Far Cry 3 was easily one of the most well received games in 2012. Giving players gratuitous levels of action and exciting story moments, Far Cry stole the glory from Ubisoft’s other release just one month earlier… you know, the one with the cloaks and hidden blades. Now in 2014, we see a giant repeat with Far Cry 4… and this time, there are elephants!
There aren’t many titles that have the raw level of fun that Far Cry 4 has to offer. This game is packed full of enough explosions, animal attacks and impromptu gunfights to keep any action movie aficionado entertained. Throw is a hand full of drug trips, and a good ole southern boy type named Hurk, and you’ve got yourself a good time! Hurk, by the way, is your co-op partner’s persona. This feature really completes the experience for online gamers who would prefer to play with a friend.
From the beginning, players will be introduced to the beautiful, yet fictional, country of Kyrat. Your persona for the next 40+ hours is Ajay Gale, who is delivering his mother’s ashes to the country of her origin. Things escalate quickly for Ajay, and a series of unfortunate events lead him into the open arms of Pagan Min, the stories central protagonist. Voiced by Troy Baker, Min is one of the best characters in the game, though an often-absent one. The flamboyantly dressed self proclaimed king of Kyrat seems to take a liking to Ajay, who seems clueless to the significance behind his mother’s request to have her ashes scattered in the war torn country. The ignorance here is situational and where Far Cry 3 offered about as much depth as a shallow puddle with its central protagonist Jason Brody, Ajay seems a bit more rounded: A welcome change to the format in this installment to the series.
A few healthy explosions later, Ajay will find refuge with the Golden Path, the militarized rebellion to the army of Pagan Min. Here, Ajay will be introduced to Amita and Sabal, the group’s two opposing leaders. These two will deal a majority of the quest; often making you choose to fulfill one’s wishes, while ignoring the others. This in turn affects how the end game will pan out, though the differences don’t seem drastic.
A large portion of Ajay’s experience will be fulfilling missions for the Golden Path, though there is a fair amount of diversity. Ajay will find a couple of drug abusing, mom’s basement types squatting in his family’s homestead in the mountains. Upon meeting Ajay, the two offer up a joint and a healthy sized syringe of an unnamed mystery drug, leading to the games psychedelic mission set. These are full of color and trippy visuals and feature relatively little challenge, a welcome getaway from some of the more rough moments the game offers. There is also a man names Longinus living in the mountains who follows his own version of the book of God, one involving guns. Longinus will send Ajay on tailing missions that end in a sort of vault heist operation and are highly rewarding. Mix these mission sets, the insane amount of side activities supplied by Kyrat locals, an arena fighting mini game where players fight to the death and the numerous enemy outposts to be conquered, and Ajay is in no shortage of activities. While the density of missions and activities in this game is staggering, the world offers even more and one may find themselves thinking, “I don’t know any of you! Now where’s an elephant so I can go flip a car?”
For those looking for the PvP experience, Far Cry 4 has you covered, though it isn’t one of the games highlights. Players can enter the Battle of Kyrat and choose from 3 different play modes: Outpost, Propaganda and Demon Mask. The first two options are objective based and teams will either defend or attack. Demon Mask offers a mystic play on the classic capture the flag mode. The real fun here is the contrast between the opposing teams. One side will play as the local militia, armed with typical guns and combat abilities. The other team will play as the Kyrat natives, armed with bow and arrows, as well as the ability to summon animals to attack enemy players.
The control dynamic in Far Cry 4 is everything you can expect from a FPS title in 2014. Triggers are used for aim, fire, assignable grenade slot and weapon wheel pull up. The PS4 also allows for quick weapon select with a swipe of the touchpad. Ajay can grapple from one assigned grapple point to another with the tap of a button and transferring from hang glider to wing suit is equally effortless. It will almost never be the controls that prevent the player from accomplishing a goal in this game.
Visually and audibly Far Cry 4 shines. Never will a game make you want a vacation as bad as this one. The scenery is gorgeous and the characters don’t look bad either. The hair textures are leaps and bounds beyond the rest. That part really sells the realism when a player encounters a tiger or honey badger and sees the fur swaying in the wind before being viciously mauled. These moments are further realized due to the audio in the game. The eagles screech, tigers roar and honey badgers…. kind of chirp at you. The wildlife is alive and with the mountain breeze streaming across your surround sound, you’ll find yourself staring off into the mountains, fully immersed – until an eagle comes for your eyes, that is.
All in all, Far Cry 4 has, at the absolute least, lived up to its predecessor and hype. The only real gripe one might have with this title would be in the factor of replayability. Obtaining the platinum trophy for this game is doable in one play through and the PvP isn’t much to keep coming back to. Though, with a bare minimum of 40 hours invested, it’s hard to complain.
Far Cry 4 was an epic avalanche of gunfights, animal attacks, treasure and explosions and it kept all of my fuqs while playing it.