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[Game Review] Far Cry 4
I've always been a sucker for villains which are hilarious and impossible to hate and Far Cry 4 has gladly given just that to me, Pagan Min is a sadistic, sarcastic and psychotic narcissist who somehow is able to pull it off with a subtle grace and finesse. That is of course as soon as he violently stabs one of his soldiers right in front of you and quickly switching over from psycho to an uncle that you haven't seen in years.
Far Cry 4 takes place in the Himalayas at a place ruled by drugs and murder called Kyrat. The whole area is riddled with amazing views, from beautiful waterfalls to breathtaking views a top the highest mountains and you can really see the culture in this game. Everything from the small carvings on the cabinets to the side missions, carry a piece of history and culture with it. I found it extremely engrossing to explore the landscape, not to mention hunt for animals and explore unknown locations which usually are riddled with the Royal Army torturing people. It was fun, to put it simply.
While a lot of the elements have been taken from the previous games, there are some minor changes to Far Cry 4, such as the removal of some skills which are now either integrated into another skill, added since the very beginning or are automatically done. You no longer have to craft healing syringes, the game does it automatically for you, but you do have to learn and craft the other syringes like the Hunting Syringe. Double skins can also be acquired from "Clean Kills" which will only happen if you kill an animal with either a bow or just your knife, while double plant harvest is still kept as a skill under the Elephant skill tree.
The amount of animal encounters have always increased in comparison to Far Cry 3, I find myself in numerous situations where I'm trying to sneakily kill the Royal Army Soldiers at an outpost, only to either be killed by a tiger or chased by a honey badger, it was fun and annoying at the same time. The unpredictable element of the game, while not enough, was good enough to shake things up so that continuous raids on outposts didn't become so boring so quickly.
Then there's also the side missions; assassination missions, Eye for eyes, Outpost defense, Go pro race, Karma events which you can either chance upon while exploring the mountains of Kyrat or find at liberated outposts.
There's also the addition of the Masks of Yalung, a collection of masks spread across Kyrat by a serial killer hoping to bring the Yalung back into being. You find small notes from the serial killer who goes by "The goat" depicting small crazy talks of an insane man(or woman), journal entries from Mohan Ghale, the protagonist's father, which tells the story from how Pagan Min came into power up until Mohan's death and also the lost letters which I didn't find as interesting as the other collectibles. The game has tons of things to be done which can keep you busy for a very long time.
They've also included a new type of outpost, a fortress for each of the four governors of Kyrat, which you can conquer. The fortresses each have a "very difficult" marker on them, trying to get players to either use guns for hire tokens (for summoning help from the Golden Path) or doing online play with a friend, however, to my disappointment, they were not as hard as Ubisoft thinks, the fortresses are easily conquered alone, even if you trip each and every alarm at the base.
Now what I've always loved with Far Cry is the moral choices that they always love to throw at you, The Golden Path is led by two leaders, Amita and Sabal, each with their own differing ideas and each with their own stance in how to lead Kyrat. You will constantly be thrown in between these two opposing forces, one wants to keep Kyrat with all the ancient traditions and way of life, while the other is actively looking for ways to keep Kyrat going in terms of the future. What makes it worse is that both leaders mean well while being unable to come to an agreement. Some enemies's faith are even given for you to decide upon and every choice you make affects the game in some way. Even running over civilians deduct from your Karma Points.
All in all Far Cry 4 is an amazing game, with an awesome game play and an interesting plot, it will surely keep you busy for days, although it does get a bit tiring to "entertain yourself" with the game style as there is an absolute lack of story driven content in the game. It's fun to play, yes, but not as fun and intricate as Skyrim with every submission having its own story, although that may be a little out of balance for a war-exploration game. Kudos to Far Cry 4 though for the most interesting part of the game, as usual the crazy villain, Pagan Min, to be honest if the game would let me, I would side with him instead of the Golden Path.