Far Cry 3‘s breathtaking visuals and insane yet genius villain is what made it jump to the top of every FPS fan’s list back when it was announced in 2011. Now, with its release date quickly looming, we couldn’t wait to see how the game plays and feels.
First off, we had a chance to try the multiplayer. The game mode we played involved two teams trying to set the other team’s property on fire. Whichever team would achieve that first would have to try and capture the radio station in order to call in an airstrike to permanently transform the land into a burnt crisp.
There is definitely a visual downgrade between the single- and multiplayer; the textures are clearly in a lower resolution, as well as effects such as dust and water. Visuals aside, the multiplayer failed to impress us: whilst it was promoting teamwork and objective-focused play, it rarely felt like that. Most of the time, it would be easier to run around the map mindlessly killing enemy players rather than try to be a team player. Gameplay wise, there was nothing new – the game feels and plays like your average shooter, controls included. You kill an enemy, earn 100 points, repeat.
Whilst there is nothing wrong with the multiplayer per se, there is nothing particularly new and noteworthy about it either. Its core gameplay elements are lifted directly from other shooters, and the general experience you get out of it isn’t particularly fresh or rewarding. It looks like it will have appeal to players, but unless we see some new details about the multiplayer, I expect the Far Cry 3 servers to become ghost towns earlier than the developers thought.
The singleplayer demo that we were offered to play was the exact same one shown at this year’s E3 conference. It starts off with the tribal woman, the main antagonist’s sister, on top of you and topless (yay for boobies!). You then give a motivational speech to the tribe, and before you know it, you are off to catch the bad guy, Vaas.
The demo does a good job of showing off the stealthier and more action-focused gameplay, as well as the different environments, but fails to bring anything new on the table. For being an open-world game with sandbox-style missions, Far Cry 3 felt rather limited. More often than not, it felt like you were following a narrow corridor to your objective as there was little, if anything, to gain by taking a different path.
A demo is meant to make you want to buy the game; it’s meant to show you all the things it does best so you know what to expect out of it. Far Cry 3 isn’t a bad game at all. It’s still a very well designed shooter and will definitely be greeted by many positive reviews, but the demo failed at showing off what the game can really do. Now, we have our doubts on how open the missions will really be and how compelling the multiplayer will remain. It really felt as if the game had a lot of great ideas but was unable to truly bring them to fruition due to stale and overused gameplay decisions. This was our first true disappointment at Gamescom.