Far Cry 3 came out 6 years ago this week, pushing the series and open-world shooters forward in bold and brilliant ways. From the moment you realise that the care free montage at the start of the game is hiding something far more sinister, Far Cry 3 gets its hooks into you.
To celebrate its anniversary, we’re looking at 5 reasons you should grab your passport, pistol, and paraglider, then head back to Rook Island.
If it seems weird to start with a game’s villain as a reason to play it, you should know that Vaas is Far Cry’s version of The Joker. An agent of chaos who’s so charismatic, it’s hard to not be drawn to him. Violent, physcotic, and surprisingly witty, there’s a reason Vaas was the cover star. Pitting your wits against him requires every ounce of bravery (and firepower) you can muster.
If Vaas dominated the story, then Outposts are the activity you look forward to doing while he’s away. These are areas you have to liberate from his control, taking out every enemy you see there. What makes them so enjoyable is the tactical freedom they offer. Do you play it stealthy, quietly neutralizing ignorant guards or do you take the anarchist’s approach, freeing captive animals in them to create a chaos you can exploit? This freedom was so alluring, they’ve become a staple of the series since.
While you might think Far Cry is a series that focuses on shooting, Far Cry 3’s approach to melee takedowns is just as fun. It achieves it by mirroring the freedom you have in other combat situations, thanks to the Chain Takedown. Once you’ve unlocked this ability, you became a puma of death, quietly hurtling through unsuspecting guards with flicks of the right stick. It brings a fluidity to a side of action that is sometimes neglected in shooters and makes Far Cry 3’s combat all the richer for it.
4. Rook Island
Far Cry 3’s main island is one of gaming’s most distinctive locations, from the thick jungles you’ll stalk Vaas’s goons through, to crystal blue water that laps on the sandy shores. It’s both a joy to explore thanks to the vibrant art design, and dense with secret areas to discover. When one early mission sees you paragliding across a large section of this island paradise/war-zone, it gives you a chance to take in the size and scope of an open-world few have matched since.
5. Remastered for current consoles
Yep, we can imagine you’ve got a hankering to return to Far Cry 3 now, and you can even get a version that’s been polished for PS4 and Xbox One! Far Cry 3 Classic Edition doesn’t tinker with what works, giving you one of the best shooters of the last generation in a way that takes advantage of the power of current consoles.
BONUS 6. Vaas vs. Christopher Mintz-Plasse
This has nothing to do with the game, but what better time to remind you of the Far Cry 3 videos Ubisoft made where they got Vaas to capture and torture McLovin’ himself, Christopher Mintz-Plasse? We can’t think of one, so enjoy!