Recently, Red Dead Redemption became available on the Xbox One via Backward compatibility. Although I’d already completed the story, I felt like popping back in and having a roam around. Unfortunately, I seem to have lost my save, as it was never transferred to the cloud. As I didn’t really want to start again, I decided instead to jump back into a similar game, Far Cry 4. Replace horses with vehicles, modernise the weapons, and you’ve got a very similar open world game with animal hunting/skinning challenges, random encounters, with a large, visually stunning world to explore.
I started Far Cry 4 as I start every Far Cry game, I did enough missions to be be able to free roam, and headed to the nearest bell tower. Once I’d taken it out, it revealed the location on the nearby outposts, so I took them out. For the next ten hours or so of gameplay, it was pretty much rinse are repeat. After unlocked all the bottom half of the map, I was forced to actually do some story mission to unlock the top half of the map. Once I’d done enough missions, I was back on my mission to fully unlock the map. Another ten hours passed, and I finally unlocked all the bell towers, liberated all the outposts, as well as the four fortresses.
I then decided it was time to do all the hunting quests so I could fully upgraded all of my equipment. Most of these required a number of kills of a certain animal, and normally four different types of animal to fully update each particular equipment. The forth level however required you to kill a specific elite animal with a specific weapon. Although not too hard, that bloody honey badger took a couple of attempts to take down!
I then decided, to see what else the game has to offer, as I wasn’t really ‘feeling’ the main story. This was where I bumped into my favourite characters of the game, Yogi & Reggie. These two stoners had me genuinely laughing out loud with each introduction. Basically they offered up four side quests, where they would use you as a test subject for their new drug concoction they’d made. The quests were fairly simple, get from A to B, in a rather trippy 60’s stylised environment.
There were a handful of other side quest, including trips to Shangri-La, where you would take the form of a Kyrati warrior with your Sky Tiger companion. These were ok, but the time and effort you’d spent improving your character were stripped away as you took none of the perks with you. There were also side missions you could do for Longinus, there were fairly simple (probably because I was over powered). These were pretty generic quests, which would ultimately results in a decent weapon. Finally, there were the arena battles. These allowed you to rank up by taking on waves of enemies.
After these it was time to get back to the main story and finish it off. To be honest, the story was probably my least favourite part of the game I think if I’d have simply powered through just the main story, I expect it wouldn’t have provided more that 6-8 hours of mediocre gameplay. Don’t get me wrong, Pagan Min was a proper loon, however the storytelling just felt a little bland, and due to the main focus being on your colleagues Sabal and Amita, he felt like background noise only.
The game itself felt very much like Far Cry 3, with a few improvements, including a Wing Suit, a gyrocopter and an auto drive feature for the vehicles. The wing suit was pretty great, take out a tower, simply jump off the side, float to where you want to be. The auto drive feature, now this was a god send. Assuming you set a waypoint to where you want to go, simply jump into a ground based vehicle, hit the auto drive button, and it’ll slowly get you to where you want to be, allowing you to pop off to the loo or grab some food while you’re AI drove you to where you needed to be. The only problem I found with this was, the auto drive would tend to run over people…..a lot. This would result in a loss of karma, which meant you’d had to do a couple of karma missions to build it back up. The gyrocopter was great. There were a number dotted around the map, and would allow you to quickly and safely navigate the map, just be sure that you don’t go to high in them, otherwise they’ll explode.
In the hope for a second screen or companion app, I took to the app store, and to my surprise, there were two. Not exactly companion apps, but they were directly interacted with the game. The first one FC4 Arena, would allow you to play arena battles. This was reversed to the game, as you were the one creating the attacking waves of defending. However, before you could venture into the arena, you would need to send people out to recruit people, and hunt animals to make up your waves. Interestingly, as you unlocked towers and bases in the games, these in turn opened up the map in the app, increasing your chance of successfully recruiting and hunting. The second app was FC4 Poker. This was a poker type game, that allowed you to spin falling cards to make certain hands. One you’d created the hand, you moved onto the next level. At particular point, you would unlock cash, which could be sent to your main game. Both apps are free, and not bad.
All in all, not a bad game, I wish they’d have been more focus on Pagan Min and less on the squabble between your colleagues, however still a decent moreish open world game.
Approx Time taken to beat – 31 hours
Difficulty setting – Normal
Score – [Rating:4/5]
Games TrailerTags: Far Cry, Pagan Min, Red Dead Redemption, Sky Tiger, Wing Suit, Xbox One, Yogi Reggie