Monday, November 14, 2016

Farcry 4

Happy Price: 39.99
Rating: 9.4


Farcry 4 expands on everything that was built in Farcry 3, but adds tons of polish and features that distinguish it as a separate title rather than a perceived DLC. Taking place in the Himalaya Mountains, verticality plays a role but doesn't define gameplay in any hindering fashion. The storyline has much improved writing which supplements the gameplay experience and takes it to another level that is generally unexpected. 

Combat Mechanics

Farcry is a FPS at it's core, and despite having tons of other gameplay elements, keeps to its core very well. There are a variety of weapons to choose from ranging from the compound bow to a light machine gun. Farcry allows the player to select a stealthy or guns blazing strategy whenever they may choose. This gives the player a ton of freedom and meaningful choice on a minute to minute basis since you're in constant conflict for most of the game. As you progress, better weapons become available such as the Silenced Sniper Rifle which is a very powerful weapon, but an unaccurate shooter will alert enemies at the sound of bullets ricocheting off the ground or buildings. Also, if you decide to shoot someone and another comrade sees a body drop dead, they know what is happening and your cover will be blown. These are the reasons I love Farcry 4. Even when you have such power, you still have to be smart. 


New vehicles are introduced that really change the gameplay of Farcry 4 compared to previous iterations in the series. The gyrocopter, which is a helicopter made of steel pipes and duct tape, enables you to fly around the mountains and traverse from one side to another much quicker than a car. A sidearm can be equipped while driving it, so there is great opportunity to blow up convoys when driving around with a grenade launcher (sidearm grenade launcher, yes). You can also use this vehicle if you plan to hunt, as you can wield a sawed of shotgun as a sidearm. Like a real hunter, you can just fly around and kill animals, all the while skinning them to upgrade your accessories like wallet or ammo bags. This may sound cowardly, but Rhino's do not go down without a fight, and if you don't prepare against one of those things they can make quick work out of you.

Elephants are the other notable new vehicle you can use. With the option to charge or ram, watch enemy camps run around scared as you ride around an Elephant and firing at enemies with your sidearm. It's one of the most fun things to do is run around with a 5 ton flesh shield of controllable fury. I found it humorous to ram my enemies and watch them fly what seemed to be 50 feet each time as they rag dolled across the terrain. Of course it's not easy to obtain an elephant, since they don't travel very fast it's much more convenient to find one near the encampment you will try to "liberate". 


I can usually snooze through the narrative of a video game, but this one has a decent amount of depth and fantastic writing. You find yourself in this situation because your mother dies and request her ashes are spread in a certain place in Kyrat. Turns out, that area is occupied by an insane Dictator, and in order to spread the ashes you have to liberate the area. At first it seems dry and pointless, but as the story unfolds it begins to get much more interesting. The main villain is not pure evil as you'd expect, he believes he's on the right side of the war and is compassionate yet ruthless. He's unpredictable and it adds great flare to the story. Many of the side characters also shine, like the radio host that commentates on your arrival and your progression. One of the notable lines I remember is when he talks about how you "suddenly become good at killing with no prior training" then goes into a discussion on hidden talents, and that your character is likely a serial killer whom has harnessed their long suppressed talent of killing people. I thought it was brilliant since you the gamer are wondering the same thing.


It feels very good as you navigate through the Himalayan mountainside because the environment is beautiful. There are annoying eagles that will attack if you decide to take in the scenery, which makes the moments you get so much more valuable. As you approach an unsuspecting enemy with your bow and are crouching in the tall grass, it rustles beautifully against your face. And then chaos ensues. You get spotted and have to switch to an explosive arrow, blow up a car that sets a shed on fire, and now you're running around an encampment full of fire, explosions, blood, and flying enemies who have just exploded because of your grenade that was frantically thrown. Everything is beautiful, and the frame rates stay consistent no matter what is happening. I played on an Xbox and didn't try to break it, but playing the game naturally allowed it to hold up. You'll be stunned when on the top of a mountain look around at the scenery. 


It's a must play. This review is nearly two years late so the game is only $20. It's worth more than that, and you'd be crazy not to play this game! 


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