March 10, 2013
Examining Far Cry 3’s Difficulty
This night is filled with cold silence and the jungle is shrouded with a wet, humid, muggy coat of chill that drapes off of the very leaves that your blood still drips from. The dead body behind you is beginning to stink; a testament to his combined military training and lack of personal hygiene. He carried a shotgun; short and stocky, but deadly at close range. Needless to say, he would have been your strongest adversary on this mission.
What is your mission? Aside from surviving this hellhole that you crash-landed in, you need to attain a strange looking flower with a red hue. The ingredient inside its leaf produces an enzyme that could be better used for a steroid-like solution that you could administer to yourself. That’ll come in very handy the next time you face a leopard that refuses to give up, even after the entire magazine of ammo that you’ve emptied into its face.
The encampment that you’re in is infamous around Bangkok for its movement of this flower. They probably use its nectar to get high, because the same nectar can be used as a euphoric agent; a bit like morphine, but not quite.
The Big Picture
Far Cry 3 defines what it means to be stranded on an island with nothing but your balls and a fist full of glory. From the very beginning, we understand that the game’s main character, Jason Brody, has become the victim of a sadistic pirate lord named Vaas. Like many of the corpses you saw on the way to Vaas, the people of this island have become nothing but spineless victims. Vaas slaughters them one by one, merely for his enjoyment.
We don’t feel like Super Mario bouncing on Goombas for the simplicity of reach a level. Instead, the player is forced to continuously prioritize their movements. Where can I go? Will I be safe there? How much ammo do I have? The island feels like a living breathing beast that constantly forces you to act on your basic instincts.
Be not mistaken by the difficulty, because Far Cry 3’s visuals are stunning. I often times think to myself that the character animations for Jason are astounding. Not just astounding, but in most ways they feel unnecessarily brutal. For example, when Jason has endured too many bullets, he takes a knife and digs into the bullet wound, levering the metal out. Never mind that he’s in the middle of a gunfight; the character is rooted in such physical brutality that the world really feels like a challenge of survival. In many ways, this is the point of Far Cry 3.
On the Difficulty
Because modding is illegal on the consoles, I take much of my observation of the game from the PC. Most modders provide booster support and God mode cheats for those of us who just want to experience the ease of traversing terrain without a gunfight. For Far Cry, the gamers understand that in order to enhance the original goal of the game (which is survival) enhanced elements would mean a much more believable experience.
Some of these mods extend the learning times of knife learning from just 30 minutes to 45 hours! Could you imagine spending 45 hours of in-game time simply throwing the same knife at a target block? Of course this mod is optional, so we cannot rule out the entire game being privy to it. However, we can take Far Cry 3’s goal orientation to the player in consideration for a high rating.
To attain higher magazine counts for your weapons, you must kill a certain amount of hogs to have leather to make it. To extend the available number of weapons in your arsenal for Jason to use, you must slay enough leopard so that their skins can produce the right holster pouches. The list goes on.
Far Cry 3 redefines what we feel towards games in terms of complication.
Have you taken a trip to Bangkok to meet the sadistic Vaas yet? Have you traverse the mountainsides and swam along its channels with the sharks? Better get on it folks; you have no idea what you’re missing.
Image Credit: Ubisoft