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Far Cry 3 review: your questions answered

Our reviewer breaks down Ubisoft's latest

Our Far Cry 3 review is live, but no review can rival the sheer informational magnitude of the humble Q&A. Here are answers to the questions you posed earlier in the week.

I'll be writing a separate feature on multiplayer and the online in general at some point, along with some horrible hints and terrible tips for the campaign mode. Anything else you want covered, just ask.

How does the stealth stand up in single player? (Clanger67)

It's massively improved. Essentially, providing you're stationary and crouching in eye-high undergrowth you'll be all but invisible to guards at anything outside point blank range. There's also a new (I think) HUD indicator for guard awareness - you'll see a white vision arc begin to form around the reticule pointing towards the enemy who's about to spot you. Pull back out of view, and the arc will eventually fade away. Guards also wear brighter colours these days, which makes them a lot easier to spot, and you can fool them into facing the other way by throwing stones (of which there's an infinite supply) with D-pad right.

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How long is it? (JCHN)

I completed the game in around 12 hours, but I was focusing on the main storyline and completing relatively few of the side missions (though I did take the time to activate all but one of the 18 radio masts, as these unlock weapons and map elements). It won't last you as long as Skyrim, but expect to get 20-30 hours out of the campaign if you're a completionist.

Are the crazy fire physics still in it? (metalrodent)

Yes. Fire spreads quickly and naturally to nearby flammable objects, and you can use this to tactical advantage. There's a mission where you have to torch an entire drug plantation with a flamethrower.

How well do the linear missions work with the open world? (huntification)

There are a very small number of instances where the story missions clash with the open world feel. When you undertake certain missions, you'll fail if you leave the "mission area", and some missions have to completed stealthily or you'll be bumped back to the previous checkpoint. It's nothing all that frustrating, though. For the most part, you're free to roam at will between accepting a story mission and actually travelling to the start point.

Is the story as sophisticated as it makes out in the trailers? (huntification)

It's more about the eccentric characters, for me - the narrative itself is fun but quite familiar, certainly nowhere near as smart and surprising as the likes of Bioshock (or rather, the first two-thirds of Bioshock). Man swears revenge on man, risks becoming a monster in the process. The storytelling is incredibly well-executed, however, and I don't think I address that enough in the review. Cutscenes are all in first-person, the motion capture is superb, the voice-acting trumps most other games and they even manage to work in the odd QTE-style bit without it feeling contrived. Two of the best sequences see you playing poker with other characters while talking to them.

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Are the RPG elements and crafting just window dressing? (Bezza89)

The RPG systems are worthwhile. Levelling up gets you a skill point which you can spend on passive enhancements (faster reloads, more time underwater, longer sprinting, etc) and new Takedowns. The latter are a blast, especially once you start chaining them, though you're not obliged to use them. The crafting is less successful - I never found myself using syringes much besides the basic health-replenishing variety, because the effects only last 30-45 seconds. As for gear crafting, it all feels rather for the sake of it - in particular, having to hunt and skin animals to expand your inventory and wallet (!).

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