Far Cry 4 is the game we turn to when Alien: Isolation leaves us emotionally beaten. While both titles provide thrilling first person adventures, they sit at opposite ends of the genre. Whereas Alien forces you to rely on survival skills to outwit an indestructible threat, Far Cry 4 drops you into a beautiful sandbox with an assortment of high-powered weapons, from machine guns to pistols to grenade launchers, Molotov cocktails and explosive arrows. It’s a wonderful form of stress relief, so long as you avoid the eagles and the occasional black bear.
Ubisoft earns well-deserved kudos for creating a believable world that makes us feel like we’re in another country. While taking long walks through the Kyrat wilderness and staring at snow-capped mountains, we can almost feel a light breeze in our hair. In fact, we lost track of the times we paused the game to snap pictures using the PlayStation 4, with the intention of uploading photos to social media so others can admire our most recent discoveries.
Speaking of which, there are literally hundreds of things to see and collect in Far Cry 4, all of which you’ll see in the world providing you purchase the collectible maps. With 150 Propaganda Posters and 55 Masks of Yalung to grab (in addition to letters, item chests and supply drops), we’ve spent countless hours driving, walking and flying around this breathtaking environment, unaware of the surprises along the way. Sometimes this led to cave diving or walking beneath a waterfall. Other times, we ran into a tiger and perished; best advice we can give is to save early and often.
Yes, there are campaign missions, and unraveling the mystery behind hero Ajay Ghale’s deceased father and the relationship with the country’s dictator, Pagan Min, is worth the investment. All too often, though, we’ll see something in the distance and curiosity takes over. That, or we’ll hunt and skin the many animals in the game to craft bigger wallets and ammo bags.
Ultimately Far Cry 4 is what you make of it. Spend the bulk of your time gathering collectibles, go swimming (beware Demon Fish) or liberate outposts from Pagan Min’s forces. Will you go in guns blazing, throwing grenades and incinerating foes with a flamethrower, or take a stealthier approach by slitting their throats and then hiding the bodies? Personally we chose a mix between the two, and considering the different skills Ajay learns over time, including the ability to ride elephants (it’s like riding a living, breathing battering ram), there’s plenty of options at your fingertips.
With a world this large, there’s always something you haven’t discovered. Far Cry 4 has its share of faults (the occasional floating soldier), but for the most part, it’s a wild ride through the Himalayas and the mysterious Shangri-La. We hope you love every virtual minute.
Should you need help when visiting Kyrat, read our Far Cry 4 crafting guide. In addition, we point out the most powerful weapons in the game, as well as the deadliest animals to avoid or go after, depending on your level of bravery.