One thing that tends to get over looked in Far Cry reviews is the feeling of isolation you have at the start of game. You feel like a tourist in a foreign country. Willing to explore but always having a sense of awareness about you that you wouldnít have in your usual surroundings.
You donít know the rules. In real life youíre more worried about how much youíre supposed to tip a waiter than accidentally walking into a cougar's front room, but the feeling of worrying that youíre doing something wrong is always in the back of your mind.
The opening to Far Cry 4
is a strong one. It guides you through the gameís many objectives perfectly. From outposts to crafting, everything is taught once and then dropped. If youíre a tourist then the first hour of Far Cry 4
is your tour guide showing off beautiful scenery, explaining the law of the land and giving you some advice here and there without completely holding your hand. Once the tour has finished, it leaves you to your own devices and the real fun begins.
After the first few hours are done youíll reach a point where youíll gain enough confidence to stop following the main path and choose to spend some time exploring, and this is where Far Cry 4
becomes something special.
Ubisoft Montreal has mastered open-world gaming. The devs get it. Far Cry 4
is set in a war-torn region in the Himalyas called Kryat, and itís a place that feels alive. Small towns filled with people getting on with their business, forests packed with wildlife that interact with each other and constant battles between rebels and the army.
As I took to the skies for the first time with a hand glider I swept across the land and although the skyline is utterly stunning, I barely had the time to take it in. There was too much going on below me.
No matter where you are in the map thereís always something happening and youíre rewarded for getting involved. Saving hostages being held at gunpoint will give you XP to spend on perks, facing up to a bear will help you craft valuable items or focusing on taking over radio towers so that you can open up your map are all fun to take part in and worthy of your time.
Once I felt the reigns were off there was no stopping me. I started setting my own goals. Travelling to specific regions to hunt certain animals so that I could carry more than two weapons or focusing on taking over outposts.
When youíre tired of exploring, you start experimenting. Putting C4 on a car, driving it into an outpost before running off and triggering an explosion is as fun as it sounds and as the ideas flow, the game accommodates. For a good hour or two Iíd completely forgot that there was a storyline to follow at all.
Thatís not to say I wasnít enjoying the story. Itís far from a classic tale but Far Cry 4
ís main thread does enough to keep you interested. You play as Ajay Ghale. Born in Kryat, Ajay grew up in America and has returned to lay his motherís ashes in her home land to fulfil her dying wish.
Soon enough you discover that there was more to your motherís past than you knew. Everyone in the area knows who you are and talk about your mother and father as though they were legends. The locals expect you to continue their legacy, though exactly what that is is not made clear.
Youíre constantly told what your parents would have wanted. That they would have been disappointed with you or proud. Youíll regress back into the feeling of distrust soon enough, but this time instead of it being with the world around you youíll question the characters' intentions instead.
Are they using your parents to manipulate you, or do they genuinely know them better than you do? Because of my own paranoia, I never felt comfortable with anyone I met. Soon youíll realise that youíre not the only one who suspects everyone around them.
When youíve been accepted into the rebel group named the ĎGolden Pathí youíll discover that there is conflict in the ranks, mainly between two leaders Amita and Sabal. They have two different opinions on how The Golden Path should be run and you have the choice of who to side with at various points throughout the game.