Far Cry 4 review
After surviving the insanity of Vaas and the Rook Islands, how will Kyrat fair?
Ubisoft have released a lot of games recently, but does this game really stand out from the rest? The problem with Ubisofts most recent releases is that if you put them all together, they’d blend pretty well. Each game borrows elements from the other, massacring animals to craft seems to be a pretty prominent feature and climbing towers to unlock the map also appear quite a lot in their games, but I don’t think this is really a bad thing, why fix what isn’t broken?
Your story begins clutching your Mother’s ashes, in the back of a truck heading through Kyrat. You’re warned of the dangers there, a Civil War is raging between The Golden Path and Pagan Min, a ruthless tyrant who rules over Kyrat. You control Ajay Ghale, whose mother fled Kyrat when he was three for America, now back in Kyrat to fulfill his Mother’s last wish.
Things don’t go as planned, your truck is stopped by armed gunmen and with a helicopter inbound, you don’t really have any choice but to wait and see what happens next. Pagan Min arrives and we get to see how brutal he really is, kidnapping Ajay and torturing your accomplices. Once the Golden Path rescue you, you’re thrown into a beautiful yet dangerous world, where the decisions you make affect the outcome of the story.
You make choices throughout the game, whether to side with Amita, whose approach is less traditional, she wants what’s best for Kyrat, whether it is morally accepted or not or Sabal, who believes in honor and tradition, whatever you choose, you ultimately decide who will lead the Golden Path and the results have some shocking consequences.
Far Cry 3 with Elephants
Gameplay wise, Far Cry 4 is exactly like Far Cry 3 with a couple of added features. The first being the ability to ride Elephants around, once unlocking the ability in one of two skill trees. This can be immensely fun, the Elephant wraps its trunk around the enemies and throws them around like ragdolls and you can charge into them, throwing cars over. While riding the Elephant you can also use your chosen weapon to kill any stragglers trying to flee.
Another new addition is the forts, dotted around the map. They can be weakened by completing campaign missions or you can invite a friend in to conquer them. Once you have control of the fort, the outposts you have liberated in the surrounding areas will never be attacked again.
Tacked on Co-op?
You are able to play through some of the game with a co-op partner, but this isn’t as good as you might think. The game asks you at the beginning whether you want to start a campaign online or off, but when you are in a co-op game, especially as the second player, only your XP, money and items save. Anything you do ranging from Outposts, Forts and any requirements you fill for select skill points will not unlock for you in another persons game, so when you go back to your world, you will have to do it all again. This was very disappointing. The only time you will call your friend in is if you are struggling with a specific Outpost or Fort, other than that unless your co-op partner doesn’t care that anything is being saved, it’s best to face this struggle alone.
Apart from the story, there are many things to do in Kyrat, I spent hours doing side activities and missions without needing to touch the story, only going back to it to unlock the top part of the world so I could continue exploring. It’s not only Pagan Min and his forces you need to worry about, the wildlife are extremely vicious. Don’t be surprised when you’re driving along and a Rhino charges you and flips your car over, or if you’re taking a nice swim for treasure and a Crocodile or Demon Fish decide they want to have you for dinner.
When you do decide to do something productive though, the numerous Karma events, which require you to save people from predators, return to outposts that are being attacked, help out in fights between the Royal Army and the Golden Path and repair someones car, can be quite annoying. You’re not forced to partake in these events but if you’re anything like me you will find yourself responding to them more often than not and sometimes it can be a pain. Also you won’t get very far on foot without an animal attacking you, Eagles fly down and grab you and packs of Wolves will try to stop you going anywhere, this while fun at first can also become tedious when you’ve done everything you need to do.
You’re rewarded for completing side missions with XP and skill points to make your character better, helping people out rewards Karma and guns for hire tokens, which means you can call in an ally to help with Outposts and Forts. I guess he was quite helpful… for distracting the enemies at least. High Karma means the prices in the shop are lowered so everything becomes more affordable.
Although being similar to other games and basically being pretty much the same as Far Cry 3, the gameplay and story are intriguing enough to make you spend hours on it. The story missions are diverse, some taking you to different places like the snowy Himalayas and Shangri-la, a mystical and very beautiful place where you control a Tiger and fight Demons. I liked the option of having to choose and the outcome of my choices, although some of the stealth missions and the grapple system frustrated me sometimes, overall I really enjoyed the time I spent in Kyrat.
Miss; The Multiplayer was glitchy and tacked on.
Need; Separate co-op campaign missions like 3, where everything saves instead of just allowing you to play in someone elses world.