Sunday, 18 March 2018

Gaming's Best Levels #2: Kick the Hornet's Nest (The Dope Fields) - Far Cry 3

A journey through some of video gaming's greatest levels. Or, the ones we like at least.

By Sam Graham

Jungle, bad guys, bow and arrow. What’s the first thing that comes to mind? If you’re thinking 'Tomb Raider reboot’, or Katniss Everdeen (I don’t know how people don’t laugh at that name) then you’re showing your youth. I’m talking about the OG bow-wielding, cinematic killing machine, of course: Rambo.

Rambo, John J. Vietnam vet, decimator of Washington State police, master of stealth and tactics, peddler of death, a one man war. Thinking about him, who doesn’t want to strip their shirt off and run around a jungle slaughtering evil doers whilst sporting a sweet mullet?  I mention this, because that’s basically what Far Cry 3 lets you do. After the opening ‘this is how you play the game’ missions, the rest is up to you.

“Here, have a bow and arrow.”
“Thanks, game.” The only things missing are a bandanna and an army Colonel who only exists to cryptically tell people how hardcore I am.

Everyone’s play style is different, but mine always followed this credo: Be silent until it’s time to be loud. My usual arsenal included a bow, silenced pistol, sniper rifle, and the biggest machine gun available, the ‘all or nothing gun’. It’s the best emulation of Rambo that I could come up with. But it’s not until mission 13, Kick the Hornet’s Nest, that Far Cry 3 becomes a full-on guerrilla warfare power fantasy.

Nobody really cares for the plot in these things, so let’s just say some Mark Ruffalo lookalike hands you a flamethrower and orders you to go hotbox an entire section of jungle.While flamethrowers are inherently awesome and endless fun, at this point I’d just discovered the fire and explosive-tipped arrows. Hiding in the long grass above the dope fields like a well armed raptor, I readied my fire arrow and let one loose in the middle of the fields. Up they went and I watched the guerrillas run around not knowing what they hell was going on. Sniping a few of them, I moved to the next field. Rinse. Repeat. Then I got spotted.

Then it was time to be loud. On comes the dubstep, out comes the PKM machine gun. It was all I could do to not start screaming at the telly in a slurred Stallone voice as I walked straight up the path, mowing down enemies with a hail of bullets, taking cover only to reload before continuing the massacre until there was no one left.

Then when no one’s looking I go around mugging every single corpse for their loose change like a tramp outside a nightclub at chucking out time.

Enjoyed this piece? Then 'like' The Crusades of A Critic on Facebook. Sam also has a novel which can currently be viewed here, and features ten times the swears, snarc, and rage of the above piece.