It’s been nearly six years since Far Cry 3 was initially released on the PS3 and since then the Far Cry franchise has wandered far from home. Far Cry 4 branched off to the Himalayan mountains to fight a vicious dictator and Far Cry 5 sight saw an all-American Cult, determined on eradicating those unwilling to join. With the release of the Classic Edition of Far Cry 3 we’re going back to where it all started, to see if this once great game can still hold its own on modern consoles.
For those who are new to the story Far Cry 3 follows 20-year old Jason who, after a fateful parachute jump is captured by pirates and loses his older brother and a collection of his friends. Thrown into a deadly jungle with no survival skills Jason has to quickly adapt to life in a hazardous tropical world filled with threats in a desperate attempt to save his friends.
The core game is still a marvel to behold even after six years post release, the dangerous Rook Islands are beautiful yet deadly with sandy beaches, looming mountains and sweltering jungles. The story has also stood the test of time meaning that even seasoned players can enjoy Far Cry 3’s tale of violence and cultism as it quickly unravels before them. Far Cry 3 is known for being a standout game in the franchise and although the story is strong it may not be the leading reason for its success. Lively and frequent fire-fights sporadically appearing across the map and a large open world filled with opportunities may have become a well-known formula for shooters games in 2018, but Far Cry 3 was one of the initial first-person shooters to really capture an audience.
Although the story is gripping it’s the character development which sets Far Cry 3 as a truly great game. Our young protagonist Jason Brody begins his journey scared and crushed by the prospects of survival on the Rook Islands. As the game progresses however, so does Jason’s character, surpassing an adept survivalist Jason begins to relish in the killings evolving into a murderous icon who struggles to adapt back to the guidelines of modern society. It’s a compelling journey, made even more memorable by the games antagonist Vaas Montenegro. Vaas is the embodiment of insanity and watching his delusional monologues still conveys a powerful message to this day. Vaas’s only downfall is his severe lack of presence during the first half of the game, he might be an unsettling foe, but that’s only if you can remember him between brief and infrequent encounters.
After the release of Far Cry 5 and its well-received banishment of radio towers it does feel strange to be surrounded by them once more in Far Cry 3’s Classic Edition but Ubisoft’s rendition of this shooter feels like a time-capsule . Brimming with nostalgia from the original game and earlier Far Cry instalments which have gradually evolved to be sharper over time. This classic edition enhances the progression of a well loved and popular franchise and lined out the path to bigger and better instalments and DLC’s to come.
The story in Far Cry 3 Classic Edition follows the same narrative as the original only with crisper graphics smoothed out for the PS4. Co-op and multiplayer sections of Far Cry 3 however have remained on the PS3 edition, leaving this PS4 edition of the game much easier for those hunting the platinum trophy for this classic edition remaster.
If Far Cry 3 Classic Edition is a freebie for you along with the Far Cry 5 Season Pass then a revisit to Rook islands is the obvious choice. For those who don’t this is practically a one to one port from the PS3 to the PS4 and with it essentially being the same game, there may be little reason to step foot on these sandy shores again.