Game on: The Far Cry series
Far Cry 3 for Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Previewed by Siobhan Keogh
The Far Cry series has come a long way since the first game was released in 2004, but it has also come full circle.
We may have a new protagonist in Far Cry 3, but we're back to a lush, tropical island that can be described as a sandbox in more than one sense.
The protagonist of Far Cry 3, Jason Brody, is a tourist who finds himself stuck on an island where a gang war has been going on for years. He wants to get off the island, but first he has to find his girlfriend (of course).
In my preview session of Far Cry 3, I was given no clear objective. I was just plopped into the middle of the sandbox and told to have a go. I didn't have story missions assigned, and there were none to find - just a couple of guns and a chunk of the island to explore. If you've ever played Just Cause 2, you will know this isn't necessarily a bad thing.
During the day, there's not much to be afraid of. I quickly discovered that I could easily dispatch large groups of bandits and their attack dogs. When night falls, however, things become a lot more difficult. It's no longer easy to aim and pick off bad guys - you can hardly see them hiding in the bushes.
Driving in Far Cry 3 was, by far, the most frustrating part of the preview. That said, the island is big, so having a poorly controlled vehicle is better than having no vehicle at all.
There are role-playing game elements to Far Cry 3, such as a skill point system and a massively multiplayer online game-like crafting system but, unfortunately, in the time I had, I wasn't able to do anything more than unlock an extra ability, which gave my gun increased accuracy.
At the end of my hour with the game, I wanted more. I wanted to explore the island, see more sights and hear more sounds. The game looks fantastic so far - as evidenced by the fact that I happily spent an hour wandering around achieving almost nothing. Gotta love that sweet, sweet freedom.