Category Archives: Game Reviews
“Far Cry 3 is like Skyrim with Guns!” has been an oft-repeated quote even prior to this month’s release of Ubisoft’s new open-world, sandbox first person shooter (FPS). Here’s our brief take on that claim and some of our impressions of Far Cry 3 thus far.
First off, Far Cry 3 (on the PC) is gorgeous. The island archipelago wherein the story of Far Cry 3 takes place is huge, incredibly detailed, and graphically stunning. In this sense, the visuals of Far Cry 3 remind us of the immersive graphics of a modded version of Skyrim with visual settings maxed. As you run about the islands’ hills, rain forests, beaches, and cliffs in first person, you truly feel transported to the tropical world of Far Cry 3. If you are short on funds for a trip to Fiji or Tahiti this year, playing Far Cry 3 on a solid gaming PC may be the next best thing.
We also found some similarity between the sense of wonder and exploration conveyed by the respective huge maps and numerous locales of Far Cry 3 and Skyrim. It was this sense of untapped opportunity to explore, especially early in the game, that most gave us the sense that Far Cry 3 is “Skyrim with guns.” Of course, not unlike Skyrim or the Fallout games, your perception of the hugeness of the world of Far Cry 3 diminishes as you do check-off discoveries through the course of the game. But it’s that early feeling of unending possibilities in Far Cry 3 that most reminds us of Skyrim.
Crafting in Far Cry 3, on the other hand, does not remind us of Skyrim at all, and instead feels somewhat unnecessary and somewhat tacked-on. Crafting in Skyrim conveys that aforementioned dynamic of “unlimited possibilities” for much longer than the crafting dynamic in Far Cry 3. For example, in Far Cry 3 you hunt and skin animals to create and upgrade your gear: backpack, wallet, ammo pouch etc., but you can only create and upgrade each item once, and there is no opportunity to sell previously created and no longer needed items. In Far Cry 3 the crafting dynamic seems completely independent of the in-game economy. Of course in Skyrim you can play the game as an alchemist who never does anything but hunt for ingredients, create potions, & sell them in the market if you so choose. In Far Cry 3, once you’ve hunted and crafted the gear you need to carry enough weapons, ammo, and cash, you may as well stop hunting and crafting since loot and related cash proceeds will cover any needs you have far better than crafting.
Far Cry 3 also implements a basic skill tree and points dynamic. This falls far short of games like Skyrim, however, offering little divergence or variety in the paths the player can assign points to. In fact, we have largely ignored the skill tree and points during our latest play-through, as they do not seem to add much to the basic FPS dynamics or our enjoyment of the game.
We love the Fallout games (still playing Fallout New Vegas) and feel that they (obviously, since they are all Bethesda games) better fit the bill of “Skyrim with guns” in large part due to the wonky, somewhat awkward combat dynamics shared by all the Bethesda games. Far Cry 3, on the other hand, does do an excellent job of incorporating tight and fluid FPS mechanics into its open-world sandbox. In our opinion, Ubisoft has done an admirable job of joining the fluid FPS combat of a CoD or Battlefield type game into the sprawling open-world map of a Bethesda type game.
So is Far Cry 3 “Skyrim with guns?” Not quite, in our opinion, as it lacks the depth of Skyrim on many levels including crafting, player inventory, storage, homes, skill-tree, etc. That said, however, Ubisoft deserves kudos, in our opinion, for doing an admirable job of bringing the sense of unlimited sandbox possibilities offered by games like Skyrim to the genre of the FPS, perhaps better than it’s ever been done before. In some ways, Far Cry 3 could be better described as a “tropical island Grand Theft Auto in the first person with C0D-style gunplay.” But that’s another debate for another time. What’s your experience with Far Cry 3 been like so far?