Monday, 24 December 2012

GOTY No. 7 - Far Cry 3

Welcome back to our countdown of 2012’s finest video games! Number 7 was developed by arguably the most successful and popular developer of 2012, Ubisoft. Whatever they seem to release turns out to be absolute gold, it’s truly impressive. The same wonderful praise applies to Far Cry 3, which is an immersive, twisted and dark first-person shooter that takes you places you would never want to go.

Far Cry 3 tells a very mature and gruesome story about a group of friends who accidentally find themselves on a pirate infested island when sky diving on holiday. A fun trip quickly goes sour and it’s your role to rescue your friends and eliminate those who have harmed the ones you care for. But how does a normal person who’s never been involved in any type of dangerous situation suddenly go about murdering a group of pirates and more importantly, how does one drive himself to do something so inconceivable to his fellow man?

What is so brilliant and simultaneously twisted about Far Cry 3’s story is the emphasis on the protagonist’s transformation from a regular guy to a killer. Real concentration is placed upon his emotional stability and it’s clear as you progress through Far Cry 3, Jason goes from a boy scared of survival, to a man who will do anything to complete his goal. When we debate about whether children can play games that are rated higher than their age, this is a prime example of a title that requires emotional maturity to be able to step into the shoes of a regular man and go through a transformation that feels, scarily believable.

Of course this terrifying story is intertwined in very special and enthralling gameplay. It takes a lot for a shooter to stand out in a modern market flooded with shooting games, but Far Cry 3 delivers a stunning environment that really helps expand your gaming experience. Ubisoft created an open world for players to explore and exploit when taking down forts of enemies. You have the option of deciding how you want to plan your movements and attacks, giving this shooter a real sand box feel. A host of cleverly devised role-play elements like experience points, skill trees and a crafting system make Jason’s physical progression as well as his emotional progression, apparent.

Ultimately Far Cry 3 stands out because of a terrific combination of story telling, gameplay and progression. It’s a higher-level first person shooter, one that provides more than simple run and gun gameplay. As a result it’s difficult not to be invested in Jason’s plight to save his friends, kill his enemies and get off that wretched island. Far Cry 3 is a wonderful game and rightfully deserves its number 7 spot on our list.

Igor Kharin
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