OSW Review | Far Cry 4

Far Cry 4

Far Cry 3 is one of my favourite FPS games of last gen. It's large open world, great sandbox gunplay & enjoyable story all combine to create an absolute gem. Ubisoft have promoted FC4 as a bigger, badder, more densely packed next gen Far Cry…… Enough Ubisoft, you had me at bigger! Let’s do this shit.

Far Cry 4
Developed by Ubisoft Montreal (2014)
Console: PS3/4/Xbox 360/One/PC (Played on PS4)
Reviewed by V1

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You play as Ajay Ghale, returning to his homeland for the first time in years to spread his mother’s ashes. Upon reaching his hometown, he realises just how messed up things are. The golden path (freedom fighters) are still struggling to overthrow Pagan Min’s regime & the return of Ajay (his father started the Golden Path) is a huge boon to the revolution. You must perform tasks for the leaders of the Golden Path, Amita & Sabal. However both leaders have different ideals & it’s up you to decide who you agree with & help become the true leader of Kyrat.

There are plenty of other story missions to do outside of the main quest. There are multiple missions for each side character, each with their own story arc. From blood diamond dealing/Christian Zealot (lol) Longinus, stoner clowns Reggie & Yogie, CIA Agent Willis as well as a trek into Shangri-La (Dee Da) to free Kyrat of some malevolent entity. Each of these side missions is as fleshed out & diverse as any of the main quest. With Ajay’s Shangri-La adventure standing out. Seriously it’s like another game with new environments, weapons & mechanics. Awesome!

However there are some issues with the story in Far Cry 4. For one, the main story feels a bit light. It’s well-written & excellently performed by all cast members, but always feels like background noise. It’s a far better overall story than FC3 (no douchy, rich white kids here), but has nothing as memorable as the encounters with Vas in that game, or the final mission. I also found the ending to be a bit flat & underwhelming, although multiple endings are nice & add a bit of weight to the decisions made during the campaign.

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Far Cry 4 is gorgeous, I mean really gorgeous. Everything from the grassy lowlands to the icy peaks of Kyrat are just jaw dropping & smacks of care & attention. Trees wave around in the breeze, water ripples realistically & just about everything is incredible looking. On top of looking insanely good, Kyrat itself feels alive. Foliage looks real (as opposed to flat textures), small villages bustle with life & animals go about their business (grazing, hunting, fighting etc). Character models also benefit from these levels of production values too. Ubisoft stayed away from photorealistic models, deciding to utilise a stylised cartoonish appearance instead. I love this style. Characters are vibrant & full of life (Amita & Pagan Min in particular), & the remote location means we don’t have thousands of sub-par character models running around ruining the illusion (I’m looking at you Assassins Creed!)

Thankfully sound design lives up to the standards set by the visuals. This soundtrack wouldn’t feel out of place in a Hollywood action movie. It fits the on-screen action so well that it’s easy to think this is a linear scripted game. How Ubisoft managed to pull off this feat is beyond me. They’re a talented bunch alright! I have to say that the soundtrack isn’t as impressive as FC3 (there’s nothing as awesome as the mission where you burn the weed farm to a Damien Marley song), but it’s still very enjoyable & it certainly adds to the overall experience. All voice actors knock it out of the park again, especially Troy Baker as Pagan Min & Janina Gavankar (the gorgeous shape shifter from true blood!………. no not Sam) as Amita are standout performances.

There are no glaring problems with the presentation of Far Cry 4. There are some niggling issues, but overall this game has exceptional production values.

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Fucking great! (I was tempted to leave it at this, but that’s doing the game a disservice). Far Cry 4 is very much an evolution on FC3. It has the same basic gameplay, i.e. you run around a huge open world (btw the map is HUGE) completing main story missions, side missions & a wealth of other activities too. Some of these activities include races, hunting, clearing outposts/fortresses, climbing radio towers, fighting in the arena, collecting items & more. There’s easily 50+ hours of gameplay to be had if you want to complete everything FC4 has to offer. You definitely get your money’s worth.

While the gameplay is very similar to that of Far Cry 3, there are a number if inclusions that freshen the overall experience. First of all is the gyrocopter. This little beauty is without a doubt the best way to get around the enormous map & it’s a lot of fun to use too. Flying to your destination, only to jump out in mid-air & use your wing suit to arrive in style never fails to delight either! Other gameplay changes include the trip to Shangri-La, rideable elephants & most importantly Co-op gameplay!!!!!! Yep, you can run around Kyrat & cause absolute havoc with a friend (although you can’t do any story missions). This is so much fun & the best addition to an already tremendous series.

I’m trying hard to think of any gameplay mechanics that I believe are detrimental to the overall experience. The biggest problem I had was how similar it was to FC3 & other Ubisoft games. Like Assassins Creed & Watch Dogs, there are outposts to clear, viewpoints to climb, single player story missions & side missions as well as a wealth of other activities. It all feels very checklist-ish & this Ubisoft template is beginning to feel a bit overdone. I also believe the map is a bit too large & the vehicles are difficult to control. Neither of these ruined my experience & the option to fast travel around the map eliminates most of these negatives too. So yeah……… FC4 is great! It’s one of the best single player FPS games available & unquestionably the best FPS game on next gen systems.

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Good Points:
• Enormous world
• Stunning looking
• Tonnes of things to do
• Great open gameplay
• Excellent production values
• Great voice acting
• Co-op is awesome
• Gyrocopters!

Bad Points:
• Story is underwhelming
• It’s basically Far Cry 3.5
• Feels very “Ubisoft”

Overall: Far Cry 4 is a brilliant game. It’s beautiful, fun to play & absolutely jammed with things to do. It feels identical to Far Cry 3, but still manages to forge its own identity with brilliant new additions such as its setting, the gyro & co-op. If you’re into FPS or open world games I would absolutely recommend picking it up. 9/10.

9-10 stars


Release Date
April 18, 2015