Enemy encampments are also fun to take down, and some are much easier than others. Once cleared, the encampment becomes a fast-travel location, allowing you to reach certain areas of the map more quickly. A captured camp also has the benefit of eliminating enemy activity in the surrounding area, which is handy if you're getting tired of being ambushed by random enemy patrols. Capturing camps fed into a great sense of progression for me, as I watched my efforts pay off in a tangible way. There are instances where the game's difficulty spiked considerably. No mission was insurmountable, but there were a few sections with timed objectives, and a couple of particularly tough firefights. In fact, some of the more difficult campaign missions occur earlier in the game, and some the game's final few campaign missions opt for spectacle over challenge. Personally, none of this negatively impacted my experience in significant ways, and the missions, on the whole, provide some excellent variety. If fast-travel isn't an option, there are plenty of vehicles scattered around the world, including ATVs, hang-gliders, and various watercraft, as well as the usual cars and trucks. Given the sheer size of the map, the plentiful transportation options are essential. As Jason accrues experience, you can assign skill points to unlock new abilities that strengthen him, or improve his moveset. All of these choices are reflected in the tribal tattoo on Jason's arm: a nice visual touch. BOOM video 14177 In most open-world games, the sheer amount of ways to earn money usually renders currency moot at some point. While it's certainly possible to amass a fortune in Far Cry 3 by doing things like exploring, racing, and special hunting missions, you'll feel like you've earned it. Ammunition isn't exactly scarce, but you'll either need to buy it, loot it from enemies, or gather it from weapon caches in the world. The constant need to scavenge is really effective at driving home the game's survivalist mentality. Far Cry 3 is the best open-world single-player FPS experience I've played in recent memory. The world is beautiful, teeming with things to do and places to explore. Many of its underlying gameplay systems do a great job at bolstering the feeling of surviving in the wild. The story spins a compelling yarn of revenge and self-discovery, and even though the game's two possible endings are both decidedly macabre, the end result is an experience that is immensely satisfying and brimming with content. For fans of shooters and open-world exploration, Far Cry 3 is a vacation from hell that's well worth booking.
This Far Cry 3 single-player review is based on a near-final PC review copy provided by the publisher, and additional impressions via near-final Xbox 360 review code. Far Cry 3 comes out for PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 on December 4. Far Cry 3 also features a number of multiplayer modes, including a separate 4-player co-op campaign, but we've opted to review those elements after the game's official release.