|Genre||Publisher||Release date||Release O.S||Available on|
|Shooter||Ubisoft||18/11/2014||PS4, PS3, PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360||Ubisoft Store|
Ever wanted to ride an elephant whilst throwing C4 at rhino? Then I welcome you to Kyrat, a fictional region hidden somewhere amidst the Himalayas, full of the insane, the stupid and the outright awesome!
All Far Cry games follow the same basic idea, yet each one has offered us a new experience quite different from the last. The previous instalment in the franchise was not only a huge revival for the series, but was voted as one of the most loved games of 2012. Far Cry 4 delivers us yet another power hungry psychopath, ruling over an isolated and terrified nation… one minute… this all sounds terribly familiar…
Is Far Cry 4 another refreshing take on the now ten year series, or will it be all too near and dear to our previous bumbling island experience?
When it comes to its looks, Far Cry 4 is the definition of a next-gen game – there is no denying it, it really is beautiful. The snow peaked Himalayas make the perfect backdrop for a land filled with rushing waterfalls, desolate caverns and deep forests. This is where the auto drive feature really comes into its own, not only is it a stress free way of getting from point to point, it’s also the perfect opportunity to sit back and simply admire the view. Just grab yourself a vehicle, mark your waypoint enjoy as you watch the mountains rolling on by.
For all its splendour and beauty, sadly the magnitude of Kyrat doesn’t quite live up to the diversity of the tropical island we saw in Far Cry 3. Every corner you turn can look too similar, every road, every river. Kyrat is all forest and mountains, both of which look like they’ve been taken straight out of the previous game, with no innovation to change the way the roads look, or the way the rocks fall. The visual effects however are by a long run Far Cry 4’s strongest point, they are aesthetically pleasing and a necessity to Kyrat’s story, even if they were somewhat expected.
I loved Far Cry 3. It bought back one of my most loved series in the most awesome way possible, and although the game had some incredible characters, I felt it lacked a convincing story. This was due to the premise of the game relying on such a ridiculous nonsensical idea of a rich party boy instantly becoming a killing machine for what turns out to be an unknown cause.
Where Far Cry 3 lost me, its sequel hooked me though. Far Cry 4 has a more believable story than its predecessor. The main protagonist is a descendant of the founder of the rebel ‘Golden Path’ you’re fighting for in Kyrat – a more convincing cause and one you actually feel involved in as you follow in the footsteps of your father.
I will admit though that the story can be a little weak in places, giving you a real sense of déjà vu. Also the characters aren’t that great, in fact most of the characters in Far Cry 4 are just plain annoying, whether its the priest trying to clear his conscience in all the wrong ways, the two hippies who keep drugging you, or the dressmaker who talks so s-l-o-w-l-y. These characters feel rushed and empty and I felt myself getting unnecessarily annoyed at them, tempting me to press the skip button during cut scenes.
Like all open world games there is a lot to do within Far Cry 4. There’s a multitude of places to visit and explore (and although it all runs very similar to Far Cry 3), everything is bigger, better and much more diverse. In Far Cry 4 you get the opportunity to build up your Karma by doing some good deeds around Kyrat. You can ride an elephant, a zip line, a hand glider or any of the (as many as I have counted) 18 vehicles on offer. As you work your way around the map you’ll liberate outposts, disable radio towers and gather collectables. Best of all with any of these tasks there’s no real one way to solve a problem. Want to take over an outpost? Release an elephant through the camp maybe? Or how about relying on good old firepower?
With all this running around you’ll need to craft yourself some equipment by hunting animals, and to this you can use one of the many weapons available to you. You’ll find the usual machine guns, pistols, shotguns and so on, all of which are upgradable and feel satisfying to use. A big hindrance to the game however is with how unnecessarily aggressive most of the animals are. After the first few in game hours I found myself unwilling to leave the roads unless in a vehicle.
Everything is better when you share it with others and the same goes for Far Cry 4. Where the developers have lacked in characters and story, they have really gone out of their way to deliver one of the best multiplayer experiences I’ve seen from a Ubisoft title in a long time. The possibilities when it comes to having fun with friends in Kyrat is on par with Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V.
For the first time ever you can play your Far Cry campaign along with a buddy or if you prefer jump into the Battles of Kyrat, where you’ll get a chance to play as Pagan Min’s elite guards, or the rebellious members of the Golden Path; with a choice of three game modes. There’s even the opportunity to create, and play with friends, in your very own maps using the Map Editor.
Just when I thought Kyrat couldn’t get anymore insane I found myself in Shanath Arena facing off against a horde of enemy soldiers, whilst a Bengal Tiger tussled with a Himalayan Bear, amidst crowds of people wailing and whistling in the stalls above me. The highly enjoyable, albeit slightly random new feature to the game gives you the opportunity to test your skills in a whole host of different ways. Round after round you’ll be attacked, shot at and blown up whilst being able to level yourself up to become the Arena Master and unlock new weapons to use throughout Kyrat.
Far Cry 4 is an incredibly fun game that is visually spectacular, only to be bought down by its annoyingly hollow characters and occasionally repeated plot. It’s a great addition to the franchise, even if it does feel like an extension of its predecessor. The multiplayer features are a welcome refresher to the game when the same unchanging views of the Himalayas are getting you down. Personally I feel that without its online features and visual aspects Far Cry 4 wouldn’t have much of a leg to stand on.
Having said that, I did have a lot of fun when playing the campaign and am still enjoying all the other features the game has to offer, even if some parts aren’t perfect. Right from the very start I was eager to continue on and see my journey through Kyrat to the very end.
- Excellent creation tools
- User created content is seemingly endless
- Game oozes effortless style
- Single player story lacks excitement
- Visuals don’t feel PS4 quality
- Handling not as tight as it should be