back to article Far Cry 4 review: It's a far cry from Far Cry 3

Games are rarely known for providing a roster of characters worthy of a best supporting cast nomination, but Far Cry 4’s medley of misfits and tragic freedom fighters breaks the mould. Far Cry 4 Meet Pagin Min, his interests are world domination, mass slaughter and working with animals (sort of) Top of the bill is Pagan …

  1. MikeyD85


    "What I do hope is that Ubisoft now gives the franchise time to breathe and evolve, rather than add it to the yearly production line."

    The quality of Far Cry games have always been their greatest selling point. Yearly releases will make the formula become stale, not that Ubisoft know anything about AAA titles becoming stale...

    1. Number86

      Re: Amen!

      Except that the previous game was released 2 years ago, not one...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Amen!

      Can't play a game when the 'hero' has a haircut like that.

      1. Jediben

        Re: Amen!

        It's an FPS - you don't have a haircut. The dude you are referring to is the BADDIE.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Amen!

          "you don't have a haircut"

          Play game.

          Find mirror.

          What you see? "ANON DELIVERS"

  2. WraithCadmus
    Thumb Up

    Here's hoping there's no AC:U Gremlins

    I really enjoyed Far Cry 3, and if this is more of the same with some improvements then I'm quite happy to snap it up.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Adult content?

    What is the game PG rating? I always thought that Far Cry 3 could have broaden its audience by omitting some of its more ultra-gore-plus-sexual-violence parts while keeping the game itself good.

    1. ChromeKid

      Re: Adult content?

      I think anyone who is going to object to the "ultra-gore-plus-sexual-violence" (which was a very good description) have other good games to play. I think most people with triggers will probably find something in Far Cry 4, but they are largely outside the audience of the developers anyway.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Adult content?

      Why the downvotes? I just asked a question. Or were you offended by the description of the game? Ironic that people not offended by the game's content itself would be offended by that description.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not quite sure...

    My main gripe is that Far Cry has so far always been radically different. FC1 on the islands fighting a horde of mutants ("trigands"), FC2 which put you in the role of a hitman right within an African turbulent war... And FC3 which, as was to be expected, changed the decor quite radically again and introduced us to Vaas.

    Thing is; I liked FC3 but I didn't consider it all that great. It had too many flaws which added up could easily be a deal breaker, at least to me. Take for example the option of not being able to quickly swap between your weapons; only the current and the last can be quickly picked up (d-pad), the rest is all weapons wheel. While we could easily switch between the three main categories in previous titles. That has always bugged me with this game.

    Missions aren't all that brilliant either. You see; when I learned "towers = weapons" I started on a raiding rampage, combining stealth with force. And I have to admit; the experience was very good! Didn't take me too long to get all the towers on the first island (amazingly enough, the weapons dealer in the main camp kept bugging me about "unlock more towers", yah, duh?). SO I eventually came across missions where it felt like I had weapons which the developers didn't anticipate for.

    What I mean?

    So you have an assassination: need to kill this dude between the left and right island. He's sitting right in the middle (small strip) between the main Rakya village and, as said, the section left to it. And as is accustomed: you need to kill the main villain with a traditional knife. Everyone else is expandable So far, so good.

    Thing is: I had a sniper rifle here. So I started to scope the area out, sniped of some of the bad guys and the main villain started to walk towards me. So: way outside the mission parameter. I sneaked up, killed him and... mission failed, you need to use the knife!. Which is of course exactly what I did.

    As it turned out you need to enter the mission area before you can do stuff. And some of the areas in FC3 are horribly small. In this case I never went near it, but thanks to my sniper rifle could already step in. Apparently the developers never anticipated this. Duh!

    My other main gripe was that once you liberated the outposts there wasn't really much left to do. They were never taken back (not even attacked), and from there on you could basically go wherever you wanted to go without any risk. This was a major downer on re-playability for me too, but Ubisoft fixed this in the mean time by allowing you to reset the whole outpost issue.

    FC3 was nice, but not that good IMO. At least not for playing the game in a completely different (but still valid!) manner.

    So yah... this game seems a lot like a repeat of moves to me. Outposts, main villain, etc. The critic in me can't help wonder how much they're going to try to sell the visual aspects and perhaps use it to draw attention away from gameplay.

    Not saying that they will, but if they do then I wouldn't be surprised.

    So yah, I'm not a believer and most likely going to sit this one out.

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Not quite sure...

      You can switch between weapons with the numbers 1-4, I think 5-6 was mines/C4 and 7/8 was different syringes.

      Unless you're on a console, then you're out of luck.

    2. Evil Auditor Silver badge

      Re: Not quite sure...

      ShelLuser, I agree, FC4 seems like reissue of FC3.

      I really enjoyed the realism of FC2 - a really open world, no head-up displays, no magic visual tracking of enemies, a map you could hold in your virtual hand while roaming etc. FC3 brought a nice story line and felt less repetitive compared to FC2. But all those glass limits ("Warning! Leaving mission zone...") were a distraction and overall it was way too easy, e.g. the enemy tracking, and at one point I couldn't be bothered to collect loot anymore because my wallet replenished without effort.

      Would be nice if not bringing out a different game altogether, at least combine the realism and difficulty of FC2 with an interesting story and divers missions as in FC3. Judging from the trailers unfortunately this doesn't happen. Going to play it anyway, even if only for the beautiful landscape - the visual aspects already sold it to me.

    3. auburnman

      Re: Not quite sure...

      I loved FC3, my main gripe with it was the speed of spread and deadliness of the fire. The most annoying bit was when you caught fire there was a delay between the 'oh shit I'm on fire' animation/damage and the 'heal' button switching over to the 'Extinguish fire' function. More often not I'd try to pat myself down too early and inject a healing syringe. Then I had to wait for a cooldown period on the button WHILE I'M BURNING to put myself out.

      Having said that I did love FC3 and I'll probably pick this up. I hope they add some better mission replayability this time though.

    4. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: Not quite sure...

      Was I the only person who wanted bad things to happen to the whiny PC and his whiny friends?

      The crafting didn't seem like much thought had gone into it either. If I want to be able to carry $2k I need to stab a pig, but if I want to be able to carry $6k I need to stab a shark. It is a mystery.

      1. toxicdragon

        Re: Not quite sure...


        You are not the only one, thats what made me stop playing, I cant remember the exact wording but one of the NPCs said she felt "really current" at winning something or other, that alone made me stop playing, games are supposed to be fun, not whiny emo stuff with phrases that make literally no sense.

    5. goldcd

      I agree

      but mission boundaries aside, I quite like getting rewarded with weapons, for exploring early.

      That's that I like about open world games - messing about. I'll wade through the 'missions', sure, but bluntly I realize I have no interest in them being hard.

      I always saw this as being an active design decision. Some people will hammer through these games, mission to mission, ignoring the side-quests and "that interesting thing" I turned back to have another look at. They probably like their balanced missions.

      Favourite of mine in this genre was the original Crackdown - MS pulling a decent version of that out the bag is pretty much the only thing that'll get me coughing up for an XBone.

    6. Spleen

      Re: Not quite sure...

      Far Cry 2 and Far Cry 3 are both great games. Far Cry 3 is a much more accessible game, in many ways more fun than FC2. But having finished it I doubt I'll ever play it again. Tried once, put it straight back down. Replaying it just isn't that appealing.

      Far Cry 2 I have replayed all the way through several times. I think the difficulty balance makes it much more replayable. FC3 goes so far out of its way to be accessible that it is great fun the first time around, but after you've got used to it, it becomes too easy. You are pretty much invulnerable if you choose to fill your backpack with health syringes, for example (I didn't). The enemy-spotting system is great fun on your first playthrough, scanning camps then trying to stab-combo your way through the whole thing without being noticed. But the second time you're going through that camp, scanning it and murdering your way through it is just too easy, too mechanical, too predictable.

      FC2 is much more of a fair contest between the game and the player on the higher difficulty levels. You have a very limited number of syringes. Combat is difficult but if someone kills you it is usually from carelessness and running into an exposed area. I like to play it on a self-imposed semi-hardcore mode without quicksaves, so that if I die I have to start from the last safehouse. Travel can be bloody annoying and tedious with the constantly respawning enemies, but I actually prefer that to FC3 where the island is nearly devoid of threat until you approach a mission area (and totally devoid when you take over the camps).

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: Not quite sure...

        I found FC2 to be annoyingly repetitive. There were only a handful of mission types, and then the constantly respawning checkpoints with the lazy reasoning that "we haven't told our guys that you're working for us so they'll still shoot at you, and feel free to shoot back(?!), in fact we don't even care if you kill them all, repeatedly". The weapon durability mechanic was a bit silly too, some of the guns would visibly rust as you were firing them. I think one of them was so fragile that you could carry more ammunition than it could fire before breaking.

        I enjoy open world games, but I also like a fast travel system that works (i.e. not FC2's buses). Once I've cleared an area, I don't want to have to fight through it again to get to the next mission.

        I thought that FC3 was better in those respects and despite some criticisms, and some of the other weirdness that occurs, I think it's a better game. Blood Dragon trumped both of them though.

  5. phuzz Silver badge

    I was just about to put this on my Steam wishlist, so I could pick it up next time it's on sale for less than £30, until I found that Ubisoft have removed it from Steam. Ho hum, just have to wait and guess when it's on sale I suppose.

    1. Humpty McNumpty

      It is under £30

      CDKeys and similar will sell you the "Limited Edition" fir under £30, granted that does not include the season pass for future DLC, but you can often pick that up very cheap at a later date.

      What this review doesn't touch on because it was done on PS4 is that the PC release cannot apparently be reviewed until they release a patch today, so those who want the game on release day don;t have much if any warning as to any gameplay issues at launch.

      For possibly related reasons, it ,as of this morning at least, still wasn't possible to preload the game ready to play on UPlay.

    2. NoneSuch Silver badge

      I have seen it there for several days now. Wish List is working. I'm with you and will wait until the price comes down.

  6. MJI Silver badge

    I liked 2 a lot.

    I was not a fan of Jason Brody. At least in 2 you could choose a character.

    But out of the lot Blood Dragon is simply fun.

    I will get FC4 when it dips below £40

  7. jungle_jim

    Need to re-play Far Cry 3

    I must have played it wrong because I found it all to be a bit of a disappointment.

    Will have to give it another go methinks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Need to re-play Far Cry 3

      The first time i played it i ended up having a paddy and binning it so to speak.

      Then in a calmer monent i tried again and got to grips with the other aspects, such as crafting, looting, etc etc. That was 2 years ago, i have completed it ohh, say 20 times since. I rate it up there with Half Life 2 as one of the best games of the last two decades....

      Frankly, some of the best money i have ever spent on a piece of software.

      It has its minor issues but they are a small annoyance in a magnificent world..

      1. Peter G Green

        Re: Need to re-play Far Cry 3

        Little annoyances, like being at the bottom of a large caldera, in a lake, at night, knowing you have a torch on your weapon but being unable to switch on. Fumbling around in the dark until you very nearly give up and increase the brightness on the TV so you can actually see the hand in front of your face.

        But I only just got it on Steam at the weekend (£5 for deluxe version) and I love it :-).

        1. jungle_jim

          Re: Need to re-play Far Cry 3

          I would like to follow up and say that I have taken the time to play the game again and am thoroughly enjoying it this time around.

          Can't say what I am doing differently this time around though.

          Strange eh!?

  8. jungle_jim


    Ruining people with an elephant is appealing though.

    1. asdf

      Re: Elephant

      But the elephant in the room is what an epic fail the release of AC Unity was. Ubisoft already has two strikes against them in my book so even though I enjoyed FC2 won't be buying any of their games in the first month of release anytime soon.

  9. RyokuMas

    Wait a second...

    "Ubisoft gets it right this time"

    What, they've stopped using always-online DRM?

  10. Toby Poynder

    "losing magazine-after-magazine" ... what, did you accidentally drop them on people's heads to knock them out? Cunning indeed.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon

      Didn't you know? That's the uzi-9mm stealth option!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Might be nice to see a PS4 XBone comparison to see how much shitter the XBox version is?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      <troll mode on>

      As long as the PC is also included in the comparison, to show just how shitty both consoles are compared against a real gaming system. ;-)

      </troll mode on>

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon

        Actually I'd be more interested to see how the 360 version plays, since I'm not going to bother with the next-gen consoles (saving up for a super-rig to play elite with an OR when it gets released)

        1. Boothy

          As someone who has Elite Beta access, and an Oculus Rift DK2, (I just couldn't wait for the released version!).

          I can say that the DK2 adds a whole new level of realism to playing the game! Just rising up from the dock, via the lift, and into the open internal space of a station, and "Wow!!" as you look around. Everything just looks so tangible, the scale of the stations just seem so much bigger in VR than they do on a flat screen.

          Not tried a car racing game yet, but I'd guess the effect will be very similar.

          1. Sir Runcible Spoon

            I hear-tell that you need to push around 60fps to the Rift to reduce vision issues, what kind of rig would you need to do that?

            1. Boothy

              Yes, high frame rate is needed, otherwise you start to get motion issues (i.e. sick!) 75Hz is the magic number currently as far as I know.

              If you don't have access to the Beta currently, I'd wait for the official release before looking at hardware. They are still optimising code, plus the Rift tweaking isn't high on the priority list currently (which is understandable). Hopefully they will give the DK2 a bit more love after the formal release next month. (Frontier are a big Rift supporter, so I'm 99% certain this will happen).

              Also of course the commercial release version of the Rift is likely to need different specs anyway. (Higher res screen, but likely more optimised hardware and drivers). So who knows if this will need more, less, or the same grunt!

              My currently rig isn't exactly new, it's using a Core i7-3770K, from 2012 (3.5GHz stock, but mine runs at 4.3GHz with a Corsair Hydro liquid cooler). So far I've never had a game push this CPU other than some poorly optimised turn based strategy games, hence no upgrade for a while now.

              The GPU is a Gigabyte GTX 780 OC 3GB, specifically bought last summer to play Elite with, as my previous GTX 670 wasn't up to the job (this was on a 1440p monitor at the time and the then Alpha was regularly hitting <20 FPS :-/ ).

              The game runs smooth on the DK2s 1080p display (other than some current minor glitches, that are Elite specific, and known about).

              1. Sir Runcible Spoon

                Thanks for that, it gives me some idea of what I'll be laying out.

                If I can convince wifey (or knock her out until the deed is done) I was planning on building a dedicated cockpit and build the PC into the frame - have some of the water cooling pipes pop out here and there. That, along with a paint-job might make it looks pretty snazzy even when not using the Rift :) It'll be bloody useless for anything else mind - but this setup is basically what I've been dreaming about since I first played Elite all those years ago - so I don't see why I should compromise.

                I reckon £2k should just about do it :) (after scavenging some re-usable components from current stock)

  12. TheRealRoland

    Where did the Talking Heads reference go? (at least, i think it was the tagline for this article...)

    "Run, run, run - run run away!'

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon

      Psycho killer que est-ce que ce est?

      1. TheRealRoland

        yup, that one... I seem to recall it was the tagline, but no longer. ah well...

  13. I Like Heckling Silver badge

    After spending a few hours playing FC4... all I can say is that it's just FC3.5... The locations have changed as have the NPC's. But essentially it's exactly the same. Gain skill points to unlock new attributes, craft goodies from plants and animal skins, unlock broadcast towers and complete missions.

    It looks ok... except for the fact that the game has been released with some major bugs, the visuals were awful until you messed around with settings. Shadows were pitch black and you were unable to see anything and there's a bug which makes the map black completely. As you tinker with the settings trying to get something that works... the game looks awful if you can't use the highest settings, especially the lighting ones... without that it looks like shite.

    Plus the game can be completed in under 30 mins... just wait for Pagan Min to come back about 8-10 mins after he leaves and he takes you to where you were heading and you can complete the game that way... without ever doing a mission.

    But the worst thing about this game is that you cannot skip through cut scenes at all... and the first cut scene is around 10 mins long... after that they can be a little shorter but die or fail a mission and you have to suffer it again and again and again...

    Unfortunately on the runs like a bag of sand unless you have the very latest hadware. I'm running a Phenom II X4 955BE @ 3.75ghz and 2x 5770 in Xfire and even at 1280x720 with settings on high (2 levels down from max) it's struggling to get an average 35fps... Which makes it unplayable really... Yes I know my hardware is a little old, but until this game I have been able to play everything I've thrown at it @1920x1080 and settings pretty much at max levels.

    It reminds me of when GTAIV was released for PC and it ran like utter crap... I had the latest hardware back then as I'd built a new PC just 2 months before it came out. Couldn't get a playable frame rate at 1280x10124 then (old 4:3 LCD monitor) and Rockstar made the pathetic statement that the game had been designed to run on hardware that wasn't out yet... when in reality it was just a badly optomised port of the Xbox version and ran like complete crap... I left the game until I built this one 2yrs later and you know what I found... even on hardware that wasn't around at the time... it still ran like crap.

    But this time it's Ubisoft... and I know how they screw games up... so my money is waiting to see if they fix the problems that are wrong in the... erm... evaluation version I've tried.

    All of the other FC games I own on steam, and FC3 is a basty on that because Ubisoft won't remove the uplay crap, nor will they patch the game to stop it trying to connect to their nonexistent servers every time you open the in game menu... which takes about a min to fail so you can carry on... Never had that problem in the evaluation versions out there.

    and this ladies and gents... is exactly why piracy exists, because they have a better gaming experience than those that actually purchase them.

    At the moment... I'll do what I did with FC3... wait for the summer sale on steam and pick it up for £5. :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Thoughtful review, thanks so much @I-Like-Heckling!

      Can't understood how the original reviewer wrote a review that reads more a literally character novel! Who cares about the characters? Tell us about the gameplay? What's fresh and new from the other titles in the series.... Whereas your review was all I needed to know :- cannot skip through cut scenes at all...

      .......essentially it's exactly the same. Gain skill points to unlock new attributes, craft goodies from plants and animal skins, unlock broadcast towers and complete missions.

      Those two points alone mean I will leave this game well alone. I'm so sick of non-immersive cut scenes. At least FC2 had menacing music and lush jungles to overshadow these. Whereas FC4 is just the same as FC3 but with snow and new skins!

      No Thanks!

    2. Boothy

      @ I Like Heckling

      Thanks for that, nice clear review, and straight to the point. Have a beer...

      I liked FC3, so would probably like FC4, but if it's just basically the same game re-skinned, then I'll leave it for now. Not like I have a shortage of other games to play currently. (Elite, Borderlands etc.)

      I'll probably get it at some point, but will wait for a few months/year for a GOTY or similar version to turn up cheap, with all DLC etc. (And on Steam preferably).

  14. MJA

    Does anybody else think that the bad guy looks like he could be footballer Neymar's dad or something? It's uncanny.

    I'm glad they kept the FC3 underpinnings. I was dreading that they'd ruin the game by going back to the FC2 formula. I wanted to love FC2 but 60 frustrating, repetitive hours later I had to give up for my own sanity, only 70% through the story.

    I loved FC3 and the characters and was gripped all the way. It is one of my top 5 ever games because it's a rare one that I enjoyed the whole way through and never really found any of it annoying or frustrating. Just difficult enough without dodgy mechanics to create false difficulty by handicapping your character in unreasonable ways (rant back at FC2's random weapon jams and pointless Malaria side story). I feel that the game mechanics will make up for the lack of a decent lead character, that and the new varied landscape. It worked before so no need to do anything drastic yet.

    Here's hoping it doesn't end up a yearly trudge like AC. There's an unfortunate desire these days to milk something to death once a winning formula is found. CoD is the case in point and AC isn't far off being more irritating than intriguing.

    As for the reported long un-skippable cut scenes. I'm knee-deep in The Last of Us at the moment (switched to PS4 after XB360 and finally did the honourable thing) so cut scenes are my bread and butter at the moment. I just need to learn to stop pressing Square when it says 'Press X' on screen.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I liked FC2 but was unable to complete it due to a bug that meant a character that gave me a mission wasn't available... I then entered the world of Ubisoft Support, and when I say support I mean the opposite. Sold the game in disgust

  16. TimChuma

    I bought the pack with four games in it

    Only Far Cry 2 & 3 were on disc. The first game and Blood Dragon were download only. Still have not played 2.

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