I’d dreamt of a game like this for some time - A game that would allow you to roam a huge area interacting with almost everything in it. That I dreamt about it though is quite ironic though because I hate absolutely dream sequences - something that made parts of this game kind of hard to put up with.
In previous real world roaming games I’ve always felt I was wandering around in a large space that had nothing in it. GTA was brilliant, but it was essentially just lots of places separated by miles of road with almost nothing in between. Sure, in recent versions there were more places you could go but essentially most of the city you couldn’t interact with.
Granted FC3 takes place on a huge and sparsely populated island group, and it maybe gets around the problem by having less stuff (for want of a better word). It also has almost nothing you can’t go into and I never felt like it was empty. It has tonnes of ruins, caves, mines, old buildings, bridges and villages. And everything is interesting. The map has hundreds of small huts, each with something interesting - It all adds up to the overall story of the islands.
The islands are teeming with wildlife. On a couple of occasions I’ve been stalking an enemy outpost, only for a tiger or a bear to wander right into the area and cause everything to go crazy. You just don’t get that level of unpredictability in any other game that I’ve played. Or, I’m just driving cross-country and a group of deer will run right across the road.
You’ll hear gunfire in the distance and when you head towards it you come across either a dead animal, dead pirates or both. The islands feel like their alive. Like other things are going on without you.
The story is teased out over the entire game, though it starts out with you jumping out of a plane for a parachute jump. Next scene involve you and your brother breaking out of a prison run by the pirates that run the island. After that you criss-cross the islands trying to rescue your friends and meeting some interesting characters.
The story is long and enjoyably winding, though not without its faults. You come across details of the story, and you as the player know what it means but you as the character in the story don’t seem to acknowledge that you heard/read it at all. I know with such a free roaming game it can be difficult to make sure you see the game in the right order but still - it annoyed me. Apart from that its a good story and enjoyable to play through.
Most of the games mechanics are the normal FPS fare. There are some very interesting things about this game - the ability to hunt, the crafting, the free roaming, and the way the outpost system works. The game is dotted with very irritating sections.
I hate dream sequences, and I have since I was first introduced to them in Max Payne. I didn’t understand the point to any of them in this game.
The game also suffers from that most annoying of game mechanic - the interactive cut scene. Could it be any more annoying than to have to hit a prescribed button that appears on-screen, within a certain time frame? Actually it could because if you mess it up you have to watch the whole scene from the start. The last scene was particularly annoying as I had to replay it over and over, but to be honest all of them were pretty grating.
Its been easy for me to focus on the negatives in this review because they stood out so easily from the rest of the game. This game has its problems - but they are easily outnumbered by everything that the game does really well. And I mean really well. I loved playing through the game and will no doubt go back to it again just to spend more time roaming the land.