Far Cry 4
If you’ve played Far Cry 3 then you’ll know what to expect from Far Cry 4. Developer Ubisoft Montreal have essentially taken that tried and tested formula of looking at something that worked incredibly well, and turned it up all the way to 11. Far Cry 4 is bigger, better and more gorgeous than Far Cry 3.
Set in the fictional country of Kyrat, you play the role Ajay Ghale who has rather foolishly returned to his home country to fulfill his mothers wishes that her ashes should be scattered there. Shortly after arriving in country, Ajay’s bus is attacked by government troops, and Arjay is taken prisoner by Kyrat’s insane leader Pagan Min. Busting out of Min’s stronghold, Ajay meets up with Sabal, one of the leaders of the revolutionary rebel faction named the Golden Path, set up we soon learn, by non other than Ajay’s father.
Ajay realises that if he is to fulfill his mother’s wishes, he will have to join the fight to rid Kyrat of Pagan Min, but then, wasn’t that really what his mother intended?
Kyrat is essentially Ubisoft’s Nepal, set in the stunningly rendered Himalayas, and once you get past the opening scenes and travel up into the mountains you really get a sense of the scale and graphical capabilities of this generation of consoles. The vistas truly are stunning, and listening to wind whipping around you through the Astro A50 headset makes the game truly immersive.
Far Cry 4 however is more than just a new storyline, wrapped in shiny new graphics. The world that has been created as your playground is full of things to do, and things to beware of. The game has unexpected moments all over the place. AI seems to have been vastly improved, with enemies using different tactics, and sometime actively stalking you through the bush. Add to this the unpredictability of animals – sometimes they will attack the enemy, helping you out, and other times they will decide that you look like the tastier option, and you have a game that keeps you on your toes constantly.
The main storyline has the predictable two different endings, but this time also has different missions, depending on which character you listen to in the Golden Path’s struggles. Early on in the game you get the sense that your decisions may come out leaving Kyrat in another form of dictatorship rather than the freedom you are hoping for.
And whilst the main storyline is a blast, you’ll possibly have more fun making up your own story, with the open world even more explorable from the start of the game thanks to the inclusion of some little microlight helicopters that make exploring the map a heck of a lot more fun, and even makes taking the radio towers a lot easier, giving you the chance to uncover all the secrets of Kyrat before the storyline dictates where you should go.
This almost actively encouraged exploration of Kyrat also helps in another way – everything you do gives you XP, or crafting materiel. Build up your XP and you can increase your characters perks – including the very fun ability to ride an elephant into battle. Crafting allows you to essentially carry more stuff, or create better healing potions. It’s the same basic progression found in Far Cry 3
Exploring has another added benefit, allowing you to discover some of the many varied modes of transport available to you. That is, if you like trying your hand at extreme sports…
In short, Far Cry 4’s Kyrat is a much more exotic, dangerous and fun place than Far Cry 3’s Rook Islands.
Reviewed on: XBox One
Rating: R16 Contains violence and offensive language.
Reviewed by: Jonathan