E3: Far Cry 3 (Xbox 360) Preview
Over at the Ubisoft booth at E3 2012, the Ubisoft developers displayed the playable demo version for Far Cry 3 which will be released later this year. So at the convention I was able to play demos of both the single and multiplayer campaign modes. I really enjoyed the presentation we got to see of Far Cry 3 at the Ubisoft keynote event at last year’s E3, so I was excited to finally get a chance to actually pick up and play the game. The story for Far Cry 3 looks pretty intense. You play Jason who was vacationing with his friends and family on a tropical island when he runs afoul of an insane lunatic pirate/drug dealer by the name of Vaas who leaves Jason for dead and kidnaps his loved ones. Vaas’ army has been in a militant conflict on an archipelago against a rival group led by his alluring sister, Citra. Citra’s tribe rescues Jason and initiates him through a type of tribal naked lapdance into her tribe and Jason is marked as a warrior to get revenge on Vaas and this is where the single-player demo begins.
The graphics and tropical island of the game looks gorgeous and insanely detailed right down to the underwater life. You can dive into bodies of water and run into manta rays and other various fish. From there you swim up to some docks and stealth kill a guard in Vaas armor. You emerge from the water and then you have to practice your stealth skills and armed with a sweet compound bow and arrow to take out the guards outside Vaas’ compound. The stealth, stalk, and kill element to the demo was really cool and worked really well. You are also able to perform a chain of stealth kills if you carefully sneak up behind an enemy you can proceed to stealth kill him and with a flick of your analog stick get the one next to him as well. Things get worse though as you kill your way into Vaas’ base. It looks like Vaas was one step ahead of you and planned ahead of you and starts playing mind games. The building you are in then is set ablaze and you are forced outside right into the aim of numerous armed guards. Luckily you can fight your way through. The environment is highly interactive as you can use your guns to blow up flammables to cause explosions. Vaas’ camp is also filled with caged wild animals like tigers so you can shoot open the cages and set the tigers out on your enemies. The controls are really good and responsive. Aiming works really well being a first person shooter. The compound bow and arrow was the most weapon to play with during the demo. After you dispatch the guards in Vaas’ camp, you are confronted by Vaas himself who stabs you in the gut with some sort of drugged ceremonial dagger. You then enter an insane hallucination scene where Vaas forces your gun to his head and yells at you to shoot him but then Vaas’ form quickly flashed into that of Jason. According to the Ubisoft Montreal developers, there is meant to be an element of skepticism to the story and if what is happening in Jason’s story is even real or if it’s just a hallucination. In some ways the story is almost like that 2000 Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Beach but put through a first person shooter meat grinder and injected with tons of steroids and acid.
The game will also feature a multiplayer co-op mode which I also got to try out. This features a group of civilians who work on a cruise ship that were sold out to Vaas by a crooked Captain. The civilians manage to bust free and are on a mission of vengeance. So you get a nice little variety of specific weapon load outs to choose from with some different types of weapons. The missions are specifically goal oriented. Early in the demo mission you and your group have to perform welder repairs on a train to get it out of the way of your path as enemies descend upon you. At another point you reach a bridge which you need to blow up. So you have to set the explosives on the bridge and then blow it up with a detonator. Multiplayer co-op looks like it will be a nice added addition to the game.
I tried to joke around with the Ubisoft team by asking if Vaas was based on Uwe Boll (the infamous film director who also directed a movie adaptation of Far Cry). They didn’t seem to be too amused nor want to run with the joke. Oh well. Another interesting note is that the archipelago island chain will be an open world for the game, and once you beat the regular story I believe you will have access to the entire archipelago. Far Cry 3 is set for release on Windows PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 in September.