SarcasmoJones and Shadow26inc battle for Far Cry 3 co-op supremacy...
Nothing drags a paradise vacation down quite like pirates!
In Far Cry 3, players assume the role of Jason Brody, on vacation with family and friends in the tropical wonderland of Rook Island. Unfortunately, tropical pirate king, Vaas Montenegro, and his merry band of drug-addicted murderers capture Jason, his two brothers, his girlfriend, and a couple of friends and earmark them for sale into slavery. Jason and his older brother, Grant, attempt to get away in the opening chapter. Grant is the perfect escape buddy: he was in the army and possesses combat and survival skills. However, Vaas kills him with a shot to the head during the escape, effectively compromising Grant’s contribution to the escape process. Jason escapes the pirates but is knocked unconscious in the process.
Jason awakes, with a fresh tat, in a Rakyat village with thoughts of rescue and revenge on his mind. Dennis Rogers, former auto mechanic and native son of Liberia, provides the plan and the means for Jason to accomplish his goals. The plan is simple and effective: Jason is to kill all the pirates, deactivate the scramblers on the cell phone towers, and rescue all of his friends single-handedly. In return, Dennis will provide more ink for tattoos. Thanks, Dennis. You’re the best! Apparently the hierarchy of Rook Island is similar to that of a biker bar: the guy with the most tattoos is king.
Have a gun and a tattoo, my friend.
The Nuts and Bolts
Now that Jason is awake and properly inked, he learns that if he disables the cell tower scramblers it reveals sections of the map and scores discounts and free swag at the island gun shops and vending machines (which also sell guns). The tattoos symbolize combat and survival skills that Jason has earned and learned. These skills include brutal takedown moves, the ability to shoot a gun while utilizing a zip line, and the effectiveness of crafted syringes. Strangely, although Rook Island runs a very brisk gun trade, Jason has to make his own backpacks, holsters, wallets, and syringe cases out of the skins of hunted animals such as tigers, deer, sharks, and Komodo Dragons.
Taking out a pirate outpost on the island makes travel safer in that region and activates a safe-house within the outpost that allows fast travel. The island is peppered with several side missions such as driving medical supplies to a village within a time limit, an island race league, pirate bounties, game hunts, finding lost Japanese WWII letters and dogtags, and helping out individual islanders with their personal problems for the noble goal of personal financial gain and scoring cheevos, bro.
Ubisoft provided the standard fare firearms for Jason’s pirate killing spree: assault rifles, SMGs, pistols, shotguns, light machine guns, RPGs, bow and arrows, sniper rifles, flamethrower, knives, machetes, grenades, Molotovs, C4, proximity mines, and a few other death dealing goodies. In game vehicles are actually quite fun as well. Brody can choose from jeeps, trucks, 4 wheelers, jet skis, pontoon boats, hang gliders, dune buggies, parachutes, technicals, and piece of shit islander cars.
Vaas and his pirates are not the only threat to Jason and his friends, and almost no one is who they seem. Every favor has its price and no good deed goes unpunished. The primary voice talent is exceptional. Vaas, Dennis, Citra, Buck, and the good Doctor are fleshed out very well and are as believable as any character from Bioshock or Assassin’s Creed. That being said, the minor NPCs are extremely repetitive and I literally winced every time I liberated an outpost because I knew what was coming next.
The single player campaign is an adults only ride. The word “fuck” popped up on the loading screen before the game even started, and it only gets grittier from there. An Australian privateer, Buck, repeatedly rapes one of your friends, drugs are everywhere, there are some wild naked titties and a topless sex scene. Add all of that on top of a mountain of dead bodies and you have a game that should only be played after the kiddos get tucked in: Far Cry 3 definitely earns its MA rating.
Part of Jason’s initiation into the Rakyat clan requires ingesting hallucinogens, and the island’s Doctor is a drug manufacturer, and addict, who supplies finished product to the pirates and privateers of Rook Island. Your rescued friends find asylum under the erratic hospitality of the good Doctor, but no place on Rook Island is truly safe.
The single player campaign narrative is intense and immersive. However, once the single player campaign is completed, players have no reason to run through it again. Nothing new is added to the narrative, encounters and chapters cannot be replayed, and staying on the island results in picking off challenges and hunts that were not complete before the story’s resolution.
Chicks dig a guy with tattoos.
Although single player campaign replay is relatively nonexistent, Ubisoft added a four player co-op and multiplayer competitive modes, which infinitely add replay value to a one and done campaign. Co-op and multiplayer run independent of the single player portion of the game, so skills and equipment gained from the campaign do not apply to multiplayer. You will not be able to take your flaming recurve bow, shark skin wallet, and grenade takedown with you.
I’m not really a multiplayer shooter guy, and I don’t generally play well with others, so I filled the newest staff writer, Shadow26inc, with a plate of nachos and a tall Rum Roofie, and forced him to play co-op on a Friday night. His semi-truthful account of that night’s activities follows, as well as his report on the competitive multiplayer function.
Far Cry 3 Co-Op
I had the misfortune - I mean, pleasure - of spending one of my Friday nights online playing co-op Far Cry 3 with Sir Sarcasmo Jones. As they say, there are two sides to every story and this is my version of how things went down.
We started off by adding each other as friends on XBL because well, lets face it, Jones and I need friends. After the traditional greeting of name calling, sobbing, and man-hugging over apologies for the name calling, we got the festivities underway. Contrary to the rumors, Jones has a decent grasp of shooters, when he’s not dying and/or laughing hysterically about his death or mine.
Co-op plays out like a very linear story, with a buddy system thrown in. You play through a new “branch” of the Far Cry story, and there is not the freedom we are accustomed to with multiplayer or single player for that matter. The enemies don’t seem to get any stronger or weaker based on the number of players in the mission. The loadouts are based on your current multiplayer loadouts, and any experience gained in this mode counts towards your multiplayer profile. This is a fun way to earn those early levels and items that become detrimental in online multiplayer. Co-op supports up to four players, either in a private or public lobby.
Our experience with co-op involved a lot of cursing, loadout changes, and a lot “Damn it Jones, stop humping the dead NPC’s!” Once we got the tagging system (an in game ability found in multiplayer also) down, I would tag, and we’d both go bag ‘em. There were also “competitions,” which seem to be the game’s way of keeping you from wanting to choke Jones, I mean your teammate. There is one competition per map, and with six maps, you guessed it, six competitions. Four of the six are shooting based, while two are driving based. I won four of the six. Jones refuses to play me again as two of my wins were in the racing events. That’s right folks, an FPS gamer beat the mighty Jones in racing.
There were a lot of timed takedown attacks on enemies, playing over watch, and hiding in corners with the other playing bait for the heavy armor baddies. Near the end, we complimented each other in true FPS fashion, a synchronized RPG blast to each others’ faces. All in all, a good time. If you’re looking for a good “buddy” style co-op, this is the ticket.
And Jones, it’s not customary to give “man kisses” for beating a map, just thought I’d remind you.
Jones after our co-op match... He’s so... *happy*
Pick Your Poison...
Far Cry 3 keeps it simple when it comes to game types. Essentially, you can kill each other in the various ways and fashions you would expect from a large title. One difference, there is an entire game type that revolves around lighting barrels of oil on fire and securing radio towers. Other than that the options are pretty vanilla, but don’t mistake that for boring.
Lock And Load, Boys...
The loadouts follow a simple to use method. You get one primary and secondary weapon, two equipment, two skills, and a battlecry. Your weapons have items you may equip, such as mods (an item that gives your gun a paintjob as well as adjusting things like damage and recoil) and attachments (extended clip size, red dot sight, steel core rounds, hot rounds). All of your items are unlocked based on your character level, and the weapon attachments are unlocked based on your weapons level.
Up Your Arsenal....
The weapons are your normal FPS weapons, with some goodies thrown in. You have assault rifles, submachine guns, light machine guns, sniper rifles, and shotguns. Secondaries include handguns, heavy weapons (RPG, flamethrower, and grenade launcher), and special weapons (flare gun, recurve bow, Type 10, and predator bow). With choices like the LMG and bows available, it’s hard not to want to strap a headband on and go in a la Rambo.
Your equipment is split into three areas: Grenade, Explosive, and Body. Essentially, your equipment is used to either blow someone else up or keep you from being blown up. It’s that simple.
Skills are what make you unique. The other guy may have the same weapons, but does he have Fast Reload equipped? His lifeless corpse makes me think not. Your skills are split into three categories: Weapon, Hunter, and Support. The categories are pretty descriptive on what the skills do. Want to handle weapons better? Then use Weapon skills. Want to be a team player? Then use Support. Want to go Rambo? Then use Hunter.
Cry Me A River...Of Blood!
What’s war without a little crying from grown men? Battlecry is easy to use and a way to support your team. Get close to your teammates, cry to them (battlecry, you sissy!) and watch them rush head first to their doom, er, victory! You can boost toughness or health regeneration, among other things, for your teammates.
For The Technophiles...
At the end of each mission, you may notice that you unlocked some “encrypted” data. We have a solution for that - decrypt it! Decrypting items takes time (minutes-hours), but gains you bonus XP and those coveted weapon mods you drool over. You may gift these items to your friends if you wish instead of accepting them, and occasionally you will receive a giftable-only speed boost to help quicken your friends’ decrypting time (which cuts the time roughly in half).
So, You Want To Be A Cartographer?
I played around with the game’s map editing feature, and it is quite expansive. There are even dedicated playlists for user created maps. Want to place a ton of planes in a pile? Now you can. Want to build a massive complex and paint the walls with your friends’ blood? This is the way to do it.
Multiplayer is a great feature in Far Cry 3. It even stacks up against some of the best FPS games out there. The gameplay and mechanics are much better than previous installments of the Far Cry franchise. Lobbies can sometimes be hard to find, but they are worth the wait. Just make sure to take a buddy, because timmies sure don’t care about stopping to revive you. All in all, if you like multiplayer, and want to be a metrosexual Rambo...then buy this game.
Although the SP campaign is engaging and immersive, it offers little in the way of replayability. The multiplayer portions, however, increase the replay value exponentially, and are executed very well. Far Cry 3 stands as a great alternative to those gamers disgusted and disappointed by Halo 4 and BLOPS2. It wasn’t the best game of 2012, but it was on the list. Now go kill some pirates.