E3 2011: Far Cry 3 Preview
The message Ubisoft seem to want to hammer home about the freshly announced Far Cry 3 is that the people in it are bonkers. Almost everyone in this new island location seems to be a complete mental case with an inevitable flair of violence, and main character Jason Brody is going to have to survive their foibles if he wants to stay alive long enough to find his missing girlfriend.
In truth, because Far Cry 3 has just been announced there’s not a vast amount of information out there beyond what’s being shown in the E3 stage demo. If you watched Ubisoft’s press conference (and congrats if you made it all the way through after the wonderful acid trip of Rayman: Origins and the godawful event host) you’ll have seen pretty much everything the developers are talking about first hand.
There is the odd bit of additional info we can sprinkle over the top like a subtle detail-seasoning, however. Producer Dan Hay has let slip that rather than just being confined to a single island somewhere in the Indian Ocean, there will actually be multiple island environments. The one shown in the video above (or at least one section of it) is under the control of one of the aforementioned head cases, going by the name of Voss. He has a handle on his mental illness though, because he’s keen to share the definition of insanity with Jason on each occasion they meet.
As you might expect from a Far Cry title, the jungle sections are looking suitably lush and leafy and Ubisoft are promising us “huge draw distances”, which should make it easier to crest rocky ridges and peek over the top of them to survey the surroundings. There was a fair bit of that in Far Cry 2 and it’s revisited in the short E3 demo as well, as Jason spies on some of Voss’s flunkies who are being rather impolite to the residents of an island village.
The thing about being high up is it gives you quite a tactical advantage, and Jason demonstrates this in the latter part of the stage demo (after getting out of a spot of watery bother) by leaping down and embedding a knife in a hapless goon. To follow that up, he tosses the same knife at another seated guard and then sneaks up behind a third and dispatches him with a violent stab to the neck.
This kind of play sequence suggests an element of choice in how Jason approaches situations (though whatever he chooses, they all seem pretty brutal). It’d certainly be possible to enter the village with guns drawn and ready, but angry-stealth looks like an option too. This theory is supported by the presence of a sort of awareness meter in the HUD, which seems to point to guards noticing Jason’s presence. The indicator goes from white to a single red notification as he tooks out one guard, then quickly expands to little red arrows all over the place as the firefight escalated and further sentries notice what’s up.
Beyond this short snippet, which ends with Jason’s potential escape chopper being shot down and our hero back under Voss’s control (yep, time for another insanity definition), we’re into the realm of speculation. Ubisoft have said that Voss is one of four major characters trapped on the island being shown and mentioned those key phrases “open world” and “exploration”, which indicate that the mechanics of the title should be similar to previous Far Cry experiences.
What’s difficult to judge is whether the team have taken note of the frustrations people had with Far Cry 2 and … sorry if this brings back painful memories for anyone reading … those infamous checkpoints. It’s too early to say whether enemies will respawn in areas, or if pre-travelled zones can be returned to with any kind of quick-travel function. Hopefully the answer to those things will be “no they won’t” and “yes, you can”, in that order.
Multiplayer has been strongly hinted at (and the existence of multiple Ubisoft studios working as developers would seem to support this) but the word from E3 was that only single player was being talked about at present. There’s a lot more to be revealed about Far Cry 3 and, given the reaction to its reveal in the Ubisoft conference, no shortage of interest left in the series. Right now the game is scheduled for “some time” in 2012 and will pop out of the jungle on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.
Continue to check out IncGamers.com as our E3 2011 coverage continues. To read the latest from E3 2011 click here.