Developer(s) – Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher(s) – Ubisoft
Director(s) – Alex Hutchinson & Patrik Méthé
Producer – Cedric Decelle
Following on from the immensely successful third game in the series, Far Cry 4 takes many of the same constants throughout the franchise, and improves on them all dramatically. There’s the game’s villain taking centre stage, a massive open world to explore, and a very decent amount of side quests to undertake. I was first introduced to the franchise with the third game, but was marred down by how fluency was cancelled out of gameplay by the profuse need for perfecting stealth. Although there is still an element of that in the fourth game, it’s nowhere near as bad or frustrating.
Graphics – 7/10
Although from a technical standpoint it is one of the best looking games on the PlayStation 4 so far, it doesn’t stand out to any great extent conceptually. There is a small amount of unique scenery and architecture throughout the game to provoke some vague interest, but what stands out most about the visuals is the attention to graphical details that has clearly been put into it, such as water effects and the individual character sprites etc. a lot of the settlements that must be taken over look very similar to one another; like certain buildings have been copied and pasted throughout the game.
Gameplay – 8/10
As I said, I was at first a little worried about how the fourth game would play out, as the overall Far Cry formula seemed to work very well for many other gamers besides myself, and if any outstanding improvement had been made. Fortunately, I wasn’t disappointed. Far Cry 4 is a very decent open-world first-person shooter, and I was impressed by how enjoyable a game it is to play. There’s a plethora of side quests to do outside the main story, and there is a lot of variety in strategy that can be employed to either play it stealthy or go in all guns blazing. I would best describe it as Just Cause 2 in the first-person, but not quite as enjoyable.
Controls – 9.5/10
The only minor issue I had with the controls scheme was that it took me a little bit of time to get used to how all the menus worked. After about five minutes of getting used to everything however, this small complaint in the long run is just splitting hairs on my part, and there are no other issues with the game’s controls beyond this. It plays out like any decent first-person shooter should.
Lifespan – 8.5/10
As there is a ton of things to do in this game, it will easily keep players occupied for at least 40-50 hours; maybe even 60 dependent on player’s desire for 100% completion. As I eagerly awaited the release of Just Cause 3, I feel that Far Cry 4 was more than enough to keep me busy in the meantime, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a game to invest a decent amount of time in.
Storyline – 6/10
The story of Far Cry 4 centres around a Nepali man named Ajay Ghale, who has come to his native country of Kyrat to spread his deceased mothers ashes across the province of Lakshmana. However, his errand is compromised, as he is subsequently taken prisoner by the army of Kyrat and the country’s tyrannical king, Pagan Min. After escaping his stronghold, Ajay discovers a resistance group fighting against the king called the Golden Path, of whom his father was previously the leader. Ajay decides to stay in Kyrat and assist the Golden Path to retake Kyrat and vanquish Pagan Min and his army once and for all. For such a long game, I don’t think a lot of time was spent on the developer’s part investing in the story. As I alluded to earlier, more recent instalments of the series seem to be about focusing on the game’s villain; there was the hugely popular Vaas Montenegro of the third game, and now Pagan Min in the fourth. As far as character development goes, Pagan is by far the most interesting.
Like Vaas, he is psychotic, tyrannical and to him, and will stop at nothing to get what he desires. But unlike Vaas, Pagan is a lot more casual and eccentric in his personality, and how he goes about doing what he does, and his methods of doing so. He’s initially a lot calmer and cooler towards the beginning, and the true extent of his insanity does not unfold until later on in the game’s story. Other than that, however, a story like this has been done many times before in games as well as other forms of media, and there’s not much else to differentiate it from others apart from the inclusion of a villain like Pagan Min.
Originality – 6.5/10
One of very few elements of Far Cry 4 that I can think of is the ability to use bait to draw dangerous wildlife such as elephants and Bengal tigers towards enemies, which will then proceed to attack then whilst the player remains hidden. Apart from this, there isn’t a great deal included that effectively differentiates it from either other first-person shooter or other open world games. The game has most of the typical element found in each genre, and doesn’t really bring a whole lot of new things to the table. It’s an evolutionary game as opposed to it being revolutionary.
Aside from drawbacks like that, Far Cry 4 is a much better game than I thought it would be, and I would recommend it to anyone who may be sat on the fence about either the individual game, or the series in general. It’s not a necessity to have played the previous three games in order to follow the plot, and there is enough to keep players busy for a long time.