Far Cry 3 Preview: Carnage in Capri Pants
Ubisoft’s Far Cry booth stank of sawdust, which was appropriate, considering the game‘s broken-down tropical setting. The game’s environments are a colorful mix of Caribbean pastels and rust, and the character models look similarly zany, like a crew of Somalian pirates sponsored by Michael Kors and Smith and Wesson.
Game Front Editor Ron Whitaker and I sat down for a round of multiplayer, which took on a familiar “capture-and-hold” pattern with five command points scattered among shanties and disused industrial machinery. Four classes were available, deploying classic shooter archetypes — I opted for an SMG/RPG combo that proved to be a useful pairing.
Besides its nifty Crytek 3 engine, which will benefit from PC features not present at PAX, Far Cry 3′s multiplayer is mostly notable for its death mechanics. Getting shot will leave you bleeding on the ground, but teammates can come and offer succour, reviving fallen comrades a la Gears of War. This added extra spice to the chaos around the command points, and will distinguish the game from some of its more lethal competitors.
Once you’re dead for real, the game shows off an interesting take on the kill-cam, freeze-framing ghostly outlines of your character that capture the fatal bullets and blood spurts in excruciating detail. This static flourish is a marked contrast to the live gameplay, which is generally fast-paced — Crysis fans will recognize the satisfying slide mechanic, activated by crouching out of a sprint. It did seem as if some classes ran slower than others — whether this was a feature or simply a casualty of the game’s pre-Alpha state was hard to determine.
Despite its few original touches, Far Cry 3 is still very much a work in progress. To succeed, it will have to sell people on the features that make it stand out (the killcam, some creative team buffs, a distinctive look), and shift focus away from those that make it seem like just another multiplayer FPS (ostentatious score pop-ups, spray-and-pray gameplay, aggressive auto-aim). Whatever happens, though, at least the fashions will be memorable — in addition to Far Cry 3′s flashy characters, Ubisoft was offering free tattoos and free mohawk haircuts at the booth.
Game Front is on-site at PAX East all weekend (April 6-8), bringing you daily news, hands-on previews, interviews and pictures. Stay tuned for more PC gaming-focused coverage!