What is Far Cry 4?
Far Cry 4 is an open world first person shooter set in the Himalayas. Playing as a young man named Ajay Ghale, you're on a trip back to your homeland to spread your mother's ashes, when one thing leads to another, and all of a sudden you find yourself caught up in a civil war between a rebel group and a tyrannical dictator called Pagan Min - a sinister figure who also claims to be Ajay's father.
How do you play Far Cry 4?
As an open world game, the gameplay in Far Cry 4 is suitably open ended. If you want, you can simply spend your time exploring the game's huge world, searching out the collectibles, finding the hidden locations, diving to the bottom of the rivers, or trekking into caves. Or, you can stick to the game's missions, which usually see you facing off against the Royal Army in one way or another, whether you're defending a base, storming an enemy outpost, or trying to stealthily pick off their soldiers to free some hostages.
How easy is Far Cry 4 to pick up and play?
With a lot of freedom, and a lot of choice, Far Cry 4 is a deep, complex, and challenging game. With no real linear missions, you're instead given total freedom as to how you want to approach an objective, and you have to figure it out for yourself. That's great for more experienced players - but if you can't figure out the "right" way to do it, it can be a pretty steep learning curve.
While there's a lot to do, the game does feature a lot of "defence" missions, where you're asked to defend a certain character from attack. Famously some of the trickiest types of levels around - seeing as when you fail, it usually isn't actually your fault - if the people you're defending choose to stand up rather than crouch behind cover, or simply walk in front of you when you're firing, you'll end up failing the mission, meaning there's often a heck of a lot to keep track of, a lot of plates to keep spinning, and a lot to do. The game's map is similarly complex, as what looks like a straight route on the map may end up leading you straight up a cliff. With an emphasis on survival, and little in the way of tools or hand-holding to make your life easier, Far Cry 4 is definitely aimed at more experienced players.
Parents may also want to be aware that the game does have missions which task the player with hunting, and skinning animals, including endangered species like Bengal tigers.
From the offset, Far Cry 4 contains regular, in your face violence and gore, designed to turn your stomach and shock. From your character using a makeshift blade to dig a bullet out of the exposed flesh on his wounded forearm (complete with grizzly sound effets), to having to skin a wild animal, giving you a first person view of your character driving a knife into the animal, as blood flies over the screen, and squelching noises come through your speakers, Far Cry 4 aims to get the unpleasant realities of survival in the wild across, and does so with aplomb. Combat similarly results in large blood splatters, and some moves see you plunging a knife into your foe's neck. Several cutscenes also feature characters being stabbed repeatedly, with blood splatters all around.
There's also a large emphasis on hunting animals, and while you don't see the animal being skinned (the camera moves ever so slightly up from the body), you do see blood flying, and get to watch the knife go in in the first place. From wolves to endangered species like Bengal tigers, Far Cry 4 has you hunting them all, often just so you can make new equipment.
The game also features regular swearing, with f**k, a**hole and s**t all making appearances. One scene sees the character smoking marijuana. There's also several references in the dialogue to sex and sexual activity ("I think sex is fun") and nudity, with topless women, and a slight glimpse of a penis in one scene (although admittedly it is very hard to make out).
Format Reviewed: PC