The original Far Cry was a technically impressive first person shooter that stood out because of solid gameplay, beautiful graphics, and huge open environments. After Crytek left the Far Cry series and went to work on Crysis, Ubisoft continued the series by releasing several remakes and pseudo-sequels on consoles, though none achieved the critical success of the PC original. Finally in 2008, four years after the original was released, Ubisoft released Far Cry 2, which ditched the jungle environment for a huge open world set in Africa. Following up on the success of Far Cry 2, Ubisoft will be releasing Far Cry 3 later this year, and I got an opportunity to play the game at PAX East.
While the Far Cry games have always had multiplayer, it was never one of those series that was all about the multiplayer. The main drawing point for most people is the open ended single player campaign, with huge open environments and the freedom to tackle any scenario however you see fit. So, you can understand my disappointment when I found out they were only showing the multiplayer portion of the game at PAX. However, I tried to keep an open mind and also to not make any assumptions about the single player based on this multiplayer demo. After playing one round of the game’s multiplayer, I now know for certain that the multiplayer is definitely not the reason to be excited about this game, for me at least.
I can sum up the multiplayer in three words, which to some may be high praise, but it is not at all what I am looking for in a multiplayer shooter. These three words are “CALL OF DUTY”. Everything about the multiplayer just screens Call of Duty. The controls are straight out of COD, the aiming, the movement, the guns, custom classes, and even the textures look like they are from a Call of Duty game. Now, like I said, I am not at all taking this to mean the single player will be a Call of Duty clone as well, I mean, that would be ditching the major unique aspect of the series to be yet another run of the mill COD clone. Though, I can only judge a game by what I’ve seen of it, and the multiplayer looks entirely unoriginal and not at all compelling.
If you want some specifics, the mode I played was a mode called Domination where you try to capture and hold three points on the map, with the team holding a majority gaining points over the other, hold all three and you gain points even faster, and do I need to continue? Everything is completely standard. You gain experience by killing enemies, you can choose from several classes ever time you die which it seems can be customized in between matches. Your guns can have a variety of attachments like scopes, and there is absolutely nothing here you haven’t seen before.
It may sound like I am being extremely negative on this game, but I am actually looking forward to it. As ludicrous as this statement is going to sound, the Far Cry series is actually a nice breath of fresh air compared to all the military and multiplayer focused shooters flooding the market, specifically Call of Duty. Obviously, the multiplayer in Far Cry 3 was nothing more than afterthought, so they simply copied the most popular game out there, but I don’t expect the single player to be like that at all. If Far Cry 3 can capture the free and open nature of past games in the series, it could still be a damn good game, but I certainly don’t recommend buying this game in hopes of getting a new and unique multiplayer experience.