Far Cry 3 is out September 4, 2012 for the PC, Xbox 360 and PS3. Yes, the PC version is launching alongside the console version. Stay tuned for more Far Cry 3 coverage from Game Front, and check out our previous preview from PAX East.