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    dkirschner's Far Cry 4 (PC)

    [June 27, 2022 06:17:31 PM]
    This had been on my wishlist since it came out in 2014 and the price never dropped low enough for me to grab it. But then it was a freebie through Amazon Prime last month. I had Watch Dogs 2 queued up to play soon, but I downloaded this to play first. Keeping my Ubisoft open world games in order! I hope that Watch Dogs 2 is sufficiently different from this and Assassin's Creed (Odyssey is next after Watch Dogs 2) so that I don't get Ubisoft-open-worlded out.

    Being Ubisoft-open-worlded out is a real concern because I feel like I've played Far Cry 4 five times before. It plays the...exact...same as other open world games where you capture the towers to reveal the map, liberate the bases, explore the question marks, do the zillion side quests and "activities", etc., etc. I suppose this makes sense and is somewhat forgivable here since this was made in 2014 and helped solidify these genre features. I don't remember exactly when open world games started including 10000 collectibles for you to find and cluttering your map with icons.

    So I was really playing this for the bad guy, Pagan Min. He always looked intriguing, with his pink suit and fashion haircut. He doesn't disappoint. What a cool bad guy. He took over Kyrat (the Himalayan country the game is set in) in a coup and runs it with an iron fist, very Kim Jong Un, but with more personality. He's got a few lieutenants whom you mow down before confronting Pagan Min (unless you follow his instructions in the beginning of the game and complete it in 15 minutes). Most of the characters have eccentric personalities and are fairly amusing, but they can border on the annoying (the radio DJ, for one). One of Pagan Min's lieutenants is an American expat who lies to his family about where he is. He says he's on a business trip. He'll be torturing a soldier, his phone will ring, he'll stop and pick it up and talk all lovingly with his wife and daughter for a few minutes, then say he's got to walk into a meeting, hang up, and kill the soldier. It's pretty funny. I got a kick out of the two stoner guys as well, who use Ajay to experiment with drugs. Their side missions were trippy and some of my favorites.

    The BEST missions though were the Shangri-La ones. This is an optional side story that, along with the trippy drug missions, reinforce that the coolest thing about Far Cry is when it goes all fantasy on you. You seek out five parts of a painting depicting the story of a warrior seeking paradise. Each time you find part of the painting, you "enter" it and play the part of the story. You have a bow and a knife, but can also command a tiger, fly on wind tunnels, and ride a rampaging elephant, as you free bells and get closer to defeating the evil spirit that is trying to take over Shangri-La. Where did Far Cry 4 go? Who cares! This was the best part.

    I generally enjoyed myself while playing. Exploring the map, completing quests, liberating bases, it's all very methodical, and I get into doing that kind of thing, even if I am aware of mundanity and repetition. But there were a lot of really, really, annoying things about the game. I rolled my eyes a lot upon dying. I'll list some at the top of my mind:

    1. Healing - You heal in two ways, by using a healing syringe (takes a second, heals all the way with upgrades), or by manually using bandages, setting bones, and so on (takes a few seconds, heals up to one-third of your health, upgraded). The thing that drove me the most nuts is that you can't choose. If you have a healing syringe (which you have to craft from gathering plants), then you will use the healing syringe. Often, I didn't want to use the healing syringe. If there are no enemies around, if it's not urgent, why would I use a syringe? I can just manually do it. But no. It forces you to use the syringe if you have it, which is wasteful and makes you have to go pick so many green flowers. The second thing is that it takes so long to heal manually. I got shot dead so many times while the healing animation played. Super irritating.

    2. Rampaging Enemies - There are, of course, enemies roaming the map. No problem. There are also, though, enemies roaming where they would not roam (e.g., enemy trucks leaving outposts that you've captured--how did they get in there??), or seemingly endlessly spawning and attacking you and bases that you've liberated. I "failed" to protect outposts probably 30 times, as enemies would randomly attack them. When that happens, the game removes your current waypoint and changes it to the outpost. At first, I thought I had to go defend the outposts, like the enemies would take them back over if I didn't save them. But one time I ignored it, and it just said I failed, and life went on. Nothing happened! Then what's the point?! It draws you out of whatever you are doing, deletes your waypoint, but then if you ignore it, nothing happens.

    3. Climbing and Wingsuit - Oh man, I hated climbing and I hated the wingsuit. You press spacebar near a specific type of vertical ledge to climb it, which usually just made you jump (spacebar also jumps) until you line it up better. The main character, Ajay, seriously needs to work on his ability to scale a rock as tall as he is. He will not jump over ANYTHING unless it's a nice vertical rock wall about 8 feet tall. A sloping rock? Nope, he won't walk up it. The game, being set in the mountains, also features rappelling, but your rope gets stuck on rocks all the time and you have to reset the rope. Now, the wingsuit. You activate this by pressing shift and jumping off a cliff. The problem is that shift is also the sprint button, which you are always holding down. The other problem is that the wingsuit doesn't just activate on tall cliffs; it activates on anything that is like 6 feet tall or higher. Which means that you will unintentionally deploy your wingsuit constantly. Ajay doesn't know how to safely land in a wingsuit. He has to deploy a parachute to land and not die. So, you will often run off of a low rock with no intention of flying, the wingsuit will deploy, and Ajay will immediately crash into the ground and die. You were just running three seconds ago; now you are dead. I cannot complain enough about how bad jumping, climbing, and the wingsuit are.

    4. This doesn't have to do with dying, but also made me roll my eyes. The Golden Path (the good guy rebel army fighting Pagan Min) is led by two people, a man and a woman. You occasionally choose which of their methods to use to complete a given task. For example, the enemy has poppy fields that they use for drug production. The woman wants you to secure the poppy fields to use to fund the resistance; the man wants you to burn them down. Eventually, only one of them will lead the Golden Path, so your choices theoretically matter (they don't actually matter until the last one). But I eventually realized that the choices are ridiculously artificial. For example, the woman always wants to utilize Pagan Min's production facilities or whatever to fund the Golden Path. She wants to modernize. The man wants to return to tradition and wants to tear down everything Pagan Min has built. I sided with the man over and over because I didn't want to produce drugs. Destroying heroin production seemed like a good idea. The woman starts making their rivalry a gender thing, which I suppose is suppose to tug on the player. She wants a progressive society with equality. He wants to go back to tradition and maintain Kyratian culture. This is when I started switching sides because it turns out that "tradition" includes men taking child brides. Great. So I can either choose the woman / drug lord (but feminism!) or I can choose the man / child brides (but tradition!). I switched my allegiance after the child bride thing and after talking to a would-be child bride, who "didn't know who she wanted to be the leader." Girl, you're telling me that you're cool with being married off at 12 years old to a much older man? Nah. So I sided with the woman and killed the man.

    And of course, I let Pagan Min live.
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    dkirschner's Far Cry 4 (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Sunday 12 June, 2022

    GameLog closed on: Monday 27 June, 2022

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Intriguing. Cool setting, great bad guy so far. ---------- Same game I've played before. Shangri-La is awesome.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstar

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