Review written by Stephen Deck; originally published 09/24/2019 on Teacher by Day, Gamer by Night
My first foray into modern Far Cry games was Far Cry Primal on PS4, and boy, that game was dope. So when I saw that Far Cry 4 was all modern and had a fabulously psychopathic dictator to topple, I was instantly interested. However, I was also poor, so I waited. I’m still poor, but now Far Cry 4 is hella cheap, so I’m FINALLY getting around to playing it, and WOW, good things truly do come to those who wait.
The premise of Far Cry 4 is that you’re a native of the island nation of Kyrat raised in the United States who has returned to Kyrat to scatter his mother’s ashes as per her dying wish. Then your bus gets attacked, your companions get shots, your tour guide gets tortured to death, and you get drugged and wake up at a dinner table with the merciless dictator of Kyrat, Pagan Min. From there, you could either sit and wait for like fifteen minutes, have him come back and kill you, and get the bad ending; OR you could actually play the game you paid for, help the resistance group that your dead dad started overthrow Pagan Min, and blow up everything in sight.
The game, as is standard for the series, is a first-person shooter. You can craft storage upgrades from materials you hunt from animals to hold more ammo, more medical items, more explosives, etc. You can also purchase new weapons although some of these get unlocked for free as you progress through the game. Once you purchase a weapon, it can be reacquired for free at any shop, so that’s a nice feature. With enough upgrades, you can equip up to four weapons – a sidearm and three main weapons. I usually ended up keeping a revolver, an assault rifle, a rocket launcher, and a sniper rifle with me. You also have four throwable weapons – molotovs, grenades, throwing knives, and bait meat that lures tigers and the like to eat your enemies. All in all, you get a lot of leeway to play how you want. You can be stealthy and sneak around using stealth takedowns, silenced weapons, and throwing knives. Alternatively, you can run in guns blazing with machine guns and shotguns and grenade launchers. The sky’s the limit, and if that limit isn’t filled with flying dismembered bodies, you’re doing it wrong.
Visually, you can tell that the game was designed for last generation consoles and ported to Xbox One, but it still looks pretty nice. The soundtrack is extremely well done, providing solid atmosphere without distracting from the action on screen. The voice acting, as well, is extremely well done, especially Pagan Min’s voice actor. 10/10 would listen to again. A well-voiced antagonist can really make or break a game, and Pagan Min’s voice actor definitely made this game. The highlight of the game, however, is the hunting. I don’t mean sneaking around the hunting deer with a bow. GTFO with that redneck real-world garbage. Na, man, I mean a REAL MAN’S hunting. Far Cry 4 is like a Cabela’s game if it were actually fun. I’m talking about hunting tigers by driving cars into them at 100 KPH, hunting elephants with a rocket launcher, or hunting rhinos from a helicopter with a semiautomatic grenade launcher.
My experience with the Far Cry series is still fairly limited, but from what I have played, Far Cry 4 is an exceptionally fun and well-crafted entry. The story is interesting, the map is detailed and a blast to explore, the voice acting is exceptional, and the gameplay is addicting to say the least. AND THE HUNTING. I felt like the Terminator roughing it in the wilderness. Sure, rocket launchers tend to leave the animal’s hide too damaged to use, but good GOD, it is fun. Far Cry 4 isn’t perfect, and it still has its share of shortcomings with frame rate dips, glitches, and profoundly challenged AI at times, but as a whole package, it’s an exceptionally fun experience, and with the price it goes for used these days, I highly recommend it to fans of open-world shooters.