Far Cry 5

Far Cry 3: The perfect finale to the original trilogy. [STORY SPOILERS AHEAD!!!]

I've just finally finished Far Cry 3. Far Cry 2, which introduced the standalone approach and the open world style, is definitely my favourite of the original trilogy, but I'll be damned if Far Cry 3 ISN'T a worthy send-off and the best from an objective/accessibility standpoint.

Far Cry 3 merges together the open world and immersion factor of 2 with the tropical setting and story focus of 1, and does so with flying colours. Like how Far Cry 2 immersed you the life of a Mercenary, Far Cry 3 immerses you into the life of a man who is cursing the day he ever landed on this island. Missions are taken from people around towns and don't often involve sabotage and extortion, but rather assistance in their normal, mundane jobs. Whenever you get an assassination mission on the bulletin board, it often requires you to respect the tradition of indigenous people's religion and kill them with a knife. Rather than buying additional inventory space, you hunt animals for it. I could go on and on, but you get my point.

The gunplay is as excellent as ever, with the story missions often putting good use of it. And the fact that you can go the entire game without experimenting with different weapons is absolutely criminal in my opinion. I often made good use of exotic weapons (namely grenade launchers, the Recurve Bow, the flare gun, and of course, the ever-necessary Flamethrower), and whenever I thought like a predator and mixed up predatory stealth tactics with gunplay, it all clicked and became so much fun, especially with the new levelling system added.

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However, bizarrely enough, the best thing about Far Cry 3, is the storyline. I know, right? You don't go to Far Cry looking for deep stories, but 3 has a genuinely intriguing and surprisingly emotionally-driven story with characters you care about and genuinely like, with incredible voice acting topping the whole thing off. If Far Cry/Instincts was a poorly-written Sci-Fi action adventure story inspired by the Island of Dr. Moreau, and Far Cry 2 was a minimalist story with anti-war themes and messages, then Far Cry 3 is social commentary on the FPS genre.

And not bad social commentary either: It's not shoved in your face, or conveyed in a morally reprehensible manner Mignnones … …Sorry, where was I? Oh, yes. But rather you play through the game, and the commentary slowly reveals itself to you. Jason Brody is NOT Jack Carver: He is NOT a warrior, but as he kills more and more, gains more hatred for Vaas and Hoyt, and the Rakyat end up influencing him, he becomes a deconstruction of FPS protagonists in general. By the point he ends up pretending to be a Privateer soldier and ends up torturing his younger brother, he literally asks himself "What have I become?", and that's when the point the game makes is finally revealed: that being "You, the player, are NOT, and never will be a badass warrior."

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The finale (specifically the good ending) beautifully wraps things up and delivers this message in a meaningful way, not only with Jason resisting Citra's manipulations and gaslighting to save his friends, but by leaving off with another character basically become the thing he hates, and leaving off a surprisingly poignant monologue by Jason himself, and a fitting final scene of the ceremonial knife being left behind as the survivors leave the Rook Islands in the background. This in itself would be strong, but it's made perfect by the fact that to save your friends, all you have to do is LEFT-CLICK. The button you pressed to end so many thugs' lives ends up being the button you press to leave your nightmare behind and accept reality. Now THAT'S poetic.

Oh, sorry, I've been ranting about how good the story is and came off like a pretentious Ctrl-Left youtuber. My bad, I think I'll wrap this up.

Basically, it all boils down to this: If I wanted someone to play a Far Cry game, I'd probably go with either this or 2. 3 is a genuine masterpiece that puts most story-driven games and open world shooters nowadays to shame, and it's far better at gripping you, entertaining you, and making you feel than most games nowadays. Really, the only things wrong is that it has an inconsistent framerate, and the awful Doppelganger mission, but who cares when you have a shooter THIS good?

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The series would jump the shark with the Villains Era, in which the focus was no longer on being immersive and fun, but rather on being generic and monotonous with most of the marketing and game focus being on try-hard sociopaths who serve as the antagonists, but the original Far Cry trilogy still holds up in different ways, and I genuinely feel that they are musts for any self-respecting shooter fan. Godspeed Far Cry. Godspeed.

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