Take a beautiful, open-world. Stir in an interesting plot. Add a dash of humor. Blend in some great first-person shooter action. Finally, mix in some fun online game play. This is the recipe for the must-have game of this current generation: Far Cry 4.
Released in November 2014, Far Cry 4 was developed by Ubisoft Montreal. Following in the footsteps of the critically acclaimed Far Cry 3, it is an action-adventure, first-person shooter. It also contains some RPG elements, such as an XP system that allows a player to upgrade or add different abilities. Although there is multiplayer in the game, one does not have to be online to play through the game.
The game takes place in the fictional world of Kyrat, a Nepal-like, mountainous country in the midst of a cruel dictatorship. Pagan Min (Troy Baker), Kyrat’s insane dictator, rules with an iron fist while a resistance group called the Golden Path tries to take back their country. The game takes on the first-person perspective of Ajay Ghale (James A. Woods), a refugee of Kyrat who was brought to America as a child by his mother. Upon her death, Ajay has been requested to sprinkle her ashes in Kyrat. After arriving in the war-torn country, Pagan Min intercepts Ajay’s bus. Some quick rescuing by the Golden Path ensues, and now, the fate of Kyrat rests with Ajay.
Throughout the game, the player is immersed in the world of Kyrat. There’s not a great amount of depth to the actual plot, but that is not an issue because the story combined with the colorful characters and engrossing setting make it very entertaining. In fact, the characters are so quirky that it really makes the game enjoyable. Pagan Min may be crazy, but some of the things that come out of his mouth are hilarious. This may be one of Troy Baker’s finest performances to date: dramatic, wry, and dynamic all at the same time. There are also many other outlandish characters in Kyrat as well, including two druggies, an overly enthusiastic but ignorant gun-slinging American, a man who thinks guns and religion are the same thing, and a silly radio DJ. The game can be laugh out loud funny at times, even with a more serious underlying tone.
The characters are a definite highlight to the game.
Though characters and story are a definite highlight of the game, it is the game play that really shines in Far Cry 4. It is a slick open world, first-person shooter with a lot of upgradable guns and many different game play strategies. The map area is large and can become more and more visible by climbing radio towers and liberating them. The player is free to explore, although some areas are more hazardous than others. There are also outposts that must be cleared out in order to drive back Pagan Min’s men. These outposts can be replayed as many times as a player wishes. Missions appear on the map in a similar fashion to a Rockstar game like GTA.
The variety of missions given in the game really keeps it interesting. Both main and side missions seem relevant to the story line, and therefore, do not get old. Missions can involve anything from hunting wildlife, racing on one of the many vehicles, defending a Golden Path area, or hitting supply trucks. Since Kyrat is very mountainous, there is actually a mountain climbing element to the game that is actually more enjoyable than the last Tomb Raider game. The most fun, however, may actually be just exploring around Kyrat in one of the may means of transportation. Besides the traditional cars and trucks, there are wing suits, hang gliders, and a helicopter. A player can dive out of a helicopter, go into the wing suit, and then to a parachute in a matter of moments.
The helicopter is probably the best transportation in the game.
Though the game may seem like a standard first-person shooter, it does have some RPG elements to it. Players gain XP from killing bad guys and finding different items, which in turn gives them skill points. Skill points can be used to unlock or upgrade abilities. Some abilities, however, cannot be unlocked without doing certain missions. And, yes, one ability is elephant riding, something that adds a whole new dimension to the game. Crafting is another way to upgrade the character, this time by allowing the player to hold more items such as weapons (up to four can be held at one time), loot, money, and ammo. A player must hunt for certain animals in Kyrat in order to upgrade these items. Different weapons can be bought and upgraded as well once they are unlocked by completing certain game play elements. There is a nice variety to the what a player can carry and can really depend on play style. Bows and weapons with silencers are great for someone who enjoys stealth. More flashy, automatic weapons are for the run and gun type. The best part of the game play is that a person is not–for the most part–forced to choose only play style.
Online play includes both player versus player and cooperative. The player versus player aspect, titled The Battle of Kyrat, includes game play modes such as quick matches, seize the outpost, recover the demon masks, destroy Pagan Min propaganda, and defend territory. Each mode feels very similar to the main game play and includes fun aspects such as animals and different weapons. The cooperative is only two player, but it is quite entertaining. One person plays as Ajay, while the other plays as Hurk, a crazy but hilarious American who loves guns and destroying stuff. Both players basically go throughout the open world and do side missions together. Unfortunately, story missions are turned off, but it is still a lot of fun to do the many side missions. It is definitely the best co-op of this generation because it relies on the “you and a buddy” approach to online gaming, where it is more about fun than players trying to take the game too seriously.
To add the amazing game play, the graphics are slick. They may not quite be the best of this generation so far, but they are quite pretty. Exploring Kyrat is a pleasure in a very similar way to trekking around Skyrim. However, the color palate is much brighter, emphasizing more greens and bright blues. It makes for a great gaming experience. And the cut-scenes aren’t so shabby either.
Kyrat is a very pretty world to explore.
So, with a decent story, amazingly fun game play, and beautiful graphics, Far Cry 4 is a must have for this current generation, especially for first-person shooter fans. It incorporates everything that is good with gaming, and though it might not the be the greatest game of all time, it will definitely one of the best games of this generation so far.
Oh, and Far Cry 4 has the best East Egg ever. Google it.