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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