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It wasn't until 2012 that gamers stood up and took notice of Far Cry. PC gamers were fond of the original game in 2004, but that game never really caught on with the console crowd, while Far Cry 2 had some interesting ideas but was ultimately mired in poor gameplay decisions. Maybe it's because the bar was set low that Far Cry 3 blew us away with its story, characters, vast open-world gameplay, the seamless integration of wildlife with firefights, and the wealth of activities to undertake. Far Cry 4 had a huge task to undertake when it came to creating a game as memorable as it's predecessor, and Ubisoft's inspiration seems to be taken from the old adage “If it's not broke, don't fix it.” In other words, this game could easily have been Far Cry 3.5.

Not that it's a bad thing – Far Cry 3 was brilliant, and Far Cry 4 retains this brilliance thanks to how closely it hews to its predecessor. The story follows the narrative almost beat-for-beat: American comes to a country that is rife with turmoil, somehow knows how to use assault rifles and rocket launchers, and sets out to free this country by taking it over one outpost and radio/bell tower at a time. Far Cry 4's antagonist, Pagan Min, is so similar to Vaas that the two could be twins; however, what Far Cry 4 does do differently is the strong supporting cast of antagonists, such as self-help advocate Paul De Pleur.

Gameplay is similar, as there is still wildlife to skin, outposts to take over, hostages to rescue, and sidequests to complete. On the other hand, gameplay is where Far Cry 4 starts to diverge off the beaten path, as the game starts to expand on the ideas of its predecessor. The game features more random events that tie into a new karma system, such as killing a lieutenant or hijacking a cargo truck, in addition to new vehicles such as helicopters. There are loads more collectibles to find, all tying into various unlocks, and now you're able to summon either AI or human players to help you overtake outposts and fortresses. At its heart, the gameplay in Far Cry 4 is still the same as the previous game, there is just more of it.

In terms of multiplayer, Far Cry 4 features not only the above-mentioned co-op play but also competitive multiplayer, including a map editor. Multiplayer is fun, but not anything you'll stick with in the coming months: Stick with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare for your multiplayer fix.

Far Cry 4 is releasing on seemingly every system under the sun: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC. If you have the choice, grab the system on a current generation system, as the game looks amazing: realistic grass, beautiful water effects, jaw-dropping explosions. The game still looks good on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, but it's clear which systems were the lead. The differences between the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC versions are minimal; the PS4 is slightly better at lighting than the Xbox One, but if you have a capable PC that version trumps the console versions.

If you loved Far Cry 3 and yearned for the day you could experience a similar game of the same high-quality caliber, Far Cry 4 is right up your alley. It's more of the same in a new coating, like when McDonald's brings back the McRib but adds a new bread choice: The general taste is the same but it still tastes slightly new and different. Far Cry 4 is what's wrong with the AAA industry, churning out the same game with a new number and calling it a sequel, but when you're copying a game as good as Far Cry 3 you owe it to yourself to give the new one a spin. Far Cry 4 releases on November 18th, 2014 and is highly recommended.

tags pcps4xbox-onefar-cry

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