It’s the third journey to the jungle in Far Cry 3, and this time things are a bit crazy. Oh, and it’s a bit good, too…
Holiday tattoos are always a cause of huge regret. That mermaid, pretty flower or ancient Tibetan phrase on your upper arm may sound like a hilarious idea at the time, but when you get home and discover you’ve got “my soul is a Jaffa cake that glides on the farts of a walrus,” instead of something meaningful and poignant, you’re stuck with that dumb mistake for life.
For Jason Brody, though, his vacation tattoo (oh, excuse me, “tatau”) turns him into some kind of Terminator – a wildlife massacring, stone-cold killer of anything that calls Rook Island home. Not such a bad deal for him, then? Well, that depends on how much you care about the effect it has on his mind – and, quite possibly, you’re own.
We’ve had games comment on our fascination with violence before and Far Cry 3 is very clearly walking that same path. Jason may start out as a bit of a wimp – a spoilt, rich, white guy enjoying an exotic holiday with his spoilt, rich, white friends – but from the moment they’re captured, he witnesses his brother’s death at the hands of psychotic pirate leader, Vaas, and drives a knife into the throat of an attacker during his escape, his bloodlust starts to grow.
Picked up by a few locals, Jason finds himself with that tatau, a group of friends to save, and a huge island that believes him to be their saviour from the pirates. At first he doesn’t believe it, but the ink that slowly seeps into his skin and spreads up his arm only makes him stronger, fiercer and more menacing. And I feel the same happening to me. With every new learnt skill, there’s the potential of being a better hunter, murdering in greater style or efficiency and adapting to survive easier in the jungle.
Inside the mind
While fleeing from a compound in a truck and taking out the pirates giving chase with a grenade launcher, Jason whoops and cheers with every vehicle we turn into a flaming wreck. When free, he’s clearly pumped from the rush of adrenaline and near-death experience, as am I – something his rescued girlfriend is quick to comment on.
Later, skulking through the wilderness, we’re carefully moving through the trees and bushes until we spot our prey wandering around, gnawing on some grass. As if we’re playing a not-shit version of Cabella’s Dangerous Hunts, we patiently wait for the perfect opportunity to strike and feel the tension as we draw back our bow knowing that a missed shot will send the target running and temporarily lose a chance to upgrade the size of our ammunition pouch. And if there’s a more worthy reason of an animal’s death than a crafting system, I haven’t heard it.
We’re such monsters.
For a while, though, I put off hunting sharks for so long that my standard wallet was bulging for the first five hours of the game, such was my fear that I’d have my legs bitten off within seconds in my attempts to increase the amount of money I could carry. I went about that single, self-appointed quest with far more apprehension and preparation than almost any other task in the game.
First, I needed a boat. Not a jet-ski that left me bobbing on the water like an inviting all-day shark buffet, but something with which I could safely scope the out the brilliant, blue waters for an ominous fin. I got the right gun, a shotgun to be precise, and rooted around the island’s flora to mix up a drug that would let me detect nearby animals. Once spotted and blasted through with lead, I dived in after the sinking corpse for my precious wallet skin and clambered back onto the boat before another could seek revenge.