Michael Leparc On December 30, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Far Cry 4 LogoIt’s been a rough year for Ubisoft, with nasty bugs cropping up in their flagship franchise’s latest sequel, Assassin’s Creed Unity, as well as the lukewarm reception for new properties like Watch Dogs and The Crew. But they struck gold with Far Cry 3 a couple years ago, adding another major AAA arrow to their quiver, and fortunately for them, that vein runs deep as Far Cry 4 has delivered another open world shooter tour de force that kicks things up yet another notch.

While the story is not continuous between sequels, the Far Cry series has always been about liberating isolated locations, somewhat Rambo style. In this case, the setting and plot have been inspired by the Nepalese civil war, though it takes place in the autonomous region of Kyrat, and instead of the monarchy you have a lone madman by the name of Pagan Min, with the fictional Golden Path taking the place of the Maoist rebels, thereby dodging the most of the political issues. As Ajay Ghale, the son of the founder of the Golden Path, you are unwittingly plunked down in the middle of this war because of a final request of your deceased mother to have her ashes spread at a place called Lakshmana. Before you can do that though you have to help the Golden Path overthrow Pagan Min.

In order to do that though, you’ll have to perform various favors for the Golden Path in the form of missions assigned to you by their split leadership, which consists of the traditional minded Sabal and the more progressive Amita. This introduces an interesting dynamic in the story as you have to choose whose goals to fulfill, having a slight impact on the turn of events later on. Other than that however, the basics of Far Cry 4 are familiar for those who have played the last edition. Besides the main missions, you have outposts you can free to open up fast travel points and stores, towers you can climb and reveal more of the map with, animals to hunt and craft better bags and weapons with, flowers to pick to generate health and power ups, etc. On top of that, fan-favorite NPC Hurk is back from Far Cry 3 as well.

But enough about what’s old, there’s also plenty of new things in this Nepalese adventure, like elephants! Not just for hunting, but also for riding on and stomping your enemies with, as well as ramming through gates and rolling over their trucks! The carnage you can unleash with your pachyderm is hilarious, and even better is sitting back and watching an elephant conquer an outpost for you just from throwing a rock at it from the bushes.There’s also new weapons like C4 (great for taking out those pesky honey badgers), automatic crossbows, and silenced sniper rifles to round out your arsenal. Being that Kyrat is full of mountainous, rugged terrain, it’s also quite handy that you are supplied with a grappling hook for getting around. Unfortunately it only attaches to pre-ordained surfaces, but there are enough of them that it’s still pretty fun to use and a great way to get to those hard to reach places and secrets. Not only can you pull yourself up to a ledge with it, you can also swing around and jump from it as well. Hang gliders and wingsuits make a return but as you can get much higher in this Far Cry than ever before, they can carry you much further across the map. And if that’s not good enough, you can also hitch a ride on a buzzer (or mini chopper) and rain chaos down on your foes that way, or just land on a tower and claim it without all the hassle of climbing. That’s the great thing about Far Cry, there’s more than one way to skin a rhino, or take out an outpost, or reach a hidden site, given it tons of replay value (not to mention the multiple endings and decisions made throughout as well). I also enjoyed the new types of enemies, particularly the hunters, which are stealthy and lethal and use the environment and wildlife against you.

Even better however is the fact that you no longer have to do it all on your own or in a separate campaign from the main one like in FC3. You can now play the entire game with a friend, albeit only one friend at a time, but that’s quite a treat and it works great. If you can’t convince your friend to buy the game straight up but you both own Playstation 4, there’s also the option of a two hour trial using the Keys to Kyrat feature. Unfortunately that requires a full download of the game on your friends part at a hefty 24GB, but it’s nice to have the option at least. Of course if you have PS4’s you could also try the Share Play feature if you don’t mind turning over the game completely to your friend as well as the performance penalty of streaming.

Far Cry 4 is an absolutely exquisite title as far as visuals go, fully taking advantage of the next gen power afforded it. The mountains are awe-inspiring and the forests relatively lush, while people and animals alike stand out in detail. If you played Uncharted 2 which explored similar locals, this game has the same feel as that but taken to the next level. I also really enjoyed the soundtrack, which starts off with a track from one my favorite bands, The Bombay Royale, and has a real Bollywood feel to it. The voice acting was solid where it had to be. I thought it was a bit of a shame that the main villain is relegated to a radio role for most of the game, but he does quite well with it.

While it doesn’t mess with the established formula too much, Far Cry 4 is a worthy sequel that continues to build upon what the series does best. With no major game breaking glitches like what was seen in Assassin’s Creed Unity, this is the crown jewel of Ubisoft’s releases this fall/winter season. I highly recommend picking this up if you’re looking for an open world experience to pour hours of gameplay into.


Nothing groundbreaking but just pure distilled fun with sprinkled with some savory additions.


The most visually appealing Far Cry yet, in a fairly unique environment for a shooter.


Great music selection accompanies some good voice acting and effects.


It’s the same game you played, but just different enough and executed well enough to seriously recommend getting if you love this genre.

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