Far Cry 4 is the answer to the surprising commercial success of Far Cry 3, but does the sequel add anything new to the series or is it just a money-grubbing product Ubisoft developed to cash out on Far Cry 3’s success?
In Far Cry 4 you play as Ajay Ghale, an American raised Kyrati, as he returns to his mother’s birthplace in the Himalayan country of Kyrat to scatter her ashes in Lakshmana. Doing so drags Ajay into a civil war where the people of Kyrat fight back against a dictator name Pagan Min. Things hit the fan pretty quick putting the player in the action by throwing a gun in your hand, and shooting at whatever they tell you to shoot.
The introduction breaks the protagonist character from being an oblivious foreigner to the Himalayans to freedom fighter within the first 10 minutes of the game. The shoot first ask questions later turns Ajay into a rebel without a cause as you go around fighting for a revolution you know nothing about. You never feel like a progressed warrior like in Far Cry 3, instead all the weapons and perks feel like things locked away from the player till you try everything the game has to offer.
And Far Cry 4 has a lot to offer, aside from the outpost and towers to liberate, sometimes it feels like Far Cry 4 has too much to offer. It’s almost as if the game doesn’t trust its players to find the fun. The random events that occur in the open-world losses it undirected fun and end up feeling like missions pulling you in different directions away from the main objective. From hijacking cargos to skirmish fights; all the events pile onto each other never giving the player time to breathe and reflect on the moment.
That’s not to say Far Cry 4 is without its awesome moments within the open-world. Kyrat is a land bursting with life. It’s hard not to stare with awe as the games ecosystem takes it toll. One minute your hunting for a pig the next your chasing down the bird the robbed you of your prey. Kyrat is a place you’ll want to scale and explore looking for the next adrenaline of danger and discovery.
This feeling is greatly enhanced by the games photorealistic graphics that make you experience the action of diving off a cliff into a body of water, or the agonizing pain of removing a bullet. At moments, all I wanted to do was stare at the horizon to treat my eyes and admire the beauty of this fictional world that feels both with and against you.
Unfortunately, the game’s campaign lacks the engrossment the open-world has and feels like a hollow echo of its former predecessor. Far Cry 4’s missions feel a lot like Far Cry 3’s mission, and tries too hard to be edgy by throwing the use of drugs in your face as if to remind you how cool it was back then.
Character’s are flat and often try hard to be a cool character by throwing everything that was cool in Far Cry 3 into one character. The only character worth exploring is the antagonist Pagan Min, who is given very little screen time to be a villain.
The campaign was a thing I did in between the open-world to unlock more of the open-world, it was a chore to get through it all, which sucks because I can feel what Far Cry 4 was trying to aim for with its story. Players will be given choices, but the results carry no consequence to the open-world that it never mattered what side I was on.
Far Cry 4 added new features that I would love to see in the series again. For one, the addition of cooperation is a welcome feature to the series, allowing you and a friend explore the world of Kyrat. Although, it doesn’t allow for story missions to be completed, it is a great way to tackle mundane side-quest or task.
The way you move around the land is also changed. The introduction of the Buzzer (a mini-chopper) helps players get from point A to point B quickly, and the auto drive feature allows players to engage in car shootouts without having to worry about driving off a cliff.
With out a doubt, Far Cry 4 is more Far Cry 3 set in a different area with prettier scenery, wilder animals, and new toys to play with. Fans of the third installment will be ecstatic, but may be left with a familiar taste that isn’t quite the same.