'Far Cry 3' co-op blends teamwork with some friendly competition

Just because you're working together doesn't mean you can't win.

You probably already know that Far Cry 3 will have a pretty expansive single-player campaign. You may even know that it will have an adversarial multiplayer component, complete with weapon unlocks, custom classes, the works. What you may not know is that, on top of those pretty meaty modes, there's also going to be co-op. Yep, an entirely separate co-op campaign where you and three buddies will team up to take on the island's various pirates and cult leaders.

The mode follows in the footsteps of Left 4 Dead in that each player takes on a different set character with their own backstory. At present those backstories are pretty shrouded, but you can expect them all to tie into the main campaign in some way.

The co-op mode is mostly objective-based. A sequence we were able to play through had us clearing out a village of rebels with machine guns while trying to open up a passageway blocked by a giant train car. It was a pretty standard, Horde-style sequence, facing off against constant waves of enemies until the passage was opened. Once opened, though, the match shifted.

We suddenly found ourselves on a bridge overlooking a beach-side village. Once again, it was teaming with bad guys. Instead of using squad tactics and teamwork to clear out the second village, the match switched into a quasi-adversarial mode. All four of us had bolt-action sniper rifles and a counter kept track of how many kills we could get in a two-minute span. The person with the most sniper kills was rewarded with an experience boost, used to unlock weapons in future co-op matches.

After the sniper sequence, it was back to working together. We set about moving heavy explosives onto the bridge as enemies poured on from both sides. With all the explosives set, we made haste off the bridge and blew it into dust. The mission ended and each player was awarded experience points for their performance.

The constant objective shifts in Far Cry 3's co-op mode felt like a great way to keep a match fresh, offering players a wide range of activities in a short span of time. Ubisoft could have very easily phoned this mode in with simple survival options. Very pleased to see that they're interested in doing far more than that with Far Cry.

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