This article has been archived and may have some errors due to a previous design of MGL. None of the review has been altered however. Enjoy the Crab Rangoon, says Pagan Min as he vanishes off to torture one of the terrorists that are destroying his Kryat. I never did manage to enjoy the food but the sadistic character of Min, the beautiful open world and all the action… that was exceptionally fun!
Far Cry 4 is a game in a very difficult position in that Far Cry 3 was simply a masterpiece of a game, the villain was so well done and the gameplay was addictive all within a beautiful tropical paradise you could explore at your will. Everything about FC3 was fantastic so can the next game in the series keep up?
If anything Far Cry 4 is actually more of the same in the best possible way, a fantastic open world with more bases to take over, more towers to liberate and animals to hunt. Skills that make the game a mixture of First Person Shooter and Action Adventure with a hint of stealth all achieved with sharp, responsive control in all departments. With a beautiful world to explore and a new sadistic and outright mental villain in Pagan Min, the game is Ubisoft’s best AAA offering of 2014 without a doubt.
Bugs have spoiled some moments occasionally, and this is apparently a lot worse for PC gamers, but on the reviewed PlayStation 4 version, everything runs smoothly, is it quite as good as Far Cry 3? Some elements let it down but overall, it’s very close. Far Cry 4 is an exceptional game and one of the best this year.
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Our Video Review of Far Cry 4 is here! Check it out:
Look & Feel”]
Look & Feel
From the moment you are on the bus heading into Kyrat to the times you are flying through the mountains in your wingsuit and even just walking and talking with the people of the country. Everything is just beautifully created; the detail is stunning in the environment and the characters. Graphically this game really does jump off your screen.
The frame rate stays very consistent although when things really go mad with explosions I noticed a small dip but only once or twice over my 30 hours with the game. Bugs were mainly some collision detection problems, while climbing you occasionally grab above the ground and are pulling on air, then there are random floating things in the environment but, for such a vast open world everything is very stable on the PlayStation 4.
What really makes the game so exceptional in this area is the overall feeling you get from the land, it really does feel alive and full of people going about their business regardless of what you are doing. Animals are on the prowl and you will know about it should you get too close to where they are and find yourself on the end of a Tiger’s claw or a Rhino’s horn! Ouch.
The big annoyance for me here, which follows on from Far Cry 3 is the lack of reaction to getting shot in some creatures. I get that a Rhino isn’t going to so much as flinch at a 9mm bullet but badgers getting shot with an assault rifle don’t even flinch and keep biting at you. While it doesn’t ruin the experience, it breaks the immersion of the game at times while everything else does such a good job to keep you sucked right in.
But other than very few moments, the overall graphical style of the game pulls you right into the land and the world of Far Cry, it fells very familiar especially if you have played 3 recently but, again, this is not a bad thing.
Story & Characters”]
Story & Characters
Again, setting the tone from the previous game Far Cry 4 starts with an introduction to Pagan Min, played by the ever reliable voice acting skill of Troy Baker. He is utterly mad, completely sadistic and thinks nothing of killing someone for his own justifications… something that is a theme that runs through the game and actually is cleverer than it seems on the surface.
Choices have consequences Ajay, he says to the playable character in the game, Ajay Ghale, son of the former rebel leader Mohan and his recently deceased mother is Ishwari whose ashes you have come to Kyrat to spread. You realise as you play the game that, while it’s not an RPG by any means, you can choose your own path and key decisions will make a huge impact of the country and the politics of it. The rebellion has two leaders in Sabal and Amita who have their own ideas about how Kyrat should be, each of them determined to do it their way.
You have choices in the campaign on who you support and this element of the game provides some of the best missions and some moments where you really think about what you are going to do.
While Min is fantastically done and a great character, the other commanders you are hunting are less remarkable although they do lead to some interesting missions and eventualities they are all just a bit forgettable and their to delay the inevitable meeting with Pagan. But one thing that stands out the more you play is that… well, something is not quite right about everyone. All of them seem to be doing what they have to, that what they want to and this all paints a picture in shades of grey rather than anyone in the game being outright evil.
The fact that the game can end a number of ways, a few that are particularly clever if you think about the choices you are given early on, and there is so much to do there really is a lot to enjoy here.
However, given the nature of the game and the tone of the story the focus is on you going and getting involved with the main story rather than being pulled along by it. In FC3 you and you’re friends were captured and you escaped leaving you as the one responsible to save them. This really added motivation to get thought the campaign and some very well done set pieces along the way, in Far Cry 4 this never quite gets going to the same level. You will be motivated by the characters you get close to but it is far easier to break away from the story and just enjoy the open world.
What really makes Far Cry 4, and the series stand out from the crowd of other first person shooters is the optional gameplay it employs in all situations. In combat you can go out all guns blazing and play just like a normal FPS game and even ride an elephant into battle too which is pretty cool and fun to do. Or you can go the more subtle approach as you have on screen notifications if you are detected or someone his spotted some movement etc. Using stealth you can take people down quickly and quietly avoiding setting off alarms or just getting into massive fire fights.
Then there is the navigation, getting around the open world can be done on foot or in different vehicles, including a mini-helicopter which is a lot of fun, but there is the best way of getting around for me, your wingsuit and parachute… awesome! Given the mountainous setting, the game employs a grappling hook to climb the large mountainous regions and comes in very handy if a touch awkward to use at times.
However you navigate there is a lot to see and do and no matter what approach you take there are some massive and epic gun battles to get involved in plus the taking over of bases and now fortresses that can be done co-operatively or in single player after you have weakened them by completing campaign missions.
Obviously open worlds are Ubisoft’s thing at the moment and they are all very well done it has to be said, but what works so well for Far Cry 4 is the integration between all the elements. Everything you do in the world feels like it’s making a difference whether that be liberating the towers, taking the bases and the defending them from enemy attacks. Helping out other characters with their problems or exploring the history of Kyrat and taking trips to Shargri-La all feel part of the same overall goal of the game.
In the PlayStation 4 version of the game I found very little that breaks the gameplay either, a handful of frame rate dips and some occasional collision detection issues, that mainly looked not quite right rather than breaking it, were about it.
Multiplayer wise you have the option to go into the chronicles side of the game and take part in PVP matches and even design your own maps which is cool. Players can be Pagan Min’s elite Rakshasa guard or Golden Path Rebels which provides a really fun option to players that never tries to take away from the main game, more add to the experience. Other than a few issues very early on with matchmaking the multiplayer is a welcome addition while not quite enough to consider getting the game for alone.
Given the amount of things there are to do in the single player open world, the optional story paths and the co-op and PvP options to Far Cry 4 you could literally spend a huge amount of time with the game and there is a big feeling of value for money here.
The gameplay and experience of playing this game is exceptional and while the story and characters do not always hit the heights of its predecessor, it’s still a fantastic game that is certainly worth playing and it’s also essential to complete the campaign to see your choices and what happens in the aftermath.
But even if you don’t get the end, you’ll enjoy every moment of your time in the world that has so much to do and enjoy you really will get sucked it even if it is very much more of a similar formula to the last game. Any gamer that enjoyed that or just wants a first person shooter with a difference should give this game their time, it’s well worth it. For me, this is Ubisoft’s best offering this year and a contender for game of the year (that’s not a re-release!). Should you stay or should you go..?