Far Cry 3 - An Open World Hands-On
Far Cry 3 - An Open World Hands-On
We’re back on a tropical island, trapped, and everyone here is insane. Their leader continuously asks the same question to remind you of his insanity and guns are scattered casually like we're at an NRA Luau. Jason is our protagonist, zip lines and choppers are prolific and this game looks amazing. That’s what I knew going into this.
Jamie Keen - Lead Game Designer and the guy in control during the 2011 E3 demo (if you persevered past caffeine guy) - tells us what to expect early on. “From a narrative perspective, when we drop you into it we really try and create this image of this guy that really, really doesn’t know what’s going on in terms of the world and that kind of thing. He’s going to get knocked about a bit, he’s going to get beaten.”
Turns out, not everyone is insane though, not yet. I (Jason) start out in a village held by the local Rakyat (an Indo/Malay term for citizens) people. Part of the island is still controlled by these people, and as they are resisting the pirates - those insane people – they are friendlies to us.
“We’ve got this idea of the Rakyat people, they’re fictional people but it’s, you know, they’ve got this culture on the island. They’re trying to sort of reestablish themselves. Sitra’s leading this rebellion against the pirates that have been grinding them into the dust for the last little while. And now they’re kind of resurgent and they’re trying to take back the land. And that’s the overall battle that you’re fighting when you’re taking back the outposts, is that you’re helping them take back their land and then ultimately confronting Vaas, reconciling all of that.”
This means we can trade, purchase and gamble in the villages with the Rakyat people. I wander into the store and check out what’s for sale - a sight for my SMG looks particularly useful.
“You’re going to be able to sort of go off and gather stuff and come back to shops. Spend money, customize the weapons, you know, as you progress through the game you unlock newer types of weapons. Get that new weapon, go back, stick a sight on it, stick a silencer on it, paint the weapon the way you want to do it."
"We took a little bit on this, kind of, horoscopes of guns, cause we want to make sure the gunners got a choice. So we’re trying to level off the thing and make it kind of about giving you the gun you’d like to use best. Some guys really like to use sniper rifles, other guys really use SMG’s. Yeah, but you can then start off down that road and then gradually get that weapon better and better and better. So, you know, now this gun’s really serious, but I’d much prefer using that.”
I head out to explore and come across another local up for a wager. I test my knife throwing skills and fall 5 points short of winning. Enough of that, I’m off to help reclaim some lost territory for the villagers - and to get some payback.
The pirates are scrambling our map though, and wandering the island with no particular bearing could take a while. To regain a map of the immediate area I head up the hill to the radio tower to eliminate the jammer. To my surprise, the hostiles I anticipated from watching another player go to the same area weren’t there. The AI is pleasingly random so far.
I shimmy up the radio tower, bust open the broadcast box and disable the jammer then jump onto the nearby zipline for the first ride, but not before taking in the jaw-droppingly gorgeous scenery.
I hit the zipline only to find an ATV at the bottom. Jump on and a time trial delivery mission option comes up – I'm tasked with delivering medicine to a village outpost. Navigating through the tropical forest and jumping boulders I reach the lookout destination but scare the guy by almost running him over.
Head over to the lookout and there’s a hang glider sitting there. I harness up and drop off the edge of a cliff just as some pirates turn up and start shooting - they must have heard the four-wheeler. Not in a position to shoot back I drop altitude and head for the beach below.
With the local map now online I can easily spot a hostile beach camp nearby, so I head around the beach to creep up and reclaim the territory. While scouting the area I count five enemies - it's easy for me to pull out my camera and tag them so they show on my minimap... and they also have a visible outline through any walls, fences and shrubbery (when I'm close enough).
We have to continuously develop Jason’s skills as he sets out on the path of the Rakyat warrior. “It’s kind of split into three different branches, we’ve got one which is all about stealth, one which is all about assault and one which is about long range skills.” Jamie elaborates. “And it’s really up to you to decide - Ok I want to play a lot more stealth, at least I’m going to pick skills which support the stealth aspect of the game. But you kind of pick and choose the thread that you go through. So you might say, Ok, I really want to be super stealthy but I want to be able to do better take downs and also be good with the sniper rifle as well. So it’s really up to you to decide where those skill points go in the tree and how you plot your way through it.”
These skills you choose, the route you take as well as any collectibles you pick up are all depicted via the tattoo that develops on Jason’s arm throughout the game. “The relics, they fit into that, they are kind of like culturally special icons for these guys (the Rakyat). As you find them, you’re going to see new parts of the tattoo kind of get filled in. So it’s like, the more that you collect, the more of the tattoo you are going to see. And then at certain points during collecting things, it’s going to unlock special things for you. So it’s going to unlock special weapons, maybe some more potions, you know, other sort of content like that.”
I take out the first enemy with the bow to maintain stealth. I want to stay quiet, because if any of them sound the alarm I’ll definitely be overrun. I then creep around the back of the alarm building for a shot at the front tower guard. I take him out and I switch to my newly scoped SMG - it's a cinch to line up the first of two guards, put him down and then take out the second from the hip.
By now the final hostile is sprinting to hit the alarm - which will summon a few trucks full of extra pirates - and just before he hits the switch I level him with a frantic burst.
This area is now reclaimed for the Rakyat and I jump in a jeep to explore more - sadly it's not long before I crash the jeep, right it and manage to park it up a rock face - and then my time is up.
When asked how quickly we can progress Jason from a helpless victim role to a ruthless killer, Jamie explains it this way. “There’s two different threads to it. There’s the game thread of it, you know, there’s the systems of the game and your skill, and you actually kind of bolstering you as a player, what skills you pick. And then there’s the narrative element to it as well. We did couple that slightly so that, you know, you can go out and just do open world stuff and build your character right up."
"If you’re following the narrative thread, then, you know, it should probably time together, but they aren’t dependant on each other. There are going to be certain key points where they touch together, where it’s slightly gated, but generally it’s about you getting out and exploring and then exploring the story as well at the same time. We want that bouncing back from one to the other. So you end up spending some time in the world then get back into the narrative, then back out in to the world then back into the narrative”
With no talk of malaria, a range of interesting gaming systems in place and an exciting narrative, it’s looking like being stranded has never been so much fun!
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Tue 28 Aug 12, 1:45pmhoax86
Posted: Tue 28 Aug 12, 1:45pm
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