December 15, 2014

Far Cry 4

Lasting First Impressions

At first glance, my thoughts on Ubisoft’s Far Cry 4 was that it was simply more Far Cry 3 but with a much nicer coat of paint. It is, after all, made for the new generation of consoles.  Fortunately, after playing this game for some time now, it has proven to be far more than just a shiny new version of Far Cry 3.  Far Cry 4 is, in a word, visually stunning.  Ubisoft has made sure to show off the graphical prowess of our new consoles and given them all they’ve got.  There are many times, that I just want to stop what I’m doing to look around and enjoy the scenery.  And there is a lot to look at.  This game is absolutely enormous and, after only a few hours into the game, I have seen just a fraction of the entire map.

Far Cry 4 Screen (3)

Far Cry 4 starts off with a bang as the bus you are travelling in is stopped by armed guards who proceed to kill nearly everyone on board when one passenger tries to escape.  And all you’ve done is come to Kyrat to honour your late mother’s request and lay her ashes to rest in her home country.  Unbeknownst to you, however, you are a very sought after individual as your parents were a part of a resistance movement in this very country.  This is where we are introduced to Pagan Min, the antagonist of the story, yet not a black and white antagonist. Unlike Vaas from Far Cry 3, who was very obviously insane, Pagan Min is a gracious host and whose views and values are not necessarily wrong.  You are soon extracted from Pagan Min’s luxurious chalet and whisked away by a rebel band calling themselves the Golden Path.  It is here you are informed that your mother began the Golden Path whose mission is to unseat Pagan Min as the ruler of Kyrat and restore peace to the country.  Oh, and all of this happens in the first 30 minutes of the game.

Far Cry 4 Screen (1)

This is where everything opens up and Far Cry 4 becomes a massive open world game with nearly unlimited quests and activities to perform.  Like Far Cry 3 before it, there are strongholds to liberate, communication towers to jam (opening up the fog of war on the map), hunting for upgrades, story missions, sides missions and countless others, all available in any order you wish to play them.  This single player campaign, with its many missions and activities, is only a portion of what Far Cry 4 brings to players.  Where this game truly shines is in its co-op multiplayer.

Far Cry 4 Screen (2)

Players can join or invite their friends into their world for some incredibly fun co-op action.  As with the single player campaign, the map is open to do whatever you feel like doing.  Want to liberate a stronghold? Go for it. Grab your bow and arrows and do it in complete stealth and you’ll get bonus rewards.  Or perhaps you would like to anger an elephant to rampage the stronghold for you. Yup, you can do that too.  While the single player campaign missions can not be completed in co-op, there are still plenty of missions available to do with friends, and it is this co-op gameplay that really makes Far Cry 4 come alive.  I almost prefer to play the game in co-op versus single player, and that is saying a lot about this game. I am usually a player who likes to spend more time playing a game by myself, but this one changes that for me.  Working with a friend to simultaneously and silently take out enemies is a rush that can only be understood by doing it (see video below).

There only downfall to the co-op gameplay is the fact that, while the player ‘visiting’ a friend’s world can keep any items they find and keep any XP they’ve gained, the progress in the game is not carried over to their own.  Strongholds that are liberated, or map areas that are opened up by capturing the towers do not carry over into your friend’s game.  This is an oversight that just doesn’t make any sense to me.  The way I see it is if my friend helped me take over a stronghold or capture a tower, he should also get the credit for doing that in his own game.  Unfortunately that is not the case and those actions will need to be repeated in his own game.

Despite this, however, Far Cry 4 is huge game with many hours of gameplay ready for the playing.  It is a beautiful world guaranteed to leave you in awe.  In this new generation of consoles it is great seeing developers like Ubisoft already pushing the limits of what these consoles can do and giving players nearly endless possibilities and potentially hundreds of hours of gameplay.

About the Author

Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of our podcasts: The OMG! Hour, Lost Treasures of Gaming, and Primetime as well as the bi-weekly podcast mashup show, Gamers Unscripted. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.



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