A familiar destination.
It’s been just long enough. This a phrase I used a lot while playing Far Cry 4, which scratches almost an identical itch that its predecessor did. Far Cry 4 feels a lot like the last game. The economy is the same, the hunting is the same, heck even the story feels strikingly familiar, but it doesn’t change how much fun it is to run around causing chaos in Kyrat. Throw in just enough new stuff and Far Cry 4 once again becomes one of my most played games for the year. The formula works, and as I said at the beginning, it has been just long enough.
The story follows Ajay Ghale, who is visiting Kyrat to spread his mother’s ashes in her homeland. Upon arriving he is taken by the eccentric villain Pagan Min, who again feels similar to the previous game’s Vaas. The big change to the format this time around is the ability to side with different leaders of the Golden Path rebellion. Choosing between Amita and Sabal will lead players down separate paths, and even different missions.
Platforms: XB1, PS4, PC, 360, PS3
Price I’d Pay: $59.99
Multiplayer: Co-op and competitive
It isn’t the most engaging story, but I did enjoy the variation. Sabal was furious when I sided with Amita, giving the characters a bit more personality outside of mission-givers. There are plenty of unique personalities throughout the game, but again it all feels familiar when compared to the last game.
Of course the meat of these games is their game play. Taking down outposts, hunting animals to craft new gear, and climbing the puzzle-esque towers all return, and it has been just long enough since the last game that I was ready for more of that formula. The new bait system used to lure predators definitely adds to the mix, but the core concepts all remain untouched.
Probably the biggest addition, and the most unique, is the new map editor which is now used to craft new outposts, hunting missions, and other single player playgrounds to enjoy. There is a sorting system that breaks down the maps into category and rating, and there are some really fun distractions on there. The map editor in the Far Cry series has always been quite robust, so I will be excited to see what the community continues to churn out with this one.
The world of Kyrat is a virtual playground, much like its predecessor. The visuals are gorgeous on the new consoles, and there were several times where I simply stopped to admire the view. That said, I didn’t find this world as interesting to explore. It is a massive world, but a lot of it feels familiar. There are sections that stand out, but one of them is only accessible through a specific mission. I am still waiting on the Far Cry team to go all out and add dinosaurs to these islands, a game of survival on a dino-infested island simply sounds amazing.
While Far Cry 4 feels a lot like its predecessor, it does add some new features. There is now a grappling hook that allows climbing, but only on pre-set locations. The new autodrive system allowed me to set a waypoint, and still be able to aim and shoot as opposed to having to worry about steering the car. Although the default driving controls are absolutely horrendous.
The biggest addition though is adding co-op play to the main game. While we couldn’t take on story missions, we were able to liberate outposts, and take down the new fortresses (massive outposts with more guards and giant walls) as well as explore the island and just cause random havoc. Exploring the island with a friend is infinitely more fun, but it is locked behind some ample play time in the campaign, and certain areas are locked off if I hadn’t progressed the story missions.
The competitive mode also makes a return and feels as useless as it did in Far Cry 3. Still not exactly sure why the developers feel the need to include this with every iteration. That is not why players come to Far Cry. It feels like little more than a reason to include it as a bullet point in a list of features.
Far Cry 4 is a great game that just feels like a lot more of the same. Granted as I said earlier, it has been just long enough since the last one to drag me right back into the mix. I hope they take note though and really go outside the box for the next game. Again feel free to use my idea and make it an island full of dinosaurs, then I will completely forgive the rest of the mechanics feeling like more of the same.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.