The Far Cry series is one of the most well-known and enduring first-person shooter series of all time.
Since 2004, the series has sent players to mysterious places where they must survive and face intriguing villains. The free-ended gameplay assures that no two players will have the same experience, and the open-world environments never cease to impress. Let’s look back to why Far Cry 3 was the best in the franchise and still impresses gamers.
Exotic And Menacing Villains
Unquestionably, introducing intriguing and ominous villains was one of Far Cry 3’s most important contributions to the franchise.
Vaas Montenegro is the first significant antagonist players will meet for a considerable section in the game. Vaas is a brilliantly characterized and incredibly credible psychopath who enjoys philosophizing about the origins of madness and committing random acts of terrifying violence.
Vaas was simply a secondary antagonist in the main story. Still, as a psychotic resident of the islands who sported a mohawk, it is understandable why he was depicted so highly on the game’s poster and advertising materials.
The performance of the “Better Call Saul” fame Michael Mando in the auditions served as the sole inspiration for the character of Vaas, which was developed and modeled by Ubisoft after Mando’s performance. The more humorous and fun aspects of Vaas’ personality work well to balance out his unpredictable, aggressive impulses, and the dramatic changes in his emotional state frequently give many of his monologues a tense quality.
Hoyt Volker follows Vaas as the main antagonist, who is relatively less charismatic (yet dangerous).
Hoyt is nonetheless an exciting figure which adds more dimension to the charisma of Vaas by his exposed control and manipulation over him, even though it is fair to claim that he is less remembered than Vaas.
No other villain in the franchise comes close to Vaas in terms of longevity and pop-culture effect, despite attempts by the main antagonists of subsequent games in the series to mimic his presence, such as Joseph Seed in Far Cry 5 or Anton Castillo played by the “Breaking Bad” fame Giancarlo Esposito in Far Cry 6.
Storyline And Gameplay
One of its strongest features is how Far Cry 3 conveys its tale and how vital game elements are inextricably related to the plot. The protagonist Jason Brody goes through dramatic and rapid psychological changes to save his friends.
Jason joins forces with the local Rakyat tribe to battle the pirate danger that rules the islands despite beginning the game as a timid and inexperienced character. The Rakyat people teach Jason the fundamentals of using a weapon and engaging in combat, abilities that he would quickly hone and put to use to aid in the liberation of the islands.
Another innovation for the series is the skill system which shows off the skill growth. As Jason advances in levels and gains access to new abilities, he augments his “tatau,” a customary Rakyat sleeve tattoo that the tribe gave him.
The first-person perspective of Jason’s arms allows the player to physically observe the skill growth as the game continues and builds another important plot aspect.
Jason initially joined the island’s fight to protect his friends, but as the conflict intensifies and he gains a reputation for being a deadly killer, he becomes increasingly involved in purely egocentric motives. The tattoos are a lasting alteration to Jason and a reminder of the turmoil he has internalized. This extremely complicated anti-hero aspect of Brody, revealed in part, is yet another reason Far Cry 3 was the best in the franchise, as characters in succeeding games were silent and almost without much personality.
Interactive Gaming Experience
The opening of Far Cry 3 is excellent, including a montage of phone and video recordings showing the outrageous antics of a group of reasonably annoying American students on Rook Island, a seemingly pristine Pacific paradise.
But after a parachute drop, things go wrong. Even though the game eases you into its action considerably more gradually than previous iterations, it nevertheless calls for rather intense first-person shooting abilities.
However, the game’s AI was rather sophisticated. Since charging in with all weapons blazing rarely works, players could use stealth takedowns, disarming alarms, and other strategies to equalize the odds.
The player could engage in various side activities in Far Cry 3’s expansive open environment, including side quests, hunting, combat challenges, assassination missions, and timed vehicle-based supply runs.
The game’s transportation choices were unlike anything the franchise had ever seen before and significantly increased the series’ and first-person genre’s standards for quality and variety. Naturally, the Rook Islands may be explored with several vehicles, including cars, trucks, and jet skis.
However, the travel options were drastically transformed when air travel was included with paragliders, wingsuits, and parachutes. The impact Far Cry 3 had on the series is evident when considering how wingsuit travel would later develop into a mainstay of the other series’ core games.
Final thoughts on why Far Cry 3 is still the best in the franchise
In my opinion, Far Cry 3 has perhaps had a greater impact than any other Ubisoft game, and its influence goes far beyond the shooter subgenre. The innovations the Rook Islands shooter brought have benefited everything from The Crew to Assassin’s Creed.
Few gaming franchises have the illustrious history of Far Cry. Depressingly, the modern video game industry tends to milk popular titles by turning them into franchises and releasing new incarnations every two years. However, every once in a while, there’s a game that is so alluring that you start to wonder if sequels could be this good and be the best in the franchise.