The world of Kyrat is one that Ubisoft Montreal really want you to believe is real. Because of this, they have seen fit to make the hallucinations from Far Cry 3 a full feature within FC4. We’re told that around the game world will be paintings that, when interacted with, will take you into Shangri-La. This is a place of myth and legend within the new area that you will be exploring in FC4.
These areas allow you to play as a character of high mythological renown known as Kalinag. You will wield his powerful bow, that allows you to slow down time as you draw back the string to strike and his trusty tiger sidekick who can be used to distract harder enemies that must be dealt with by a takedown move with the R3 stick pushed in.
This is pretty much the setup for the whole hands-on time with the title. You must get from A to B by any means. The combat is familiar to anyone who’s played Far Cry 3, and frankly gave me little hope that this is not a reskinned version of the game released only just 2 years ago.
Right now, although obviously an early build of the game, it’s looking decidedly last-gen. The whole thing smacks of a cash-in and not an actual attempt to move the gameplay or anything else forward. While, yes, this does offer a ‘different’ experience, it’s still decidedly Far Cry.
For many this will be a welcome thing but as someone who personally didn’t enjoy FC3 all that much, I was disappointed to see just more of the same.
In regards to the specifics of what I was playing, the enemies seem very powerful and it was a frustrating experience to say the least. I died a lot as my pet tiger ignored my commands and attacked enemies miles away instead of the seven or eight doing direct damage to me. This is not even taking into account the pyromancer enemies. They dealt massive damage and needed my tiger and myself to take them down, but they are constantly surrounded by large numbers of enemies, which leads to a very irritating chain of death, after death.
The last thing, a little niggle, is that the healing system hasn’t changed from FC3 and is still a tad useless. While it offers fast healing in some situations, the length of time that it takes to play out the animations was bad in the previous game and doesn’t appear to have been addressed in this version meaning that you will constantly find yourself dying while watching a healing animation.
Overall, my very short trip to the world of FC4 was a frustrating experience that appears to be the product of poor design choices and a rushed development. If the code I played is anywhere near close to the final retail version, only fans of Far Cry 3 will want to pick this up as there is no proof its issues have been fixed. Whether I just had a bad time with my hands-on is a matter of opinion. I will say: if you wanted to love Far Cry, but didn’t enjoy the previous game, I see no reason to change your mind this time round.