E3: Far Cry 3


Plenty of ways to kill or be killed.

It’s only been a day since Far Cry 3 was officially announced, but Ubisoft was giving hands-off presentations of the upcoming shooter on the E3 show floor today. Even though I thought both of the previous Far Cry games had some cool elements that made them stand out from average shooters, I’m not exactly a die-hard fan of the series. Still, I was impressed by what I saw of Far Cry 3 today; there are some good ideas behind it, though it’s too early to tell just how well they will be executed in the full game.

First of all, Far Cry 3 looks fantastic. When the demo started, the protagonist was tied up and struggling to free himself from a desperate situation where a painful death seemed likely in the immediate future. All I could think about, though, was how good everything onscreen looked, from the jungle backdrop to the seemingly crazy man barking at the screen. After a bit of rambling, he pushed the concrete block over the edge of a precipice, taking the protagonist over the edge and into the water below.

What’s there is a chilling sight: the corpses of those who came before you, never freeing themselves from their bonds. His fate is a little different, and after some quick button-mashing, he’s able to free himself and swim to the surface. From there, we were told, there were different ways to handle the situation, different ways to approach any given scenario. Just how much your choices will ultimately affect the gameplay remains to be seen, but I like the possibility in theory.

I also like the idea of a living, changing environment that encourages the player to go off the beaten path instead of just from point A to point B. As we watched, a gunfight ensued, starting with sniping from afar and moving to up-close shooting. Bodies were looted, new guns were acquired, and the protagonist made his way to a helicopter, hijacking it. Soon after taking off, the helicopter crashed dramatically; the character was faced with the same crazy man from the beginning of the demo, who asked, “Did I ever tell you the definition of insanity?”

Far Cry 3 has some good ideas and already looks really good despite having a release date of 2012. Of course, the demo alone wasn’t enough to show just how open the off-the-map jungle is, or how varied your choices really are. However, the potential for a great shooter is definitely there, and I can only hope that Far Cry 3 delivers on its promises when it’s released in 2012.

See all our coverage directly from the show floor.

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