FarCry 3 (Xbox 360) review

Ubisoft's ambitious FarCry 3 gives gamers plenty of action-packed fun in a gorgeous, expansive world, but bugs and a clunky UI dulls the experience.
Photo of FarCry 3 (Xbox 360)

Sometimes bro-ing it with the brahs can go horribly, horribly wrong. As in deathly wrong.

FarCry 3, the latest entry in Ubisoft’s first-person shooting series, puts you in the role of Jason Brody, a 20-something who’s kidnapped—along with his brother and friends—by pirates while they’re partying on a Pacific island. Brody, after escaping from his jungle-prison, becomes a reluctant hero as he takes it upon himself to rescue his missing friends hidden away on a dangerous fictional island. And thus begins an adventure filled with peril, gunplay and, unfortunately, peril.

Danger Island
It’s easy to dismiss FarCry 3 as just another FPS, but that would do the game a gross disservice. The meat of the game, admittedly, involves blowing enemies away in a first-person perspective. That said, Ubisoft gives player numerous tools and abilities to flesh out the experience—and they work well. FarCry 3 deftly guides gamers through the long-range and melee-game mechanics by presenting scenarios that build on what you’ve previously learned. You’ll learn to sneak, distract foes, and stealth kill all within a few minutes time of booting the disc.

The game world is huge and highly detailed; lush jungles, hills, and riverbeds give you plenty of areas to explore and look great on screen. The world map is filled with icons that show where particular animals, towers, and other items are located, which makes navigation simple. Consulting your map is essential for completing particular tasks. Thankfully, you can fast travel back to your home base to save on long-distance walking/running/driving.

Wonderful Toys
Ubisoft gives player a plethora of firearms to ventilate foes and wildlife. Guns are purchasable from shops, but you can also pick up hand cannons free of charge if you manage to reactivate radio towers that litter the landscape. Those re-powered towers don’t simply give you new weapons, but maps, missions, and other goodies, too.

Crafting—a feature often associated with PC RPGs—makes an appearance in FarCry 3. You can blend the native flora into healing concoctions, transform animal hides you’e skinned into sacks that let you carry more gear, and more. There’s a surprising amount of items to mix together to form items that will help you survive in the harsh environment. Mastering these skills is just as important as mastering your aim, and it gives the non-shooting segments significance.

You can also purchase skills which give you new abilities like stealth killing, jungle running, and combat archery. Each skill that you acquire scores you a tattoo, a mark of your success as a warrior among the rebel native populace who’s warring against the pirate faction.

Thunder in Paradise
The FarCry 3 experience is sullied by two issues: a somewhat confusing interface and bugs. The first problem is one that Ubisoft plans to address with a UI patch—and it’s much needed. Switching weapons is simple, but the menu screens that house your skill tree and crafting materials are difficult to read as they’re overcrowded with information. The constant alert pop ups that notify you of mission statuses and new skills are highly annoying, too.

That, however, pales in comparison to the bugs—some game-ending—reported by several gamers. Some of stated that they had to abandoned their games and start from scratch during the “Saving Private Oliver” mission. Others have reported being unable to cycle through weapons. I didn’t experience anything that horrid, but my game did freeze on several occasions. Buggy titles, unfrotunately, an increasingly common ill in modern gaming across the board an is one that I hope gets remedied as we enter the new console generation.

The Wrap
FarCry 3, in terms of pure gameplay, is an engaging shooter that’s one of this generation’s best, but bugs and a clunky interface keep it (for now) from moving into the upper-echelon with the likes of Halo 4  . Those are, hopefully, problems that Ubisoft will repair in the near future.

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Specifications
Genre Action Games
Platform Xbox 360
ESRB Rating M for Mature

Verdict
Ubisoft's ambitious FarCry 3 gives gamers plenty of action-packed fun in a gorgeous, expansive world, but bugs and a clunky UI dulls the experience.
Published under license from Ziff Davis, Inc., New York, All rights reserved.
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