Game Review : Far Cry 4
Far Cry 4 is an open world action-adventure first-person shooter video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One video game consoles, and Microsoft Windows.
Far Cry 4‘s narrative director Mark Thompson expressed that he wanted the narrative of the game to correct shortcomings he felt the previous game Far Cry 3 had. In Far Cry 3, the open world nature of the gameplay was at odds with the plot as it allowed the player to perform protracted acts of exploration despite situations in the narrative which were supposedly time critical. For Far Cry 4 efforts were made to ensure the open world gameplay and story complemented each other. The successor to the very successful Far Cry 3, Far Cry 4 obviously had a lot of expectations to live up to and it does live up to them, at least for most of the part…
When it comes to the gameplay, you cannot really distinguish between FC3 and FC4 animations, guns are largely the same. Of the very few new gameplay mechanics that are in the game, the prominent ones are the grappling hook and the new auto drive system. The grappling hook is a logical addition since Kyrat is covered in mountains and it seems kinda fun to swing around here and there using it. The auto drive feature is also included this time, so you can focus on shooting, though, it doesn’t really make it any easier. Using a grenade launcher is what I found as the fastest and the easiest way to blow up enemy vehicles. You will most likely use it to check your phone while the car drives to the next mission location, it becomes increasingly irrelevant as more and more fast travel locations are unlocked.
Other trademark features of Ubisoft, like the radio towers, random vehicle chases for weapons etc. are present in almost all open world Ubisoft games and so, they are present in this game as well. It is clear they were going for the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach. The best part of competitive play is that it offers many of the campaign’s freedoms.
The sounds of Kyrat are also exquisite. Gun fire, ringing bells etc. are all properly pronounced but something I had an issue with was the voice acting. Now, being an Indian, everytime I heard them say each-others names I cringed. The incorrect pronounciation of the word ‘Pagan’ is understandable, but the other characters in the story that are supposed to be local, miss pronounce news and locations and have that accent in their Hindi which is nothing but cringe-worthy. I even tweeted at Alex Hutchinson about it.
Like I said, you wouldn’t really notice much of a difference if you compare it Far Cry 3 and Far Cry 4. That’s because, both of them were created using the Dunia Engine 2. There is a little change in the terrains/landscape though. Effects such as god rays are heavily emphasized and used in a way that have tremendous atmospheric impact on the game’s environments.
Kyrat itself is a very beautiful and colorful place with varied environment from huge mountains to the weird but intriguing surroundings of Shangrila. Far Cry 4 saw partnership with nVidia, creating a heavier focus on soft shadows (similar to ACU’s PCSS inclusion) and lighting effects. Soft Shadows are more GPU-intensive than other shadow settings because they are softened toward the edges, appearing more realistic as the shadow fades to natural light. Soft Shadows bleed light through the edges, the end result being less “hard” lines without transition between a cast shadow and the environment.
Being an nVidia titled game, it is said to be heavily optimized for nVidia graphic cards. The godrays, the shadows look much better when the game is played using an nVidia gfx card. According to the website Tom’s Hardware, The nVidia GeForce GTX 650 is forced below 30 FPS at a 1080p resolution and low setting, while the Radeon R7 250X manages to keep its frame rate higher. The nVidia GeForce GTX 750 Ti does a good job too (running the game at 49fps at an average). The pictures below will tell you more about the benchmarking of the game on various graphic cards :
Once again, the Radeon cards struggle with high frame time variance. I played this game on the MSI’s Radeon HD 7870 on all settings set to high (except anti-aliasing, which was turned off) and got a very steady framerate. A Ubisoft PC game with a steady framerate no one was expecting that.
If you want to play FC4 for the story, you’re going to be hugely disappointed. The end and the various endings are good but for the most part the story is passable at even best. The game is however a vast open world filled with things to do, this gives you the opportunity to make your own stories. Walking is by far the most enjoyable mode of transport in the game because you never know what will happen (damn the bald eagles and honey badgers… don’t forget those bears…). The most disappointing part is the extremely short role of Pagan Min played by Troy Baker.
The story of Far Cry 4 could have used more of Min and lacks innovation especially when it comes to story, new mechanics, guns etc. Also, the characters seems to be quite forgettable. The missions and varied and enjoyable. The virtual world is so vast that you could just get lost in it! And Shangri-la is sooooo awesome! Far Cry 4 has been awarded as the best shooter game of 2014. What I feel?! No! It isn’t the best shooter, it isn’t the best story. In fact, it isn’t too big of a leap from Far Cry 3. It is however incredibly fun, hunting, guns, grappling up the cliffs, free-falls using our wing-suit, launching into the air, dropping bombs from your gyrocopter and riding the elephant! Wohoo!