Far Cry 3 Multiplayer Review

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Patch Notes

PC

  • December 04, 2012
  • December 14, 2012
  • December 21, 2012

Xbox 360 + PS3

  • January 11, 2013

Review

If you’re one of the many followers of the Far Cry series, then you’ll know that it’s quite easy to get lost in such imaginative worlds that Ubisoft have created. Filled with dangers around every corner, beautiful graphics, and enjoyable gameplay, Far Cry 3 single-player is where it’s all at. It’s too bad the same can’t be said about the multiplayer.

Disclaimer

I’m going to come out and say this first before I get ran over an angered mass of comments: Far Cry 3 is, by far, one of the best single player games that I have played this generation. It’s pretty hard to produce a first-person shooter with some actual soul to it. Yet, the developers over at Ubisoft Montreal have gone above and beyond, and even corrected the many mistakes found in the last iteration of the series. The single player alone is “Game of The Year” material and well worth the purchase. Now, on to the multiplayer review.

This review is based on the Multiplayer Component only. While many games do have strong single player side, it is not always true for the multiplayer, or vice versa, and for that, we are only scoring the multiplayer portion of this title.

Gameplay

Being a fan of the past two titles, I can say that the controls feel better if you ignore some of the minor issues. The first thing you’ll most likely notice is the weighted control feel. Personally, I’m a fan of such feeling, especially that of the one found in Killzone 2 or Battlefield 3. Characters don’t feel like they are skidding on ice. The controls feel just right, though I will admit, at times, they do feel a bit clumsy. FPS players won’t have to worry about different control schemes either, as they have been set to today’s standards, with a few added actions. Gameplay and feel is just one of the few pluses of Far Cry 3’s multiplayer.

Things can get heated fast.

Things can get heated fast.

One of the added actions is self-healing. Unlike most first-person shooters today, Far Cry 3 doesn’t feature automatic or regenerative healing. Instead, if you take too much damage, you’ll be able to heal yourself. Edit: Regenerative health is featured in Far Cry 3’s multiplayer, though not always noticeable due to quick deaths. Similar to the single player, you’ll wrap bandages, inject yourself with syringes, and use other healing methods. I actually like this a lot as it adds more to the feeling of survival during multiplayer. This technique also works on downed players so that you can revive them, though it does seem rather pointless considering how quickly players can die (which we’ll get into later). Downed players, though, do have the option to struggle. A meter appears and mashing the correct button will cause the meter to decrease tremendously in speed.

Killstreaks also make an appearance in the multiplayer, but work as a super-meter. To explain this a bit better, at the bottom of the screen, there is a meter with three bars. When one meter fills up, you’ll be able to use a killstreak. When the second meter is filled, you’ll have access to a new killstreak and same goes for the third. However, unlike other titles, you only get one killstreak. So if you have a level three streak, you can only use that level streak, not level two or one due to meter consumption. This is a really balanced way of doing killstreak as players won’t constantly be spamming them, due to consumption. There are a few different streaks out there such as a propane tank, which pretty much explodes if shot at. There’s another one that causes certain parts of the field to be contaminated with poisonous gasses, which harm enemies and confuse friend from foe, tricking you into shooting teammates.

As for the maps, the multiplayer boasts a total of 10 maps, and though all of them are jungle-themed , Ubisoft has done a great job of differentiating each from one another. In one map you’ll be fighting in nothing but jungle. Moments later, it’ll quickly shift its focus from outside to underground passages. In another, you’ll be fending off positions from high above crashed ships, while others battle in close-quarters on the deck of the ship. The maps are all created well, and support both close quarters and wide-open areas. It’s a great mix that many first-person-shooters fail to accomplish, considering that most just go with one or the other.

Sadly, the multiplayer doesn’t feature any online vehicles, and being a fan, I just can’t help myself but wonder why they really made that decision. To me, vehicles have always made Far Cry a Far Cry game, differentiating it from all those other FPS titles. It seems now that it has taken the “Call of Duty” route by sacrificing key gameplay components found in previous Far Cry games and replaced with fast paced action with little to no teamwork needed. I’m not saying that Call of Duty’s multiplayer experience is bad, but the direction of Far Cry 3 multiplayer does resemble it in many ways and lacks originality.

Customization

The online mode features custom load-outs with unlockables, similar to that of which you’ll find in Call of Duty. You’ll be able to customize your weapon, add mods to it, and even equip abilities known as Battle Cries, which are technically your “perks,” but they affect both you and your teammates. I found this to be a great addition to the gameplay. Unfortunately, I also found that the poor weapon balancing rendered custom load-out obsolete. In other shooters, custom load-outs were always great to have in order to help you get out of tight situations. If a sniper was sending rounds at me from across the map, the most reasonable thing to do would be to switch to a custom load-out with a rifle that is meant to deal with them. In Far Cry 3’s case, any weapon will do (except shotguns), considering the long-range in which most weapons are effective. This brings me to the balancing issues.

Death With Every Bullet

Weapon balancing has always been an issue with all first-person shooters, though I feel as if Far Cry 3 has no balancing to it whatsoever. We all hate those moments online where we spawn only to die a second later due to badly placed spawn points. Luckily, Far Cry 3 does not suffer from that; however, you’ll most likely die as often as if you did spawn in a poor spot. In multiplayer matches, it isn’t rare to see someone mow down an entire team with just a single magazine of rounds out of their assault rifle. At times, you wonder how it was even possible to die so quickly. Also, the aim-assist is just beyond annoying since it’s so generous to a player. Getting a head shot in Far Cry 3 is a breeze.

Did you just one-shot-kill me?

Did you just one-shot-kill me?

Game Modes

Team Deathmatch

I don’t really need to go into very much detail here, seeing that TDM is standard mode found in nearly all competitive multiplayer shooters: One team against another, battle it out until either team reaches the designated score or has the highest when the timer runs out.

Domination

Also another classic, this mode will have two teams battling it out for control of designated place nodes. Teams will earn points the longer they hold a node. Who ever reaches the targeted score wins.

Transmission

This is pretty much your re-named headquarters mode. Like Domination, teams will fight for control over specific nodes that appear in sections of a map. The longer it’s held, the more points the team gets, but only to a certain extent as the node will eventually deactivate and another one will activate.

Firestorm

Probably the only unique game modes in Far Cry 3 that truly makes use of teamwork. Each team is tasked with setting the other team’s two nodes on fire. Once this has been accomplished, the teams will battle it out against not only each other, but also the spreading fire from the nodes you set aflame, all while they head towards the designated radar dish for victory.

Co-op

The only mode I could truly enjoy playing with others.

Co-op: The only mode I could truly enjoy playing with others.

Thankfully, all of the issues I have with the player-vs-player multiplayer can’t be said for co-operative multiplayer. The co-op campaign takes place 6 months before the actual events of the main story of Far Cry 3. Featuring 4 players total – composed of a Russian hitman, an ex-cop, an ex-military soldier, and a Scottish thug – the co-op is surely a must play game mode. Blending all the positive elements found in the multiplayer, and mixing it up with some key single-player aspects such as scripted sequences, the co-op does a great job of standing on its own two feet. Though, yes, it takes place in the Rook Archipelago, events unfold on a different island than that of the main story. Players can expect this to be a much more linear experience; however, this shouldn’t distract you from the countless hours of fun that can be had with friends while taking down hoards of enemies, which disperse in waves as progress is pushed. The revive feature also seems to be far more effective as enemy NPCs, despite how quickly they could overwhelm you, won’t kill you quickly. Weapon load-outs also seem to be much more useful than in actual player vs. player modes. I feel that the contents of the PvP modes fit more naturally and are more balanced in co-op.

Map Editor – The Double Edge Sword

I absolutely love the freedom given in the map editor. The map editor is just as it sounds. It allows you to edit the terrain, add objects, vehicles, zip-lines, etc. There are an endless amount of things that can be created and added to custom maps, which for any online shooter to have is an absolute dream, or at least one would think so.

Create whatever you want, just make sure there's no vehicles, AI's, animals and other things when submitting.

Create whatever you want, just make sure there are no vehicles, AI, animals and other things when submitting. 

I know Far Cry 2 had its faults, but the map editor and the way players could publish anything created within it makes me wonder why Ubisoft made certain decisions with Far Cry 3’s editor. If your map has AI, you can’t publish it. If your map has vehicles, you can’t publish it. It must also go through validation to make sure restricted items aren’t published. Now, one might wonder, why is this such a huge issue? It’s because we are told that we have complete freedom when it comes to creating a map, but then get hit with a wall of restrictions. What’s the point of being able to add AI, animals, vehicles, etc., if I can’t share it with anyone? Far Cry 2 gave us the ability to do so, so why has it been removed? It’s just absolute insanity that they would give us such a tool, only to make it almost pointless. I say almost because from time to time, if the playlist is actually working, you’ll be able to get into some custom maps, which aren’t too bad.

A Dull Leveling System

Like all online shooters out there, Far Cry 3 has a leveling system. You get XP from getting kills, doing daily challenges, and completing specific objectives in games. In total, there are 75 ranks, and while this may sound like one of those games where you’ll be spending a lot of time trying to rank up, it isn’t, sadly. Ranking up in this game is an absolute breeze. In fact, reaching the top rank can be achieved in a week of comfortable playing if the ranking system actually did work. What I mean by this is, in all my play sessions of the multiplayer on the PS3, my level kept showing up as something it was not. One day, I’d rank up to level 7 in an online match. The next day, I’m level 5. It’s glitched and is in need of patching. None of the stats are registering either. That aside, leveling up should feel steadily progressive, something a player should have to actually work for, but at the same time, isn’t to steep of a climb. Like mentioned, it’s easy to rank up and almost feels as if there is no progression to be gained besides the unlocks, which, as I mentioned earlier, feel pointless due to poor balancing and little survivability when getting shot.

Presentation

Generally speaking, the multiplayer graphics aren’t at all that bad, though not all the presentation is enjoyable to watch. Menu’s look great and are easy to navigate, and multiplayer matches are filled with just as many bright and vibrant colors along with dark and cold colors scattered in areas such as underground passages.

The one thing I can’t stand to watch are the kill-cams. In Far Cry 2, it would simply just point the camera in the direction of your killer. In Far Cry 3 however, they tried to create an all new way of looking at your kills. Whenever you’re killed, a stop motion of your killer, the bullet path, and yourself are created to show you exactly how you died. It’s all in outlines and, while in concept, may sound like a good idea, the actual end result isn’t. Visually, watching these cams become a nuisance or a sore to the eye. They just aren’t fun to watch at all, though luckily, there is a skip option, which doesn’t work at times.

The Community

Ubisoft, why you no listen!!

Ubisoft, why you no listen!!

Looking at the playlist player count on the PlayStation 3 side, it seems that there are no more than 2,000 players playing at a single moment. Some game modes are so hard to get into because of the lack of players even playing those modes. I don’t see this being a multiplayer that’ll be played a few months down the road, though it might blow up if Ubisoft actually listens to their fans. One of my first reactions after playing the multiplayer was to immediately jump onto the forums to see what the heck was going on, and sure enough, there are pages of pages of complaints.

2.5 / 5

What could have been one of the best multiplayer experiences of last year turned out to be a big downer for me. I feel a sense of laziness as Ubisoft simply went the Call of Duty route, likening it to the same formula rather than give us old-time Far Cry multiplayer players another unique experience. It’s playable, but there are numerous and noticeable issues that need immediate attention. Maybe I’ll check it out in a couple of months after more patching, but for now, I’m going to keep enjoying the single player.

This review was based on the PlayStation 3 version of the Far Cry 3, patch: version 1.02, courtesy of MP1st staff members.

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