The Scotsman Games review: Far Cry 4

Far Cry 4 is a game of great variety that rewards curiosity. Picture: Contributed

Far Cry 4 is a game of great variety that rewards curiosity. Picture: Contributed

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A HIMALAYAN adventure that is a breath of fresh air among open world shooters

Far Cry 4

Platform: Playstation 4 (reviewed) / Xbox One / Playstation 3 / Xbox 360 / PC

Score: 8/10

THE latest entry in one of Ubisoft’s key series follows on from Far Cry 3, with the player taking control of Ajay, an all American expat who becomes embroiled in a civil war between dictator Pagan Min and an internecine resistance group, the Golden Path. The narrative is unlikely to go down in the annals of gaming, while Ajay and the arch antagonist are too thinly drawn to inspire any kind of emotional investment, but they serve to set the scene for a vast explorative shooter which, in true Far Cry tradition, can be tackled in a style and pace of the player’s choosing.

The world in Far Cry 4, a fictional nation called Kyrat that is a fusion of Thai and Nepalese environments, is a seductive breath of fresh air to the tranche of games obsessed with all things urban. It is an evocative and unique setting that, from the first moment to the last, grabs the player’s attention and sucks them into a place that demands exploration, while feeling genuinely wild and teeming with danger. Not since Sleeping Dogs has a game benefited from such a distinctive geography and Ubisoft deserve great credit for taking a jaunt to the Far East.

A conservative game in terms of its structure, it packs in plenty of imagination

It is a decision that seems to have liberated the game from the tropes of the genre elsewhere. Where other titles restrict the range of vehicles on offer to cars, motorbikes, planes and boats, Far Cry 4 throws gliders, gyrocopters and elephants into the mix, all of which add verve to what is - at heart - a conservative open world shooter in terms of its mechanics and structure. The exotic locale also allows for interesting ways to target enemies, the best of which are achieved by setting wild animals loose on them.

Indeed, the game as it is best when it is either funnelling the player through imaginatively conceived set pieces as part of missions - a highlight being waging fights with the help of a tiger - or simply allowing you to plough a lone furrow in the dizzying amount of side quests, even though it shares one or two of the superfluous quests that pepper the Assassin’s Creed series. Actively seeking out the less trodden path is the best way to get the most out of Far Cry 4,

Co-operative play is enjoyable and another example of the title’s variety

Ubisoft have also shoehorned in a series of multiplayer modes. As well as a five on five option- which does what it says on the tin competently - there is the ability to play through the game co-operatively. In truth, only the one player is able to truly direct the action, with the second player there to provide a helping hand, but it is yet another enjoyable strand in a game that celebrates variety and rewards curiosity.

TIPS AND TRICKS:

Hunting is a enjoyably diverting pursuit in Far Cry 4, but if you want to make the most of it, use a trusty bow. Not only is it more fulfilling, a clean strike will reward you with more pelts.

That is not to say that guns are not crucial in the game - they most certainly are. Be sure to upgrade your weapon holster as quickly as possible. This allows you to carry a variety of arms at once.

Another upgrade worth investing in is the ability to ride elephants. It is a fun way of traversing the world and ideal for crushing foes underfoot.

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