Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Release Date: 11/18/2014
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An open jungle, a rebel war, a tyrant, a guy who ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time, lots of guns…sound familiar? Yes, another Far Cry run of a giant open world that might be too large for its own good. Far Cry 3‘s mediocre missions were made up for an excellent story with fantastic characters, however, Far Cry 4 seems to be doing the opposite. You play as Ajay Ghale, a man trying to bury his mother’s ashes, but is captured by a tyrant known as Pagin Min. Min is a man who is bringing the people of Kyrat down, and you are here to help the rebel army rise against him. Sounds cliche and boring…and it is. The story and characters are Far Cry 4‘s downfall as they are either just really badly written or uninteresting. Pagan Min isn’t so bad, but the rest of the characters just don’t hit home like FC3 did.
There are honestly more side missions than story quests, but to the point in which it’s overwhelming. Far Cry 4 is huge. Five times the size of Far Cry 3. Despite the story being bland, let’s talk about the gameplay. It’s nearly identical to FC3 in terms of gunplay and the choice of stealth or guns blazing. However, the choice of stealth, I feel, is stilted and guns blazing tends to be the forced choice. There are multiple side quests from destroying propaganda towers, intercepting couriers, taking over camps, storming fortresses, hunting, races, and several others. While all these are fun for a bit, they all wear thin as there are just so many of them. There were missions that required me to sneak into an enemy base, but no matter how quiet I was someone always saw me. The enemies have had this problem since the first game.
Outside of the side missions, you can buy weapons, maps, hunt for treasures (which is probably the most tedious), and skin animals to increase carrying capacity. Gathering plants for syringes is back as well, but all of these things are second hand from FC3, and there’s just not enough here that’s new to make it feel like FC4. Thankfully, the gunplay is rather solid and customizing weapons was one of my favorite things to do. I’m not saying any of this stuff was bad, but it was tedious and felt too similar to past games. Nothing really stands out on its own.
FC4 is also heavily reliant on co-op play as some camps and fortresses are nearly impossible to take over by yourself. I died multiple times and had to exploit strategies to beat some of them. I would give up and wander around collecting treasure, take over a tower, complete some side quests, only to continue getting distracted from the main story. This is usually a good thing, but FC4‘s world feels sterile and empty and too artificial for its own good. Most people would love all these things to do, but it’s all just kind of dull and only good in short bursts.
The graphics are actually quite fantastic and show off the power of next-gen consoles, however, it’s not much different looking than FC3. In the end, after completing the story I felt overwhelmed by the vast amount of things to complete the game and just told myself I would come back to it later when I’m really bored. In the future, Ubisoft needs to work on Far Cry feeling more important with less filler content. Honestly, this series needs a reboot or a complete overhaul to justify existing.