Far Cry 4 impressions

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Far Cry 3 was without doubt an outstanding and ground breaking first person shooter.  Far Cry 4 looks to take what number 3 did so well and keep on trying to make things better.

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I’ve just played my first couple of hours on Far Cry 4 and am itching to get on and play some more.

First thing’s first, Far Cry 4 plays A LOT like Far Cry 3, at least it has so far.  The setting change is a big one but other than that it plays and appears to be structured in a very similar style.  If you loved Far Cry 3 you’ll probably love Far Cry 4, if you hated it I can’t see you feeling very different about it’s successor.

The game puts you in the boots of Ajay Ghale, who begins the game on a bus heading for the border of a region of Nepal that is in a constant state of conflict.  This conflict is fuelled by the region’s despotic king, Pagan Min.

Just like Far Cry 3, number 4 starts with you arriving in the region, running into the villain, attempting to escape from their clutches and beginning an explosive romp through a spectacular setting trying to overthrow said villain.

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The main difference between the two games, at least at this stage, is the landscape that the game takes place in.  Far Cry 3 was set across temperate, lush green islands full of tropical flora and fauna.  Far Cry 4 takes places in the Himalayas.

At first I had thought the Himalayas would prove to be a dire setting for an action-adventure game but Far Cry 4 is proving me wrong.  I thought mountains would make traversal too difficult to be enjoyable and would dramatically slow down the gameplay.

The small area of the map that I have been able to explore so far is full of exciting activities, vehicles, creatures to hunt, and the most beautiful panoramas that I have seen in a first person shooting game.  I’m definitely hoping for a dedicated photo mode like Shadow of Mordor and The Last of Us have made use of.

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The gun play feels wonderful.  The weapon list looks to be large and varied and I’ve already fallen back into old habits with a bow to silently take down guards both in and out of missions.

Popular gameplay mechanics from Far Cry 3 return such as the crafting ability to encourage players to hunt the wildlife in order to upgrade their wallet size, gun holsters, and backpacks sizes.

Map progression in Far Cry 3 was fantastic thanks to the towers which littered the map that had to be explored to unlock new weapons and remove haze from the in game map, exposing locations of extra missions, hidden treasures and wildlife feeding grounds.

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The outposts have also returned.  This was, in my opinion, the best aspect of Far Cry 3.  To gradually take back the map from the game’s villain outposts had to be emptied out by the player.  The real star of these encounters was the huge range of different approaches that the player could use to take control of them.  These are back in Far Cry 4 and there are more options than ever  to reclaim them.

It’s very early days for Far Cry 4 and I’ve only just dipped my toes into it’s beautiful waters.  I can’t wait to take some more outposts, play through more story missions, get to see more of the wildlife and enjoy more stunning vistas looking out across the Himalayas.

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