*The opinions expressed in this blog are solely that of the author. UbiSoft is in no way affiliated or sponsoring this blog. Consider this just another customer review. The rights to any imagery or in game footage belongs to UbiSoft and any parties affiliated with the production of the game…hope you enjoy my thoughts*
While I’m still in the early stages of the game, this Gaming Impression may still contain spoilers to the early story…if you have not played Far Cry 3 yet and wish to experience the story. Consider skipping this until you do.
Those of you who have read my blogs before know that I’m NOT the biggest fan of AAA game titles that have come out in the last several years. I feel that development is often rushed and games end up being released before being fully completed. This, I would imagine is done in order to get games into the marketplace for holiday seasons and to compete with other game studios. I also find it ridiculous that we as gamers often pay upwards of $60 for these titles, only to be let down by bugs which are sometimes game breaking, and being locked out of aspects of the story which are only accessible via DLC which requires us to part with even more of our precious loot. UbiSoft is a big offender of this, and essentially killed my love for the Assassin’s Creed series.
I don’t feel the need to always have the newest of the new. In fact that last time I pre-ordered a game was Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 for the Xbox 360. I don’t feel the need to buy games up as soon as they release, for the reasons listen above, I’m not the type to flip out over a spoiler and I like to wait until others have played or check out a Let’s Play or reputable review that I feel I can trust.
I generally don’t read nor heed reviews from the big names in game reviews like IGN or GameSpot…and when I do, I take them with a grain of salt. I like reviews written by people like myself, casuals. A few months ago, I came across SevenFlorins casual review of Far Cry 4 which I appreciated for a few different reasons.
- It’s a CASUAL review: I have nothing but respect for people who are OK with calling themselves casual gamers without the inclusion of the word ‘dirty’ in front of it. While I’m very happy that video gaming is so widely accepted now, I feel like gaming is in what I refer to as the MLG generation or the e-famous generation. Some are overly concerned with being the best in the world at _________, with being nationally ranked at _________, with having ________ number of views or subscriptions on their YouTube channel. For these reasons, it’s always like a breath of fresh air when someone chooses to focus on the game and the gaming experience itself.
- He gave the game an HONEST score: This is a big one for me The gaming industry is too focused on 10 out of 10 scores, and superficial things like graphics, sound tracks, and cinematic cut scenes. More often than not, things like game play get overlooked…which never made sense to me. Don’t get me wrong… graphics, the soundtrack and cut scenes all play an important part when it comes to making a good AAA title…but should NOT come before game play in my humble opinion.
- I love his writing style: I’m no writing major, and I don’t care for pieces written with enormous words that they probably don’t use on a daily basis just for the sake of sounding intelligent, especially when we are talking about a video game. His reviews are written for the average gamer looking for something cool to try. This is something I have absolute respect for.
Welcome To Paradise (Spoiler Alert)
I won’t get too much into the story of the game, but just to give a decent overview to set the stage. You play as Jason Brody. He, his two brothers Grant (older), Riley (younger), his girlfriend Liza and their 3 friends Daisy Keith and Oliver are vacationing in a tropical island paradise, to celebrate Riley earning his pilot’s licence. Using a smart phone to document their activities, hang gliding, jet skiing, and drunken nights ensue, all while showing you the tropical paradise. The fun is short lived. The proverbial rose tinted glasses are abruptly removed as you come to realize the video is being watched by your captor, a mad man named Vaas.
The last scene depicted in the phone was of your and your friends sky diving. Unfortunately they landed on an archipelago (a group of smaller islands off the shore of a larger one) known as The Rook Islands, where Vass and his gang of pirates reside.
Thanks to your older brother’s military training, you manage to escape, but not before grabbing a map and radio from Vass’ base camp. Just outside the camp, you begin to plan the rescue of your friends and loved ones, everything seems to be gradually getting back on track…until he gets a bullet to the neck, from none other than Vaas (in hindsight, it might have been a better idea to get farther away from the camp before stopping to make a game plan).
He then tells you (using very colorful language) that he’ll give you a head start, and that you should RUN. While being perused by Vaas’ men and some very hungry sounding dogs, you fall off of a foot bridge into a river, where you are rescued by a new friend, Dennis. This is where the story really begins.
I won’t give away any more of the story, but these first scenes were pretty well done. The transition between the cell phone footage was pretty cool, and it really emphasized the contrast between two very different scenarios. The in game cut scenes are quite cinematic.
Also, Vass is a really REALLY cool villain. He’s the perfect blend of sadistic, murderous, and entertaining. He almost reminds me of the Joker in a way. One minute you’re laughing, then the next you’re afraid for your life.
My Thoughts So Far
As far as tutorial stages go, this one wasn’t the worst I’ve ever experienced. Sure, there was a fair bit of hand holding at first (which I’ve come to expect from a newer game), but the game more than makes up for it when it sets you loose into the beautiful and deadly wilderness that is The Rook Islands.
The graphics are simply beautiful. My Rig isn’t exactly top tier, and I’m not running it on the highest settings as I prefer a smooth frame rate over Ultra detailed textures. Even so, the game runs beautifully and the graphic quality is more than adequate. The open world map makes the Rook Islands feel like a playground…a dangerous…pirate infested playground filled with prey and predators alike. I found myself getting distracted from the mission at hand to simply admire the surroundings on several occasions. From the way shafts of light break through dense foliage, to the dynamics of the foliage itself…I’m a sucker for leaves and blades of grass reacting to the in game weather.
Initially, the range of your map isn’t very vast. However you can expand it by retaking Radio Towers from Vass’ pirates. Climbing these towers is fun without being super tedious.
I will admit that I haven’t progressed too much much in the story since writing this… I find myself constantly getting distracted by hunting the local wildlife to upgrade my gear, gathering herbs and plants to craft healing supplies, taking over pirate bases, and claiming radio towers to expand my view of the island. This in my opinion is the sign of great open world gameplay, where you don’t feel like you have to advance the plot in order for it to be interesting.
All in all–UbiSoft has redeemed themselves in my eyes with this one.
I already see myself sinking hours into this game. Once I complete it, I’ll do a full on video impression for this game–including the story–until then…I have an island to conquer!