Far Cry 3 Launch Event Photos

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By Paul Hunter

Ubisoft kicked-off their Far Cry 3 launch event at the Tattoo Rock Parlour in Toronto in a big, big way.  And no I don't mean the 6-foot-something Dan Hay, producer of Far Cry 3, who came up on stage to introduce the game, I'm referring to the opening 10-minutes of the game those in attendance were given the opportunity to watch.  In short, it was easily among the most breathtaking, fluid, and suspenseful introductions I've ever seen in a video game.  I must have looked pretty silly with my jaw dropped the whole way through.

Dan had an interesting way of presenting Far Cry 3, instead of a verbal run-through of the story and main features, which typically happens at media events, he simply walked up on stage and asked us if we wanted to see the game, and then said the game would do the talking for him. The demonstration walked us through the first ten minutes of Far Cry 3, [spoiler alert] which shows how lead protagonist Jason Brody found his way to the island in which the game takes place, and the circumstances surrounding his abduction by Vaas, the merciless pirate who controls the island. 

The opening sequence is visually stunning and incredibly intense, setting a new bar for realism and storytelling in video games.  It's one of the few video games demonstration I've seen where you actually felt "there", feeling the same raw emotions of confusion, fear and apprehension that you know Jason is experiencing.  What's also superb is how the development team at Ubisoft Montréal managed to integrate the gameplay tutorial directly into the opening sequence seamlessly, without distracting or taking away from the flow of action.  In fact, the on-screen instructions added to the overall vibe, creating more tension as you quickly learned how evade, distract or engage enemies.

We've heard before that Ubisoft was aiming to make Far Cry 3 a visceral experience that would invoke a constant state of fear within the player, and to that degree what I saw certainly lived up to the hype.  In past interviews, Dan has been quoted as saying that each of the insane cast of characters you meet in Far Cry 3 is "like a rabbit hole" that has somehow been affected by the island.  If the quality of the performance capture and voice acting throughout the game is a good as the opening sequence, then it looks to be one heck of a ride.

Also shown at the launch event was Far Cry 3's competitive multiplayer, and media were invited to participate in a multi-round, competitive tournament.  The game type selected was called Domination, and the objective was to capture three specific strongholds on the battlefield, and keep them protected while under enemy fire.  The influence of the Call of Duty series was obvious, with the custom loadouts, XP system, kill cam, and tried-and-true game types; however, the island setting made it visually distinct. It seems like all the checkboxes were made, and while it was felt like a competent competitive shooter, I left the event feeling the real bread and butter lies in the single-player campaign.

To catch a glimpse of Toronto launch event for Far Cry 3, here's a run-down of the best photos I captured during the night (with accompanying descriptions):

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The Tattoo Rock Parlour entrance was lined with screens displaying Far Cry 3

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Jeyson Acevedo, Ubisoft's PR Manager, kicks off the event

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Far Cry 3 producer Dan Hay introducing the game

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Far Cry 3 in action

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Future Shop's Carl-Edwin Michel plays Far Cry 3 co-op campaign

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The new antagonist for Far Cry 3, Vaas

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Steve Tilley (Sun Media) & Kirby Yablonski (Canadian Online Gamers) pose with their team

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Canadian journalists getting some Far Cry 3 practice time in before the tournament

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The Far Cry 3 competitive multiplayer tournament in action

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A winner of Far Cry 3 tournament poses with Michael Mando (actor for Vaas)

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After the tournament, journalists could get their photo taken with Michael Mando

Far Cry 3 is out now for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. The game was developed by Ubisoft Montréal and published by Ubisoft.

The game is rated M for Mature (17+) by the ESRB.

[This article originally appeared on the Future Shop Tech Blog]