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Far Cry 4 Review

The Far Cry games have come a long way since their humble beginnings back with the original Far Cry that released on the PC in 2004. No longer is the series helmed by Crytek but is instead developed by Ubisoft’s own Montreal-based studio.

After a decade of new Far Cry games, re-releases and expansion packs the series is as strong as ever, most probably because it hasn’t come under the curse of being released every 12 months.

So how does the latest installment in the franchise hold up? Is it an explosive showdown or a pitiful firework imitating a display of grandeur? Read on for the full Far Cry 4 review.

Story

This time around the story takes place in the fictional country of Kyrat, though parallels can easily be drawn to its real-life inspiration Nepal. We see the gorgeous world through the tired and mourning eyes of Ajay Ghale, a native of the lands you roam. His purpose is simple: return his mother and her ashes to their final resting place, but not all goes to plan.

You’re quickly embroiled in the ongoing conflict that has enveloped Kyrat which has come under the rule of the flamboyant outside Pagan Min, superbly acted by one of the games industry’s most recognisable leading men, Troy Baker. What isn’t he in these days?

The single-player campaign places you smack bang in the middle of the civil unrest, though it’s a bit of a slow burner to begin, what with the obligatory tutorial-esque missions and such, but once the game finds its pace the story soon unfolds.

Far Cry 3 took the series into less serious territory, though still with good intentions and a story to boot and the same is true here. Elements of fantasy weave their way in and out of the experience, something that seems fitting in the digitally recreated version of Nepal which is rich with spirituality and it works well offering up some truly unique experiences and opening the door for tales that would otherwise not be told.

The cast of characters supporting Ajay on his journey for peace are as memorable as ever with a small selection rallying around him, but to what end? It’s not a simple case of ‘these are my friends, they want to help me,’ the battle lines have blurred the intentions of most, making Ajay something of a puppet to their needs, but it’s your choice as to who gets your eventual support. Sort of.

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The idea is that of the two warring factions you’ll be doing legwork for both, though you choose who gets more of your time and effort, but be under no illusion, it’s a simple smoke and mirror job, your path is already carved out for you, but the journey towards it is at least rewarding and offers the opportunity for multiple play-throughs.

The real star of the show is once again the villain, as was the same in Far Cry 3. Pagan Min oozes finesse, character, charm and all the rest of it whilst still being a believable and intimidating villain. Seeing him in action gave my goosebumps, something a game hasn’t managed to do in a long time, a true testament to the writing skills of the guys at Ubisoft Montreal and the acting chops provided by Troy Baker. There’s something a little bit Moriarty about him in the way that he sucks you in and entertains only to turn into a vile, despicable creature of hatred the next second. You’ll only really understand the Moriarty reference if you’ve watched Steven Moffat’s BBC series Sherlock, but it’s the most fitting comparison.

A lot of noise was made when the character of Pagan Min was announced, more specifically his sexual orientation. This isn’t something that remotely affects the game nor the enjoyment I got out of the performance. Whilst it was obvious with his sometime stereotypical nuances and speech patterns, it wasn’t done in an exuberant way and doesn’t set out to offend. Pagan Min is a three-dimensional character that doesn’t rely on his sexuality to get by, much like real life gay folk.

Whilst the games villain may be a larger than life chap with dreams of world domination, the player character is much more humble and a lot less vocal. Far Cry 3 was criticised by many for the annoying frat-boy character constantly uttering shoddy dialogue throughout the course of the game, and not just in the cut-scenes, though I didn’t really mind as it reminded me of Nathan Drake and his constant banter, often addressing the precarious situations he finds himself in.

Instead Ajay is a throwback to the early days of Far Cry in which the character doesn’t have much to say, but what he does say has a bit more substance than you’d expect. Personally, I’m not a fan of silent protagonists, not that Ajay is a complete mute. I appreciate the effort that goes into voice-over work and give extra credit when a game manages to make a character speak what I’m thinking as it shows at least a little bit of foresight and deeper thought into the experience.

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I haven’t got a lot of criticism for the campaign in terms of story quality, though there are a few ‘what the flipping heck’ moments and at times I forgot completely what was expected of me. This isn’t unique to Far Cry 4 though, it’s a problem with all open-world games, at least for me. By being presented with a huge open-world to explore it’s easy to get distracted and in turn loose sense of the plot. That said, Far Cry 4 does encourage exploration, something required should you want to upgrade your inventory of goodies or complete the many side missions on offer.

In this day and age where blockbuster games are promoted as multi-player games with tacked on single-player experiences its a breath of fresh air to play through a dedicated campaign that aims to get you caring about the worlds inhabitants. It’s not an easy task either, so I can’t fault Ubisoft Montreal for trying, even if they’re shying away from comparisons to Nepal, there’s a lot going on that rings true to the real world.

If engrossing stories and rich characters are your bag then you’re set to enjoy what Far Cry 4 has on offer. The story can take around 15 hours to get through, though this depends on how Indiana Jones you feel as it’s easy enough to waste hours at a time just going over the map having mindless fun exploring.

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  • rusvaj

    this game is a fucking copy and paste!!1
    why can’t people recognize this and boycott the shitty company ubisoft has turned into.

    • Alec

      Because it is exactly what we want. And FC is a very good game. So shut up, please and keep away with your brainless hate.

    • Dikan45

      Far Cry’s are the only Ubisoft games I buy day 1

    • vishmarx

      absolutely hate ubi’s practices but im getting this day 1
      my personal fun>>>my hate for ubi

    • vishmarx

      absolutely hate ubi’s practices but im getting this day 1
      my personal fun>>>my hate for ubi

  • Dikan45

    Mmm, Ubisoft say 35 hours, you say 15! I don’t trust either of your words though!

    • http://www.thegamescabin.com Chris Harding

      15 hours for the campaign, and that was with a fair bit of exploring. 35 is most likely completing all the side quests and collectibles which I’m still in the process of doing, though I never manage to get all the collectibles in any game so I’ve little hope of doing so with Far Cry 4

      • Dikan45

        15 hrs WITH the exploring? Man I’m now wondering if it’s worth paying my £39 pre order for or not!!

        • http://www.thegamescabin.com Chris Harding

          You have to remember that it’s all subjective. My exploring may be different to yours. I spent some time exploring but I didn’t go in-depth and find all the secrets and do all the activities, just a general mooch around when I was going from one mission to another. Hope this helps.

          • Dikan45

            Yeah true, I actually enjoy exploring in these, hunting and getting all the upgrades etc so I think I’ll stick with it, between this and GTA5 I’ll be busy for quite a while. Cheers(Soz for acting like a d!ck by the way, I just haven’t been a fan of some of your past articles)

          • http://www.thegamescabin.com Chris Harding

            No problem, you’re welcome!

          • http://www.thegamescabin.com Chris Harding

            No problem, you’re welcome!

          • durka durka

            lol right You are always a d1ck

        • PachterStation

          It’ll drop to £20 pretty quick. That always happens with Ubisoft games.

          • Dikan45

            Really, how many ubisoft ps4 games are £20?

          • durka durka

            Ok so we got that out of the way

        • durka durka

          Dont you love how everyone spams eachother?

    • durka durka

      Oh its 35 all right.

  • Rich Yo Scales

    “However, there is a sense that developing the game for both generations has held back what could be an even more impressive show piece”
    yea that’s why theres nothing on ps4 that looks good and moves as fluid as ryse STILL
    IDIOT fanboy review

    • Dikan45

      *Calls him a fanboy after gushing over ryse*

      • durka durka

        Look whos talking the biggest fanboy ever

    • http://www.thegamescabin.com Chris Harding

      I’m failing to see how this is a “fanboy review” and why you’re bringing Ryse into it. This isn’t a PS4 vs Xbox One article, it’s a review for a game that’s on both consoles. I’m honestly struggling to see what the point is you’re trying to make, so if you think you can manage a coherent sentence or two, please do reply and let me know.

  • Dikan45

    People are streaming it on PS4 now

    • durka durka

      and it looks liek crap

  • Dikan45

    People are streaming it on PS4 now

  • PachterStation

    You can see by a mile that this is just an update of the last game. On the Xbox One and PS4, it looks like an Xbox 360/PS3 port. After playing the last game on the Xbox 360, I won’t be bothering with this. Constantly dying (even when roaming), running out of ammo and a mess on obtaining weapons and ammo, summed it up. Also with the last game, it was hammered with DLC and different versions at launch. The only Ubisoft game that was any good was Rayman 2 on the Dreamcast. But can’t say I’ve played every Ubisoft game. The Crew doesn’t look promising either. Fingers crossed with The Division.

  • fozzie

    The game keeps stuttering on my ps3 sound and speech is constantly out of sync I just can’t play it anymore! Sort it out Ubisoft!