By Sam Coles:
Far Cry 4 is so similar to Far Cry 3 that you could think that it is an expansion pack with better graphics, but it’s not the case on all of the aspects of the game what stands out with this game is the setting in the Himalayas.
The story to this game is that you play as Ajay Ghale who is coming back to his home country of Kyrat to fulfil his mother’s dying wish by spreading her ashes in the beautiful landscape of Kyrat. Unfortunately you get into an altercation with the local Royal Military which is under the command of the brutal dictator Pagan Min, right off the bat Pagan is a fantastic villain because unlike Vass who had habit acting like an animal who would straight up gut you if you pissed him off, Pagan plays it like a gentleman with his charming personality he can manipulate you with his words rather than brute force he comes across as charismatic which adds to his psychotic nature.
The visual presentation of this game is absolutely beautiful I played this on the PS4 and the visual aspect is nailed but to be honest you shouldn’t expect anything less from a Far Cry game they’re renowned for producing lush and vibrant environments. All of the subtle details help make this world feel alive such as the trees moving in the wind or the shake violently when an explosion happens, it looks organic with the individual blades of grass where you can hide with your bow and arrow or silenced sniper rifle and hunt your prey. You have many types of wildlife roaming the plains some are friendly and some are foe, it’s not the human residence you have to watch for the fauna will be hunting you to.
Gameplay wise it handles exactly like Far Cry 3 although it feels faster and tighter compared to its pre-equal you can do your slew of brutal stealth kills with you machete along with tight gunplay. Like the last game you have this huge open world to have fun in and you can unlock bits of the map by doing the usual Ubisoft gameplay mechanic of climbing a tower and watching a short animation of the new areas, which gets old really fast. You have many unlocks which you can obtain by hunting and take my advice before you start anything hunt for skins and craft bigger ammo belts and gun holsters because you only have one weapon slot to begin with and a pitiful amount of ammo. You have a skill tree which you can upgrade your health and different take down skills such as the awesome vehicle take down where you jump out of your car and boot out the driver of the other vehicle.
You have outposts that you can infiltrate like in Far Cry 3 which act as fast travel points once liberated, but it’s up to you how you want to tackle the outposts do you want to do it in a stealthy manner by using your bow, silenced sniper and machete, or do you go in like Rambo with rocket launchers and machine guns, or you can let the wildlife do the job for you by letting a tiger savagely kill your enemies. These outpost infiltrations are fun, but after a while it does get a bit monotonous because you end up following the same pattern to get it done quickly.
What’s new to the gameplay are subtle such as the ability to be able to shoot while you’re driving which I must say makes the game flow better because in previous games you had to stop your car, get your gun out and shoot and it did kill the flow in my opinion. You get new vehicles such as the gyrocopter which is very handy to cover the terrain in a quick amount of time and you also get to ride elephants…. Yes you read it correctly elephants and I must say that I feel like General Hannibal when I ride an elephant into battle knocking all of my enemies out of the way while fire my light machine gun at anything that moves, it makes you feel like a bad ass.
You have a vast array of weapons that you can buy, but to be honest if you’re like me and get most of the towers and out posts and do the side missions most of the weapons become free anyway so to be honest the monetary system is pretty much useless and ammo is always in constant supply, so I found that I rarely visited the trading posts because also you can craft your own medical syringes by picking green leaves.
Multiplayer is your standard team deathmatch and domination types, but you have two sides to pick you have the golden path soldiers and the Royal Armies hunters, which are a special unit that specialise in stealth and only use bows. This really adds tension if you’re on the other team because you are constantly watching you’re back because it has an atmosphere like predator.
The few nit-picks that I have with this game is that the animations take forever such as the healing animation is not good when you are in the middle of an intense fire fight, also the skinning animation and you’re main character getting grossed out gets old fast. You’re main character isn’t very interesting because unlike Jason Brody from Far Cry 3 Ajay doesn’t really have a decent character arc because in the first few minutes he’s just killing people with no questions asked, unlike Jason who first questions it and starts to enjoy it the further you go through the game. The radio DJ that you here when you liberate the towers gets boring because he spouts the same nonsense over and over again which make you stick to quad bikes and hang gliders to avoid the radio.
Overall I found that I really enjoyed Far Cry 4, is it Far Cry 3.5? Yeah a little bit but that’s not necessarily a bad thing because it fixes the minor problems from the last games and improves upon the framework. I would highly recommend this game if you want a long game to get you through Christmas despite the flaws.