Late last week, Ubisoft threw open its doors to the local media to give us a chance to claim ultimate bragging rights in a pre-alpha build of Far Cry 3’s multiplayer. Some developers, including a writer, flew in from Montreal to have a chat and ensure we got the best out of the brief demo, but unfortunately the solo experience was nowhere to be seen.
No doubt, we’ll see more at E3, but from where I was standing, it’s the single-player that will set Far Cry 3 apart, but alas, we were restricted to the multiplayer.
Act now, rage during Kill Cam later
The single-map demo was essentially Domination from Call of Duty, split into red versus blue. The three points to capture and defend -- Fish Market, Ammo Drop and Scrapyard -- where all spaced a little further than those in Activision’s juggernaut, leaving little chance of anything but a miraculous save if you’re stationed at one point and hear that your incompetent teammates are losing another.
That’s where ziplines come into play. Strategically located as a direct path to each hotspot, they hurl players into the combat zone. While blind firing your handgun as you slide down isn’t particularly useful, it’s a quick way to put yourself into a precarious situation. Likewise, the ground-slide mechanic looks cool, but isn’t nearly as useful. It disorientates your focus and leaves you extremely vulnerable to unstoppable attack when utilised in the wrong situations.
Swimming is a nice touch on the a tried and tested formula. While there was only one small stream to take advantage of in the map we played, the potential for underwater sneaking is immense. It opens up a world of flanking options, but if you’re caught by someone on land, expect certain death.
It strikes a nice balance between the close-knit classes of Battlefield and the every man for himself approach to Call of Duty.
It isn’t just Call of Duty with a Far Cry skin, however. The developers reiterated that it was all about teamwork. Even sitting next to each other, we gamers tend to abandon allies in search of individual glory, and that’s unlikely to change for the masses, but perhaps they can learn to become more aware of one-another. It strikes a nice balance between the close-knit classes of Battlefield and the every man for himself approach to Call of Duty.
Team Support items allow you to assist your teammates, as well as yourself. It takes but a second and all teammates in your vicinity benefit from your success. It isn’t a squad-based team support game. You don’t have to work together at all times, and will do well alone, but being aware of your teammates is strongly encouraged.
Dying gives you the option to cling to life by rapidly mashing the A-Button. There’s no stupendous recovery, just a few more seconds of tormenting life in which a teammate can elect to revive you. At first, I suspect we’ll be left to die a slow, painful death, but in time players should develop a keen eye for their downed comrades.
In total, there were six classes with which to experiment. The shotgun was clearly overpowered in this early build, and established itself as a favourite amongst the run and gun types. I didn’t bother with the sniper classes considering I wanted to be in the thick of the action, but found success with the secondary assault class, which attached a red-dot scope to the riffle. Against the odds, I even topped the scores in a Team Blue winning round.
Speaking of dominating wins, a cool little feature praises the winner and humiliates the best of the losers. At the end of each game, the best player on the losing team is flanked by the top three of the winners. The best of those has the option to have mercy and let him live, or beat him into a bloody pulp. That’s what you get for playing with a bunch of losers.
While it doesn't do anything revolutionary, this early multiplayer build is encouraging for players stuck somewhere between the team play of Battlefield 3 and the selfish attitude of Modern Warfare 3. The point of difference wasn’t obvious, but that could well be the single-player, which intrigues me more with every reveal. If the solo experience is as good as I hope, there’s little more we could ask from the multiplayer.
By Ben Salter - Bio