3. The jungle is stuffed with animals (to kill)
With Red Dead Redemption still fresh in the mind and Skyrim on the way, you can't do open-world these days without an encyclopaedia of furry friends. "In some cases you're going to have to deal with them," explains Hay, which presumably means we can expect to face bigger beasts than angry macaws. (Please let it be sharks.) The other key thing to note about the setting is that it will be packed with stuff to discover. While roaming around you'll catch a glimpse of cave systems, or mysterious outposts, that will lure you off the beaten track. It's a careful balance, but the idea is that whenever you feel like you've been walking for a while, there should be something exciting to stumble across.
4. The weapons don't degrade
Because, frankly, having to repair or replace your gun after a few firefights was a ballache in Far Cry 2. Weapons will still reflect what's happening to them - so, emerge from water and your gun will look and sound different - but they won't keep breaking. In terms of the core gunplay, Hay describes the mechanics of Far Cry 2 as "a great place to start", adding, "That feeling of the satisfaction of the kill, and the enemies seeming like they didn't know you were there until you unload on them and they go 'Hold crap!' That's the secret sauce for us." Mmmm, delicious cordite-flavoured secret-sauce. He also all but confirmed that flamethrowers will be back, which should mean you'll be able to torch large swathes of the jungle in the same way you left the African savannah a smouldering mess. In your face mother nature!
5. It looks pretty as hell
Among the treats on offer were hazy sunlight streaming through the tree canopy, some gorgeously subtle water effects and excellent mad-eyed motion capture for the Vaas character. The lip synch isn't quite LA Noire standard - what is, right? - but it wasn't a million miles off either. We asked Hay if the aim was to make Far Cry 3 at least as pretty as Crysis 2. He replied: "What we don't say is 'at least'. Ever. If our art director heard anybody in the team say 'at least'! What we say is 'we want it to look fantastic'. We want to be able to put it on [the E3] show floor and have people say 'Holy crap, this is open world?! Look at how alive the world is." And it certainly is a looker. The impressive quality is at least partly thanks to the weapons-grade PC being used to run the demo (with a 360 controller plugged in), so with the game also due out on PS3 and 360 next year, it'll be interesting to see how the console versions stack up.
6. It's going to be nasty
One look at the knife kills, which are up there with Black Ops and Killzone 3 in terms of brutality, confirms Far Cry 3's harshness. Although we've only met Vaas so far, the suggestion is that the island's inhabitants will be equally evil and unstable. "You'll come across these guys doing terrible, terrible things," says Hay. "But you'll need their help, so what does that say about you?" Right now it says that we can't wait to set off.