My whole gaming life first person shooters have been like a distant cousin to me. At family gatherings they can be a blast and we all have a good time, but a little one-on-one time could be a little uncomfortable. That’s always been my relationship with any FPS. At parties with friends I could jump into a round of Halo or Call of Duty no problem and have a decent time, although I was not good at the game at all. But if it was just me and any shooter alone, campaign or online, I would not play. They always seemed awkward to me and, like I said before, I wasn’t very good at them at all. The phrase “practice makes perfect” did not apply to me at all because I simply did not want to practice. I was okay with that too. I didn’t feel like I was missing out on any amazing campaign, which usually is my main reason for playing a game, and if a review or friend said otherwise I’d just play co-op with my buds and breeze through it (Halo is a perfect example). My friends would say “Max! You have to get this game! It is AMAZING!” And I would just shrug it off as another FPS that I would be mediocre at. “I’ll just spend my sixty bucks on something more worth my time and money.” is what I thought to myself. So how did a gamer like myself go out and buy an FPS of his own free will and end up enjoying thoroughly? It took solid reviews across the board, positive tweets from gamers I trust here at IGN, and a killer deal on Amazon.
When I told my friends I went out and bought Far Cry 3 they were a tad shocked and asked me why I would go and do that. Another typical response was “You know it’s an FPS, right?”. I assured them that I knew that and explained my reasoning for my out of the blue purchase. 1) The game got solid nines and YESes across the board and from the sites I trust the most (IGN and Kotaku) 2) Guys I trust here at IGN, like Colin Moriarty and Mitch Dyer, couldn’t tweet anything but praise for this game (except the first person platforming, that bothered Colin) and 3) it was Amazon’s deal of the day for just $35. How could I say no? I couldn’t. The game arrived just two days later (with standard shipping too. Props Amazon.). I popped the disc in my PS3, installed it, and then was sucked into the madness and fell in love with it.
Before I talked about my little time with the game so far (I am only four short hours into the game’s main story) I want to share a bit more about those few reviews and how they sold me in such a short time, after all I only had 24 hours to make this decision. Obviously the first thing I saw was the big number 9 and big, bold YESes, but that wasn’t the selling point for me. It was what the reviews (Kirk Hamilton and Mitch Dyer respectively) said about the game. These guys described a man’s adventure and decent into darkness with solid gameplay and mechanics. I’m a sucker for a good story and the description of Jason (the character you play as) going from being a terrified captive to a man who enjoys the feel of a kill just struck a note with me. “How does Jason get there? What pushes him over the edge?” Those were the questions I had and I wanted answers. Now these reviews did not praise the story as utterly fantastic, but they did say it was good. And apparently Vaas’s performance steals the show (which I totally agree with). That is what pushed me over the edge to purchase this game. And the price tag of $35 helped quite a bit as well.
Now like I said before I have only about four hours clocked in on this game. In just that short time I have been pulled in hook, line, and sinker. The game quickly sets up the background for the characters with a quick montage paired with MIA’s song Paper Planes. Then I woke up in a bamboo cell, hands tied, with some maniac talking to me. My brother was tied up across from me. I was sucked in. I totally forgot that I was playing a FPS and took on the full adventure side of the game. It didn’t matter that I could see my arms and was subjective to only my characters point of view, I had started my adventure. I had started my decent into darkness. The game very much put me in Jason’s shoes. I AM Jason. Just like he was uncomfortable with killing, I was uncomfortable with first person gameplay. Just like Jason felt lost and had to trust his instincts, I had to play with my instincts from previous game styles (mostly stealth). I have taken on the role of Jason 100% and I like it.
First person shooters used to be a foreign territory for me, and still, in large, is foreign. But Far Cry 3 has brought me into that land and given me a pretty good idea of the potential this wide world has to over. And I am very excited to dive into it.