Critical Discussion

Deception and Dehumanization in Far Cry 3

Having taken longer than most people probably have to finish Far Cry 3, I find that I had expected more to have been written about it and interpreting it. Perhaps too many words have already been expended upon Spec Ops: The Line, which shares some characteristics with Far Cry 3 to be sure, but is in my view a wholly different experience.

Where The Line was itself a critique and condemnation of the contemporary shooter genre and the acts that constitute such a game (and something about which I still need to write), Far Cry 3 is something more. It serves not so much as a direct critique of the first-person shooter, but more as a framework for the player to start thinking critically.

I find that much I have read regarding Far Cry 3 is mired in direct conversation regarding the whats and the hows of the game and its systems, and less about the whys. Indeed, as I started playing the game, I too found myself dwelling on questions of design and mechanics and less about what those things did to inform the story—and more importantly, the message—of the game.

I know now this is the wrong way to approach Far Cry 3. Indeed, now that I have reached the end and applied some critical thinking to what I witnessed and did, I find that I second-guess any such criticisms I had as I’m no longer sure what of those are honest mistakes and what are things that were done intentionally in order to provoke such a response.

N.B.: Here be spoilers. What follows will also more than likely be extremely pretentious, as I can’t stop talking about it. If you have reactions or discussion points, I invite you to leave a comment, or more so to write about it on your own blog.