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Far Cry 4 review: the same experience with better graphics

Far Cry 4 takes you to a fictive state called Kyrat, in the middle of the Himalayas. It is a beautiful place, but unfortunately there’s a civil war going on. Obviously, you are the only one that can end this bloody war, by killing some more.

Welcome to Kyrat

Pagan Min is the dictator of Kyrat and he just looks evil. You, Ajay, will meet him at the very start of the game. It seems he still has feelings for your mother, whose ashes you are returning to her homeland. Your mother actually started the rebellion group Golden Path to fight Min, and there you go, you are now in the middle of a civil war.

That is enough story to send you out and about in a land full of mountains, beautiful forests and exotic towns. Kyrat is absolutely stunning. The map in Far Cry 4 is a bit smaller than in Far Cry 3, but with the amount of climbing, it feels the same, or even bigger. Climbing the top of a hill or mountain is very rewarding too, the views are breathtaking.

Far Cry 4 is fun, a lot of fun

Everyone who enjoyed Far Cry 3 will immediately feel at home in Kyrat. The gameplay is very similar, which is a good thing. Shooting, running, it all feels the same. Again, you have a weapon wheel that is very intuitive, you need to hunt to upgrade your gear. Hunting will mainly take place with the bow and arrow, as it takes a long time before you unlock a gun that you can fit with a suppressor.

The new weapons are a delight to play with; the auto crossbow is a great addition to the weapon arsenal. The same goes for the vehicle collection. Flying over Kyrat in a gyrocopter while shooting at the baddies is as entertaining as it sounds.

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The amount of side missions seems very balanced. There is so much to do, but at no point does it feel overwhelming. You can always invite a friend to join you in open world co-op pleasure. Together you can take out outposts, forts or just fool around. Pretty much everything but the story missions can be done with pal by your side. It would’ve been cool if Ubisoft actually added some content especially for co-op gameplay.

Taking out outposts is still the most pleasing aspect of Far Cry 4. Trying to take everyone out undetected is a challenge that requires patience, skill and maybe a bit of luck. Going in on the back of an elephant and rampaging your way through the outpost may not be considered as stealthily (and therefor reward you less XP), it definitely is a delightful way to clear the outpost.

But Kyrat isn’t only a paradise

The fact that there’s a civil war going on isn’t the only problem you’ll face in Kyrat. Another is the bleak story of Far Cry 4. Sure Pagan Min is an evil character but he doesn’t come close to the uniqueness of Far Cry 3’s Vaas. At no point do you feel the same misplaced sympathy as you felt for the insane criminal that terrorized the Rook Islands.

Ajay also hasn’t got the moral issues that Jason Brody had in Far Cry 3. As soon as Ajay gets his first gun, he’s shooting and killing as if he was born to do so. He says a couple of times he’s not a soldier, only to go directly on a mission that no civilian would ever attempt.

Speaking of morals, you can score Karma Points in Far Cry 4. These will give you new weapons and guns for hire if you reach a next level. The name suggests though, that you can also go for bad karma, but that is not the case. By completing karma missions, you get Karma Points. You can only lose these if you accidentally kill a civilian or a Golden Path soldier. At no point will going on a killing spree and shoot innocent people reward you with anything, like in Red Dead Redemption for example.

Far Cry 4-1

It is inevitable to compare Far Cry 4 with its predecessor, it feels like Ubisoft wants you to do that. The first missions of Far Cry 4 are practically the same as the ones in Far Cry 3. Run away from shooting villains, climb the first bell tower (radio tower) and liberate an outpost. What they did is add a bit of extra in between; get to the town, save some hostages, maybe kill some wolves.

As you can read in this preview, it said Far Cry 4 isn’t a Far Cry 3.1. As this is a hands on review, it kinda seems it actually is Far cry 3.1. Yesterday, in this article, there was the comparison between previous gen GTA 5 and this gen GTA 5, and writing this review kinda feels the same. Despite the sheer beauty of the game and the huge amounts of fun you’ll have while playing it, you can’t lose the feeling that Ubisoft procrastinated or lacked the motivation to create a whole new game. Which is a shame, because Kyrat deserved better.

Far Cry 4 takes you to a fictive state called Kyrat, in the middle of the Himalayas. It is a beautiful place, but unfortunately there's a civil war going on. Obviously, you are the only one that can end this bloody war, by killing some more. Welcome to Kyrat Pagan…

Our Verdict

Playability/controls - 9.4
Story - 6.8
Graphics - 9.5
Replay Value - 9.1
Originality - 3


Despite the similarities, Far Cry 4 is still worth playing. The game looks amazing and offers a lot of pleasure.

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