After playing and thoroughly loving both Far Cry 3 and Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, it was a no brainer for me to buy Far Cry 4. It seemed a little odd to release another game so quickly after Blood Dragon, but more of a good thing is usually good, right? That’s what Far Cry 4 is — more of a good thing. It (slightly) expands upon the foundation laid by Far Cry 3. It’s by no means a bad game. I had a great time playing it. Just know that if you’ve played Far Cry 3 or Blood Dragon, you already know what you’re getting into.
- TL;DR: More of the same Far Cry you’ve come to know
- Platform: PS4
- Hours Played: 20
- What I Played: Campaign through the end with 46% completion
- Recommended?: Yes, but don’t expect many new features.
Ajay Ghale, an unassuming American, travels to Kyrat to spread his mother’s ashes. Things take a turn for the worse when the bus he is on is shot up at a checkpoint. A strange man in a pink suit, Pagan Min, comes to the rescue in his helicopter. He shanks the guard who initiated the shooting and tells Ajay that they are “going to have a hell of a party”. Ajay quickly escapes Pagan’s fortress with the help of the Golden Path fighters and joins their cause to overthrow Pagan.
Sound familiar? If you’ve played Far Cry 3, it will, since in that game, Jason Brody is a run-of-the-mill guy who ends up becoming a warrior for a lowly group of resistance fighters and helping them battle Vaas. While the general plot is the same, Jason and Ajay couldn’t be more different. In Far Cry 3, Jason takes his time getting used to shooting guns, killing people, and skinning animals. Ajay is a seemingly emotionless death machine, perfectly content with killing, guns, and explosions.
Far Cry 4, like it’s predecessors, is a first-person action game. The robotic doom you’ll be bringing to your enemies can be done Rambo style with guns blazing or stealthily. I’m not normally one for stealth, but there’s something about the stealth in Far Cry that makes it really enjoyable. Between the bow and multitude of takedowns, there are many ways to take over an outpost without being seen. Many of the combat skills you’ll learn are centered around these silent takedowns. I suggest getting heavy takedown ASAP.
Outposts are my favorite part of Far Cry 4. They are exactly what you would think — fortified areas with enemies of varying difficulty. You’ll get bonus points if you clear an outpost without triggering an alarm or staying completely undetected. You can even replay an outpost if you want to try and perfect a strategy.
As far as the action goes, there are a lot of the old gaming standbys in Far Cry 4. Radio towers act as fog-of-war lifters, allowing you to see the map and side quests in an area. There are an absurd amount of collectibles to find, if you are so inclined. Journals about Ajay’s father, lost letters, propaganda posters, etc. There are also events like races, animal hunts, escorts, assassinations, and hostage rescues. I finished the story with 46% completion in 20 hours, but I was only really focused on collectibles for the first few hours. Far Cry 4 can last a hell of a long time, if you want it to. Another thing of note for you trophy/achievement hunters is the progression UI. Far Cry 4 has the single best one I’ve ever seen.
Kyrat is a very large, open, and pretty place. I stopped and took screenshots dozens of times. The depth of view is absolutely staggering. There are countless ways to traverse Kyrat: hang gliding, wing suit, zip line, grapple hook, parachute, jet ski, ATV. It’s also a living, breathing thing. As you’re running around, you’ll see side missions pop up to save hostages, take out an enemy patrol, or chase a courier. Outposts can even be attacked by Pagan’s forces, but thankfully it won’t be lost to the point of needing to be captured again.
Humans aren’t the only thing you need to look out for, though. The wildlife in Kyrat will seriously mess up your day. Bears, tigers, leopards, and even honey badgers can sneak up on you and easily kill you. Rhinos can flip cars and knock you down hard. Bees can bleed your health out quickly and even be used on enemies as traps. You can even ride a goddamn elephant into battle, if you want to. Pro tip: do this. It’s incredible.
I’d be doing the game a disservice if I didn’t talk about Pagan Min and his fabulous hair/suit. It’s a shame that you can go hours without hearing from Pagan Min, because he is voiced wonderfully and has some fantastic lines. He’s a very memorable character and not your everyday “I want to rule the world” bad guy.
The side characters of Far Cry 4 are nothing to laugh at, either. Longinus, the warlord-turned-holy-man, is one of my favorites. The dude is straight up crazy. He rambles on and on, quoting scripture and saying how he’s sinned, while he’s in a tent with enough weaponry to take down a small country. The radio DJ, Rabi “Ray” Rana, is a riot. I heard him talking about drugs and bondage on multiple occasions.
Far Cry 4 may not do much to the formula laid out by the games before it, but it does have a few nice tweaks. You can quickly sell all non-crafting loot with two button presses, which turns trading post visits into 30 second affairs. The grappling hook makes getting around the expansive world even easier, as does being able to auto-drive to a waypoint. Healing syringes are auto-crafted when you get the materials for it. It’s little things like this that make playing a similar … alright, basically the same game again more enjoyable.
Far Cry 4 doesn’t mess with the tried-and-true Far Cry formula. It’s an action game in a fictional world and it tasks you with helping a rebel group overthrow an oppressive government. There are outposts to take, animals to skin, and plenty of enemies to stab. It’s in no way, shape, or form a bad game. It just doesn’t have anything especially unique about it. Still, I highly recommend it for any action or open world fan.