If Far Cry 4 is anything, it’s fun. It may be mindless, vapid and ‘by-the-numbers’, but it’s also incredibly entertaining. If you subscribe to a functionalist approach to game development, then Far Cry succeeds in its goals, but if you are looking for a game that deals with the complex ethical issues inherent in a realistic depiction of a civil war against a cruel dictatorship, Far Cry 4 is probably not the game you’re looking for.
Although this isn’t going to be an extensive review of Far Cry 4, I would like to mention a few problems I had in my few hours of playing the game. The most disconcerting thing that stood out to me was that the protagonist, Ajay Ghale, speaks with an American accent, while the antagonist, Pagan Min, speaks with a british accent, even though the entire rest of the cast speaks with thick south asian accent. Of course, the story tries to reconcile this, with the fact that Ajay Ghale was brought to America at a young age, but the damage is already done to any gamer with half a sense to realize how dumb the developers think their audience is. Of course the protagonist is American and the antagonist is british, even when they’re both from a mountainous country meant to look like the Himalayas. Ubisoft obviously thought that the average American audience member wouldn’t be able to handle a protagonist with a ‘foreign’ accent or be able to understand that Pagan Min is evil without them having appropriately stereotypical accents. America good, Britain bad. Got it.
The Far Cry formula has been refined over the past three games down to a science, which is exemplified by Far Cry 4’s questing system; the player is able to dance from outpost to outpost, always finding something interesting to do. When all else fails, there’s always a lot of exploring to do, as well. The game is gorgeous with expansive landscapes and beautiful creatures that populate it. The problem, however, is that there isn’t much keeping a player like me in Kyrat. Endless possibilities does not necessarily equate to endless attractiveness. I may have a thousand things to do, but nothing really stands out to make me want to boot up the game when I turn on my computer, which is Far Cry 4’s greatest sin.