Far Cry 2 and Far Cry 3 both easily have a spot in my top 20 shooters of all time. That being said, there are some major differences between the two titles. I know fan boys have a tendency to whine at the slightest change, so to break the mold I will confess that I think a lot of the changes made are for the better, but I will definitely miss some things too.
First off the largest change has to be concerning ammunition. In Far Cry 2 when you unlocked a weapon it was available in any quantity from any safe house around the map with a full complement of mags. The weapon system is much the same in the sequel, however ammo is in extremely short supply - especially at the start of the game. You can refill a single magazine whenever you visit a store or swap out a weapon but that’s it. Don’t expect to stockpile three hundred rounds for the AK unless you have cash to spend and space to hold it.
This adds a very different dynamic to the game, one that definitely enhances the experience. Each shot carries a weight to it, you’re taking a calculated risk that you will be able bring down a foe with fewer bullets than you will loot from his corpse. The majority of enemies use assault rifles and as such drop AR ammunition, so using a sniper rifle (while devastating) is going to be a limited affair until you have the means to supply it more frequently. Another reason why this system works so well is because having ammo to spare makes you feel like a total badass. After picking your shots and using stealth to your advantage for an hour or so it’s nice to change up the pace by just rolling through an enemy outpost with sheer force. In the sort of way that Arnold Schwarzenegger did in the beginning of Predator.
Another change for the better is the hunting system; I suppose it’s not as much a change as it is just a pure addition. But let’s talk about some of the things that detract from the experience, well...there is really only one in my mind; the protagonist Jason. In Far Cry 2, you could choose from a plethora of stoic and silent heroes. It really let you get immersed in the experience and play the game you wanted to play it. You could imprint your own identity on your character and feel like a part of the story.
In Far Cry 3 however, Jason whines and moans his way through the first half of the campaign. However, the story is a drastic overall improvement from it’s predecessor if not for this minor oversight. He does “sack up” later in the story which I suppose is supposed to signify his passage into the life of a warrior, but it’s too little, too late in my opinion.
The final change in the game that I want to discuss (there are countless improvements I haven’t mentioned) are the enemies. The enemies in Far Cry 2 were definitely tenacious and devious, they would flank you and use other tactics to try and get the best of you. In Far Cry 3, each enemy is a trained killer. They will stalk you until there is no evidence of your existence anymore. You can kill hundreds of them and then run into one that will do something that surprises you, it really keeps you on your toes the entire way through the game and prevents it from feeling monotonous at any point.
If you’re a fan of the second game then the third is without a doubt the next logical step. Check out Far Cry 3 at http://far-cry.ubi.com/. The game is out now on PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.