Hey everybody, happy Friday.
So this time, instead of complaining bitterly about how poor of an open-world game FC3 is, let’s talk about all of the things that I actually liked about the game, because even though I wouldn’t play FC3 for the open-world aspect, the rest of the game is pretty phenomenal, and undoubtedly worth talking about. I am going to talk about ONE MAJOR SPOILER AT THE END OF THE ARTICLE. This spoiler will be a chunk below my signature, so unless you’ve already beaten the game or just don’t care about this kind of thing, STOP READING THE ARTICLE ONCE YOU REACH MY SIGNATURE. Just keeping an eye out for y’all.
In a nutshell, while I had strong opinions on how they could have handled the open-environment aspects of the game much better, everything else about the game I found to be quite enjoyable. Starting with basic mechanics, all of the gunplay is really exciting, intuitive, and has a notable flow to it. There are a lot of guns and a lot of different upgrades and attachments that the player can add to their weapons to make the game fit
their particular gameplay style. In my playthrough I came to enjoy using a silenced assault weapon and a silenced sniper rifle to quietly take out enemies, then having a LMG and a RPG launcher to take care of vehicles and armored enemies. I also had a brief yet memorable sequester from this build that I like to call, “The Flamethrower Era” where I was surprised to find any of the island left afterwards. The vehicle play was interesting, although somewhat dampened by some of the things I talked about last article (I think of poor Altair, sitting on his horse for 15 minutes in between levels), and the story was, for the most part, engaging.
I did notice several buggy issues that bothered me from a gameplay design- some small things like how trees are rendered from high on, or how the jump suit worked (for many heights- it didn’t. #1 cause of death in my playthrough is me falling off a 10 foot hill and trying to activate my jump suit), but there was one pretty serious offense in my book. The AI in the game can be miserable. While fighting an AI, it’s fun and enjoyable, but if you’re taking a stealthier approach (like how I play) the game bugs out a little bit. When an enemy comes across one of his allies lying dead in the middle of their base with a gunshot wound to the temple, the alarm gets raised, and everyone makes a fuss for about 2, 3 minutes, unless they find you. After that? Meh, back to work, dead guy long forgotten. There were also a couple of incidents where the “deadly island creatures” created a problem in terms of gameplay- it’s not nearly as exciting to walk by an outpost and watch as a randomly spawned tiger annihilates the entire base.
Overall, I’m giving FC3 an 8.5 out of 10. It’s a worthy playthrough, and a hell of a lot of fun. I haven’t checked out the multiplayer yet but it could be fairly interesting. For those of you who want to see the massive SPOILER, it’s got to do with the plot- what I liked, what I didn’t, and my own take on the climatic final twist of the game, so stick around and let me tell you what I think of it.
So, things that I liked about the plot- fairly interesting, good concept of “My friends are kidnapped and separated. Saving them one at a time” kind of deal. I really like some of the characters they introduced (I’m a Sam fan and an early game Dennis fan, but Dennis kind of turns into a whiny bitch after that one time you find him drunk. Willis is interesting too, in a The Dude-turned-CIA kind of way.) From a storyboard kind of way, everything makes sense on paper, it’s all logically thought out and reasonably executed- save for two things.
First, the hallucination sequences. At periodic points in the game, Jason takes a metric shitton of drugs and wigs the hell out. At some points, it’s done very well- I am a particular fan of Jason’s drug-induced-flashback sessions (which are optional, found in the cave where Jason’s friends hide out while Jason kills the shit out of everything that breathes on the island.) Unfortunately, due to the hideout being trashed before I completed all of those sequences, I never got to see the end of those sequences- which bothers me primarily because out of all Jason’s friends, there’s one missing. Someone exists in Jason’s flashbacks who has vanished come his experiences on the island.
I’m sure it would have been explained in those flashbacks, but who knows! The other time that Jason hallucinates is actually directly tied into the plot- Jason literally cannot proceed in the game without taking a bunch of drugs and have a deus ex machina (hallucinantur ex machina? Hallucinations from the machine?) hand him his next objective on a vibrant, dopey platter. The information that is revealed to Jason only makes sense if there’s actual magic going on, but that explanation doesn’t fit in with the world of Far Cry 3, even in the awesome tribal setting they have going. The worst of these hallucinations was when I took a bunch of drugs, woke up briefly outside of Vaas’s fort, killed a bunch of people, and then went back to hallucinating to wake up with Vaas dead as a doornail. Vaas’s potential as a villain is wasted on this sequence, because I couldn’t actually tell if I was dreaming the sequence or if I had actually fought Vaas. He was a scary villain up until that point, and honestly the half of the game starring Hoyt was lackluster. Hoyt wasn’t scary, just a little intimidating.
The other thing that bothered me was Jason’s relationship with his friends and the Rakyat. One of the major plot elements of the game is supposed to be about Jason being torn between two impossible sides- his desire to save his friends and go back to civilization, and his love of the freedom of the jungle and his indoctrination into the Rakyat tribe/cult. I didn’t really get that vibe, unfortunately. Between spending the first 1/2 of the game doing nothing but save his friends, and then wrapping up the last part of the second half saving his brother, Jason spends over half the game focusing on saving and protecting his friends. You even get a big reinforcement of that right at the end! He never had to make the decision between his friends and the Rakyat, because both sides featured the same goals- kill Vaas, kill Hoyt, kill thousands of other assholes, kill some bears, etc. So, when the climactic ending comes up, here’s how I saw it.
After confronting the Rakyat about re-kidnapping all of my friends, (“Guys, seriously? I swear to God, I JUST rescued them.”), I start the ending, you guessed it, tripping mad balls (surprise!), with Citra telling me some shit about being a true warrior and severing all ties to my past, and my girlfriend… whose name evades me… keeps telling Citra to fuck off and for me come back to civilization with her, that I’m not the monster I think I am, etc. etc.
So I wake up, this is how shit goes down. (As a summary)
Citra: “Hey, I’ve got a great idea. Do you see you friends?”
Me: (standing directly in front of my tied up friends) “Yup.”
Citra: “You should kill your friends.”
Me: “I’m sorry, what?”
Citra: “Kill your friends. Kill them with a knife! Come on, it’ll be fun, and then you’ll be a true warrior!”
Me: “What? No! I’m not going to kill my friends with a knife! That is a terrible idea! Why would you even say that?”
Citra: “It’s the only way to be a true warrior. No time to think about it! Kill your friends now!”
Me: “No, no, fuck that. I went through a lot of effort to save these mother fuckers. I just saved one not like, ten minutes before I got here! Why would I bother with that if I was just going to kill them now?”
Citra: “I’m pretty disappointed in you.”
Me: “Yeah, I’d totally be really sorry if I just, you know, wasn’t sorry at all for not killing my friends. With a knife.”
Dennis (Drunk, or, knowing this game, mildly hallucinating): “Jason! How dare you not kill your friends with a knife!”
Me: “Am I the only one here who thinks that killing your friends is strange? Is this what you guys do because there’s no television?
Dennis: “If you don’t kill your friends, I’m going to kill you. With a knife.” *pulls a knife*
Me: “Oh, well, when you put it that way, I’ll totally stab my friends!”
Dennis: “I stabs you now! HAH!”
Dennis proceeds to fuck this part up (probably owing to all the drugs he’s on) and misses or something and instead accidentally stabs Citra to death. To be fair, it was totally her fault, she was begging for a good stabbing (via jumping in front of a speeding knife and that whole, “kill your friends” thing). Dennis proceeds to cry a bunch and all the Rakyat does nothing or something I really don’t know. I then go into some kind of fucked up epilogue narration thing where I reveal a massive amount of PTSD, and then-
END, ROLL CREDITS.
Me at the computer: “…What the fuck?”