Far Cry 3 survival guide: seven things you absolutely shouldn't do

If you want to see another dawn

According to my threadbare understanding of evolutionary biology, wasps are coloured yellow on black to ward off potential predators. "Bright colours hurt you", is the intended message, with the possible subtext "natural dress sense equals death". Ubisoft's Far Cry 3 is built around this principle. If something stands out from that verdant tropical backdrop, odds are it's something that will explode, bite or hack at you with a machete on closer inspection.

Of course, this being a videogame, the very first thing you're going to do when you see something bright and shiny is run straight at it, stuff it into a sack and/or shoot it point-blank. That's how designers like the Gearbox crew have taught us to behave, after all. Allow me to sound a few notes of caution based on my Far Cry 3 review playthrough. If you're touring Rook Island for the first time, here are some tactics you might want to avoid.


1. DON'T... run straight towards a red flag
You're not a bull, or a teenage joy-rider rushing his first traffic light, and that base isn't as empty as it looks. Enemy patrol paths often carry them well away from the flagpole at the centre, into the undergrowth and behind buildings, so by all means spend a few moments atop a nearby hillock, spot-marking everybody through your camera. It's worth flagging any predators near the base, too, just in case you want to introduce an element of bestial spontaneity to the proceedings. You can tag enemies by looking down your gunsights at them, but this takes a little longer and can be fiddly with certain weapons, like the bow.

2. DON'T... fill up on heavy weapons
Grenade launchers, LMGs and sniper rifles have their uses, but they also have limitations - they're slow to aim and ammo is scarce. Once you've unlocked a second weapon slot by upgrading your equipment, make a habit of keeping a suppressed SMG or pistol about your person, so you've got a quick, stealthy fix in a pinch.

3. DON'T... forget to scope out the wildlife
This is how the lion's (hah) share of my offensives began for the first couple hours of Far Cry 3: after carefully tagging all the enemies in the vicinity, I'd work out which guy to shoot first, circle through the underbrush, take aim and get ripped to pieces by an unseen leopard. Animals are everywhere in Far Cry 3, grouped into distinct territories which are marked on your map, and most of those animals want to kill you. Rabid dogs aren't hard to chase off, but you'll rue the day you tangled with a Komodo Dragon at proximity.

4. DON'T... skip the radio masts
As with Assassin's Creed's synchronisation points, these teetering stacks of rusty iron expose nearby quests and key structures once you've clambered to the top. Activating one also unlocks new weapons and items at shops and grants a discount. Best of all, each mast is ringed by ziplines which ferry you instantly into one of the surrounding missions or treasure troves. So don't forget to hit that switch. Exploring an area is pointless, otherwise.


5. DON'T... try to outshoot a Heavy
Notice that they're covered in body armour. That stuff doesn't wear out fast - though you'll have more of an impact if you target the head, and it's possible to stagger a Heavy with sustained fire to buy a little breathing space. Indirect combat is the best kind of combat, in this case. Drop a landmine or two ahead of your target, or throw down some C4 while undercover. If you lack the finesse to pull this kind of thing off consistently, prioritise the Heavy Beatdown ability on the Shark skill tree.

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