June 13, 2011 by Paul Curtin
“You are Jason Brody. Your girlfriend’s missing, your boat’s been destroyed, you’re trapped on a mysterious island with a dark secret… and everyone on it is crazy.” That same line used to start Far Cry 3‘s demo at Ubisoft’s E3 2011 Press Conference by producer Dan Hay was the same line we heard at the beginning of our exclusive look behind-closed-doors at E3, and it was all we needed to hear with the game’s visuals saying more than words could — Far Cry 3 was the most beautiful game we saw at this year’s show.
Aside from the graphics, there wasn’t much memorable from Far Cry 2, and the same can be said about similar games like Crysis 2. Last year, I said Crysis 2 was my most anticipated game of E3 2010, and unfortunately, after getting my hands on the full copy, the game’s story seemed to fall somewhat flat and felt generic once I got past the beautiful graphics. Far Cry 3 looks to be an improvement from the last by keeping the gameplay in the jungle, where the Dunia Engine (based on the CryEngine which Crysis and the original Far Cry used) shines the brightest, and adding more memorable characters to help improve the storytelling. We were also teased that there will be plenty of areas to explore throughout the island, one of which you’ll see in the trailer, a ruined temple off in the distance (right after Brody emerges from the water) that could contain clues and help in solving the secret of the island. The developers stressed that exploration is one of the key aspects of the game, so the more uncharted areas you discover, the more your character will be rewarded.
The demo we were shown behind closed doors was a little different than the demo shown at Ubisoft’s media briefing (the video you’ll see below). While the cutscenes were the same, our preview showcased how, like other Far Cry games, you can take on action in whatever method you feel like in the moment, whether it be running into the heat of battle and having a massive gun fight, or slowly sneaking around the enemies to get to your object unnoticed… it’s your choice to make.
In the media briefing we were shown Brody going Rambo, jumping off a cliff and knifing a guy mid-air, then using that same knife to throw and hit another enemy in the side of the head. In our behind-closed-doors demo, we got to see a different approach. Instead of crazier and somewhat unrealistic maneuvers, Brody stayed back in the jungle’s cover and sniped enemies and explosive barrels from afar, causing pure chaos and leaving his enemies confused on his whereabouts. After a different start, we hijacked the helicopter again, and the trailer ended with the same cinematic that we saw before. Did I ever tell you the definition of insanity?
Far Cry 3 looks very promising and was a welcome surprise at this year’s show. The game was easily one of the best looking games we saw at the show, and you’re going to have to see it firsthand yourself because the trailers online just don’t do the visuals justice. Far Cry 3 is set for release sometime in 2012, so start saving up now for a new computer and/or video card, because you’ll want to see the game at its best like we did.