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Far Cry 3: Game Review

By Darren Bevan

Published: 7:51AM Monday December 10, 2012

Platform: PS3
Released by Ubisoft

The first-person shooter just got a massive shot in the arm - an incredible shot in the arm - with the release of   Far Cry 3.

Set on a tropical island, somewhere in the middle of who knows where, a group of pretty young things is out on a holiday. Extreme tourism gone extremely wrong, when you, as Jason Brody, are captured by a group of pirates. Held with your brother, you must initially break out of the prison you've been chucked in as you get used to your controls.

But, when the rescue goes wrong, it's up to you to get the hell out of there and survive....

After the initial horror of what's transpired, Jason must do all he can to free his friends, negotiate the island and just generally, live to fight another day.

Not since   Grand Theft Auto   have I been as engrossed in an open world as much as I have in   Far Cry 3.

There is just so much to be done in the open environment, so much to explore and admire and so many dangers to take you away from the land of the living.

The thing is, it's actually quite distracting. I spent a day's gaming roaming free and trying to hook up the radio towers that I didn't go back to the main storyline for a while.  That's no bad thing and it's a real credit to how engrossing and enveloping the wider world is that the developers have created.

There are plenty of pitfalls too - from pirates who can take you down without much effort to the wild animals, which will turn on you without any hint they are around . For instance, I spent a lot of time heading to various radio towers, avoiding detection and was about to climb to the top when 2 kimono dragons set on me. Likewise, when taking a swim across the waters to get to an objective, I was calmly sitting there before a shark took a chunk out of me.

It's this kind of unpredictability which is so in keeping with the world that's been created which renders this game so immersively realistic and so utterly engrossing. Along with some slick animation and totally reactive gameplay, it's just completely difficult to stop playing once you've started. 

With an intelligent storyline, smart AI which doesn't let you off the hook and often catches you out without you even realising, it's an extremely strong contender for Game of the Year. Littered with Kiwi accents here and there, it's likely to have a strong appeal here which is great.

With its gritty storyline (human trafficking, drugs, pirates et al), it doesn't ever release its grip as you spend time on the island, collecting plants to build your own medical kits, hunting animals to craft your own gear bags for carrying the wide expanse of weapons you have, there's just so much to dive into. As you unblock radio towers, the world is gradually revealed to you - and with enemy camps there for the taking, there's just so much to do in terms of side missions or outside of the main storyline.

It's hard to recall when a game like this was just so utterly absorbed into your consciousness. But I guarantee you there's no such thing as just 5 minutes with   Far Cry 3   - this game saps your life, chews you up and spits you out - but it's one hell of an addictive yet insanely entertaining ride. Easily one of the best games of the year.

Rating: 9/10