Far Cry 3 received a remaster back in 2018, but some fans of the franchise are wondering why Far Cry 1 and 2 aren’t getting the same treatment.
By Charlie Stewart
Published May 20, 2021
Far Cry 3 received a re-release with Far Cry 3: Classic Edition back in 2018.?This has left some long-term fans of the Far Cry franchise wondering if Far Cry 1 or Far Cry 2 would ever?get their own re-releases – or better yet, remasters – in the not-too-distant future.
It seems unlikely that either of the first two Far Cry games will ever get the same treatment as Far Cry 3, however.
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Far Cry 1 and 2 made huge contributions to the series’ formula.?Both were praised for the level of freedom they gave the player to explore the game’s settings and ally with its different factions, as well as their impressive visuals and dynamic combat. However, neither drew particular attention for their story. The plots didn’t get much negative attention, but compared to the graphics and world they didn’t get much attention at all.
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The first Far Cry’s hero was an ex-Special Forces operative, while the villain was a stereotypical German mad scientist named Dr. Krieger who was performing human mutation experiments. Far Cry 2’s hero was an assassin sent to kill the Jackal, a?shadowy arms dealer profiting off of both sides in a war-torn African nation. In both cases, the story starred a burly soldier fighting a bad guy that felt pulled straight out of a James Bond movie, albeit from slightly different eras. When it came to story, it was Far Cry 3 that seemed to find the missing piece of the puzzle.
It’s no secret that Far Cry 3 was a huge success for Ubisoft. Michael Mando’s groundbreaking performance as Vaas became one of the most lauded motion-capture performances in gaming even before Far Cry 3 released. Vaas’ scenes were central to Ubisoft’s promotional efforts years before the game released. Future fans had already heard the character’s famous “definition of insanity speech” when an early version of the cutscene was unveiled during Ubisoft’s press conference at E3 2011.
The focus on the villain?in Far Cry 3 was a noticeable change of tack from earlier Far Cry games. Far Cry 2’s marketing material mentioned the Jackal, but because the Jackal was supposed to be so mysterious the character made no appearance in the trailers. Even his in-game debut was underwhelming compared to Vaas’,?with Mando’s performance leading to significant shifts?in the focus of Far Cry 3’s story during development.
The hero of Far Cry 3 was also very different to the first two games. Far Cry 1 and 2’s protagonists are highly trained operatives, but Far Cry 3’s “hero” is spoiled twenty-something Jason Brody. While visiting the Rook Islands – a rough analogy to Indonesia in the Far Cry world – Jason is kidnapped by Vaas as part of an attempted ransom plot, along with his girlfriend, brother, and friends. Over the course of Far Cry 3 Jason transforms from a petulant rich kid into a capable warrior, and, arguably, a bloodthirsty maniac. Far Cry 3 can end with Jason killing his friends and?submitting to the belief that he is the “Ultimate Warrior” before being killed himself.
Jason?may not be as memorable as Vaas, but the dynamic between Jason and Vaas in Far Cry 3 was completely different to what fans had seen in the series so far. Vaas begins the game as a terrifying presence, mentally torturing Jason and his brother in a bamboo cage. As the game goes on, it becomes clear that he is, as?Vaas’?sister Citra sister describes him, a coward.
Jason starts as a vacuous vacationer, but ends up living a life that’s just as bloody?as Vaas’ ever was. Far Cry 3’s story is far from perfect, but as Vaas and Jason circle each other throughout the game their dynamic keeps the story compelling. While Far Cry has had some great villains since Vaas, the series has struggled to totally replicate the same hero-villain dynamic that brought?Far Cry 3 to life.
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Far Cry 1 and 2 may have established the sort of setting and mechanics the series would have, but Far Cry 3 transformed expectations about?Far Cry’s storytelling. At the same time, it locked down a storytelling formula that Ubisoft would attempt to?fulfill again and again in the following games.
Since Far Cry 3, the series has not always enjoyed the same success. Far Cry 4 was well-received, but didn’t feel as revolutionary?as Far Cry 3 in either its mechanics, graphics, or story.?Far Cry Primal took the series is a very different direction, and was seemingly punished for it when it received mixed reviews.
Far Cry 5 went back to the classic charismatic villain – this time in the form of cult leader Joseph Seed. With a voiceless player character, however, the game could not capture a relationship between the protagonist and Joseph that was as compelling as Vaas and Jason’s. Far Cry New Dawn once again tried to take the series in a new direction, this time exploring the same setting as Far Cry 5, seven years after a nuclear apocalypse. Once again, however, deviation from the formula first solidified in Far Cry 3 was met with mixed reviews.
Far Cry 6 will take players to a tropical island as they face down a central charismatic villain, and will see a return to the rough level of realism found in?Far Cry 3. There has not been a major successful change to the Far Cry formula since 2012.?A Far Cry 3 remaster or remake may even be more likely than Far Cry 1 or 2 getting the same treatment. Many fans are hoping that the introduction of Diego – the son of antagonist Anton Castillo – will add an interesting three-person dynamic that has not been seen before. Whether or not it does remains to be seen, but for now Far Cry 3?remains considered the high-point of the series so far.
Far Cry 3?is available now on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.
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Far Cry 3