The leader of the Pirates is a man named Vaas. He is manipulative, violent, sadistic, and completely insane. He's one of the most memorable villains in gaming for years. Actually, all of the characters stand out in Far Cry 3. This is due to it's amazing characterisation. Not only does it hold stellar voice acting, but the character models and personalities are excellent. You will come across a few unfriendly faces, as well as some friendly ones. The story moves at a satisfying pace, and it's filled with emotion, thrills and scares. It's one of the most gripping narratives i've experienced in a video game for a long time.
Jason isn't your typical protagonist. He's an ordinary guy, and doesn't seem the hero type. He soon stumbles across a man named Dennis. He helps Jason out and gradually leads him to a tribe, known as Rakiyat. The leader, Citra, teaches him how to become a powerful warrior. It takes some time, but it's not long before he changes from a young kid into the next Rambo. It's how the island changes him, that's what makes FC3 so compelling and unique.
The Skill Tree system represents this well. Throughout the game, you will earn XP for completing story missions, side quests, and killing. Earning enough will allow you to unlock a skill from three separate Skill Tree areas. Anyone who has played a role playing game, for example, Skyrim, will be familiar how it works. There's a nice selection to choose. From, increasing weapon accuracy, find more money when looting enemies, and many more. Not all are available to begin with, but there's enough to choose your own path. Each skill you acquire is also presented as a stylish tattoo, placed on Jason's left arm.
Rook Islands is a huge place, and it's free to explore at your leisure. This is an open world game after all, so when you complete a story mission is entirely up to you. Exploration is one of the most engaging aspects to the game. It's wide open spaces are filled with sunny beaches, rivers, rocky mountains, caves and jungles. There's so much to see that you may spend hours just sightseeing. The space doesn't go to waste either. It's packed with tons of side-quests to keep you occupied between the story. There's supply drop missions, which are checkpoint races, to hunting quests, which require killing animals with a selected weapon.
There's also various Pirate campsites to take over. Each one can be approached in various ways. It all depends on your play style. Do you go in stealthy, taking them out one by one, or simply run in with a machine gun ? There's a nice range of weapons to help you accomplish your goal. From long ranged snipers, a bow and arrow, flamethrower, and more. For me, personally, I like to startle the Pirates with fire. It feels great to set fields alight. Just like in FC2, the fire mechanics are impressive. They move realistically and can change your enemies paths. Either way, taking over a camp is always a rush of adrenaline. It feels satisfying and makes great use of player choice.
Something Ubisoft have nailed with the island is how lively it is. It feels like a real breathing place. It's surrounded by wildlife. From Goats, pigs, to dangerous predators, like tigers and pounding cheaters. They realistically move around the environment. Not only can they hunt you down if your spotted, but the also attack other animals. The wildlife also makes use of the new Crafting system. This allows you to hunt and kill animals, then use their skin to craft helpful items. For example, collecting Tapir hide allows you to create a larger rucksack for carrying more loot. Plants, on the other hand, allow you to produce herbal remedies. These can improve combat performance and heal you. It's a great addition to the series, and makes exploring fun and worth while.
The single-player campaign clocks in at lengthy 12-15 hours. If your wish to complete everything that the island offers, it can take up to 30 hours. There's also a separate online Co-op story that supports four players. It focuses on four new survivors and takes place before the main story. It's a great little filler, but it doesn't seem on par with the single-player missions. With that said, there's still competitive multiplayer. It's nothing new that we haven't seen before, but it's nice for those who want more after completing the campaign. There's team death-match and objective based modes that you wold expect, along with a levelling system and unlocks.
So all in all, Far Cry 3 Classic Edition is a great way to experience the game if you didn't from last generation. For those who have, it's hard to recommend apart from it's visual upgrades from the 360 version. It is starting to feel it's age when compared to the polish of first person shooters we've seen over the past couple of years.