- + Diverse range of player choices
- + Great coop
- + Detailed and sprawling landscape
- - Minor graphical hitches
- - Wooden characters
When I first saw Far Cry 4 at E3 2014, I was hugely excited. I’ve had experiences with past games from the series, and they’ve always been solid and enjoyable games. However, the gameplay we saw of FC4 really seemed to push the boundaries of the game, utilising the new hardware available. Did this game live up to its E3 hype? Or does it fall flat on its face and not live up to its promises?
I found Far Cry 4 to be a thoroughly enjoyable experience. You can really fill your boots, (or your loot bag) and get stuck in with exploring the fantastically diverse and exciting landscape, something I really have to congratulate Ubisoft for creating. There are plenty of hidden caves, mountains, and areas that really gripped me and made me explore Kyrat further. Another fantastic mechanic implemented into the game, is the ability to climb. Sometimes these sort of mechanics can be slow and tedious, however Ubisoft have really nailed the way it works, and you can’t beat swinging across huge gaps on the side of a Himalayan mountain. I found there to be a good range of different mission styles, and as you’re playing through the campaign you really feel that you are working towards a goal. The characters generally were good, however, at times many were predictable and wooden in their personalities. Ubisoft could have spent more time on developing the characters and making them more unique, to really round off the fantastic campaign.
Far Cry 4 has a really well-balanced economy system. For example, you unlock guns to purchase as you run through the campaign, and you also unlock these guns for free after you have reached certain goals: Eg completed a certain mission. This gives you the choice whether to purchase the gun, or progress through the game and unlock it for free. Its features like this that gives the game a great progression system, and puts choices into the player’s hands. I also really enjoy the crafting element of Far Cry. Although it may feel wrong having to slaughter two white rhinos just so you can hold more in your wallet, it gives you a great opportunity to explore the land in search of these animals. Any task that gets the player to explore the fantastic landscape that Ubisoft has created, is a +1 in my book.
Ubisoft have created a great set of vehicles for the player to explore Kyrat with, but also complete missions and attack bases. There are a range of standard cars, alongside trucks, quad bikes, rickshaw’s, boats and an aerial vehicle called the ‘Buzzer’. You also have mechanics such as zip lines, parachutes, wing suits and a hang glider to help you navigate the map. You can see that there is a fantastically diverse range of vehicles, and this is really great when you are planning your method of attack. For example I found myself sourcing an elephant, which the game called ‘Peanut’ but I preferred ‘Nelly’, and riding it in, crashing through the doors and attacking the enemy causing havoc. I would then retreat to a parked aerial vehicle, the ‘Buzzer’ and hover over the base raining down fire from my grenade launcher. It is moments like this that really sum up Far Cry 4, and I really enjoyed exploring the multiple different methods and choices that Ubisoft give the player when planning an attack or mission. This, for me is the single best feature of the game and it really helps to break up the game and its missions and keep it all feeling fresh.
Far Cry 4 has a great coop mode, where yourself and a friend can embark on missions together, and do pretty much everything you can in the single player apart from the main campaign missions. This is where the use of vehicles really shone through, and I love that Ubisoft managed to implement a way for both players to ride on the same vehicle. Even the tiny ‘Buzzer’ had the option to have your friend ride on the back and help rain down fire, or use their grappling hook to latch on the bottom and swing round as you fly over the landscape. We had great fun doing this, and it felt like a feature that you would not expect from this type of game, a great feeling to have. The missions and side quests are fun to do with a friend, and one thing we enjoyed doing was liberating the bell towers to unlock various areas on the map. This would then unlock cool and unique areas such as a tiger den, where we would then go and explore and have a great time.
In terms of Far Cry 4’s graphics, the render distance is very good and you can see across the landscape well. Buildings and towers and well detailed inside and out, however it seems that due the size of the landscape, there is a general lack of true detail to the land. When you get up close you can see a good amount of textual restrictions, and the game has a general ‘fuzz’ about it. Generally however, particularly due to the level of detail in this game, the graphics never took anything away from the overall experience. If I were to score the graphics alone, then I’d give them 7/10, decent enough but they could definitely be improved.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed my Far Cry 4 experience. The single greatest thing about FC4 is the choices Ubisoft give the player when exploring the map and undertaking missions. I can only congratulate Ubisoft for creating a game that I thoroughly enjoyed throughout, and only character development and minor graphical hitches have let this great title down.
*Far Cry 4 was kindly provided to us by Ubisoft, and this particular review was based around the Xbox One edition.