Games: Far Cry 4 Review (or “Dear Games Developers: Give Us Something Fresh, Please!!”)

I’ve not written anything in a wee while, so I thought I’d drop by to discuss the latest game I’ve been playing, Far Cry 4.

Now here’s a game that I’ve spent the last week or so playing pretty heavily. Indeed, I’ve notched up around 20 hours on it, to the point where my life has been work, Far Cry 4 and the occasional episode of The Simpsons (Seasons 2-9 inclusive of course; anything else just wouldn’t do).farcry4

Today I “finished” it and it’s time to jot down my thoughts.

I say “finished” because apparently only completed 50.7% of the overall experience, but that’s enough for me anyway.

Far Cry 4 Review – The Statistics

Platform: PS4
Game Type: Open World GTA-esque,
Theme: Set in the fictional Asian state of Kyrat, you play as the son of the founder of a freedom fighting movement who has returned to the country and is asked to help liberate it from the clutches of the nefarious Pagan Min.
General Scores: Pretty highly rated. It gets around 8/10 on most sites.

Far Cry 4 Review – My Thoughts

As much as I enjoyed certain aspects of Far Cry 4 – and I mean with that level of time commitment I must have, otherwise it’d just be idiotic – the main thing I’ve come away from it feeling is that single player gaming really needs to try something fresh.

The only thing that separates Far Cry 4 from GTA, Saints Row, Red Dead Redemption, Crackdown, Bully, Skyrim, Oblivion, Borderlands or any number of AAA title is the environment.

I definitely felt it was something I’d played many times before and it’ll be something I’ll inevitably pay £40 to play again with a fresh lick of paint in a few months time.

Here’s the checklist of what’s in it that you’ll have come across in another game…

  • You’ve got your main story mode complete with tiresomely long cut scenes that you don’t care about and yet can’t skip.
  • A variety of side missions that are usually more fun but get so repetitive that you begin to lose interest after a while.
  • One of those side mission varieties is a racing game that you really don’t give a toss about.
  • There’s the scavenging for different leaves to help you make potions (in this case syringes)
  • There’s the hunting bit.
  • There’s the conclusion to the storyline where you feel slightly betrayed.
  • The bit where you’re accidentally on drugs so that development team can make things go all weird and spaced out.
  • The needless bit where you start a mission and then have to drive right the way across the map just to pick something up or shoot someone.
  • The wee notes/journals you can look at to read that have absolutely no bearing on the game.
  • The pretence of open-worldness when there really isn’t. In this case it’s the idea that all the crates and boxes are worth searching, but they aren’t.
  • The bit where you go from thinking “Wow, this map is so wonderfully vast; I can’t wait to explore it” to “I’ll just click Fast Travel from now on”

And don’t get me wrong; some of it is great. I loved doing the hunting (up until the point I realised that once I killed a certain amount of each type of animal it became pointless to bother about it) and was in my element mixing the combination of stealthy sniping and no-frills shotgun brutality when liberating outposts and radio towers.

But other bits left me cold. I just couldn’t be bothered with the side missions for the two druggie blokes and instead longed to murder them, and if I wanted to play a racing game I’d put on Mario Kart.

Also, as you may have gathered from my comment above, the main story mode was a bit crap. But they always are, aren’t they?

Where this game falls down though is that at 50.7%, I’ve had enough. To keep going would just be completing it for the sake of completing it. Having unlocked the most powerful weapons, there’s no challenge left in completing the side missions now and I’d just be going through the motions.

Compare that to the best example of this genre ever – Red Dead Redemption – and that’s a big failing. Red Dead made me want to complete 100% of the game because everything about it was superb.

This – as good as it looks – isn’t at that level.

Having said all that, it still took over my life for four days and up until the point where I realised I’d have enough, it more than offered value for money.

So on that basis, I’d recommend it.

But I implore the big game studios; give us something fresh soon please. Surely this type of game has long since been over-saturated?


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