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Far Cry 3: It's no tv show.

There's an element of the TV show Lost about Far Cry 3, with a side order of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness.

It's a whole new storyline, with new characters and a new location. The third instalment is not a direct sequel to Far Cry 2 (as Far Cry 2 was not a direct sequel to the original Far Cry).

Our protagonist, one Jason Brody, is stuck on a Pacific island dominated by a psychotic pirate named Vs. Brody and his skydiving buddies have been scattered around the island - and once Brody escapes Vs's clutches, he'll need to track his mates down.

Or hunt animals for survival and resources for crafting equipment. Or hijack transportation, including hang-gliders and jet-skis. There's a lot to do in this open-world environment.

With the aid of the island natives, the Rakyat, Jason beings his transformation from extreme sports enthusiast to a hunter and killer as he takes on the pirates and their leader.

Along the way, there are no shortage of side-quests to perform and things to interact with. Tigers, leopards and wild boar can keep you happily occupied for hours, and who can resist the chance to fly a hang-glider over the rainforest canopy?

Like a number of recent shooters, Far Cry 3 has a limited skill system and, with hunting and crafting, some non-traditional activities. FPS purists may frown, but the game handles these elements pretty smoothly.

To get a better view of his surroundings, Jason can climb radio masts scattered around the island - it's a little like the Eagle Towers in Assassin's Creed, though getting up them adds an element of a platform puzzler.

Where Far Cry shines, though, is in the atmosphere it generates. Visuals, game play and particularly the sound effects all blend into a captivating experience. The immersion factor is strong within this one.

The graphics are gorgeous. The jungle is beautifully done, and the underwater scenes are a delight. You pay a penalty in frame rate for the pretties, though it stays within an acceptable range - most of the time.

The core of any shooter, though, is the combat system, and Far Cry 3 nails it. Controls work well, and set-piece combats - like taking on a pirate outpost - become tactical puzzles.

The puzzle aspects of the game mean you'll have to engage the brain far more often than a game like Black Ops 2, for instance. That keeps the game fresher with continued play.

Highly recommended.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Dec 11, 2012
Words:425
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