The Far Cry series has come a long way since inception. The original was characterized by its beautiful island setting, its steep learning curve, and unforgiving save system. The second maintained the unforgiving difficulty but added a massive open world, but was held back by obnoxious respawning enemy outposts and other accessibility issues.In a lot of ways the evolution of the series has followed that of Ubisoft as it becomes more and more of a serialized product for the masses with many similar mechanics. This is not to say that Far Cry 4 is not worth playing, just know that what you are getting is a similar formula to what you have experienced if you have ever played a modern Ubisoft game. If not, more detail to follow.
Admittedly when Far Cry 4 was released I was less than interested. This is mostly due to the timing of the release as I loved the last game and played it extensively. I just wasn’t ready for another “go around” without major gameplay changes to keep things fresh. The game seemed to quickly find its way into the bargain bin so I decided to give it a shot, and I’m glad that I did. The key additions to the previous game don’t seem huge initially but in practice they add to a stellar core gameplay experience. The mechanics are as tight as ever, and the gunplay Far Cry 3 and 4 is the best I’ve ever experienced. There is a carnal bliss in unlocking a new weapon and using it for the 1st, 2nd, 100th time. The only other game I’ve felt such joy in using the weapons in was Red Dead Redemption. I always found it difficult to give up my lever action rifle in Red Dead, even as it became woefully underpowered. The gameplay enhancements I previously mentioned mostly include new ways to traverse the massive open world. The kite suit is amazing to use and I found there to be nothing like jumping from a cliff and sailing into a large body of water or the middle of an enemy encampment while using it. The grappling hook is also enjoyable, just maybe a little less. The third major gameplay enhancement from the last iteration is the inclusion of co-op play. If you have a friend to play with this adds a wonderful dynamic but it has several minor flaws, most notably that your friend’s map/unlocks will not save as you progress in your gameplay world, only player one’s map keeps your progress. Overall the gameplay is as tight as ever and the new inclusions in the series only add to what was already a great design.
The story in Far Cry 4 must be mentioned, simply because the story must be mentioned in every game, but let’s just say that story is not what this game is about. It is mostly throw-away and just used to progress the setting and give you more unlockables. As someone who is usually expecting a deep story in a game this actually does not bother me as this game is more about exploring the world that has been given to you with the tools provided, and it is a blast to do just that.
Far Cry 4 presents a massive and beautiful world that you will love to explore. If you played the last game and are wondering if this game is for you, I would say the gameplay enhancements make this game worth buying while on sale. If you are new to the series and are interested in a big, beautiful FPS with tight mechanics and an open world to explore, BUY THIS GAME.
Verdict: Wait for Sale