The sequel to the tropical island paradise of Far Cry 3, Far Cry 4 looks to build on the series’ successes, but also freshen up the formula with split screen co-op, new vehicles and…elephants? Jack England gives us the keys to the fictional Himalayan province of Kyrat.
In their newest addition to the Far Cry series, Ubisoft puts you in control of Ajay Ghale, a man heading to his homeland in order to lay his mother’s ashes to rest. Seems easy enough right? Well, it would be if there wasn’t a civil war going on, sparked by your own father’s actions. And of course, as a good little protagonist, it’s up to you to step up to the plate and do your part to remove the tyrannical Pagan Min from power.
Far Cry 4 borrows plenty from its predecessors, which veterans of the series will feel safe and secure with, whilst adding enough new features to make things fresh and exciting.
The land of Kyrat is speckled with mountain ranges, and Ubisoft has had to put a lot of attention into making sure they can be traversed in many different ways: from gyrocopters to a handy “hookshot-style” grappling hook to negotiate the Himalayan peaks with. Both of these items are given fairly early on in the game, ensuring that the player feels free to explore and adventure as much as they want.
Be careful though, as some areas do need to be unlocked as the game goes on, so unfortunately the world seems a lot bigger than it really is for the first couple of hours or so. But once you get into the swing of it, there’s plenty for you to do and collect (and of course, plenty of guys to go all Rambo on).
Graphically, Far Cry 4 is beautiful and does truly show you what ‘next-gen’ means. You could spend hours just walking around admiring the scenery and actually getting lost in a world that seems close to reality. Get used to using the screenshot feature on your chosen platform, because your hard drive will be clogged full of pictures of Kyrat once you’re finished.
Both human and animal AI is perfected as well, with them reacting to a thrown rock or a piece of bait in such a realistic way it’s almost scary. Not only does the AI react to your actions though, they also react to each other in spontaneous, random events across the world ranging from little scraps between the rival factions by the side of the road, to a full-on invasion of one of your outposts.
Players who take part in these events will receive Karma, a new concept to the Far Cry series, which in theory is meant to increase the player interactions with NPCs around Kyrat. Although, as of yet I haven’t noticed it.
I, along with many others, miss the days of having a friend round, sitting on the sofa and coasting through a game in split screen co-op. Whilst those days are far behind us now, Far Cry 4 does give us a small taste of the old with a true co-op experience across consoles.
As long as each of you owns the game (or at least one of you on PS4) you are able to play co-op with friends and take Kyrat by storm. I must admit, this is probably my favourite feature and part of the game; I have spent more hours playing alongside friends than in the main story campaign!
If there was anything that brings the game down though, it’s the story. Although Ubisoft learned from their mistakes by not killing off their antagonist halfway through the game, there is still a lot wrong with it. The main character, Ajay Ghale, is lifeless, boring and I constantly forgot his name and motives.
Not only this, but it feels so unnatural; Ajay gets caught up in a civil war in a country he has only just arrived in, but all he wants to do is bury his mother’s ashes! There are multiple ways Ubisoft could have got around this issue, but instead, I would recommend just pushing through, blanking out the story for the first hour and making up your own.
For those who loved Far Cry 3 or for those who are new to the series, if you want to experience an open-world game filled with adventure, excitement and elephants, that allows you to explore the world and do as you wish, I must recommend Far Cry 4. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and get ready to head to Kyrat!
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