Game Name: Far Cry 4

Genre: Open world, action-adventure, first-person shooter

Developers: Ubisoft Montreal

Publishers:Ubisoft

Environment and Story:

Far Cry 4 comes absolutely with a lot to connect with the game and the world of Kyrat, which feels part rooted in north and northeast India as well as parts of Tibet and Nepal as inspiration points.

The fictional country of Kyrat in Far Cry 4 is a mish-mash of Nepal, Thailand, Tibet as well as our very own Northestin both its culture and visual representation.Snowcapped mountains loom large behind rolling hills of untamed forests. Giant statues stare down into valleys pock-marked with villages, outposts and the ruins of Buddhist temples. Traders carrying their world on their backs wander dirt roads with hiking sticks, and the wilds are filled with fauna – most of it deadly to the casual intruder.

As usual in Far Cry, one is always a stranger and so far every game in the series has placed players into the boots of a protagonist who is a foreigner in the wild and untamed land they find themselves in. You play as the game’s protagonist, Ajay Ghalewho has returned from the West to scatter his mother’s ashes. Things turndifferent for him as he has a pretty scary face-off with Pagan Min, however he is rescued by the rebel group, called the Golden Path.It’squite a pretty cool car chase sequence with some cheesy Bollywood numbers playing on the car radio, as Pagan Min’s men are trying to blow him.

The Golden Path leaders includeAmita and Sabal who desperately want to end Pagan Min’s brutal rule in Kyrat but they have vastly different ideas about how to go about it.

Sabal is a traditionalistvaluing human life above most concerns but he’s determined to return Kyrat society to its traditional heritage. On the other hand, Amita, for her part, wants nothing to do with Kyrat’s sexist past, but she also sees nothing wrong in taking over Min’s drug-running operations if she can use the proceeds to build hospitals and schools – and presumably the rehab clinics Kyrat will need if she gets her way.

Similar to Far Cry 3, this series too has radar towers, guarded outposts, story quests, races, hostage missions and the like, Kyrat is filled to bursting with animals to hunt, forts to attack, and plants to collect and craft into drug cocktails. If Far Cry 3 saw players tumbling down the rabbit hole, Far Cry 4 sees them smack bang in the middle of Wonderland – and what a vast and hostile place it is.

One minute you’re on your way to unlock a radar tower and the next, a herd of animals – the source of pelts you need to craft an extra weapon slot – run into view and you’re off and running in a new direction. The player’s hardest task, really, is staying focused on the matter at hand. The dynamics in the game’s environment make Kyrat feel like a living, breathing country and one that encourages and rewards exploration.

Kyrat’s landscape is further bolstered by the colourful set of characters the player runs into. Top among them is the game’s villain, Pagan Min, a bleach-blonde, silver-tongued psychopath in a purple suit who also happens to be Kyrat’s nominal dictator. He shares a couple of character attributes with Far Cry 3’s antagonist, Vaas Montenegro, in that he’s charming, ruthless and utterly unpredictable.

While Vaas knew himself to be an unapologetic killer, Min sees himself as a stabilising force in Kyrat’s savage landscape – and given the moral murkiness of some of its freedom fighters, he makes a convincing case. One of the weaknesses of Far Cry 4 is that, shortly after introducing the player to Min, the developers keep him off-screen for quite some time

The narrative and outcome of the game splinters depending on which leader the player sides with and this does a lot to differentiate Far Cry 4 from its predecessor. Players aren’t locked into a fixed narrative and their actions and decisions have far more of an impact on their environment this time round. It’s to the writers’ credit that Far Cry 4 never offers players a moral conundrum that’s completely clear cut. Like Ajay, they’re learning the terrain and the culture as they proceed, so they may find themselves questioning the wisdom of early decisions later in the game.

 

 

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