Review of Far Cry 3, Part 2: The Problems

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Normally, I don’t try to add any commentary to my reviews, since the first time, the reviews are fairly accurate.  Here’s a little secret to reviewing video games: some of them are extremely long, and reviewing one every two weeks actually requires playing them as though they were a full-time job.  This leads to not actually finishing them before the review comes in.  Shocking, isn’t it?

Usually, with the reviews I do hand in, I wouldn’t change a word, since the impressions I have in the game hold up until the very end.  Just in case, I cheat, and double check via the many and sundry outlets of information on the internet.

However, there are some aspects that aren’t properly conveyed unless experienced.  And the rest of Far Cry 3 is one of them.

In the last review, I had mentioned that there was nudity and sex / sexual situations in the game, only if someone chose the “bad” ending. Nope. During the game, Jason Brody, our protagonist, is introduced to the leader of the local tribe, the Rakayat (in part one, I mistaken referred to them as the Rakata, which was actually the name of an alien race in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, probably because I was having flashbacks to a good game).

Remember in the first part of the review, where I said that there was a dark, ominous feeling over the game? There’s a darn good reason for it.  During the course of the game, the female tribal leader tries to seduce our character in more ways than one — romantically, and basically seducing him to the dark side (more on that later). However, after a strange drug-induced vision, Jason comes out of it to find the tribal leader straddling him, topless.

Yes, this happened.  However, on the other hand, I didn’t notice at first. You can insert your own joke as far as that goes. But that’s actually not the bad part of the game.  Partial nudity is one of the lesser sins in this game.

As mentioned in the first part of the review, the quest to save Jason’s friends and family turns into a revenge drama.  Oh, yay.  He becomes sort of a revenge-fueled megalomaniac with delusions of grandeur. He hunts down the psychopath pirate named Vaas, killing him in a sequence which might have also been vaguely drug induced, even though we never see Jason take anything.

But wait, it gets better.  Yes, how does that happen? Partial nudity, the character becoming a vengeance-driven killing machine, what could be worse?  And, no, it’s not the alcohol use, or the public urination (yes, there is some of that in the game, though it took me a moment to figure out that the pixelated stream coming from one of the non player characters wasn’t a glitch).  So, what could be worse?

To start with, as Jason takes his journey into the heart of darkness, he goes undercover as a new mercenary, and finds himself in a position where he must protect his cover and torture his own brother.  Yes. Let that sink in a moment. Because it’s all covered in first-person perspective, and Jason’s actions are controlled by you, and if you don’t hit the buttons to instigate torture, you lose the game.  And by that point in the game, you can’t leave, go off on another side mission, or do anything other than torture Brody’s brother.

That isn’t even the worst part.  What is? How about the implications of homosexual rape and pederasty? Yeah. That.

By the end of the game, Vaas’ boss is dispatched in a rather lame quicktime event, though Jason must race to an airfield to stop his brother from being shipped off into slavery. That’s all well and good, though the primary action is essentially a turret segment, in a helicopter, to the tune of Wagner’s Flight of the Valkyrie.

At the end of the game, Jason is given a choice. The tribal leader tells him that in order to join on the tribe and stay on the island forever, Jason must kill his friends and his brother.  The player can actually choose to do that. That choice immediately results in Jason slashing the throat of his girlfriend.  After this, he goes to a first-person sexual encounter (yes, really), as he is grunting and the tribal leader delivers exposition (which is odd no matter how you look at it) and after that, she immediately stabs him, declaring that he has made her pregnant, and thus will never leave.  Fade to black.

If Jason chooses not to kill his friends, the tribal leader will start getting weepy.  Another tribesman will get indignant on her behalf, charge for Jason, and the tribal leader will be run through by accident.

No matter what the player chooses, the resulting events from this choice will be a 90 second cut scene.

At the end of the day, Far Cry 3, from a game mechanic perspective, is a fun game.  The bad guys are evil, and should be stopped.  The AI on the enemies are not stupid, and give the player a challenge.  The ability to craft and customize your own gear and weapons is fun. Gameplay by itself is a 9/10.

However, the story is …. ugh.  It’s dark, it’s ominous, it’s a train wreck no matter what choice you make. There are no other choices to make in the story outside of whether or not to play a side mission. That’s it. While the gameplay is fun, being subjected to this dark, dismal unpleasantness isn’t.

I have already sold this game back to Gamestop. Even if you somehow find yourself in possession of this game, the best you can do with it is to sell it for credit for … almost any other game.

Copyright 2014, John Konecsni

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