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The wonderful mistakes of Far Cry 3


As our own Ludwig Kietzmann once wrote, Ubisoft's Far Cry 2 is at its best when your best laid plans go catastrophically wrong – when craftily assassinating a single target goes haywire and becomes a blood-soaked, bullet-ridden assault on an entire army. While I was only able to experience a tiny slice of the Far Cry 3 single-player campaign, I can happily report, at the very least, that things can definitely still go wrong.

Gallery: Far Cry 3 | 6 Photos

As Jason Brody, I saunter through a small, somewhat ramshackle island town. The Ubisoft guide walks me through the basics, pointing out that my map isn't working properly because a nearby radio tower is blocking the signal. Seeing as how maps are kind of important for getting around, the radio tower seems like a logical first destination.

After briefly attempting to drive a jeep up a narrow, hillside path, common sense prevails and I hoof it to the tower. Ascending the huge, entirely unsafe-looking structure – bent rails, missing steps and all – I finally reach the top and rip an electronic scrambler from the tower's wiring. This reveals a section of Far Cry 3's overall map, not unlike the way towers work in Assassin's Creed. After briefly taking in the beautiful tropical scenery around me, I peruse my map to see what catches my eye.

As in Far Cry 2, I'm literally surrounded by potential objectives. The most tantalizing is an enemy outpost. As my guide explains, these camps are controlled by enemy factions. By taking out all the hostiles within, I can capture it, thereby turning it into the new home of a friendly faction. Doing so would grant me a new fast travel location and a base where I can resupply and purchase new weapons. Sounds easy enough.

I notice a hang glider near the outpost on my map, which sounds like the perfect way to approach a camp full of thugs that will kill me on sight. I zoom down to the ground on a convenient zip line and make my way to the hang glider, which is guarded. Who guards a hang glider? Anyway, I manage to eliminate the first guard with a well-placed arrow to the skull. The kill is quiet, but still noticed by the remaining soldier. A hastily loosed arrow misses him by a mile, as do four of the six shots in my pistol. Note to would-be assassins: Aim is not rock-solid in Far Cry 3. It's unstable and it waivers – human, in other words.

Hang glider acquired, I sail through the sky toward the outpost. Noticing a rocky cliff to the right, I veer to the side and ditch my glider mid-air, landing expertly. I only lost half of my health and, surely, only snapped a tendon or two. The overhead view of the camp was worth it, though, as I pull out my camera and survey the entire operation. Each enemy I spy through the lens is permanently marked, giving me a tactical edge in the coming confrontation.

Perched on my rock, I easily take out the overwatch with the bow and arrow. I take a moment to think "this is all going really well!" as I draw a bead on the next soldier ... only to shoot wide and send an arrow flighting directly through his line of sight (remember that human aim I mentioned?). My brilliant plan crumbles as he sets off the alarm. The entire camp turns to face me and, somewhere, jeeps full of reinforcements are closing in.

The rest of it is just a hazy succession of sirens, SMG fire, wasted medical supplies and an errant grenade I tossed at my own feet. One pile of bodies and two smoking jeeps later, I manage to dispatch every foe and the base is mine.

After replenishing my supplies – and buying a silencer for my SMG, for all the good it will do me – I check out the bulletin board in my newly acquired base of operations. It seems a bandit has taken over a local farm and someone wants me to take revenge. The only catch is that I have to honor the local tradition in doing so, which means I have to kill him with a knife.

Sounds easy enough.

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