Far Cry 4 is as open as it is beautiful. While it may play and feel somewhat like Far Cry 3, the 4th installment of this series shines bright. With interesting characters, beautiful scenery, a large map, great graphics, and great dialogue, it’s hard to say Far Cry 4 isn’t worth the purchase. While Far Cry 3 was beautiful at first glance, I found myself getting bored rather quickly with the game. For Far Cry 4 however, this is completely the opposite. I find myself able to play for hours without any issues of boredom at all. Whether I am completing missions, taking beautiful pictures, murdering enemies, hunting down animals, or whatever, Far Cry 4 has held my attention. It has taken me away from my games, my real life obligations, and whatever else you may deem important. One thing about Far cry 4 is for sure, it’s a highly addictive chaotic hell of a time.
My first death in Kyrat was rather memorable, as I pulled over to help a couple stuck on the side of the road with a broken down car. I was immediately rear ended by a local, but that did not deter me! I ran up to the couple in distress with glee, but was not welcomed with open arms. Instead, they were cowering in fear? Why? I am here to help! I look around as the car that recently rear ended me sped off, I did not wholeheartedly expect to exchange insurance papers, as the car wasn’t mine, but there was no need to speed off, or so I thought. I continued to look around for the issue, maybe my gun was out and it scared them? No, I should have looked around better, because then I may have been able to prevent what happened next. As I stood beside their car clueless as to the events that were to unfold, I was obvious to the monster behind me. Finally, answers to my questions! Nothing good though, as a Rhino plows through the innocent couple and murders them. I am shocked, I can not move, and i do not know what to do. Suddenly, the rhino turns his death gaze on to me, I barely had time to react before he threw the couple’s broken down car on to me and ended Ajay Ghale’s life.
Welcome to Kyrat! Where the locals are fighting a tyrannical power who has practically destroyed their lives, sound family right? You are Ajay Ghale, a man who’s name will be pronounced like 5 different ways. Your mother has recently passed away and her final wishes were for you to spread her ashes in the homeland. Ajay luckily spreads the ashes quickly and then leaves the war torn region without any incident. Ah, if only, as usual, nothing goes right for the protagonist and the man to blame is Pagan Min. Enter King Pagan Min, a man who makes Vaas run for his money in the insanity department. While Pagan may not be nearly involved as Vaas was, his presence is rather well known throughout the region. His opposition is the Golden Path, an organization started up by Ajay’s parents.
Where Far Cry 3 mostly lost me was the death of Vaas. The 2nd act of the game took a nosedive after the death, because in reality, he was one of the only interesting characters in the game. Hell, the people you are trying to save rarely take the time to act interesting. The World of Far cry 3 felt dead, the hunting grounds were sparse, and hardly anyone inhabited the World. This is different in Far Cry 4 or so it feels. As there are wandering citizens, increased wild life activity, and just overall more things to do in the World. At first glance the map actually looks smaller than Far Cry 3’s, but the verticality luckily changes that. Either way though, Kyrat is much more diverse and beautiful than the Rook islands in Far Cry 3. While Far Cry 4 does have some rather boring moments, it’s thrilling moments outweigh those and it’s World generally makes up for it. What also adds to the largeness of the game is that you aren’t always in Kyrat, you some times go in to specific locations around the area and some times elsewhere. While I won’t spoil much, the areas you explore outside of Kyrat are small, but extremely beautiful.
Let’s go ahead and skip to the graphics of the game. Which are fantastic, Far Cry hasn’t ever had a real issues with graphics luckily. Far Cry 4 is no different and it brings the diverse and large world to life through gorgeous visuals. It may not be the most graphically endowed game of this generation, but it certainly is close. Far Cry 4 doesn’t exactly with beautiful scenery though, it always carries over to it’s humans and animals. As they are rather stunning on Nest-Gen consoles and PC. While their last gen counterparts just look… sad. The beauty of the World is complimented by the diversity and openness of the game. Far Cry 4 has done something rather incredible overall with it’s graphics and open world. It’s vast and beautiful, the PC version on ultra of Far Cry 4 looks stunningly similar to PS4 and Xbox One, a feat not many games came close to last gen. While Last Gen is not looking good whatsoever, it is nice to see developers doing their best to push the performance of the consoles. While I played I only saw a few drops and those drops were very minor at best, except for one cut scene.
It’s freedom doesn’t only soar through the story and freeroam luckily. It’s online will probably not soar to the heights of Call of Duty or Halo, but it is fun. It’s map editor is back and it’s better than ever. While I have yet to see any truly awe-inspiring custom maps, the possibility is open. For what it is though, Far Cry 4’s online is rather fun. While the Co-Op is the same way. It doesn’t do much to change up the Co-Op as you can travel, hunt, undertake missions, attack fortresses, or do whatever else it is that you want to do in Far Cry 4 with a buddy. The stability is there as well, as I had no issues dropping in and out of my friend’s games. The Co-Op portion of the game can be sued to undertake the more challenging section of the game, that being the fortresses. Which are heavily guarded and more like a beefed up version of Far Cry’s outposts that you have to liberate so often. While these don’t require Co-Op to overtake, they are a lot easier to do so thanks to your friend. The Gyrocopter also seats 2 and allows you to grapple on to the bottom, which makes for some great photo opportunities and for your friend to get revenge on you as you dangle below the Gyrocopter. My friend had a moment of weakness and slammed me in to the side of a mountain, which led to me painfully plummeting to the side of a cliff and nearly to my death.
While some of the character’s are rather uninteresting, they are balanced out by the very interesting characters of the story. Pagan Min is not nearly as involved as Vaas was, but his moments are grand and sadly short. What’s worse is that the missions targeting him are rather uninteresting and forgettable. The Golden Path half of the story changes this up though. With Amita and Sabal being the leaders in conflict. While Amita, the first female leader of the Golden Path, is looking towards the future and trying to shift many things, Sabal is trying to preserve the past and put Kyrat back to normal. What makes it even more interesting is the fact that you can actually choose which side to pick. Missions come up every so often that will have the two leaders at each others throats. Far Cry 4 definitely has some rough choices to ask of you and it’s get rough when you have to face the person who you went against. It’s these moments that make the story worth it, as you explore Ajay’s family history and decide the future of Kyrat. There aren’t many dull moments for Ajay, but they are there and mostly have to do with the missions that focus on Pagan Min’s lieutenants.
Some of the missions may be rather boring, the objectives such as capturing outposts and liberating towers, are better than ever. The difficulty of the game overall has taken a leap ahead of it’s predecessor, far Cry 3, which is overall for the best. As the battle can quickly turn for the better or worse. One thing that happens often is a pest from the sky, never have I hated Eagles as much as I do in Far Cry 4. They jump down and attack at the worst possible situation, which is any situation where an eagle attacks you. While it’s side missions are somewhat forgettable and lack true variety, they don’t lack difficulty. Hostage missions are a great addition and do the game justice, although you will probably forget who you just saved moments after the fact. Far Cry 4 has done a lot for the game in other areas, sadly it’s side missions are not it’s strong point. You somewhat have to participate in these missions and random events to increase your karma level, which grants you weapons among other things.
The music in scenes are also incredible, the music in your car is not. You have 2 choices, Pagan Min’s propaganda or some annoying guy who repeats the same thing over and over again. Sadly you can’t even just ignore it, as there is no option to turn the radio off. Not even in the audio section, just the music around it. I can’t say I am happy to jump in to cars when my options are some annoying guy or some annoying gal. It’s not an easy choice and it’s also not yours to make, as the lady leaves once you liberate towers. The Far Cry series has never been really known for it’s music on the radio, but it’s just overbearing here. As your option is either find a gyrocopter, walking, or suffer. The driving is also not ideal, as they have added in shooting out of cars and autodrive. These two are great additions, but the driving is now controlled somewhat like the driving in Halo, which makes it feel more restricted. The issue with autodrive? It sucks. It has driven me off a cliff, in to trees, and ran over several civilians, which hurt my Karma Points. So, yeah, thanks autodrive. It’s an interesting idea that needs a lot of work, but I still use it to drive the long trips, even if it will run over the occasional rebel or civilian.
The differences between Far Cry 3 and 4 are rather sparse, but when they show up they are fantastic. Shooting from the cars is a huge bonus, even if it does somewhat screw with the driving. The Gyrocopter is a fantastic add as well and it’s also one of the few ways to escape the awful radio scene, as it has none, how lucky! It has instantly become my favorite mode of transportation for that reason. Actually scratch that, because you can ride an elephant in Far Cry 4, did I forgot about that? Yes, you can ride an actual elephant and use them to demolish your enemies! It’s incredible as your elephant takes no prisoners by grabbing them, throwing them, and stomping them! Also, the elephants do not have a radio, BONUS! Other thrilling additions include (but not limited to) grappling hook (YES), Eagles (NO), Karma (YES), Hostages (YES to saving them), Beehives (NO), and autodrive (SOMETIMES) all of these additions are interesting to say the least, some hurt you more than others and some are better than others. You can also release car breaks for odd reason, haven’t had a use for that as of now. Far Cry 4 adds some very new and interesting things, some of these additions to the Far Cry series can be considered bad though, specifically the autodrive. As I mentioned before, the autodrive hates me.
Graphics - 9.5
Campaign - 8.5
Sound - 9
Multiplayer - 9
Far Cry 4 is exciting, it's beautiful, it's more of a challenge, and it's an improvement over the last Far Cry. Far Cry 4's Kyrat is an interesting beautiful world to get familiar with, it's also rather deadly. Far Cry 4 has a lot to offer and while it may seem familiar to it's predecessor, it's nearly better in every way. While some missions can be forgettable, the radio is awful, and its side missions are only alright, Far Cry 4 really shines when you explore the world and get to know its inhabitants. To put it simply, Far Cry 4 is not perfect, but it does offer one of the best gaming experiences to be had this year.