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Ubisoft Montreal



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11/18/14 Ubisoft
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11/20/14 Ubisoft

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Far Cry 4 (PC)

By leahpette 03rd Dec 2014 | 5,219 views 

Far Cry 4 is more of the same, but when the same was great to begin with, it's hard to argue that this outing isn't worth your time.

I doubt I was the only person somewhat surprised and disappointed to find that Far Cry 4 would be released less than two years after its excellent predecessor. Far Cry 3 was such a paradigm shift from the previous Far Cry games in both tone and gameplay that it caught most people off guard and went on to become undoubtedly one of the best shooters of 2012. With fast paced, open ended combat and really stellar character development as well as one of the best video game villains ever penned, Far Cry 3 was most assuredly a fantastic open world shooter. 

Far Cry 4 seeks to continue that trend by being the exact same game as Far Cry 3. I'm not exaggerating. Far Cry 4 is Far Cry 3 again, in the truest sense of the word. It looks very similar to Far Cry 3, has a similarly over the top and clearly psychopathic villain, it recycles a majority of its predecessor's animations, and it plays almost identically. A few solid additions to the core experience don't change the fact that Far Cry 4 is an extremely iterative sequel. However, that isn't necessarily a bad thing when the core experience remains as fun and captivating as ever.

Far Cry 4 puts you in the shoes of Ajay Ghale, a man brought back to his homeland of Kyrat in order to spread his recently deceased mother's ashes. However, Ajay finds himself swept up in a conflict between the charismatic dictator Pagan Min and the rebel group known as The Golden Path. If this sounds familiar to you, it should, because it's a fairly generic narrative. Far Cry 4 suffers from a similar issue its predecessor had in that while the title is well written and many of the characters are immediately memorable, the central plot itself is forgettable at best, just like Ajay.

It's clear the writers know something about creating interesting characters, yet Ajay is completely uninteresting and forgettable. Pagan Min, while not as instantly classic as Vaas, is a great character brought to life through a fantastic performance from Troy Baker. The same applies to many of the acquaintances you make throughout your trek through Kyrat, but Ajay himself really is dull, much more so than Far Cry 3's Jason Brody. Jason was a good character because he acted of his own accord and developed over the course of the story independently of other characters. He began as a fairly wimpy, unskilled rich kid and turned into an unrelenting, merciless warrior who thrived off of violence. In Far Cry 4, Ajay, who seemingly knows nothing about ballistics or guerrilla combat to begin with, sets foot in Kyrat and instantly turns into a combination of Rambo and Godzilla, which makes absolutely no sense.

Fortunately, the story begins to pick up towards the latter half of the game due to the decisions made by the player. One of the greatest new additions to Far Cry 4, at least aesthetically, is the branching balance of power missions. In these missions, players are given the option of choosing between the propositions of two different Golden Path leaders, where the decisions made by the player ultimately culminate towards the end of the campaign in a fairly climactic way. This provides meaningful context and a layer of tension to many of the inexplicably unskippable cutscenes and makes you as the player feel less like a pawn and more like an important asset to the conflict, though this still doesn't make Ajay any more interesting. This also provides Far Cry 4 with good replay value.

However, Far Cry has never been a series about story first and foremost, but gameplay. Far Cry 4, just like its predecessor, is an insanely enjoyable open world shooter from a gameplay standpoint. The weapon arsenal is just as diverse as before, with a wide variety of different assault rifles, pistols, shotguns, bows, and more to choose from. Weapons pack a punch and every player will be able to find the perfect combination to suit their playstyle.

Hunting is just as important as it was in Far Cry 3. Unlike most games, where hunting is an activity one would rarely find themselves engaging in, Far Cry 4 offers meaningful rewards for hunting and killing different animals in the form of different craftable items that, for example, provide the player with more weapon slots or a larger loot bag. Hunting also remains a challenge. Careful, methodical hunters are often rewarded with swift takedowns while the less patient may find a tiger chewing on their jugular vein.

Kyrat is one of the highlights of Far Cry 4. The Himalayas is such a fantastic part of the world, yet it isn't a region frequently explored in games, especially compared to tropical islands or the desert. Kyrat is filled with numerous varied locals, different terrain, and various opportunities for emergent gameplay, more so than most other open world games I've played. While the size of Kyrat doesn't differ hugely from that of Far Cry 3's Rook Island, it's more dense and filled with far more activities to partake in.

Accordingly, it's difficult to find yourself with nothing to do in Far Cry 4. Almost every side mission is fun and rewarding. Outposts remain my favourite side missions as they provide players with multiple approaches to combat and the addition of stronghold outposts was a fantastic move. These missions are far more unforgiving than most and often require multiple attempts to complete. The new hostage rescue missions offer similar levels of player freedom, though story missions still remain jarringly linear by comparison, often failing you instantaneously if you choose to veer from the set path laid out for you. That said, the story missions on display here are far larger in scope and often manage to create memorable yet not artificially cinematic moments.

Unfortunately, Far Cry 4 suffers from some noticeable PC port issues. It's definitely better than most Ubisoft PC games, but that doesn't mean it's good. Ignoring Uplay, Far Cry 4 has been suffering from a severe hitching issue on almost all rigs. It has something to do with poor CPU core optimization and, in order to get the game to a playable framerate, the graphics need to be bumped down severely, which makes the game look quite bad. On ultra settings, Far Cry 4 is a beautiful game. It's just a shame that in order to see it at its best, you need a super rig or a console version of the game which is locked at a sub-optimal 30 FPS.

Some may be disappointed by Far Cry 4's refusal to truly innovate or change the formula in a significant way. I know I was. That said, Far Cry 4 still remains a well designed and enjoyable open world shooter that provides players with the freedom to cause mayhem in a beautiful and uniquely designed open world filled with numerous side activities and interesting characters to meet. Far Cry 4 may just be Far Cry 3 in a different location, and those who didn't enjoy Far Cry before won't be drawn in by this outing, but that doesn't negate the fact that more Far Cry always spells a good time.

VGChartz Verdict


This review is based on a digital copy of Far Cry 4 for the PC

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Opinion (0)

1 n/a 27,975 59,282 9,666 96,923
2 n/a 14,625 27,488 4,843 46,956
3 n/a 5,604 27,092 2,849 35,545
4 n/a 6,024 25,252 2,831 34,107
5 n/a 7,894 30,592 3,560 42,046
6 n/a 8,553 24,499 3,338 36,390
7 n/a 2,619 9,354 1,133 13,106
8 n/a 909 4,457 466 5,832
9 n/a 422 4,576 367 5,365
10 n/a 488 3,345 307 4,140
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