Far Cry 4
The Far Cry series has a unique pedigree. From the very first title, it became the embodiment of cutting edge graphics and established the standard to which all other titles were compared. Frame rate numbers on the current Far Cry title became bragging rights for PC gaming enthusiasts, while the fascinating shooter mechanics also delivered a unique experience. As the home consoles became more and more powerful, it was a foregone conclusion they would be getting some Far Cry love from Ubisoft. With Far Cry 4, console gamers are now getting a fresh experience that hopefully lives up to its predecessors. Will the latest title be a mere “yoo-hoo” in the Far Cry canon? After only a mere few minutes, it’s obvious that Ubisoft has delivered a title whose shouting can be heard clear over the mountains.
Once again, Far Cry delivers a gorgeous visual experience. The exotic Himalayan setting seems like something out of the second act of the latest Bond film, and the story and mission structure is much more compelling than your average shooter. Our hero, Ajay Ghale, begins a campaign to deliver his mother’s ashes to her birthplace in Kyrat. As he embarks on this seemingly simple task, the layers of the onion begin to peel and Ajay’s heritage becomes both a driving force and a detriment toward getting his mother’s last request completed. As one would expect, the entire mission turns out to be a Herculean effort and, naturally, the player’s choices will impact the moral compass along the way.
There are approximately thirty campaign missions that comprise the main story arc, with several dozen side quests that have the potential to take up more of the player’s time than the main quest, if the player is the type that strives for 100% completion. Ubisoft tosses a nod to their other A-List titles by including side quests that involve “climbing” bell towers in order to earn hidden opportunities, plus a variety of other tasks including hunting animals, rescuing hostages, liberating villages and various other on-the-fly tasks. Each task generates a reward of some kind, usually resulting in upgrade points that allow Ajay to unlock new abilities on his skill tree.
As far as abilities go, fans of the earlier titles know what to expect from the gameplay mechanics. Players wield such weaponry as machine guns, shotguns, grenade launchers and bows that shoot fire arrows. Everything in Far Cry 4 is about adapting to whatever is thrown your way, and that is the main part of what makes this title so much fun. The game also rewards stealth tactics above going in “guns blazing,” so it is always a good thing to examine your surroundings before planning an attack. As a rule, the game can be much more dynamic and easier if players spend some time at the beginning hunting animals and crafting an ammo pouch, wallet and loot bag before really getting into the thick of it. Once a player trips an alarm, cleaning up the mess and eliminating foes can be a daunting task.
No review of a Far Cry title would be complete without a technical report. That being said, gamers will be delighted to know that Far Cry 4 runs at a solid 30fps at 1080p on the ps4. The textures and lighting effects are second to none, and the environments are lush. Everything reacts to their environment in believable ways, and the fire effects that have earned a reputation over the years have returned as beautiful as ever. The brilliance of the Dunia engine is on full display here, and Ubisoft has earned every bit of technical applause one might have heard about.
Speaking of hearing, the sound design is also as good as it gets. Everything about the aural experience sounds exactly the way you would think it should, and the music sounds authentic to the Himalayan culture contained within the game. The NPCs speak accurately to their alleged regional dialect, and the surround effects do more than simply immerse, they provide a solid gameplay mechanic. If you think you are hearing a cry for help in your left rear speaker, investigate the situation. You are more than likely going to encounter a side quest that will earn you much karma.
All in all, Far Cry 4 is the experience most fans were expecting. On the PS4, the graphics are exceptional, the sound design is perfect and the gameplay is everything fans are expecting. In short, if one was an owner of any of the previous Far Cry titles and enjoyed them, then a full purchase recommendation is easy here. Although some ground is retread from Far Cry 3 in terms of execution, the elevation of the technology and gameplay makes it absolutely worth purchasing. Buy it yourself or put it on your holiday gift list. By any means necessary, experience the fps thrill that is Far Cry 4.
Reviewed By: Russell Garbutt
This review is based on a digital copy of Far Cry 4 for the PlayStation 4 provided by Ubisoft.