Far Cry 3 is a 2012 first-person shooter game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. It is the third main installment in the Far Cry series after Far Cry 2. The game takes place on the fictional Rook Islands, a tropical archipelago which can be freely explored by players. Gameplay focuses on combat and exploration. Players can use a variety of weapons to defeat human enemies and hostile wildlife, and the game features elements found in role-playing games such as skill trees and experience. After a vacation goes awry, protagonist Jason Brody must save his friends, who have been kidnapped by pirates, and escape from the island and its unhinged inhabitants.
Rook Islands is an open world in which players can explore freely. Jason can travel using a variety of vehicles including dune buggies, all-terrain vehicles, cargo trucks, jet skis, boats and hang gliding. Later in the game, players will find a wingsuit that Jason can wear. Jason will encounter different friendly settlements where he can shop for weapons and materials and complete side missions including hunting quests and assassination missions. Rook Islands is inhabited by a wide variety of wildlife including leopards and sharks, and the game's artificial intelligence (AI) enables the wildlife to interact with each other to simulate a realistic ecosystem. By hunting different animals and harvesting their corpses, players gain materials necessary for crafting new items such as weapon holsters and ammo pouches. Players can hoard green plants to produce syringes, which heal Jason when his health depletes during combat scenarios or provide other gameplay advantages. Players can climb different radio towers and remove their scramblers. When they are removed, areas of the map are opened up, various points of interest are highlighted and players will unlock a new weapon and gain access to a supply-run side mission, a timed quest in which players need to deliver medicines as quickly as possible from one place to another. As pirates control the island, players can infiltrate and liberate numerous enemy outposts. Once an outpost is retaken, it becomes a base for the rebels which unlocks additional side missions for players. It also become a location where players can quickly fast travel to and trade with vendors. A patch was later released to allow players to reset outposts. When exploring the game's world, unscripted events may occur, such as Jason being attacked by wildlife or pirate patrols. Players can complete Trials of the Rakyat missions, which are timed combat challenges; join different minigames including poker, knife throwing and shooting challenges; and gather different collectibles such as relics, letters, and memory cards.
Jason and Riley fly to Earnhardt's house to discover it on fire. The dying doctor reveals that the Rakyat attacked the house and kidnapped Jason's friends. Jason confronts Citra at the Rakyat temple but she drugs him and captures Riley. Citra tells Jason that she has fallen in love with him, believing him to be a powerful warrior of Rakyat legend, and that she will "free" him. Jason dreams of walking a fiery path with the Dragon Knife, with Liza appearing as a monster in his dream. He awakens holding Liza at knifepoint and is given the choice to either save his friends or kill them by allying with Citra.
If Jason frees his friends, Citra begs him to stay on the island while an outraged Dennis prepares to stab Jason for his betrayal. Citra jumps in front of him and is stabbed instead; proclaiming her love for Jason as she dies in his arms. Jason and his friends leave the island by boat, with Jason narrating that despite all the killing turning him into a monster, he still believes that in some place in his heart he is better than this. If Jason kills Liza, he and Citra later have sex in a ritual. Afterwards, Citra stabs Jason, telling him as he dies that their child will lead the Rakyat to glory and that he "won". The game ends with a still image of the boat and the Dragon Knife on the beach while the credits roll.
The team evaluated the gameplay elements from Far Cry 2 and determined which gameplay elements they should include or improve. Weapon degradation and malaria infection were removed as the team thought that it made the game less fun. According to producer Dan Hay, Far Cry 2's world was barren and lacked reactions to players' actions. Therefore, the team decided to make the world more lively with the goal of creating "an actual civilization" for players to encounter. In Far Cry 3, players' actions impact the game's world, with Vaas's influence gradually reducing after Jason liberates a hostile camp. The world of Rook Islands was designed to be filled with opportunities and activities for players, enticing them into exploring so that they would not feel bored while traveling within the game's world. The team introduced side quests which allow players to learn more about the history and inhabitants of the islands. The world was designed to be empowering, so that players were free to do what they wanted in the world without being hurried into completing the main quests. The team also attempted to increase the accessibility of travel by improving the game's driving mechanics and introducing fast travel points. Within each mission, players can freely choose their playstyle, whether they choose to eliminate enemies using stealth or firepower, Hay believing that the game respects players' choices. He also believed the team had crafted a meaningful open world, and Rook Island was considered to be the "second most important character". According to Jamie Keen, the game's lead designer, the world was both "alluring and repulsive" and players will "feel seduced by the place and all the people in it". Inspirations were taken from media including Apocalypse Now and Lost. The team decided to return to an island setting, like the first Far Cry, as a narrative decision made during the game's early development. The team believed that the setting mashed well with the story they wanted to create, enabled them to create a world filled with variety, and helped inspire a sense of isolation and discovery.
Yohalem designed a story that examines the minds of players. The game was described as being "self-aware", reacting to players' style of play. Yohalem, in particular, wished to contrast the difference between players and the playable character, in which players have fun playing the game, while Jason is forced on a terrible journey killing people. Being able to freely explore the game world and enjoy the activities it can offer, while ignoring the urgency to save Jason's friends, was meant to reflect players' inner mindset. According to Yohalem, the game can reveal a player's personal perspective, and asks whether players are willing to "kill these characters in the game in order to finish your entertainment". This creates a sense of discomfort to players. Yohalem, when creating the story and the world, was inspired by Pulp Fiction, A History of Violence, Requiem For a Dream and Exit Through The Gift Shop. As opposed to Far Cry 2's oppressive world, the game was inspired by Alice in the Wonderland; Yohalem stated that the game asked why players would willingly trap themselves in a beautifully-crafted but virtual world instead of spending time with real people. The story was widely criticized for racism and colonialism, though Yohalem defended it by calling the game "the opposite of Avatar" as the local indigenous people did not need Jason's help and he was being manipulated into doing what the people wanted. He insisted that players need to approach the game like a riddle so as to understand the subtext and clues that the game offers.
Far Cry 3 was announced in June 2011 during Ubisoft's press conference at E3 2011. A closed beta for the game's multiplayer portion was launched for players who purchased Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier at GameStop before May 22, 2012. A companion app named Far Cry The Outpost was released for iOS and Android to allow players to manage their multiplayer loadout and monitor their progress. A UK-exclusive companion app named "Insanity Mirror" imagines what players would look like if they are trapped on an island. A Facebook app named "Holiday From Hell", which allows players to create and customize their own postcard, was released in September 2012. The first 2,000 participants had their own postcard printed and delivered by Royal Mail for free. To promote the game at PAX East, players who shaved their head or received a permanent tribal tattoo would receive a free copy of the game. At PAX Prime, attendees can shave their head into a mohawk to look like Vaas. Ubisoft commissioned Michael Lambert, a Minecraft enthusiast, and artists Axel Janssen and Yohann Delcourt to create a custom map and texture pack mimicking Far Cry 3's setting and characters within the popular indie game Minecraft. The Minecraft texture pack was released, along with a Far Cry 3-Minecraft custom adventure map, on October 26, 2012. A four-part webseries named Far Cry: The Experience, which stars Mando as Vaas and Christopher Mintz-Plasse as himself, was released.
Critics generally enjoyed the gameplay. Sterling praised the freedom given to players to approach objectives, though they felt that many of the side-objectives became repetitive very quickly. They praised the game's increased accessibility, though they noted that travel was an annoyance for them. Bramwell appreciated players' freedom, citing stealth as one of the game's strengths and noting combat's adaptive nature. VanOrd agreed, calling stealth "a blast" and praised the game for presenting opportunities that allow players to experiment and be creative. Dyer agreed, saying that the game's action can be exhilarating and that actions can be chained together. Bertz and Taljonick liked the gameplay improvements such as the inclusion of fast-travel points and the removal of weapon malfunctioning, though Bertz was disappointed that the AI-controlled human enemies were not more adaptive. VanOrd liked the gunplay and vehicular control, and the game's sense of progression presented due to the inclusion of role-playing game elements, though he and Francis lamented the respawning enemies, which they felt were frustrating. Gies praised the game's wealth of content, though he warned that such could be "intimidating". 2b1af7f3a8