Riding on the huge tidal wave that was Far Cry 3, Ubisoft had big expectations for the latest entry in the Far Cry series. Far Cry 4 has a lot of elements that are eerily similar to it’s older brother, and there isn’t a whole lot of depth to be found here. However, there are some key elements that have been mastered. Is it the biggest blunder of the year? Or is it a fantastic experience that leaves you bombarded by hours of fun? Let’s dive into this.
You are Ajay Ghale, a young man returning to his native country to deceased mother’s ashes. As soon as you enter the country, you’re caught in the middle of a hellacious civil war between the Royal Army, and the rebellious Golden Path. Pagin Min is the horrific dictator who rules the corrupted nation but he is the one of the most engaging things about Far Cry 4. The witty, comical, presence of Min is in short demand. Ubisoft took the Handsome Jack approach [Borderlands 2] by limiting your encounters with the villain. This causes you to feel detached from the story, and lives you being the Golden Path’s errand boy.
As you are forced into this war, and you begin to engage the enemy with certain decisions, your character is presented with several choices that shape the outcome of the war in a laughable manner. [It’s a life where you choose freedom vs obeying a god.] You’ll be introduced to a bunch of side characters during your time. However, these people lack depth and are very dull and uninteresting. Sabal and Amita will occasionally bicker over certain ways to handle the future. [Example – Drugs Vs Pure Society] You’ll step in and decide the outcome by choosing a side, that is designed to make you feel like you’ve made a real impact on whatever you decided. However, without investing in the thoughts or ideals of these characters you’re just in that “I’ll do whatever mode” to progress the story.
The story suffers from an identity crisis. At times you’re going to get the impression of “let’s tear shit up”. Then on an occasion Ubisoft tries to invoke a serious tone to the story, your cause, the people of Kyrat, and the struggle to bring Pagen Min down. The missions are completely dull, and uninteresting compared to it’s older brother. (Far Cry 3) You’ll be faced with an unprecedented amount of yawn inducing, unnecessary busy work. You’re the only option to liberate outpost, kill high ranking members of the Royal Army, and track down certain items for others. It’s a tad bit nonsensical.
As you gaze upon the treacherous country of Kyrat, you cant help but fall in love with the amount of detail in every corner of the large map. The world feels lively, yet chaotic at the time. Music in this game is a perfect match with the gameplay in Far Cry 4. At times you will feel a suspenseful chill running down your skin as you valiantly take on hordes of enemies. You will encounter the unpredictability of the wild life to an extreme level.
To give a few examples, eagles will attack you from the skies, and leave you with the tiniest slither of health. Rhinos will strike you down at any cost even if you’re in a vehicle. It’s intense and engaging at first, however after awhile the process becomes annoying and down right frustrating. I cant help to feel like these distractions are placed so you don’t blaze through to your next objective.
The shooting mechanics are superb and are really refined. Guns will feel responsive but also ineffective when shooting animals. It may take an entire clip for the pesky elephant or tiger to finally meet it’s gloomy end. As you progress through the story you will unlock better weapons to strike down your enemies quicker, and efficiently.
Far Cry 4 presents with you several choices to occupy your time for hours on end. However it suffers from Ubisofts new ADHD mentality. You will be constantly reminded to do this “thing” as you’re trying to accomplish another task. It doesn’t stop there. Your map is riddled with activities and items to collect to the point where it is incredibly difficult to find your mission objective marker.
Co op has been included, and it is a very limited experience. You cannot engage in story missions with your companion and you’re left with liberating outposts, and causing mayhem. This is put in to amplify those wacky, insane, moments when you’re going through the single player alone.
The competitive multiplayer modes are fresh and aren’t the typical copy and paste jobs you’ve grown accustom to from heavily single player games.It is one of Far Cry 4’s greatest strength. You have two factions fighting over key locations. (capture the flag) Each side has different tactics that can help them secure the victory.
The Golden Path is more along the lines of the aggressor. They will use heavy fire power to slay their enemies, along with vehicles, explosives, and traps to secure victory.
The Rakshasa use magical abilities that can transform their bows into different deadly combinations, use animals to guard key spots, and use teleportation to get that satisfying kill, or escape an horrific situation. Invisibility is also very important to their success. Map sizes are huge, yet they are very underwhelming. Matches will start with uneven teams, and lately the mode is dying out. You will have a hard time finding other players.
If I had to break down this game, Far Cry 4 is more of the same. It doesn’t differentiate from the last entree to have the consumer pay full price. The game feels like an expansion pack to Far Cry 3. Pagen Min is a fantastic villain with limited interactions with the main character. Ajay Ghale is a plain character and is willing to do whatever he is asked without questioning a thing. Without good characters, you’re just going through the motions and you cannot cover that up with an unpredictable “shock factor” to make this game more appealing. It’s gun mechanics are absolutely remarkable and down right still one of the best of any shooters on the market today.
If this is your first time in the Far Cry setting then this game will be enticing from start to finish. If you’re coming to this game after you’ve completed Far Cry 3, you’re in for the same repetitive antics that just doesn’t seem fresh enough. I’d recommend playing this when the game drastically falls in price. If you decide to skip it, you’re only missing on an expansion that was re branded as something completely new.