It's safe to say that Far Cry Primal is a World apart from Far Cry 4. Yes the pun was intended. Far Cry Primal does a lot of things right where Far Cry 4 went wrong and it seems rather ironic that Far Cry Primal seems light years ahead of Far Cry 4. I’ve ben asking myself: why is that? What does it do so well that Far Cry 4 neglected?
Gameplay and setting
Far Cry Primal is set in 10,000 BC in the fictional setting of Oros Valley, Central Europe. When I first heard about this Stone Age setting I felt underwhelmed to say the least. I’ve never really been a fan of books, games or movies from this period so why would I devote my game time to it? How wrong of me to judge. Far Cry Primal feels electric and it felt electric from the get go. Takaar is the main protagonist who is a part of the Wenja Tribe. Taaker feels strong and fearless from the get go as one of the first tasks are to create a bow. That only meant one thing: we became the Predator and the hunt was on; no messin’, no overly baked introductions; straight in to the action. Taakar’s hunting skills are somewhat refined from the outset with his heightened senses. In laymen’s terms Taakar's ability allowed us to easily detect threats and items of interest pressing R3. I wondered if this made certain quests too easy but again I was wrong. Seeing the objects were only viewable if they were in a certain radius and within a level viewing plain. That’s right Taakar can’t see though rock, around corners or through hills which meant I had to move fast if I was going to keep, say, a Goat, within my senses.
I'm crouched in the foliage with my eyes on the enemy. Dressed in red, he is walking behind a hostage as if guiding him to one of their stinking outposts. Sweat is trickling down from my hairline as I crouch towards the target. "Ughhahhahghhh" is the only sound that pumps out of his lungs as I drive my knife through his back. Lifeless, his body flops to the ground. I untie the hostage and we escape.
Yes, Far Cry 4 has been out since Nov 18th! I have been playing my way through the campaign mode both on and off of Twitch and so far, I'm deeply satisfied by this fourth instalment to the Far Cry franchise. There was a part of me that got bored with the previous game, Far Cry 3, as I felt that the monotony killed it pretty quickly. Whilst Far Cry 4 ramps up the anti and definitely fills the cracks, will it just become another game on the shelf?
We play as Ajay, who is returning to his native land of Kyrat, A seemingly tranquil part of Himalayas. Early in the game, the tranquility is spoilt by a raging (arsehole) terrorist, Pagan Min who is intent on spreading his propaganda throughout the land. Ajay is soon united with the rebel faction, The Golden Path, a faction his father founded, and from there the story unfolds. It seems like a predictable template for an action, shooter game but it works really well. I often say "why change what isn't broken?" Right?
Graphically, I found Far Cry 4 to look absolutely stunning on the Playstation 4. What stood out most for me was the texture and detail on characters faces and inanimate objects (such as wooden hand rails). I enjoyed getting up close to objects as I could appreciate the finery that Far Cry 4 had to offer. In comparison, objects looked just as stunning from a distance. I did, however, come across some glitches when flying the Gyrocopter in that pools of water seemed to appear and disappear on hills as I flew over. Fortunately, this wasn't a frequent occurrence. Colour saturation also seemed to add to the beauty of Far Cry 4. So much so that I wanted to grab my passport and get on the next plane to South East Asia, it looks that good.
The missions in Far Cry 4 reminded me of Far Cry 3. Outposts needed liberating, bell towers needed to be disabled and there were plenty of wildlife threats along the way. Fortresses appear on the huge map about three hours in to the game. They are difficult to infiltrate but liberating outposts weakens a fortress. Despite the familiarity of it all, I felt a sense of uniqueness when playing Far Cry 4. Even more so when I discovered the Gyrocopter. Fortunately I was live streaming on Twitch at this time so my enthusiasm was captured. Now I could view Kyrat and all it's beauty from the sky and oh wow what a sight! Additionally, I found this to be of great use when travelling to outposts and bell towers. Naturally, the Himalayas is littered with mountains and dangerous terrain so I found the gyrocopter to be the perfect ally to slice through this.
The opposing sides of the fight in Far Cry 4 are made up of The Golden Path and Pagan Mins Royal Army. I felt that there was an imbalance between the two sides in that the characters of The Golden Path appeared to have more depth (better script) whereas Mins Minions (if one may say) present as more shallow. Maybe this was done on purpose? Either way, I prefer to connect more with a character(s) so The Golden Path's cast won for me, Amita in particular.
Stealth or guns blazing? Personally, I opted for a stealthier approach in Far Cry 4. Needless to say that weapons are a crucial aspect to both approaches. Far Cry 4 offers a solid collection of weapons ranging from knives, crossbows, the AK47 to Molotov's. The environment and wildlife also play a crucial role in Far Cry 4. Throwing bait (usually collected meat from a slain animal) towards an enemy will attract wild beasts to that location. I found this to be incredibly useful in distracting enemies before I could move in for the kill. Result! Additionally, there are the usual weapon mods along with crafting abilities for syringes, weapon holsters and much more.
Far Cry 4 is a pleasing addition to an established franchise. If you enjoyed Far Cry 3 then you will love Far Cry 4; an explosive experience. For me, I'd give the game an 8.7 out of 10. Beautiful surroundings, solid story, new features and more. Note, I have not played a co-op game on Far Cry. If you have then let me know how you found it in the comments below.
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Over the last few days, I have been amazed at what The Electronic Entertainment Expo 2014 had served on to our gaming plates. Yes, a tasty menu of games is upon us and Far Cry 4 was amongst some of the most exciting titles I had seen.
So what do we know? I want to take some time to answer that question and hopefully excite you as to what adventure lays before you from DEEP within the jungle. Far Cry 4 is set against a Himalayan backdrop within a place called Kyrat. Game play footage from E3 showed just how delicious Kyrat looked with its fluttering prayer flags that added a splash of tasteful colour as we passed by. Himalayan Mountain ranges naturally stood in the distance. I wondered how far we are going to be able to venture, up to, in to or over them? This was a great tease from Ubisoft.
As I have many stamps in my own passport from South East Asia I am used to seeing both Buddhist and Hindu shrines and temples littered within the Angkorian jungles of Cambodia and on the busy roadsides of Bangkok. As Far Cry 4 adopts a Himalyan setting, I was expecting to see the boastful, glowing sandstone structures of temples and BOY DID WE SEE THAT! Yes, it would appear to me that Ubisoft have, yet again, captured an enchanting environment for gamers to explore. I am excited to see more in November.
So who exactly are we and why are we traversing the mysticism of Kyrat? We are Ajay Ghayle, a man who had traveled to his native home to scatter his mothers ashes. But that is too easy! Ajay finds himself caught in the middle of a civil war. HERE is our gaming formula:
Himalyan beauty + Civil War and jungle Warfare x Innocent civilian = Far Cry 4
Here I am assuming that the story shall evolve with 'revenge' as Ajay's motivator to progress, explore and develop his skills. Yes, revenge!! Ubisoft showed us footage of Ajay's bus being ambushed by (of whom I perceived to be) Guerrilla fighters. With a few rounds being pumped his way, a nasty bastard in a bright purple suit talking rather sadistically and a few items set on fire, I predict Ajay will be incredibly pissed off!
The game developers of Far Cry 4 have announced new features from the games predecessor, Far Cry 3. We will now be more under threat from nature (as if we weren't already) as aerial attacks pose a threat to the player. Naturally, we'll need to be more vigilant. I like the sound of this as it equates to A challenge! What else, a grapple hook, a cross bow, the ability to kick items toward an enemy, drive and shoot AND (my personal favourite) driving takedowns. To top this off, I want to mention a point that struck me as I analyzed the game play footage. Sound effects. These have been an integral part of my likability of previous Far Cry games. The sound of the rope tightening as Ajay clings to it mid-swing or the delicate parts of a clip clinking against other parts of a gun as Ajay reloads his weapon. In my opinion, THIS aspect is an under-reported yet satisfying trait of Far Cry. I instantly noticed this in Far Cry 4 and I LOVE IT!
Far Cry 4 had pushed my expectations beyond belief with my next point. A point that received the loudest roar from the crowd at E3! Players will be able to invite their PSN friends in to their game EVEN if they do not own a copy of the game! Erm...mind blown! This point also had a good reception when I announced it on my 'TheGebs24' Facebook page. So I guess that is minds blown right?
Far Cry 4 is set for Worldwide release on November 18th 2014 and will be available on Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC and I cannot wait!
Gemma ~ Juicy Game Reviews
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