When a franchise strikes gold, and the market is quickly saturated with similar titles seeking to capitalize on their popularity – often with disappointing results – then sometimes it’s easy to forget exactly why the originator was so successful to begin with. The Far Cry series is a great example of this; Far Cry 3 is legitimately a fantastic game on every level, a joy to play from start to finish, with an interesting story, memorable characters and arcs, and gameplay that combined first-person shooting, stealth, crafting, open-world exploration and a handful of other elements to create one of the best video games of 2012.
Future titles in the series may have sold a similar number of copies, and likewise received a similar level of praise – albeit consistently a little less than Far Cry 3 – but they never really recaptured the magic of that breakout success (Far Cry 2 sold around 3 million copies, Far Cry 3 sold 10 million.) A large part of this is due to the failure of the games to really evolve in a noticeable way, and a larger part is that more and more Ubisoft titles are being sucked into this admittedly successful formula, and as a result, you can play any game in the following series – Assassin’s Creed, Watch_Dogs, The Division, Ghost Recon, and Far Cry itself – released in the last six years and experience roughly the same game.
That said, as someone who generally doesn’t play games in those series too often (I’m not averse to them, they just probably wouldn’t run well on my computer, and even if they did, I’d rather just keep playing RollerCoaster Tycoon) then despite my declining interest in every one of the previously-mentioned series, as they all merge into one indistinguishable open-world blob with a snarky protagonist and a repetitive skill tree and side-quests for days, then I did find myself recently thinking about what a great time I had with Far Cry 3, and how it wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world to play the next instalment, if only so I can tell myself that it’s a more productive use of my time than just playing the third one again.
I wasn’t looking for anything exceptional; I just wanted to free some outposts, gather some collectibles, upgrade my skills, go hunting for animal skins to make bigger wallets, and even climb a few radio towers again. I wasn’t expecting Far Cry 4 to surpass its predecessor – truth be told, I wasn’t even expecting it to live up to Far Cry 3 – but it made more sense to try the new one. If it could deliver anything close to the same experience that I had with Far Cry 3, then it didn’t really matter if it was innovative or original, I’d have a great time with it anyway. Not a great approach to have to video games in terms of broadening your horizons, but it’s been at least four years since I finished Jason Brody’s Gap Year from Hell. I was not hoping for excellence or originality or even competence, I was simply expecting adequacy. Something strung together to hold my attention while I completed the checklist of side-activities that make up a good Far Cry game.
… Far Cry 4 did not fulfil that criteria.
… At least, not for the first hour or so. Then I got far enough into the story that I could ignore everything and just go liberate outposts, climb radio towers, and collect any one of the five million collectible items scatted across the fictional country of Kyrat, and honestly, I had a pretty good time doing so. I was hoping that I could take a real stand against Far Cry 4 as a whole being a lot worse than I expected, but once I got past the disappointing story, it still delivered on every other front I was hoping for, which is… a different kind of disappointing. It’s been a really long time since I’ve hated a game, okay? I’d really like to move on from Outlast 2 and find something else to hate. Damn it Far Cry 4, you couldn’t even successfully be terrible.
But the story was genuinely a huge and pointless-feeling let-down compared to its predecessor, so I thought I’d write something about it anyway. Here’s why the story in Far Cry 4 fails at being engrossing, engaging, or entertaining, and why it has been forgotten so quickly.
The protagonist has nothing to do with the story
I’m plagiarising myself just a little for reusing an image that I used to make a point about the aforementioned Outlast 2; that Blake Langermann wasn’t so much ‘the protagonist’ as he was a block of soft white featureless inoffensive goo occupying the space where a protagonist should be, so I compared him to Tofu, the secret joke character you can unlock in Resident Evil 2 who’s literally just a big block of Tofu. Bear this in mind when I say that in comparison to Ajay Ghale, the purported protagonist of Far Cry 4, Blake Langermann is the deepest and most thought-provoking character to ever grace a video game.
“I’m not involved in whatever this is, okay?” Truly the words of an absolutely gripping protagonist.
Ajay Ghale’s motivation throughout the game is… unclear, to say the least. Or rather, it’s extremely clear, but it doesn’t remotely justify anything that he ever does, which is so dramatic and dangerous that his lack of a clear motive is almost comical. Only almost, because if it was actually comical, that would at least be a positive thing I could say about his involvement in the plot.
Ajay Ghale has returned to Kyrat – basically Nepal, but fictional – to spread his mother’s ashes, because she asked him to return his ashes to ‘Lakshmana’, which is definitely a place in Kyrat and not the name of Ajay’s secret deceased sister he never knew about. I say Ajay ‘returned’ to Kyrat, but he doesn’t really have a connection to the place; his mother and father had a history there, but he died back when Ajay was just a wee babby, and his mother left with Ajay when he was three. So despite being born in Kyrat, there’s no feeling of ‘reconnecting with his lost roots’ or anything, because Ajay hasn’t been here since he was three years old and his mother never mentioned anything about his mysterious history. A bunch of people he meets have things to say like “Whoa, you’re Mohan Ghale’s son! He was the leader of the Golden Path!” but this name and this group mean nothing to Ajay, who has never heard of them until now.
Shortly after Ajay arrives in Kyrat – during which time we hear him being wisely advised that maybe travelling to a country in the middle of a twenty-year civil war just to scatter some ashes is not a great idea – then he meets Pagan Min, the flamboyant tyrannical leader of Kyrat who is introduced by angrily stabbing one of his underlings to death (admittedly the underling in question was shooting at the bus Ajay was a passenger on, which Pagan Min specifically ordered his forces not to do) before happily greeting Ajay, saying “Hey, I knew your mum!” and taking a selfie with him, because it’s 2014 and selfies are still funny, right? Again though, Ajay has not met this man and has no connection with him at all.
Ajay is taken to Pagan Min’s palace as a guest, where Pagan says some more vague stuff about knowing his mum, and then says “Hey, we’ll go scatter your mum’s ashes in like, ten minutes, just stay here a while, gotta take a quick phone call!” and wanders off. It’s worth noting that if you do just hang around for ten minutes, he comes back, you both go scatter Ajay’s mum’s ashes, and it cuts straight to credits as a secret ending, which on the one hand is kind of a nice touch, but on the other hand, it really emphasizes just how completely unnecessary the entire story is, that it could be avoided simply by putting down the controller and leaving to make yourself a sandwich.
Ajay gets bored and wanders off, where he meets the Golden Path, a group of rebels/freedom fighters who are fighting Pagan Min because… well, if you’re not Ajay, Pagan Min’s hospitality leaves much to be considered. So they… rescue (?!?) Ajay, who isn’t currently in any danger and has no reason to trust them, and then they go back to the rebel village, where they explain again that Pagan Min is bad, and Ajay decides to join them in their fight, because… reasons. I think it’s mainly just out of not wanting to make a fuss, and as a Britlander, I can completely empathize with the decision to join what may be a terrorist organization simply because you feel it would be awfully rude of you to refuse your host.
But none of this changes the fact that none of this has anything to do with Ajay. Ajay is just there to scatter some ashes. Ajay has no knowledge or previous involvement with the ongoing political unrest of not-Nepal. His mum and dad – two infinitely more interesting people who, unlike Ajay, would clearly be invested in the events of the game – would both probably have strong points of view, but Ajay is neither of them. At least Blake Langermann’s goal in Outlast 2 of ‘Your wife has been kidnapped by cultists; are you a bad enough dude to rescue her?’ made sense. Ajay becomes the figurehead of a political revolution that ultimately decides the fate of an entire country, and… he’s literally just some guy. He came here to scatter some ashes.
I’m hesitant to compare the game to Far Cry 3, because the story in this game fails on its own merits, not just because it fails to live up to the hype of the critically-beloved previous game, but to quickly sum up the plot of that game, pampered rich boy Jason Brody is on holiday with his friends when they’re captured by Vaas, the leader of some modern-day pirates/human traffickers, who intend to ransom him and his friends back to their families and then probably kill them anyway. Jason’s big brother, who has military experience and is far too capable to possibly survive the prologue, helps Jason escape, but is then shot by Vaas, and while running away, Jason meets up with members of the Rakyat tribe, who are really sick and tired of the whole ‘piracy, drugs, human trafficking’ thing going on, and Jason teams up with them to save his friends and free the island.
Anyone who has played the game knows that I could go on for much longer about Jason’s descent from the preppy kid whose vacation went awry to the hardened one-man army who topples an extensive slavery ring, but for the sake of brevity, the point here is that Jason Brody has a moral, personal, and pragmatic reason for continuing to stick around and be part of the story. Moral; Vaas and his pirates are pretty unambiguously evil and if left unchecked will be responsible for hundreds, if not thousands, of more deaths. Personal; Vaas kidnapped his friends and killed his brother. Pragmatic; even if Jason felt like leaving everyone – even his little brother Riley – behind, then he still needs his friends’ help to fix the boat that becomes his ticket out of there. Let’s compare this to Ajay.
Moral; well, Pagan Min is clearly a total dick, but there’s no indication that the Golden Path aren’t also dicks (and we’ll get to that) and he’s not personally a dick to Ajay. He’s still very clearly a bad man, but… well, (insert least-favourite world leader of your choosing) is also a very bad man, but I’m not buying a plane ticket to (insert country they lead) to take them down, because that would be reckless, ineffective and stupid. Personal; Ajay really wants to scatter his mum’s ashes. I get wanting to honour her last request, and this is in no way an indictment of my mum, who I love and who introduced me to Commander Keen and Caesar 3 and there were also some less important things, like food and housing and unconditional love (mainly the Caesar 3 though,) but if she asked me to scatter her ashes in a country that was currently undergoing a civil war, then at the very least, I would wait until the civil war was over. As for pragmatism, much like the secret ending where the events of the plot can be avoided by simply sitting still for ten minutes, the only reason Ajay can’t leave Kyrat immediately is explained away with a throwaway line about Pagan Min being in charge of the airport. That’s it. That’s why Ajay decides to pick up a gun, join a revolution that he didn’t even know existed a few minutes ago, and start murdering people in the hundreds. Bad people, yes, but still. And you end up retaking the airport before the halfway point of the game, and no-one even acknowledges – least of all Ajay himself – that he could just… leave.
Throughout the game, you can uncover more lore about Kyrat, and more information on your family and why your mother left when she did, but none of this has any effect on Ajay himself, who continues to have absolutely no justified involvement in the plot. When I called Far Cry 3 ‘Jason Brody’s Gap Year from Hell’, I was being funny – okay, I was trying to be funny – but Far Cry 4 really does feel like a gap year adventure featuring someone with no understanding of the culture or the politics of where they are, getting involved in an extremely delicate situation without any real justification. In summary, Ajay Ghale is a bad protagonist. Although it doesn’t help that…
The primary antagonist very clearly doesn’t want you dead
I feel like on some level, this could have been a really interesting idea, in the same way that the Game of Thrones finale could have been good, or this blog could get a million views, but the difference between what could have been and what actually happened could not be clearer. From the very beginning of the story, Pagan Min explicitly does not want you dead, or even hurt. He takes a selfie with you and then jets you off to his mansion to enjoy some delicious crab rangoon. His dramatic and evil opening act is stabbing someone to death because they nearly killed you. So, while it’s still entirely possible – and probable, if you’re terrible at judging the damage you get from fall-distance – for you to die in a myriad of ways in Kyrat, Pagan Min himself has no interest whatsoever in disturbing even the littlest hairs on your chinny chin chin.
Which, as I said, could actually be really interesting in theory, and lead to a game with a more nuanced take on morality, where you have to confront whether you’re really doing the right thing by killing someone who very clearly has no intention of killing you, and whether their negative actions towards others merit a violent response from yourself. But done poorly, it just creates a situation with no stakes or tension, because no matter how many thousands of his subordinates you kill, or radio towers you hijack, or outposts you liberate, Pagan Min specifically does not wish any harm to come to you.
Pagan Min also suffers from one of the same flaws I had with Vaas in Far Cry 3; for all of the effort that went into designing a villain who was supposed to carry the plot on the back of his uniquely violent charisma, he’s barely in the actual game. I’m actually just going to look this up right now, you… put on some music or something, I’ll be back in a second.
Okay, I’m back. I YouTubed ‘Far Cry 3 All Vaas’ and sure enough, every scene in the game featuring Vaas totals less than fifteen minutes of the runtime of Far Cry 3. On a positive note, when I searched for ‘Far Cry 4 All Pagan Min’, I found out that Pagan Min has an astounding twenty-four minutes of screentime in the sequel, an improvement of almost 60%! Unfortunately, ten minutes of this is just the two opening cutscenes, at which point Pagan disappears from the plot until the midway point, where Ajay is captured and thrown in prison, and he admonishes you for being a ‘naughty little shit’ and then leaves again. After that, he shows up in a whopping two more scenes, one of which is just watching a televised speech of his, and then his next scene is in the ending. This is really not enough for the storyline of a game that will take you, if you’re a bit of completionist like me, upwards of fifty hours.
And it’s not like the five cutscenes in which Pagan Min appears are packed with character development or anything; everything you need to know is established from the outset, that he is psychotic, flamboyant, and doesn’t want to kill Ajay because he knew Ajay’s mother. Nothing about this will change over the course of the game, and you won’t be interested in finding out the reasons behind his behaviour, because why would you? He’s literally in the game for twenty-five minutes! If you watch an episode of Bob’s Burgers with an ad break, that’s the amount of time that the primary antagonist of Far Cry 4 appears in his own game. I guess he does contact you from time to time once you complete important story missions, where he talks about doing cocaine and killing people and following Kanye West on Twitter, which is a lot like his ‘selfie’ with Ajay in the opening, in that it dates the game quite badly to its release.
It’s not that Pagan Min doesn’t have an interesting story or relationship with other characters, it’s just that those characters are your mother and father, who are both dead. Ajay has no relationship with Pagan Min, no real reason to personally oppose him other than out of politeness to the Golden Path, and nothing really changes between them. At the very beginning of the game, Pagan asks you to sit down and enjoy some crab rangoon while he deals with something. At the very end of the game, Pagan offers you a do-over and asks if you want to shoot him with no fuss or resistance, or if you’d like to enjoy that crab rangoon again and afterwards, you can go and scatter your mother’s ashes, just like you wanted to at the beginning of the game. I feel like this was supposed to be some kind of bait-and-switch to make you question your actions, but in reality, it just undermines how absolutely nothing about the relationship between the protagonist and antagonist has changed.
Maybe it’s not specifically Pagan Min’s fault that he’s not a great villain. Maybe the real problem is just that the Far Cry series writes decent villains and then implements them so poorly and sparingly that they barely impact the plot, and that goes double when they’re actively not even trying to fight back against you. As a matter of fact, let’s briefly cover the issue that:
The other antagonists are barely in the game
If I can say one thing in Pagan Min’s defence, it’s that at least he has more screen-time than the other antagonists, who basically have no build-up and usually just one defining character trait that the game can point to, in an attempt to deflect criticism that they have no personality. After all, how can you say that Paul De Pleur, Pagan’s chief torture-bloke, has zero personality, when he’s on the phone to his daughter that one time? He has a daughter. That’s some serious depth right there.
And what about Noore, the woman in charge of Pagan Min’s arena? The first time you fight there, she reveals that she’s only doing this because Pagan is holding her family captive, and then you find out that her family were killed ages ago, and the next time she appears is when you’re given the mission to kill her, which you can do (dick move) or you can tell her the truth about her family, in which case she furiously changes sides to the Golden Path and uses her arena connections, and her knowledge of Pagan Min, to aid in getting revenge on him, which is difficult because the Golden Path don’t exactly trust her, and it causes more conflict between Ajay, Amita and Sabal, but ultimately she – I’m joking of course, this would all run the risk of being interesting. When you tell her that her family are dead, she immediately kills herself, which would be sadder and more dramatic if this wasn’t literally her second scene in the game.
Yuma is Pagan’s fiercely loyal right-hand woman and adopted sister, who secretly believes that *spoiler event* made him weak and is now undermining him with the goal of taking over Kyrat herself, so Pagan broadcasts her location to the Golden Path and Ajay kills her. This could be interesting if not for the fact that this story is told entirely through notes that you can read throughout the game and, just like the other bosses, Yuma only actually appears in person herself twice; once at the halfway point when Ajay is locked in her prison and needs to escape, and then again when Ajay confronts and kills her. Also, the spoiler event in question happened when Yuma was 20 years old, and she’s now 43 and has still not acted on this whole ‘overthrowing Pagan’ thing, so it was very polite of her to wait for Ajay to show up before starting to do anything. I looked up her age on a Far Cry wiki and the details about her background are actually really interesting, it’s just a shame that more of them didn’t make it into the actual game.
I could go on but I feel like it’s rather fitting that the other primary villains in the game, whose deaths are accompanied with lingering camerawork and dramatic music that indicates that these were supposed to be climactic, only leave enough of an impression to warrant a paragraph each.
Your two closest allies are both complete assholes
It’s hard to think of two more useless and irritating video game ‘allies’ than Amita and Sabal, both of whom are consistently condescending, ungrateful and useless. Amita and Sabal are sort of the co-leaders of The Golden Path who inherit the position after the previous leader comes down with a bad case of death, and they bicker like parents going through a rough divorce for a length of the entire game, with nice regular guilt-trips thrown towards you, a stranger they have never met who for some reason risks his life repeatedly to help them accomplish goals that they never would have accomplished otherwise.
What makes this so annoying is that Amita and Sabal certainly have the potential to be interesting. Sabal is a traditionalist who cares very much about the history and the rituals of The Golden Path, but also cares deeply for his men. Amita is much more pragmatic and forwards-thinking, which could be mistaken for ruthlessness, but she’s also the sole progressive voice of The Golden Path who recognizes that overthrowing Pagan Min is useless if they don’t adapt to the changing future. They both have valid points and understandable motivations. At first.
After one single mission where they both have reasonable motives – Sabal wants you to defend a village, Amita wants you to gather intel to prevent a potentially larger attack somewhere else – then they both become increasingly… less reasonable. Amita is more obviously evil because her idea of adapting to the new world is “We shouldn’t blow up Pagan Min’s heroin-distribution plant; we should steal it and make a fortune distributing heroin ourselves!” but Sabal’s wide-eyed idealism and blind belief that all they need to do is overthrow Pagan Min and then everything will be good again is also extremely irritating. It doesn’t help that at the end of every mission, you have to report to the person whose side you didn’t take, so they can lecture you for a few minutes about how you’re a complete idiot who ruined everything by siding with ‘the other one’ and they’re so disappointed in you, you’re destroying everything your father worked towards, etc etc. I feel like this was intended to be one of those deep and introspective Kojima-esque takes on morality and player agency, but it just comes across as wanky and obnoxious, especially given that neither Ajay or the player ever get a chance to justify their actions. Sorry Amita, maybe selling heroin is wrong, actually.
And then there are the endings. Amita and Sabal’s final mission for you is to kill the other one, and while you do have the option to let your target escape unharmed, you unfortunately have to side with one of them, and after the credits, you get to see a minute-long cutscene illustrating what an incredible job whoever you sided with is doing with Kyrat. Sabal’s religious fundamentalism comes to the forefront and he orders anyone who sided with Amita to be executed in front of a teenage girl named Bhadra – practically the only remotely nice character in the entire game – because he believes that she’s the reincarnation of a Kyrati God, which makes her something known as the ‘Tarun Matara’. It’s a bit awkward. But side with Amita, and she just becomes the next Pagan Min, only she also orders that all children in Kyrat be recruited for her new army of child-soldiers. And when Ajay asks about Bhadra, Amita mysteriously says that she ‘sent her away, and she’s not coming back’. People are split on whether this means she was killed, or sold into slavery, or any number of other terrible things, so I sided with Sabal and then killed him once the epilogue cutscene was over.
The irritating duo that Amita and Sabal really remind me of are Ser Royland and Duncan Tuttle from Telltale Games’ forgettable Game of Thrones game. In Episode 1, you have the choose one of them to be your ‘Sentinel’ – basically they wanted to do the ‘Hand of the King’ thing, but you’re not the king, so they made a position up – and your choices are Royland and Duncan. Royland is a bit hot-headed and obsessed with projecting strength, but he’s also a tried and tested battle commander in a situation that will eventually require fighting. Duncan is a kind and diplomatic man, but he doesn’t command as much respect on the battlefield as Royland, and there’s only so far that ‘diplomacy’ can take you against someone like Ramsay Bolton. You have to choose one, and whoever you snub will be extremely offended. Later in the game, it turns out you have a mole in your small council. Can you guess who the mole is? Can you?
The supposed saving grace of this situation is that even though the person you rejected immediately betrayed your family to your worst enemies, at least the person you chose remained loyal! … Except when you think about it, they too would have completely sold you out to the worst people in the world, solely if they weren’t chosen by a 10 year old boy to be their right-hand man. So no, they both suck and are awful. Amita and Sabal remind me of these two because they also both suck and are awful. And while I could arguably phrase my feelings in a more intelligent way, that’s honestly all the description they deserve.
The secret joke ending accidentally spoils the entire plot
I say ‘accidentally’ but I don’t think that’s really accurate; what I think is accurate is that the developers of Far Cry 4 did not think that people would get the secret joke ending so quickly, or that it would become known so shortly after release that it could be gotten just after you start the game. Little did they know that I’ve played Wario Land 2, so I’m something of an expert in finding secret alternate endings simply by putting the controller down and having a quick nap as soon as you’re given the choice to take control of your character.
That’s really how you unlock a secret path in Wario Land 2, Wario is just having a nap and you have to press a button to wake him up, and my nine-year-old self (genius) thought it was a cutscene so I just let him sleep and eventually the bad guys come in and carry him away with a distinct air of “Well, that was easier than I expected…” But enough about Wario Land 2, a good and interesting game with a boss fight against a bunny who challenges you to a game of basketball where you’re each trying to use the other one as the ball.
I mentioned earlier that at the beginning of the game, Pagan Min heads out to take a quick phone call and asks you to stay put for ten-fifteen minutes while he takes care of some very shooty errands. You don’t have to be as smart as my nine-year-old self to figure out what you need to do to unlock the secret ending. After standing around for as long as it takes to listen to Brothers in Arms by Dire Straits one and a half times, Pagan Min returns, thanks you for your patience, and you proceed to scatter your mother’s ashes.
Also during this fun-time happy joke ending, Pagan decides to give away the entire plot by revealing that your father sent your mother to spy on him, but they had an affair which resulted in a daughter, Lakshmana, which is what your mother meant when she asked you to bury her next to Lakshmana. Your father killed the daughter, and your mother killed him and left the country. This information is all revealed to you in the space of about ten seconds, as if you and Pagan Min are settling down to watch an episode of Stranger Things and he wants to make sure you’re up to date on the plot.
On the one hand… it’s not like this can happen by accident. Very few players would happily spend ten minutes completely idle when they had the opportunity to explore – at least in-game, in reality I am more than happy to spend as much time as possible doing absolutely nothing; it led to some confusion when I was watching Se7en with some friends and couldn’t understand why they weren’t jealous of that ‘Sloth’ guy who got to lie in bed for a whole year – but the big problem I have with this easter egg is where it comes in the game; right at the very beginning. It’s the first time you actually have control of Ajay. It’s the first opportunity you have in the entire game to move. If you’ve heard about the secret ending that you can get by just standing still for ten minutes at the beginning of the game, then it’s probably the first ending you’re going to see.
Which, uh, kind of spoils the entire rest of the plot.
Again, this is entirely the fault of the player, but there are several games that limit easter eggs like this to the ‘New Game+’ that can only be experienced on a second playthrough, like the alternate opening to Batman: Arkham Knight, or choices that are only available on your next time around. That would still be a really fun easter egg, and it would be strictly comedic, like “Hey, all of that work you just did in that 50+ hour game kind of looks pointless when you could have just waited here for ten minutes, ha ha ha!” But by making this ending available as soon as the game has begun, then the message the game sends if you choose to get it first is “Hey, all of that work that you’re about to do for the next 50+ hours is completely pointless, not only in the literal sense of not achieving your goals, but also in the sense that we’re going to spoil a plot that would otherwise be revealed very slowly to you over the course of several hours, arcs and missions.”
It could have been implemented a little better, is what I’m getting at.
That seems as good a place as any to wrap things up, and I suppose the thing I’m most disappointed about is that despite everything, Far Cry 4 is still legitimately a really good game. I’m reminded of a point made by James Stephanie Sterling about Far Cry 5 in a video named ‘Ubification’; “I thought to myself ‘You know what? If this game was the first Far Cry game to have released in like, five years, we might be hailing it as one of the greatest games we’ve ever played.’” Ultimately, the fourth instalment of the series was the first Far Cry game I had played in like, five years, and it felt like such a welcome return to the fun I’d had prior that any flaws I can point out about the storyline are inadequate to really dampen how much I enjoyed it.
But as the years have passed, history has not been especially kind to Far Cry 4. The villain, while charismatic and larger-than-life, is barely in it. The other characters either don’t appear enough to leave any impact, or in the case of Amita and Sabal, you’ll wish they didn’t appear as much they only exist to force you into choices which they will then criticize you for. The story feels completely unrelated to the protagonist, who has no reason to be there. Even years after its release, Far Cry 3 is still widely-recognized as a series-high point among fans and critics alike, and it thoroughly deserves that reputation. Far Cry 4 is… fine. It’s just fine. And there’s nothing wrong with being ‘fine’, but it’s… how do I put this?
While Far Cry 4 is a perfectly acceptable video game that ticks all of the boxes, the weakness of its story unfortunately holds it back from any kind of memorability. It doesn’t offend or disappoint too harshly, but when taking into account all of the wasted potential, it’s certainly a far cry from the game it could have been.
I bet I’m the first person to ever use that wordplay in a review of a Far Cry game, and no I will not be checking that.
Thanks for reading!