Resistance Reborn – The most eleFUN you’ll have with a game this year!
Taking all of the best pages from its predecessor, Far Cry 4 is based in the fictional Himalayan mountain region of Kyrat. You play as Ajay Ghale, who has returned home to fulfill his mother’s dying wish of spreading her ashes in their homeland. The setting is a massive environment filled with discovery, where as the protagonist, you spend the main story uncovering the twisted past of this beautiful location. Kyrat is an immense playground, filled with perfect set pieces to cause chaos and destruction in. Complete with wildlife, vehicles, grappling hooks, wing suits and a huge selection of weapons to outfit Ajay with.
Radio towers, fortifications, and outposts litter the landscape, creating opportunities for you to take over a territory. These are familiar to anyone who has played Far Cry 3 immediately. The radio towers are recommissioned traditional bell towers which broadcast propaganda to the masses, liberating these will clear sections of the map, while outposts and forts are essentially enemy hideouts.
The outposts are equipped with alarm systems, which, if activated, will immediately call for reinforcements. The best option is to sneak around and take these out before properly attacking. Some have animal cages holding dangerous predators, which you can always set free. Or, you can just jump on an elephant’s back and cause carnage, taking out the waves of reinforcements as they arrive. There are a lot of ways to approach each situation, but stealth is usually the best option.
Most of the side quests in the open world are quite similar to the previous games in the long-running FPS series, with a decent amount of smaller missions and an insurmountable number of collectibles strewn across the many hidden locations and caves on the map. The biggest difference is that aside from the main story missions, all of this content can be explored co-operatively.
The addition of Fortresses make for a great co-op experience. These are essentially the bases for the characters you’ll meet in the story, and work like large scale Outposts. It’s recommended that you take out the surrounding Outpost before attempting a raid onto a Fortress, but once you’ve done so you should be able to tactically plan your entry and then work together to secure the location.
Far Cry 4 is often quite unbelievable, as you often feel enhanced with superpowers, while taking down entire armies without a scratch. Similarly fantastical in some ways is the antagonist Pagan Min, is the maniacal dictator of Kyrat; a perfect villain, reminiscent of the Joker, with a calm and collected nature. Voiced by Troy Baker, his lack of screen time is a shame, but he makes his presence known whenever he arrives.
Far Cry 4 has a powerful and believable storyline, focusing on the Golden Path, a group of rebels taking on the empire of Pagan Min and his army. Along with an internal conflict forcing you to choose sides within the Golden Path, this becomes Far Cry’s morality system. It seems to always stick within a grey area for choices, making them hard to choose between, but this leads to seeing different missions throughout the campaign.
Ajay is taken out of Kyrat at points, into the alternate spirit dimension of Shangri-La, to explore the history of the region along with his family. Although the character never really feels like he’s living up to his esteemed lineage and ultimately falls fairly flat, he represents an acceptable conduit for the player to experience the game through.
Players can upgrade many abilities, within a Tiger and Elephant skill tree. You’ll be able to get most of these by completing objectives, gaining experience and spending skill points in your desired skill tree. Another scale to measure your actions is a superfluous karma system, which ties into random events and missions that can be completed throughout the story.
The Far Cry titles have always been lookers, and Far Cry 4 is no exception. Environmental detail and foliage in particular in the Himalayan wilderness of Kyrat, as well as the fur on wildlife, is very impressive. Far Cry 4 is one of the best looking titles I’ve seen this generation. The sound design is perfect, animals and atmosphere are enhanced, along with the music in scenes to express the action taking place on screen.
The extensive open world isn’t the only draw of the game. There is also competitive multiplayer, presented in the form of a prequel to the main story. Offering multiple game modes, where you play as members from the Golden Path, with vehicles and automatic weapons, or Pagan Min’s forces using animals, arrows, and stealthy gameplay. Multiplayer is accented with important traits from the story mode, including parachutes, wingsuits, vehicles, and large arenas.
Fans of Far Cry will also be happy to know that the map editor has made a return, allowing you to create your own kill-them-all battles, hunting missions, and even outposts for you and your friends to capture. You can then upload these maps to share with players worldwide, using search filters and a rating system.
Far Cry 4 hardly ever diverts from the path of the previous games, and honestly, it never really needs to. Some new gameplay, environments, and an enemy menace provide more than enough fun to fill the appetite. I’ve enjoyed every moment of my time spent in Kyrat, hunting animals, gliding over the landscape, searching for treasure and overthrowing the different Outpost and Fortresses. Aside from some minor gripes with the protagonist, the characters are fully flushed out, helping to provide an engaging storyline and atmosphere. I’m excited to see where Ubisoft takes us in the next iteration of the series, hopefully not changing to many of the fundamentals that makes this title an excellent franchise.
Final Verdict: 4.5/5
Available on: PC, Xbox One (reviewed), Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 ; Publisher: Ubisoft; Developer: Ubisoft Montreal; Released: Nov. 18, 2014; Genre: First-person shooter; MSRP: $59.99
This review is based on a retail copy of Far Cry 4 purchased by Hey Poor Player.