Get the Hell Off Me, Bloody Eagle! – FarCry 4 Reviewed

30 Jan

TitleBack when I reviewed FarCry 3, I came away from the experience very impressed overall. The Blood Dragon extension that came out shortly thereafter was inspired, so I had high hopes going into this game. Did it meet some pretty lofty expectations?

For the most part, yes. This is definitely a case of “if it aint broke” mentality in action, and, mostly, I’m OK with that…

In FarCry 4, you are Ajay Ghale – a 20-something son travelling to the Himalayan nation of Kyrat to spread the ashes of your recently deceased mother. Before you get very far, however, a murderously paternal dictator named Pagan Min waylays you and flies you to off his palace. For dinner and a convo. Once you escape (perhaps the food is too rich for your liking), you start on a journey that will see you join the resistance to liberate this country from Pagan Min’s grasp.

You’ll also kill animals. Lots and lots of animals.

It’s a FarCry game, so saying the graphics are good is akin to stating that Avatar did decently at the box office. The Himalayan setting is gorgeous. From lush jungle to snowy wasteland, this world (which is huge) offers an array of stunning vistas. You could just wander around for hours and take in the sights.

Until you encounter a pack of dogs, anyway. Or a rhino. Or a honey badger. And yes, they really don’t give a @#$!.

Oh, and don’t get me started on those goddamn eagles. At least the other animals provide skins you need to upgrade items…

Ahem– anyway.

As with the last game, you will need to hunt in order to upgrade how much you can carry. It’s a decent enough mechanic to divert you from the main storyline, though some of the “kill animal x with weapon y” quests can get annoying after a while.

You also have a skill tree of sorts – as you gain experience you can spend points to upgrade everything from health to takedown abilities to drug crafting. You can even learn to ride on an elephant and use it in combat. Again, there are so many side missions available that you can all but max out these skill before you get close to finishing the main story missions – which can make them a tad on the easy side.

Choose your powers. Forget wisely, though - you'll have them all by the end of the game...

Choose your powers. Forget wisely, though – you’ll have them all by the end of the game…

Combat, as before, is fun and open. You can choose to go in guns blazing (or grenades thumping). You can sneak around and be a ninja. Or you could set loose a caged tiger on the guards. And did I mention that you can go charging in on a freaking ELEPHANT?!

The AI can be dumb at times, which is nothing new. It’s not hard to take out entire outposts undetected – with just a bow – by hiding in a bush and killing the guards as they wander near it looking for the person who keeps shooting them. As a whole, though, the experience is very satisfying.

The story once again uses the crutch of incapacitating your character in a cutscene to move the story forward. This happens several times, usually after some demonstration of your character’s bad-assery during gameplay. The downshift in competence can be jarring. Aside from a couple of decision points in the game, your character is mainly in cutscenes to witness events, rather than influence them.

Depending on which of the two rebel leaders you side with, the story does branch at several points. Each has their own agenda, and choosing one side will make them the “leader” – at least until the next branch. That repeats a few times until your final choice, which determines who will lead the new Kyrat. Apparently, though, the previous choices have no bearing on this – so you can side with one up until the end, then completely switch.

To be honest, the only difference between them is the rather bleak epilogue cutscene you’ll see – should you go back into the game after the credits. After I saw one of those endings I actually went online and watched the other one, thinking I’d made the “bad” choice. I hadn’t.

There are also a number of missions that take place in a dream-state, where you play a bow-wielding warrior in Shangri-la. Aside from a main story boss-fight in the late game that takes place here, most of these quests are entirely optional. They never grabbed me like the rest of the game did – I found myself trying to finish them quickly rather than take the time to enjoy them, and stopped after two or three of them.

It might be a nice place to live, but I didn't want to visit there...

It might be a nice place to live, but I didn’t want to visit there…

Overall, this game is a worthy addition to the FarCry series. Fun combat in an open, beautiful setting – knocked down a peg by the story, but not by too much. Any FPS or FarCry fan should snatch this up and play it.

8 Eagle Feathers out of 10

PS
For the patiently impatient, there’s a way to finish the game in 15 minutes. Don’t click on the video if you haven’t finished the game, though.

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2 Responses to “Get the Hell Off Me, Bloody Eagle! – FarCry 4 Reviewed”

  1. phoenixx24 January 31, 2015 at 12:10 pm #

    But is there a new version of Blood Dragon coming? That’s the important question! 😉

    Like

    • thomasserio January 31, 2015 at 6:43 pm #

      One can only hope… 🙂

      Like

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