Ever had a dream where you would skydive out of a plane to the wonderful island below with your friends and loved ones? Well, if you’re on Rook Island, you may change your mind. Far Cry 3′s Rook Island is full of mystery and down-right weird for outsiders. The island also has its share of psychopaths, drug users, pirates and old tribe trying to reclaim they forsaken island from the pirates.
You play as Jason Brody, just as your life is going to be completely thrown upside down. The game begins with Brody and his friends having fun on the sandy beaches. Moments later they get captured by pirates and this is where Far Cry 3 starts its path of torture for Brody. Vaas, a lunatic puppet working for a wealthy mercenary business man, is the main character that throws a wrench in the works to get things going. Learning the ropes of stealth through the camp you find yourself waking up in after having been captured, Brody and his brother Grant nearly get out until Vaas, the crafty son of a bitch, stops you, but then lets you run for your life. So, a sadistic character who finds Brody interesting, perhaps? You’ll have to find out for yourself, as I won’t be diving any deeper into the plot of Far Cry 3.
Once you escape Vaas’s pirates, which to be honest is a great opener, you’ll find yourself waking up in a hut and one of the members of a tribe, Dennis, will guide you to redemption, revenge and honour and, in turn, through the basics of the game and its world.
Far Cry 3 is a one big open world game. Rook Island is huge and is full of jungle eye candy. The scenery is so brilliant, I even imagined that if we had a Predator game like this, it would be insane! Apart from the usual side missions you easily gather as you progress, Far Cry 3 allows you to hunt, and the hunting is an essential part of the game. If you want to battle it out in the later stages and become a big thorn to the pirates of Rook Island, hunt a lot to upgrade your current equipment. You’ll be able to hunt a range of animals from tigers to bears, and even sharks if you have muscle to do so. Upgrading ammo pouches, gun holsters and medicine kits is just the tip of the ice berg of what you can do. Activating radio towers will make the map become clear, showing you locations of where towns are, pirate checkpoints and animal locations on where to hunt for those specific materials you need for an upgrade. Taking over checkpoints is vital for your safety whilst roaming the island, regardless of mother nature and her annoying animals. Taking out those checkpoints will also become a save point, but also offering you side missions from: most wanted dead, hunting missions and first aid drops which will be scattered about the island.
Throughout your exploration of Rook Island, you will find collectibles which will offer you experience points and money. Memory cards, lost letters and relics are what is on offer. If you use your money wisely, you can purchase maps for the collectibles, which will make your life easier to go off and find them and gain those precious levels of improving Brody to become one beast of a machine.
You can swim, drive cars, buggy’s, boats and even ride gliders. You can traverse the landscape on ziplines and even perform kills from above on the poor enemy that is about to get a machete through his skull. Far Cry 2 really drove the boat out with fire, being able to spread it like horse crap. Far Cry 3 continues that great mechanic to make the skirmishes even more ballsy than before.
Apart from the hunting and everything I’ve mentioned above, there isn’t that much to do to be honest. In a big landscape like Rook Island you would expect a lot more on offer. You can play poker and throw knives, but that is tedious and very boring. The visuals are perfect, as is the sound, yet at times the frame-rate drops massively. A few other problems exist, too, like enemy awareness being extremely high (as with Hitman Absolution) when spotting you. The stealth works, but the game wants you to keep at it, though you can only do so much before it becomes repetitive. At first you will approach with the bow and become all stealth, then it will convince you to choose an all-guns-blazing approach, because its more fun and enables you to finish the game quickly.
Once you complete the main campaign of the game you are welcomed to go off and do everything you didn’t get round to doing and finishing off those quests. My main gripe is when you hit half way point, everything after that becomes really stupid and has an issue with the missions where you get the same thing repeating itself over and over again.