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Far Cry 4 Review

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Gameplay:

The heart of this game truly is the gameplay as it gives you a very large map to explore, many challenges to overcome, and a wealth of weapons. At times the map almost felt too large, but it really is not. Too large would mean it is hard to get from one point to another, but with the smaller 'buzzer' helicopters you can fly, auto-drive for cars to take you to waypoints, and the fast travel system, you can get anywhere pretty quick. Some areas can take longer because you have to go on foot, using your grappling hook to climb up cliffs or swing around them.

Driving and flying can be dangerous though, as enemies that spot you will follow you a long way. This is especially frustrating when in a buzzer because it lacks armor and enemy soldiers seem to have an easier time hitting a flying target than one on the ground. Flying also has the issue with an invisible ceiling to the buzzer. This is not the ceiling to the world understand, but at some height, the buzzer will lose control and start spinning around. This height seemed to vary across the map and there is no indication of when you are approaching it, so be careful when flying high.

Of course buzzers do not have to contend with land animals, like rhinos and elephants that will very gladly, easily, and unexpectedly throw your car very far. Normally this just leaves the vehicle upside down, forcing you to get out and then either run from or kill the animal. One time though, the rhino coming after me was charging so often I never had a chance to move. I would be knocked down once and then again before I managed to get back up. This only happened once to me, but there were other times that rhinos did decide to come after me just for driving by. I am not sure what the logic is to determine when they come for you and when they do not.

Most of the animals of Kyrat are smaller than the rhino and elephant, which can make them more lethal. They are harder to see, harder to shoot, and more often in packs that all want you dead. Killing them will let you take some meat for bait and skin the animal for crafting purposes or to sell. One thing worth noting related to the crafting is that the Quick Sell option for your loot bag will not sell what is useful or will become useful. If you find skins are left in your bag that you cannot immediately use, they will be useable later on.

 

While it is amusing to use bait to attract animals to kill enemies, I rarely found it to be more effective than just putting bullets into them. However, animals make a very good distraction. Also the bait can be used to draw out animals you need to skin.

Before moving on I want to mention the special animal hunting missions you are given. The former royal tailor has offered to help you by giving you designs to make new apparel, but they require the hides of special animals and often require being killed with a specific weapon. It is a good idea to keep a varied arsenal.

A good portion of play time can be spent running around the map, claiming outposts. Their difficulty is measured by the number of alarms they have, with one being the easiest, three being the hardest, and fortresses having four. You can disable the alarms by sneaking to them and interacting with them, or shooting them. Once, I had a rather nice, silenced sniper rifle and opted to shoot them from a distance before the soldiers would be a threat. This also works well because you can scan the outpost with your camera, marking enemies so you can track them through walls. After that, I was free to engage the enemies however I wished. Once claimed, outposts become fast travel points and have trading posts in them.

 

 

Fortresses are naturally a greater challenge than outposts, but after you deal with their owner during the campaign, they become easier. The game actually recommends playing with a friend or calling in NPC support if you intend to attack one too early. Even with them weakened, they can be difficult if you are not strategic and well-armed. You definitely want to take a fortress though, because your outposts in the area will be attacked on occasion while the fortresses are left intact. These attacks are quite annoying because they pull you away from whatever you were doing.

Most of the enemies you come across are more-or-less standard soldiers, but eventually heavy enemies, hunters, and helicopters will enter the mix. Heavies are like they are in most games, with more armor and bigger weapons - normally an LMG or a flamethrower. Even headshots are not guaranteed to kill them. Hunters are more frustrating because they are the only enemies that your marks will vanish from. They can also see you hiding in bushes and can make animals attack you, exclusively. Definitely kill them quickly before they can charm animals or just sneak around you.

The helicopters you can come to face are a particular annoyance, but luckily there are not too many of them in the game. What makes them annoying is that they can attack in any direction and you need heavier weapons to destroy them. We are talking explosives, LMGs, or the mounted weapons you can find. In one area the only option I had was a mounted weapon that did not have the best view of the helicopter. Once I unlocked a very nice LMG, though, helicopters ceased being a problem. Of course just carrying around an LMG or rocket launcher would also do the trick, but I preferred the loadout I had of a bow, one-handed shotgun, assault rifle, and sniper rifle.

 

The bow is definitely an interesting and fun weapon to use. It is silent and very lethal against most enemies, and you can reuse the arrows. The only issues are the drop of the arrows in flight and the sights for it not having much in the way of magnification. It is a fair balance, though, and still fun.

Besides the two bows you can get, you also have a selection of hand guns, shotguns, assault rifles, sniper rifles, SMGs, LMGs, and explosives, like grenade launchers and rockets. Some of these various weapons come as is, but many can be customized with larger magazines, improved sights of different kinds, and suppressors for silent shooting. There is a limit to the number of attachments on any one weapon though, if the weapon can even take them, but there is also an indirect way around this. As you play you will unlock access to signature weapons, which are variants of the base weapons, but can have any combination of the attachments. This makes them more powerful than the base weapons and well worth their cost.

One signature weapon I particularly enjoy is the Buzzsaw, an LMG that earned its name as it cuts through just about anything. You pull this out and little will stand against you. You should not be reckless with it though, because you are still very vulnerable to attack; if you can shoot an enemy with it, you can kill that enemy with it very quickly.

 

When you do get shot at and need to heal, you are always able to. There are health syringes that can heal a lot of bars very quickly, but without them you apply some more manual methods, like digging bullets out of your arm or yanking shrapnel from you hand. This does not heal you as much as the syringes do and takes longer, but also has no limit, so it works out well in the end. I do wish there were a way to avoid using the syringes though, so I could save them instead of wasting one to get a single bar back.

Along with all of the campaign missions you also have a good number of side missions that are either story-based or just minor excursions for experience and money. All of them will help you explore the land, and unlock abilities and weapons. There are also a large number of collectibles, but thankfully maps can be purchased in the game to identify them. You will still have to search the area they are in, but at least you know where to start looking.

 

I spent 25 hours and 58 minutes in Kyrat completing the main campaign and achieved 64.50% completion with all but one story-based side mission done. (That side mission is actually unlocked by finding all of the collectibles left behind by a serial killer.) I am not sure how many of the more minor missions are left to do, but I did all I had to for unlocking stuff, except for achieving a certain rank in the Arena challenge.

That time can be extended with some of the online play, including custom maps players are able to make. I did open up the map editor and played around in it a little bit, but not too much. It is just a little overwhelming, but in a blank-canvas way, as it gives you access to so much to work with. That does not mean it is not approachable, just something it may take a little studying to take full advantage of.

All in all I would describe the gameplay experience as very fun and well done. The only complaint that is even remotely fair to throw at it is the lack of ability to replay any mission. Some of them would be fun to return to, especially if you could use the weapons you have unlocked, but alas, only claiming outposts can be repeated.




  1. Far Cry 4 Review - Introduction
  2. Far Cry 4 Review - Graphics
  3. Far Cry 4 Review - Story
  4. Far Cry 4 Review - Gameplay
  5. Far Cry 4 Review - Additional Media
  6. Far Cry 4 Review - Conclusion
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