Far Cry 3 PS3 multiplayer preview: how to make friends and shoot people
Far Cry 3’s big multiplayer spin? Encouraging you to play nicely with your teammates. You know, getting people to actually help each other rather than stealing kills or accidentally blinding you with amateurishly bunged flash bangs. The neat twist is that it’s a healthily selfish altruism – helping other people helps you.
“We realised a lot of the time the only multiplayer team play interaction that happens is the fact that I don’t shoot my team mates,” explains game designer Daniel Berlin. Potentially missing the point that in some cases I would gladly shoot people on my team if I could. That guy who plays music so loud it buzzes like electric wasp screams over the headset? He’s on the list.
The way Far Cry 2 enables this huggy, friendly interaction is through something called team play. “There are games out there that focus on teamplay but they’re often very class restricted,” says Berlin. “Meaning I need to be a medic to revive someone. Or I need to be a certain class to execute a type of command. What we set out to do was make a set of team based specific features that are available to anyone at anytime.”
This is achieved through battle cries. These are power ups that you give to anyone within earshot by yelling something encouraging. Not literally, obviously, but by clicking both sticks in. “It’s a rallying shout,” is how Berlin explains it. “It’s a way to boost your allies – giving them a bit of health, making them a little faster and stuff like that. When you give out a battle cry anyone within hearing distance will get the boost”.
In return you get team points that you can use to unlock what Berlin calls the “heavy weapons”. These are things like spotters to highlight enemies on the map, flaming barrels that can be called in like airstrikes to burn the other team and a psych gas that makes everyone go mad (read: make it impossible to tell who’s the enemy).
During my time in the game I found it did actually encourage me to help out people around me. In the most selfish way possible. I’d seek out large groups of my team so my battle cry was heard by as many people as possible – thus earning me more points. You can also tag enemies and objectives and earn extra if a teammates kills or claims one.
Of course, as nice a gimmick as it is, it wouldn’t mean much if the basic multiplayer action wasn’t rewarding. Fortunately, it is. Especially the guns which are are loud and meaty to fire. The AK in particular feels heavy and powerful but, providing you don’t go crazy on trigger, controllable enough to wield effectively.