Far Cry 3 Is Quite The Getaway As One Of 2012's Best Shooters

As much as I liked the idea of Far Cry 2 and its open world exploration, something always felt off to me with that game.  I'm not sure if it was the African setting (compared to the tropical island of the first) or the general nature of the missions, but it wasn't quite what I expected it to be.  It was still fun, though, and upon hearing about Far Cry 3 (which was announced last year at Ubisoft's E3 press event), I couldn't help but wonder…would this be the one that gets the thrill of the hunt right?  And it truly is.

Though there are some nagging issues when it comes to difficulty and the general nature of your protagonist – who is pretty much a tourist who becomes an overnight badass – the game manages to excite anyway, not only because you have free reign over miles of terrain to cover, but because of the chaos you can truly create, whether it's launching an RPG at a truck full of pirates or hunting a tiger who, by the same token, wants to have you for lunch.  There's no shortage of greatness in this game, and it's insane.

You and your buddies are minding your own business vacationing on a tropical island when you run into Vaas, a vicious pirate who has some devastating plans for you, either planning to sell you off or use you for his own vile needs.  You manage to escape, but not before one of your own is murdered by him.  Teaming up with a local group of villagers who intend to fight him, your slowly turn from innocent civilian to an all out mercenary, packing an assortment of weapons and learning new skills, such as pouncing on someone with a brutal kill, learning to mix toxins that could come in handy later in the game, and developing hunting skills and picking up some animal skins – and flowers, awwww – as a result.

Like Far Cry 2, you don't have to do everything on foot.  You can use Fast Travel to get around, and unlock new locations by activating radio towers that are scattered all over the island.  You can also hop into a number of vehicles to get around, including trucks, jet skis, and a cool hang glider, which lets you swoop over enemies from above, surveying the land before you run back in and shoot everyone.  Ubisoft has improved their open world engine in so many ways, though there are still some areas that require you to walk around a steep hill, instead of giving you the option to climb.  (You can work your way up vines, at least.)

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