Xbox One Review: Far Cry 4

Should Kyrat be your holiday destination this year?

I wasn’t a massive fan of Far Cry 1 and 2, but 3 really won me over. The scale of the game was immense, the locations were stunning, the gameplay was truly memorable and after I’m done with Far Cry 4, I’m going to dive back into it, as well as Blood Dragon. But for now, how does Ubisoft’s latest entry hold up?
The game takes place in the land of Kyrat, run by a dictator known as Pagan Min, who you’ll see is an eccentric nut job in all respects and seems to know your character Ajay Ghale well, or at least his mother. Essentially you’re kidnapped by Pagan at the beginning of the game to then be rescued by a resistance group known as the Golden Path which aims to bring down Pagan. Ajay’s mission is originally to scatter his mother’s ashes, but will need the help of the Golden Path to reach his destination.

The story itself isn’t as great as Far Cry 3’s, thanks to some unconvincing characters…but it’s still a decent tale nonetheless. If you’ve played the last game, then you’ll feel right at home in Kyrat…the scale of the game is definitely higher with vast areas to explore, tons of side-quests, weapons to customise, collectables scattered everywhere and upgrades aplenty…including one that lets you ride elephants.

If you are unprepared for a certain situation, the game will really punish you. I got ambushed by a few rhinos and they didn’t appreciate being shot, I only managed to down one before getting crushed to death by the rest. I know it’d get easier as I upgraded, but it was a brutal reminder not to go in guns blazing. The same goes with the missions and outposts, the enemy is smart…there are rangers that shoot flaming arrows at you with immense accuracy, which killed me more times than I remember…just take it slowly and stealthily.
The good news is that a buddy can join you throughout the campaign via online/offline co-op, which is a nice addition if you are really stuck. There are multiplayer modes as well, but the performance of them has been a bit hit and miss so far, I’m hoping things will improve with the next patch which claims to do so. I did come across a few bugs with animation and audio, but not as bad as others have said.

If I was to make a complaint about the game, it’s that it hasn’t changed that much since the last game. Sure, the scale has increased…but the actual game feels just like Far Cry 3. I’m not saying that’s a completely bad thing since I loved 3, but I was hoping for more of an evolution. Visually though, I can’t fault it…it looks stunning and breathtaking at times, it runs smoothly and the audio isn’t too shabby either. Especially Troy Baker’s performance as Pagan Min, who I think steals the show.

The Verdict

Far Cry 4 may not have been the big leap that it deserved, but it’s still a superb game that shines in the same light as its predecessor. It’s hard to fault it for playing it safe when 3 was such a gem to play, I only hope that Far Cry 5 tries to take some risks.