The first time your character encounters Pagan Min in Far Cry 4, he murders a henchman with a golden pen right in front of you. Then, still splattered with blood, he gives you a hug.
The game's main villain, Min, is the dictator of Kyrat, a fictional Himalayan country.
You are Ajay Ghale, a man returning to his native country to scatter his mum's ashes. Soon, Ajay learns that Min had a thing for his mother.
Voiced by Troy Baker (Joker in the Batman games), Min is deliciously over-the-top and Tarantino-like.
The Golden Path rebels who oppose Min and rescue you from his clutches are less fun to watch. Their two main leaders have conflicting ideas on how to overthrow Min. As the game progresses, you have to choose between them, setting up the multiple endings to the story.
However, the story pales in comparison to the world of Kyrat. Inspired by Nepal, the country is beautiful with snowy peaks and lush valleys.
Stopping to admire the scenery, however, can be deadly.
Besides Min's soldiers, you also have to fend off eagles, tigers and wolves which are unnaturally aggressive. The eagles are especially annoying, as they swoop down on you with little warning. However, it is entertaining to watch from a safe distance as the beasts attack non-playing characters.
If you have played the previous Far Cry, the gameplay will not come as a surprise as this successor basically recycles the open-world concept and game engine, albeit in a different setting.
As with such games, there is plenty to do. There are lots of items to collect and places to discover, including enemy outposts which you conquer to unlock bonuses and more missions. The game throws random events at you. These range from rescuing hostages to hijacking supply trucks. I found myself doing sidequests and ignoring campaign missions which further the plot.
In fact, the game world is probably big enough to be a stand-alone game by itself. For instance, to increase the amount of ammunition and loot which you can carry, you have to kill certain beasts for their skins. I spent more than a few hours stalking animals and killing them with a bow. It is probably the closest you will get to playing a Hunger Games video game. Even after you finish the game, you can continue to create havoc in Kyrat by diving into its solid multiplayer modes.
Ultimately, the most fun I had in Far Cry 4 came not from the story missions, but from the random crazy things I could do.
Nothing quite beats charging at enemies while on an elephant.
Despite its cool villain, Far Cry 4's story is overshadowed by its immersive and immensely entertaining game world.
- $59.90 (PC, version tested); $66.90 (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360); $74.90 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
- First-person shooter
This article was first published on Jan 07, 2015.
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