**Spoilers for both games, obviously**
“I’ve killed so many people I’ve lost count. I can’t come back from this. I’m a monster.”
Recently Far Cry 6 was announced by Ubisoft and, alongside this announcement, Far Cry 3, 4 and 5 were put on sale across all platforms for less than $10 USD each. Far Cry 3 was one of my favorite games back in high school, so I was eager to give it another playthrough on my PS4. After having gotten the platinum trophy for it a second time, I can say that despite its numerous gameplay issues, Far Cry 3 tells a wildly compelling coming of age narrative with characters that remain interesting to this day.
For those of you who haven’t played, allow me to give you a quick summary of the plot of Far Cry 3. You play as Jason Brody, an archetypal rich kid who, along with several of his friends, skydives into the islands of Indonesia during a vacation across Asia. This trip quickly becomes a nightmare scenario however as you are captured by pirates and separated as they prepare to sell you into slavery. You manage to escape into the island, but not before Jason is forced to kill for the first time. When attacked by a pirate, Jason manages to overpower his opponent and stabs him in the throat. Its gruesome and Jason responds appropriately, physically shaken by what he’s done, reaching out as if he wishes he could save this man who had just tried to kill him. He doesn’t know what to do, but he still has to run.
The story progresses with Jason attempting to save his friends and frequently running into the game’s first (and most popular) antagonist, Vaas Montenegro. Vaas killed Jason’s older brother, Grant, in the opening and does nothing but taunt and attempt to murder Jason throughout the first half of the game. An important aspect of Jason’s character that develops throughout the entirety of the story is his evolution from a scared child into a battle-hardened warrior, initially fearing conflict but eventually developing an insatiable blood-lust. It’s established that not only does he begin to enjoy killing, but he was unhappy with his life before arriving on the island. To quote Jason himself, “You know… I never thought I’d be able to kill someone. The first time, it felt wrong. Which is good, right? But now… it feels like winning.” This is a crucial line of dialogue because it establishes that not only does Jason enjoy killing, but to him it represents victory and success to an extent. Remember this as I get into my next point.
Later on in the story, Jason is given a lead on his friend Keith, who has been sold into slavery to a man named Buck. Buck is a vile human being that, similarly to Vaas, taunts Jason as he sends him on quests to recover an ancient dagger. Buck speaks very condescendingly to Jason, all the while cracking jokes about what he plans to do to Keith in his spare time. At one point, Jason assumes control of the situation, only to have Buck threaten Keith’s life in retaliation, reestablishing his dominance of the situation. By the time Jason reaches Keith, Buck tells Jason that he doesn’t intend to let either of them go. Jason then proceeds to murder Buck, but unlike the nameless pirates that Jason needed to kill for the sake of reaching his goals, this is personal. This is someone that Jason wanted to kill for purely personal reasons, and it clearly affects him even just after the fight. Despite having blown up numerous camps at this point, stabbing Buck physically shakes Jason. It’s not too much unlike when Ellie killed David in The Last of Us (the first one).
Eventually, Jason finds Vaas and kills him, but even though Jason’s friends are ready to leave, he wants to remain on the island. Jason makes it clear that not only does he want to stay on the island, but he will stop at nothing to kill Hoyt Volker, Vaas’ boss and the man in charge of the slave trade on the Rook Archipelago. Jason’s primary motivation for this is that he believes Hoyt killed Jason’s little brother Riley. Even after discovering Riley is alive, Jason maintains that Hoyt must die. Not only that, but Hoyt’s death takes priority, despite the obvious risk that brings to trying to save Riley. They don’t point this detail out, but it’s there for anyone reading between the lines. It would have probably been easier to try and sneak Riley out, especially given Jason’s disguise at this point in the game, but that isn’t what happens.
Jason’s transformation as a character is fascinating and ties together nicely in regards to his motivations and development. Even in the game’s “good ending” which sees Jason escaping the island with his friends, there’s this very bittersweet feeling. After all he’s been through and learned about himself, Jason will never be able to live a normal life again. He’s discovered a side to himself that’s genuinely horrifying. The events of Rook Island will stick with him not just because of how horrific the experience was but because of how deeply his actions were tied to him as a person. His development as a character is consistent and all of his actions make sense within the context of the story.