Some of you might know what Far Cry 3 is, but for those of you that don't, it's an upcoming FPS from Ubisoft set on a tropical island paradise filled with bad guys to shoot, lunatics that want to kill you and all kinds of other exciting stuff. It's a big budget game that requires lots of marketing, and a part of that marketing was hiring a team of Minecraft community contributors (map makers and texturers) led by Sacr3 to make a Minecraft map and texture pack to promote the game. Well, that whole thing is out and available now, and I tried it out, so if you're interested, read on to hear more about it.
The two were made to be played together, but for the sake of better organizing my thoughts, let's start with the texture pack. It's a 16x texture pack which means it's compatible without any prior patching, mods or a strong system. This also means it's not very pleasant to the eye. Minecraft's original texture pack manages to pull the low pixel counts off because it's so well done and doesn't pretend it's realistic. This pack seems to throw that out of the window by retexturing items to look like the game, which has a negative effect and makes landscapes too grainy. Ironically it doesn't even succeed in teaching you what each block is supposed to be in this Far Cry version of Minecraft, so that seems to be quite a waste.
Not all of it is bad, though. Items are good and clean and mobs are changed to look like the enemies in Far Cry 3. Back to the lame part, the water is down-right awful. I mean it is seriously one of the worst things I have seen in my entire Minecraft career. I know the author was going for a bright, clean tropic water vibe, but it ended up just hurting my eyes in ways I could not imagine possible until trying this pack.
I don't like to downplay other people's work, but I had to emphasize this because I am now going to recommend that if you usually use an HD pack, you do not use this one when you play the map. Sure, you'll miss some map details the texture pack provides, but if you go ahead and use that pack you'll just give up on the map after a few minutes anyway. However, if you don't mind the ambitious strive for realism that fell flat on its face and the horrid water, feel free to try the texture pack.
Now onto the good part - the map. Even though the Minecraft map is supposed to be recreating the Far Cry 3 map, this feature is really none of your business as a Minecraft player and doesn't provide much to the map. The map does, however, function nicely as a regular Minecraft map. It's got simple rules: Don't break any blocks and use the items provided the best you can. You go around the island exploring buildings, warehouses, shipwrecks, villages, temples, ruins and more and scavenging what you can from them in the process.
Spawners are placed around any location of interest that spawn skeletons or zombies that provide the map's combat segment. The island is beautifully designed and a real masterpiece of custom terrain. It could probably be used to take some stunning pictures once the GLSL shaders are updated. For a better experience, I found that Coros Weather and Tornadoes mod fits in rather well with the tropical setting, so give that a whirl if you'd like to.
To conclude, I can definitely recommend the map, but the texture pack is only for the people that don't mind a low-res pack attempting to be realistic. You can get both of them on the link below:
Download the Far Cry 3 Minecraft Map and Texture pack from the official site here.
I am not responsible for any sudden desires to purchase Far Cry 3 and other Ubisoft products, blame the marketing people behind this creative advertisement. Let us know how you liked the map and/or texture pack in the comment section below.