Ubisoft has been getting really good at these open world games where they give players tons of things to do. Far Cry 3 in particular which was released on the last gen consoles and PC deserves a special mention due to how polished it was.
They decided to change the formula drastically from Far Cry 2 and put it under the Assassin’s Creed template where you have to unlock maps by climbing tall structures and what not. That was a great decision because while the mechanics were kinda similar to Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry 3 managed to have its own identity and didn’t feel like a chore to play.
Far Cry 4 follows in the footsteps of Far Cry 3 where the game mechanics are quite similar. However, Far Cry 4 takes you to the himalayas which hasn’t been done before in many video games. What’s so great about this setting is that it fits so perfectly into their normal open-world game template and what you have in return is an extremely enjoyable and gorgeous game.
You play as Ajay Ghale who ends up in Kyrat to disperse his mother’s ashes. Things go south pretty quick with the introduction of the main villain Pagan Min. He is kinda like Vaas from Far Cry 3 but not that insane. Ubisoft have been getting pretty good at creating these weird antagonists.
If you have played Far Cry 3 you will be at home in this game and will learn the game mechanics pretty quickly. This game is basically an extension of Far Cry 3 but in a different setting. That’s not a bad thing however, as Far Cry 4 is pretty unique in its own way.
As you escape from Pagan Min and get lost Kyrat, you will encounter a resistance called ‘The Golden Path’, which was created by Ajay’s late father Mohan Ghale to overthrow Pagan Min.
That resistance was dormant until Ajay decided to end what his father had started. You find a lot of allies pretty quickly and the game offers you a chance to pick sides between two NPCs. The entire outcome of the game is dependent on which side you pick. This is a pretty cool touch in my opinion as it increases replayablity factor.
As you explore the himalayas, keep doing story missions and tons of side activities, you will find yourself engrossed in the game. It is never a dull moment with random unscripted things happening in the world. For example, you could be mauled by a Rhino while you were just collecting plants for syringes.
The crafting, syringe and other mechanics are lifted straight from Far Cry 3. One thing new to the game is the co-op mechanic. The main story missions do not have co-op but you can attempt other missions with a friend. When you first get access to the gyrocopter you will squeal in excitement and soon find out that it is the best way to travel in Kyrat.
Remember those tall towers from Far Cry 3 where you had to climb up and ‘synchronize’ to unlock the map? It makes a return here too. There are also outposts which you can liberate and doing it in a stealthy way will get you more XP.
The skills are divided into two sections: Tiger and the Elephant. They are pretty self-explanatory since you can choose to create an offensive character or simply rely on stealth and other tactics. Oh and by the way, you can ride an elephant and cause chaos in the enemy base. It will be the most fun you will have this year.
Of course, you can choose not to do the main missions which really opens up as you unlock Northern Kyrat. I spent a lot of time simply idlying, checking out the scenery and collecting crafting materials.
Assassin’s Creed Unity was a little iffy when it comes to performance but Far Cry 4 doesn’t have the issue. It runs smooth as butter on consoles and even heavy action won’t bring the frame rate down which is quite impressive considering how gigantic the world is.
There are a ton of collectibles in Kyrat and most of them are visible on the map. It is not a Ubisoft game if it doesn’t have collectibles. If you are into that sort of thing, then go ahead and have fun looting everything in your vicinity.
There are also tons of weapons and equipment to choose from. You can buy them using cash and you will have tons of it by just roaming around the map. I prefer the stealthy way using a recurve bow but you can also go guns blazing and exterminate everything in your sight.
Things will get heavy once more enemy types get unlocked as you proceed through the main campaign but that shouldn’t really be a problem. The world of Far Cry 4 is an immersive one and you will most likely get lost in it till you finish the game. My main gripe with the game is that the animals take a lot of ammo to go down. A Rhino shouldn’t take 7 shots from a launcher. That’s absurd but it also makes the game a lot more challenging.
Far Cry 4 is a beautifully designed game and if you are a fan of Far Cry 3 then you should definitely get this. It has a ton of content, it is very polished, and the random unscripted moments can put a smile on your face. That said, I hope they change the formula drastically for the next Far Cry game.