Open world games and cohesive plots don’t really go together. Think about it, look at the story problems of Grand Theft Auto, Assassin’s Creed, Dead Rising and any other story-led open-world franchises. As soon as you offer players a chance to go off and do their own thing in a wide-open sandbox, be it jumping off cliffs in buggies or exploding ammo canisters for the sake of it, all of that effort developers put into producing a compelling narrative with interesting characters and deep-seeded motivations becomes null and void.
It’s a paradigm even the almighty Rockstar has struggled to address over the years, but in Far Cry 3 that problem has been fixed. Ubisoft Montreal has made this player conflict of doing what they like rather than what they should (farting about versus doing story missions) a key part of the plot.