If you’ve been keeping up with the latest news regarding upcoming survival-shooter Far Cry 3, you’ve probably already seen the game’s intense full-length trailer. If not, here’s a quick rundown: a group of college friends stumbles upon a beautiful, uncharted island while on vacation. They explore the island and drink enthusiastically, but something feels just a bit off. Next thing you know, they’re waking up in an insane world full of killers gone mad.
If it sounds like the plot to a horror movie, that’s not far from the truth. But Ubisoft Montreal doesn’t just want you to watch the terror unfold; it wants you to be the main character in a carnival of horrors. Put simply, Far Cry 3 drops you into a world of danger and despair, and then challenges you to use your wits and find your way out alive.
Fans of the Far Cry franchise are familiar with the series’ focus on gritty reality – prying bullets out of your wounded body was a core element of Far Cry 2 – but Far Cry 3 promises to go bigger, better and more frighteningly real. Far Cry 3 is what happens when you end up abandoned in a world where your only chance of survival is your own cunning instincts.
Playing as Jason, the main character of the aforementioned vacation, you’ll be tasked with making your way through the island’s dense jungle to unwrap its mysteries and discover the fate of your female companion. Your weapons will consist of whatever you can find along the way—or whatever you can pry from the cold dead hands of your enemies.
Far Cry 3’s jungles have been built from the ground up with Cry Engine 3, which helps make the title one of the best looking next-gen FPS games in recent memory, with glinting sunlight, realistic water effects and menacing shadows. Far Cry 3 is a shooter at heart, but one in which survival is much more important that your body count.
The world of Far Cry 3 is designed to be infinitely explorable. Ubisoft doesn’t want to force players in any one direction, and the island will hold plenty of secrets for those with the time and inclination to track them down. Far Cry has always revolved around open world settings, and this latest entry in the franchise strives to bring the largest and most explorable setting to date.
Of course, this wouldn’t be a Far Cry game without fast-paced combat and insane set pieces. Not much has been revealed regarding the game’s bigger secrets, but early gameplay footage has revealed an intense zip-line sequence, fighting in the rusty leftovers of a wrecked ship and numerous beachside confrontations. Your goal as Jason is to find a way to communicate with the outside before the island’s denizens pack you full of bullets or string you up from the palms, but you’re going to have to fight your way through dozens of foes if you want to accomplish it.
As you progress through the game’s main story, you’ll be able to use your experience points to improve upon Jason’s basic skillset. This basic customization gives you the ability to choose how exactly you want your adventure to play out, though it’s worth noting that in Far Cry, things almost always come down to shooting.
All in all, Far Cry 3 is shaping up to be a powerful sequel in an already exceptional series. The Cry Engine renders its jungle and ocean scenes beautifully, and the captivating story has been promised to ensnare you and keep you guessing to the end. All of this simply plays into what Ubisoft has called a “mosaic of dysfunction,” and that description seems apt for the tale.