Have You Played… Far Cry 4?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every weekday of the year, perhaps for all time.

Far Cry 2 is the cool Far Cry game to like, and it’s certainly the most interesting and coherent, but if we’re measuring in pure silly joy then Far Cry 4 beats it every time.

You will not be pinned, back to the wall, with a jammed gun, an approaching wildfire, a flaring malaria infection and a grenade rolling back down a hill towards you. But you will be infiltrating umpteen neatly designed outposts using gyrocopters, bow and arrows, or magical animal powers. You will be wingsuiting from beautiful mountaintops and riding on the backs of friendly charging elephants. You can and should be doing all of these things in co-op, which integrates seamlessly with the same open world as the singelplayer.

Far Cry 4 suffers from many of the same plot and story delivery problems as its predecessor Far Cry 3, but it hardly matters. Your co-op partner can hang from the bottom of your gyrocopter on a rope, which is useful to no one but entertaining to all. That same rope can be used to scale cliffsides, in a process you’d expect to be linear or scripted but which is in fact physically simulated, allowing you to swing and kick off from the rock face like a bounding buffoon. There’s little that’s original here, but what’s new is delightful. It’s hard to begrudge.

76 Comments

  1. Viggo says:

    “Far Cry 2 is the cool Far Cry game to like, and it’s certainly the most interesting and coherent”
    Are you on drugs? What the fucking hell.
    Far Cry 2 is the worst Far Cry in the series, bland, repetitive, boring story, boring characters, MALARIA, consists solely of the color brown… I could go on.

    • Dingbatwhirr says:

      I must say, 2 is definitely my favourite of the series. The immersion is second to none – I actually felt like a poor-equipped mercenary in a foreign, hostile land, surviving on my wits alone, instead of a super-powered Batman-with guns (as fun as that can be).

      I agree with you on the malaria point though. I just found that irritating, to be honest – didn’t feel it really added any tension, just annoyance.

      • Wobsey says:

        Me too! I enjoyed FC3 but I absolutely loved FC2. It’s one of the best stealth games I’ve played and probably my second favorite FPS after the STALKER games. This is the guide that showed me the way:
        link to majorslack.com

      • Jay Load says:

        Nope, gotta back up Viggo here – Far Cry 2 is a fantastic game utterly hamstrung by some of the stupidest game design decisions ever made. It’s not “cool” to like it, it’s “masochism”.

        • qrter says:

          And I’ll back up Dingbatwhirr, Far Cry 2 is a fantastic game, with a real heart of darkness. As far as I was concerned, the game has a very distinct and disturbing point of view, which seems to be a rarity in big budget game design.

      • Viggo says:

        I guess it has that going for it. Personally never felt it. Couldn’t immerse myself in it because of the myriad of issues I had with it, which is such a shame because IMO, it had some of the best gunplay in a game at the time, except for the gun deterioration.

    • karthink says:

      “Are you on drugs? What the fucking hell.”

      RPS should have a daily award for the most disproportionate reaction to an article.

      • Viggo says:

        I’ll kiss you on the bad place if it eases the boo-boo

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        Aerothorn says:

        Sadly, I think it would only encourage them :(

      • alms says:

        I like when they take their time to edit the unexcellent comments and turn them on their heads. It’s like the only time when not being able to edit comments feels right.

    • Stevostin says:

      FC2 is the best one, especially story wise. Also malaria, I’d never get what the issue was here. Malaria was one crisis every two hours of play, totally manageable etc.
      The real cons was the immersion breaking respawn for me. But boy did I enjoy the sound…

      • Slinkusss says:

        Actually, having played through Far Cry 2 many many times, I learned that malaria episodes are triggered by your needing to get malaria pills, which is connected to which of the main missions you are doing. I.e. if you start the game and don’t do any main missions and just go through the buddy quests until there are none left, then you don’t get a single malaria attack, then you can start the main missions with some diamonds and decent kit, plus lots of experience (not XP I mean actual experience as a human player). Then when you do the third or so main mission you get an attack, finish your pills and have to get new ones upon completion of that mission.

        Hmmm… (goes of to play one of his favorite games ever… again….)

        • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

          if you start the game and don’t do any main missions and just go through the buddy quests until there are none left

          Hey? When I played FC2, my buddy only gave me a quest when I started a main mission, as an extra objective. What am I missing?

          • Bugamn says:

            If you went to the bar where the buddies met you could get extra missions.

    • Cinek says:

      A nit harsh reaction, but… yea… you are right.

    • Barberetti says:

      Yeah, I actually laughed out loud when I read that bit.

    • Herr_C says:

      FC2 is still the best FC, even with that near instant re-spawning checkpoints.

      Best immersion, best story, best world design, best overall characters (Vaas was great, but the main dude… even Uwe Boll makes better characters, he was that bad), by far the best ending, best weapon handling…

      • haradaya says:

        They respawn once you walk far enough away from them, as they then unload. And they’ll always reload populated. Didn’t find it that bad once I figured that out.

    • MikoSquiz says:

      It’s not just the worst Far Cry, it’s one of the worst games I’ve ever played. Just miserable suffering that makes you want to plead, “What did I ever do to deserve this?!”

      • 7vincent7black7 says:

        This comment forces me to take a stance I am not usually fond of, I am one of the first gamers to become annoyed when gaming promises lead to terrible production and immense dissappointment. But if playing that game made you suffer so grievously, then maybe you should have put it down. Nobody forced you to play that game.

        I know that people have their own opinions, but there are A LOT of opposing viewpoints and stories in this comment section regarding specifically the mechanics and the game, and the efficacy of the spawn points, combat, and etc.

        So who would be telling the truth? You? What is true for you is not true for everyone else, and don’t pin your self-inflicted masochistic tendencies on anyone or anything else but yourself.

    • protowizard says:

      I would like you back you up on this. Absolutely terrible game that asked you to be stealthy then gave guards the ability to magically turn 180 degrees on the spot and shoot you in the head with pinpoint accuracy from 300 feet. And if you managed to clear out a checkpoint, you mustn’t turn your back on it or the guards will all respawn. Oh, and don’t bother driving if you don’t want to be riddled with bullets on sight.

    • drezworthy says:

      Far Cry 2 was so bad it was the only one in the series I did not complete.

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      phuzz says:

      FarCry 2 was both the worst FarCry, and the best. It’s also the most marmite.

    • Mr_Blastman says:

      Far Cry 2 was the best one!

    • hungrycookpot says:

      I totally agree, I can only remember a very few times in recent memory when I’ve felt ripped off by a game, but I hated FC2 a LOT. I felt like it offered almost none of the depth that it first appeared to offer, couldn’t stand it.

  2. mashkeyboardgetusername says:

    Nope, not yet. Hasn’t dropped far enough in price in any sale yet. (I don’t know what price is “right” for me to buy, only that I know it when I see it.)

    • Herr_C says:

      Same here. Climbing towers has become too much of a hassle for me to be ready to drop more than, let’s say, 10€ for that game.

  3. Premium User Badge

    basilisk says:

    I personally thought the story was handled a lot better this time around; some of the “moral choices” were even genuinely difficult despite the silliness of everything else in the game. And they at least tried to address the icky white saviour angle that plagued FC3, so that’s a plus.

    Really, my only complaint is that FC4 makes FC3 obsolete. Everything in the game is a direct upgrade – with the possible exception of Vaas. Because even though Pagan Min chewing up the scenery is delightful, Vaas was pretty special.

    It’s a very gamey and a very shallow kind of game, but it’s so much fun. And gorgeous, too.

    • cannedpeaches says:

      I think the easiest way to put their reaction to the “white saviour” criticism of FC3 was “Okay, well. We’ll make him brown, but he’s still going to be from America. Alright? Alright.”

  4. KastaRules says:

    I refuse to play a game displayed letterboxed. Especially in a triple screen setup.

  5. Sakkura says:

    No. I’ll probably pick it up when it’s cheaper than a pizza. Far Cry 3 was fine and I’m sure Far Cry 4 is fine too, I just don’t see how it stands out in any way.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      What kind/size of pizza are we talking here? I mean, in Berlin I can get delightfully mediocre pizza made by friendly Turkish guys for €2. In Naples you get a similarly sized pizza (but wonderful) for €3-5. In New York a whole pie would cost somewhere around $15.

      I’m just saying there’s a wide range of possibilities.

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        phuzz says:

        Plus, there’s a big difference in price between sitting down to a pizza in a restaurant vs picking one up from a fast food place, to getting one delivered.

        Do you think we’ve over-analysed Sakkura’s comment enough yet?

      • Jakkar says:

        If we’re talking about a decent fresh-cooked pizza, delivered, in the UK, we’re looking at £12-18. It’s horrifying. I can only eat pizza on Tuesdays ._.

  6. anHorse says:

    I got kinda bored once I unlocked the second area. I’ll go back to it at some point.

    3 and 4 get dull because they miss some of the brutality of 2, there’s only so many different ways you can deal with an outpost and it drags after doing a few in a row

    • BobbyDylan says:

      Yeah, me too. Just felt like I did this before.

      And why do these types of games keep making the bad guy some charmingly interesting humour type, and the protagonist some dry beige canvas. Dull dull dull. In the end I was hoping I could play as one of Ming’s henchmen, mowing down the resistance.

  7. Eight Rooks says:

    I have not! Because you (RPS) were wrong, wrong, wrong about Far Cry 3, so clearly you’re all insane, and I can’t trust anything you say about the franchise any more. Seriously, though, I think that might have been it for me. Technically very polished, commendably easy to pick up and play, but dull, empty and insultingly stupid. Nothing I’ve read makes me think 4 would strike me as any different.

    • piedpiper says:

      I would say that I didn’t really like Far Cry 3, but I adore the 4th. Probably even more then 2nd. So maybe you should try it?

    • Frank says:

      Yeah, got FC3 in the recent steam stealth sale, and while the gunshoots are solid, all the creative aspects were abysmal. I mean the writing; art — especially for indoor environments; music — oh god, the awful dubstep shite; unskippable cutscenes and QTEs; and voice acting apart from Vaas.

      One further rant on the writing: seriously who the f*** still thinks it is edgy to tie your “dark” vision to Alice in Wonderland? Leave Alice alone, unworthy rabble. This writing team couldn’t write itself out of a paper bag (well, okay, neither could I, clearly).

      • w0bbl3r says:

        While the writing and voice acting in far cry 4 are still pretty bad most of the time (and the new villain is not nearly as fun as Vaas), it is on the whole a LOT better than the last game.
        The story is still nonsense, but is more entertaining than far cry 3 by a long way. In my opinion anyway.
        There were new “dream sequences”, but they weren’t taken from Alice this time, but drew from local folklore, which was nice, except those sequences ended up being long, drawn out and ultimately boring to play. But they were optional after the first sequence.
        Same with the arena, which is just a horde mode designed for a bit of fun. You do the first to get introduced to a story character, and then it’s your choice whether you do any more. I did a couple, then lost interest.
        On the whole, far cry 4 is far far better than far cry 3. I did enjoy 3, a lot, but 4 was one of my favourite games of last year.
        Get it on sale, it’s well worth it. Takes everything good about 3, makes it better, and adds some new stuff (although not a lot of new stuff, this IS ubisoft remember), and puts in elephant riding, which is always funny when assaulting a base.

    • Jakkar says:

      Thank you for not leaving me alone with this feeling. It was Far Cry 3 that permanently damaged my long-standing faith in RPS’ general tastes and standards. There have been a few major miss-steps, but that one took the gold.

      A difference in opinion is only to be expected, but for a game that objectively broken, feature-incomplete and stupidly, offensively yet mundanely written, I couldn’t understand it. I’d made my purchase with RPS’ coverage as a significant factor, and ended up tossing the disk into a dark corner in sheer, stunned disgust x.x I haven’t done that before or since.

  8. qrter says:

    I played Far Cry 4 until I hit the stealth mission that is part of the main storyline, and I couldn’t drop the game fast enough.

    I love stealth games, and that was some terrible steath gameplay, certainly not worth the hassle.

    • Zenicetus says:

      That’s enough to turn me off wanting to play it, right there. I don’t know why game developers feel the need to insert rigidly scripted stealth missions in a game where otherwise you’d have more flexibility. Maybe it’s wanting too much to be a film director instead of a game designer.

      Whatever it is, I hate ridigly scripted stealth missions with insta-fail modes. There is a mission fairly early in Asscreed Black Flag that almost made me ragequit the game and never go back. The game was a fun romp otherwise, and I did manage to power through that one mission, gritting my teeth all the way.

      • Lolsmurf says:

        There you go: link to youtube.com

        This is the reason I gave up playing any assasins creed game after 1 hour or so (trailers and cinematic bullcrap not included).
        In FarCry3 we got more of the same, also a stupid stealth mission on that shit. One fart and mission is failed, like wtf ?
        Afterwards you have to shoot your way out of the shit, which makes me wonder why we had to stealth in the first place.

        2 moments in games were I just felt like: Okay fuck this shit, boring scripted shit all the way down, no thanks.

        A good serious shooter is rare these days.

        • Lolsmurf says:

          …on that shiP**

        • Lolsmurf says:

          …out of the shiP**

          I think I have shitissues, dayum.

        • Zenicetus says:

          Yep, that’s the one. There is no option to switch to combat mode, or try a different angle of approach. One wrong move in that sequence and the mission is failed. You’re just a puppet following the necessary moves set up by the game designer’s puzzle, with no feeling of player agency.

          I play games like Deus Ex and Dishonored trying for stealth as much as I can, but I could always fight my way out when I screwed up. Linear insta-fail stealth sequences should be banned from games.

    • piedpiper says:

      Yes, main plot missions are still shit. But they are not that long and many to hate the game in general.

  9. Freud says:

    I haven’t. I played FC3 and felt exhausted by all the icon chasing in that one, so I had no desire to do the same thing again.

    • jhk655 says:

      That’s my main problem with Not just Far cry, but all ubisoft games. They think giving a player a slew of collectibles or cookie cutter side quests on the map qualifies as additional content. And People with OCD like tendencies (such as myself) get burned out in business of running to and collecting all of those things; doing the same repetitive side missions, over and over.

      It’s an easy way for them to add an extra 30 hours of gameplay to a game, and in a weird way, all those icons justify the open world, because without them the world wouldn’t need to be so big. It would be a lot of empty space without all that extra crap.

      Basically, if ubisoft wants to create a large gameworld, they need to take the time to populate that world with creative original content, instead of collectibles and repetitive side quests. These games feel like a lazy version of the elder scrolls with guns.

      • jhk655 says:

        Either that, or they need to give the community the tools and/or the freedom to create their own content for their game worlds, like the way bohemia interactive does with their ArmA games.

  10. Scissors says:

    Was looking at it on steam now, thanks to being reminded by this article. “uplay account required” Jesus, I had forgotten that shit.

  11. shagen454 says:

    I played FarCry 3, a lot. I played FarCry 4 and said no thank you you can take my helicopter control hand and put it on asia street meat instead, bye bye.

  12. Pizzacheeks McFroogleburgher says:

    Not played it, but I probably will, cos I enjoyed 3. It was littered with poor design choices such as repeated unskippables, awful menus, shitty gamey stuff like crafting and collectibles, but the engine was just awesome. Running, driving, flying, hiding and shooting was just so much fun.

  13. Stevostin says:

    I played 50h+ then it started to crash and crash and crash. That was it for me.

  14. Cinek says:

    Played it to… some point in a 3rd area. Got so bored that I couldn’t stand it any more. To this day I admire myself for playing so long. Should have trashed this game ~2 hours after the introduction, after seeing most of the interesting stuff that there is to see in this game.

  15. Lachlan1 says:

    Is it like FC3? I stopped playing that near the start because I had to knife kill a bandit leader, who looked exactly like the other 10-15 bandits, and the game stopped any time he died any other way. That is the opposite of fun. There should be a bonus for a knife kill maybe but not a forced repeat until you pull it off. Not to mention those ghastly unskipable cut scenes. Worst $7.49 I spent in a while.

    • Lachlan1 says:

      *unskippable

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      phuzz says:

      I’m not sure which mission you’re talking about, there is optional missions in FC3 to take out baddies in a specific way (usually knifing them), but I don’t remember a story line mission like that (could be wrong).
      FC4 is very much FC3 but with some of the annoying bits taken out, and more crazy added in. The plot is slightly better, but don’t expect too much.
      They have managed to improve some the better bits from 3, you can now throw chunks of meat to attract wild animals (because SURPRISE TIGER! is always more fun when it happens to someone else), and you can ride on elephants, flinging people into the air. And how is that not cool?

  16. mikespoff says:

    Did it have the same awful QTEs that Far Cry 3 was riddled with?

    I had a lot of fun with FC3, but the main story missions were very annoying because of their repeated “hammer on the designated key to not die” interruptions. Just make it a damn movie if there’s no player choice, don’t pretend that it’s “interactive”.

  17. fish99 says:

    I have, and I liked it. I like it a lot more than FC3 which had the most dreadful set of story missions I’ve seen in a game, plus horrible characters and story.

    The FC4 story, while mostly bland, managed to get quite interesting right at the end, depending on your actions, and the story missions were a lot less annoying. Also being able to fly cut out a ton of boring driving.

  18. The_Player says:

    No, I haven’t played it.

  19. drezworthy says:

    Kyrat is supposed to be like Nepal, yet one sees Tibetan Buddhism everywhere and they all speak Hindi with outrageous accents. Still, the best Far Cry in my opinion. 2 was the worst.

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    Thulsa Hex says:

    I got it free with my GTX 970 back in Jan (it was either that, the Crew, or Unity — ugh) but haven’t even installed it. I’ll get to it at some point but two years on I’m still feeling burned out by all the pointless collecting and crafting in Far Cry 3 (I mean I did enjoy playing it but there was plenty of nonsense that grated throughout). Oh, and my copy of FC4 is exclusively on Uplay, which is never installed, so I tend to forget I own it.

    Also, everyone knows that the best Far Cry is Blood Dragon*. BD condenses the good bits of FC3 into a mere handful of hours, the gameplay makes way more sense when you feel like you’re in an amazing 80s action movie, the script is genuinely funny and reverent (of the 80s), and it has one of THE BEST soundtracks of all time in any medium (check it: link to youtube.com — I even got the sexy pink vinyl on Record Store Day last year).

    *I’ve yet to actually play FC2 but I’m pretty sure I’d like it, going by other people’s words. Some day soon…

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      Blood Dragon was loads of fun. And good that it was short—it didn’t have enough variation to be worth staying longer for.

      And it’s got giant cyber dinosaurs that shoot lasers from their eyes. What more do you want, people?!?

      I second your recommendation of the soundtrack. It’s a total ripoff of / love letter to Brad Fiedel’s score for The Terminator.

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        Thulsa Hex says:

        Yeah, the soundtrack is totally a homage to Fiedel, with plenty of nods to the more schlocky, lesser-known 80s stuff. It also blew my mind when this song from Miami Connection played over the credits: link to youtube.com The people who made this game know their shit and clearly had a blast.

    • Jakkar says:

      Blood Dragon, for me, gave FC3 the framework it needed to be playable. I couldn’t stomach the misguided ‘satire’ of being an insufferable frat-boy/magic white person, and/or the bizarre necessity of disembowelling endangered species en masse to advance the plot and upgrade your equipment.

      Give the idiocy of FC3 an eighties cyberpunk-action parody makeover and it became ridiculous genius. Which says more in less words about the quality of the base game than I ever could.

  21. Jakkar says:

    Would someone who could not *stand* Far Cry 3 take any pleasure in 4? Is it still Magic White Boy Adventure, way, way too easy, full of forced plot written by bloody idiots, and heavily based upon hunting endangered species for the lulz?

    I didn’t get on with FC2 either… There was something incredibly bland about it. Like what might have happened to STALKER if it had a console-focused sequel trying to redux the game to a perceived mass-market of casual gamers.

    I actually miss Far Cry 1 more and more. It felt like Half Life revisited and given interesting AI and big, open levels… A considerable improvement upon Half Life, and so rather entertaining.

    I’m always keen for more open world sandbox playgrounds, having recently fallen in love with Mad Max, but having drifted before finishing the plot…

  22. Razumen says:

    The first Far Cry will always be the best one, none of the sequels has ever managed to really capture the feel of the original yet.