Because of the unique nature of the game, there are some rather hilarious circumstances that can crop up during assaults like this. For example, seeing a caged leopard at a pirate base, I shot the cage, and let him tear through the enemies while I sniped the stragglers from a distance while laughing uncontrollably.
The jungle animals get their own sub-missions as well where the game gives you a specific weapon and tells you to stalk your prey and return with their hides, which can be used to craft bigger ammo holsters and backpacks and such. Have you ever killed a great white shark with a bow and arrow? No? Does that sound awesome to you? Then Far Cry 3 just might be for you.
There’s a variation on the base invade missions called “Wanted Dead” where you’ll be sent to a camp where one central commander must be killed by knife as is “traditional” for the natives. This can result in some really dynamic events and you really have to use all the tools in your arsenal. Once you start unlocking things, your kills can be really cool. For example, you can slit someone’s throat, then throw their knife to skewer someone across the way for an instant silent double kill. It’s hard for FPS games to do stealth well a lot of the time, but Far Cry 3 has succeeded.
What else is different from traditional open world games? Well, for one, enemies don’t respawn after you kill them. That’s kind of nice, though it can make the map feel a bit empty in between camps. Once you clear out a pirate base of five or six soldiers, there’s not too much to do in the surrounding jungle except pick plants, fight animals and pick up collectibles.
Outside of the killing-based sub-missions I’ve mentioned, there are “story based” missions that have you talking to a native who wants you to do a typical fetch quest. But even for typical fetch quests, these are really bare bones, and I feel like they wasted an opportunity to craft some interesting non-central-story-based NPCs. There are literally zero however, and you just do missions for the same four or five brown people over and over again. But hey, they pay well.
Money is largely useless, and you’ll have to spend it constantly just to keep your wallet from overflowing. The game starts handing you guns for free eventually, so really the only thing to buy are attachments and treasure maps. It’s not a bad system, but it’s never a challenge to scrounge up cash for anything.
I like that the skill system doesn’t make you choose a “tree” which is unusual for an RPG level-up style game. Rather, if you do even half the sub-missions ,you’ll be able to buy 80% of the available upgrades across all trees at any given time, and I think by the end, you’ll be able to master just about all of them, especially if you’ve made sure to be stealthy when you can.
This is a very fun game so far, though it’s starting to get a touch repetitive. The jungle never really changes, and you won’t find the diversity of landscape, cities or characters that a game like Skyrim has. It’s a lot like Just Cause 2 where it was fun to blow up the government’s towns and bases, but then looking at your checklist, you had to execute the same scenario 300 more times. Exhausting, even if the first 100 were fun.
Far Cry 3 isn’t THAT level of big, but it’s starting to feel a bit cumbersome. The map is big, but empty. If there was a richer world that could be experienced here, everyone would be giving it just as much if not more praise than Skyrim got, but as it stands, it’s not nearly as deep.
All this said, it does get a lot of things right, and if gameplay is fun and the story is interesting, that’s good enough for me. I’m curious to see if the second half of the game evolves at all from here, but even if it doesn’t, it’s still a refreshing shake-up for the shooter genre.