One of last year's most impressive first person shooter romps is Far Cry 3, Ubisoft's welcome return to form for the series after it meandered a little bit with the previously released Far Cry 2. Instead of putting you into the shoes of a mercenary, this sequel put you into the role of Jason Brody, a tourist who, along with his friends, gets captured by a group of slave traders, run by the merciless (and somewhat cuckoo) Vaas. After escaping with the help of his older brother Grant, Jason soon finds that it's up to him – and mostly him alone – to buck up the necessary killing skills to rescue them all.
Along the way, Jason meets a number of people who help him out, including Dennis, one of the island natives who looks to seek vengeance against the pirates that have overtaken his island (but obviously lacks the manpower to do it); and Citra, the leader of the Rakyat, a group that believe in a certain mythical warrior who will help turn the tide against their enemies.
Ah, but not everything is as it seems in the world of Far Cry 3, as this latest edition of Spoiler Alert proves. Because even when you win the game, you lose as well. Not to say you're in for a downer of an ending, but you might be in for a surprise depending on the decision you make.
SPOILER ALERT: obviously, there are spoilers for the ending here, so you were warned.
Let's pick right up over the course of finding your friends, who you deliver back to Dr. Earnhardt after rescuing them. While they're ever so grateful for you to help them out, they can't help but be taken aback a little by your inhabited killer nature, which grows more and more aggressive over the course of the game. Not that Jason forgets who he is, but they're startled that he's because so ambitious, and yet monstrous, in his revenge ploy against Vaas and his employer (mainly because they kill off his brother Grant in the beginning of the game – hey, we'd be pissed, too).
About midway through the game, you find the opportunity to hunt down and eventually kill Vaas, showing him that, yes, you do understand what it's like to be taken to the brink of insanity, not only by facing off against countless mercenaries, but other dangers throughout the course of the island, including sharks, crocodiles and tigers – all of whom would easily eat you for lunch if you don't defend for yourself.
Vaas is hardly the end of the journey, as you'll need to go after his boss, Hoyt Volker, who runs the slave trading operations on the island. After rescuing your other brother Riley (who doesn't suffer the same fate as Grant, thankfully), you manage to shut down Hoyt's operations, after promising Citra that you would get the job done. But even then, your mission isn't over.
It turns out Citra, who was looking like an ally at one point, is anything but. She manages to leave Dr. Earnhardt mortally wounded and takes all of Jason's friends back to their temple for unexplained reasons. After he passes on, you decide to set out and see what's up, only to find that she actually has her reasons for doing it.
She's grown rather close to Jason over the course of his journey, not only with the application of several tattoos, but also with seeing visions of him being the Rakyat mythical warrior ancestor that her tribe so faithfully tributes. With that, after walking Jason through a hallucination, she provides him a choice – either stay with her on the island and do away with his friends, or simply walk away and go back to his life.
Now, if you play throughout the course of the game, you realize Jason has a slight change of heart as he proceeds through his missions, getting used to the idea of staying on the island rather than traveling back with his buddies, who have since become a bit concerned over the change in his behavior. So, in a way, this choice makes sense – but don't expect a happy ending either way.
Let's say you're nuts enough to have Jason join Citra. He kills all his friends and then proceeds to have sex with her (in a rather graphic sequence – earning the "Mature" rating for the game). Just when you think all is fine and dandy, Citra stabs Jason, saying his child will lead the tribe, and that he dies as the warrior she envisioned. That's pretty much the "bad" ending…though the other isn't quite so positive either.
If Jason chooses to save his friends over Citra's request, she'll attempt to convince him that he should be king of the island, but that he's tired of the violence and is ready to move on. Dennis, infuriated that he wouldn't choose to stay with her, attempts to kill him, but Citra, having a change of heart (with this ending, anyhow), gets in the way. She explains that she does love him and doesn't want him to leave, but Jason can only apologize as she dies. Dennis is left in tears as Jason and his friends depart, but the fun is clearly over for the group, as he believes he can't reciprocate for his violent behavior, and he still feels an anger inside of him – although he believes that good still remains.
So, yeah, the "end game", if you will, for Far Cry 3 doesn't quite end on the positive note, but, hey, considering the circumstances, you can't blame Jason. He's either mauled by the girl who insists he loves him (after he kills his friends) or looked upon as a monster that tries to redeem himself, but still can't.
The game is still fantastic and offers hours worth of play between the side missions (enjoy the hunting ones) and the fantastic feeling of free-roaming around the island, whether you're cruising around in a hang glider (and dropping in on targets from above, natch) or simply enjoying it on foot. Don't let the negative vibes bring you down. This game is fun.
Far Cry 3 is available now for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.