Far Cry 3 Hands-on (Xbox360)

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Recently, at rAge, one of the biggest crowds was always gathered around the Far Cry 3 stand and I, along with many gamers, had my first taste of what we can expect from the latest in the Far Cry franchise. When I introduced myself to the guy running the stand he warned me that the game was running on the old code and, as such, I should expect a few glitches and maybe a crash or two. I was reassured, however, that the actual release of the game will be a lot smoother and much more stable. To be perfectly honest I didn’t notice anything wrong with the gameplay except that it was quite challenging in true Far Cry fashion.

Far Cry 3 Screenshot 10

So, for those of you new to the franchise, Far Cry is an open world first-person shooter which features some RPG elements such as experience points, a skill tree and so forth. The basic idea is that as you progress through the story it becomes harder, but you earn experience points that can gain you a series of skills that can help you to overcome these challenges.

All in all I played approximately an hour of the game (and watched another half hour) and I was very impressed by what I saw. Whilst waiting my turn to play I was itching to get my hands on the controller and try out the variety of vehicles and weaponry that the game has to offer. I admit that I was very keen to try out the bow and see how effective it was – especially in stealthy kills that Far Cry seems to enjoy so much.

Far Cry 3 Screenshot 9

The story centers on Jason Brody, a tourist searching for his girlfriend after they became separated on an archipelago which has been the center of a violent civil war for some time. One might suggest that this is not the best place to visit for a holiday but, what the heck, at least we get to meet (and shoot) some seriously deranged individuals who seem to have it in for you.

So, with great anticipation, I picked up a controller and started on my merry way. I found the controls very similar to most FPS games that have hit the market in recent years, so I was able to pick up the game quite quickly. You enemies are numerous (even the local wildlife seems to have it in for you) and varied, and this makes the game very exciting. You are always very wary of what is around the corner or of what might leap out from the bushes. The most difficult opponents are, of course, the mercenaries and soldiers who seem to be able to work together to try and defeat you. Unlike a lot of FPS’s where the enemies are a bit predictable, I thought the enemies in Far Cry 3 were more intelligent and worked together instead of individually.

Far Cry 3 Screenshot 6

One thing that I was very impressed about was the graphics and scenery. The game is set on a tropical island and the jungle, beach and tidal pools are beautifully depicted. This would be a very nice place to visit if it weren’t for all the blood thirsty savages intent of killing you. I also really enjoyed the range of weaponry and the diversity of the vehicles that you can use. I couldn’t find the bow (was a bit bummed about that), but I did watch another gamer playing with it and it sure looks like fun.

All in all, I think that the story of Far Cry 3 will set it apart from its competitors and I, for one, am really looking forward to the game when it is released towards the end of the year. It is scheduled to be released at the end of November in Europe and Australia and on the 4th of December in North America. It will hit the South African market on the 30th of November, and this is definitely one title to be on the lookout for.

Far Cry 3 Screenshot 1