No smart-alecky in this week’s title, just plain and simple: Far Cry 4. Also SPOILERS…

I finally finished it, my adventures in Kyrat. I played through it twice (and I will get to why in a moment) and I must say this was a good game. It is on par with the rest of the series and does the Far Cry franchise a lot of justice. I loved the voice acting and the stories that surrounded Kyrat. The world felt alive and lush despite the fact it was occurring in the Himalayas, every character had a story and tale and that gave them a depth that made them important even if they lasted only for 2 hours before dying in some horrific way (Noore).

I especially enjoyed the animals. While I did curse their existence when going up against hunters (who can control them), the animals in this game weren’t merely prey that you could easily stalk and hunt down and recycle for upgrades to your gear. Sometimes you would hear the tiger behind you but it wouldn’t merely be standing behind you ready to be shot, it would stalk you and move in the bushes. The wild dogs hunted in packs meaning unlike say Skyrim where you would be inexplicitly be attacked by a crazy dog, these guys would come at you in a group and try to tear you apart. The work on the animals AI is amazing – probably what I am getting at.

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The open world is lush and amazing the opening colors from the sequence describe the vibrancy of Kyrat perfectly. It is like the festival of colors celebrated in India (although the setting is more Nepal-ish than India-ish). But images here will speak louder than words so have a look

Moving on the game has amazing theming going on with the vehicles, the language people speak, the way people speak English for the most part, even the clothing style of the armies was well themed with the whole Himalayan look. But there are parts that don’t really make sense. The songs on the radio (which honestly got annoying after a while) were in some language similar to the South Indian language of Tamil, in fact one of my friends said he even recognized the lyrics and the song to be Tamil, so yeah about that. Don’t get me wrong the music overall was awesome and all the throw backs to the old style of Bollywood’s 90’s tracks was really cool. I don’t know what Nepal listens to, I’ve never have been there, but would they really listen to some Tamil song pretending to be a Bollywood song (because of Just Dance 2 having it – also a Ubisoft product hmmm), not too sure.

The guns in this this First Person Shooter are awesome, I loved them all although towards the end I did have my favorites and I kind of stuck to them. To list them out:

1. Recurve Bow:

Can have all the weapons that your guns provide (silence, explosion and fire), it is probably the best weapon in the game except when you haven’t realized gravity is a thing and you keep missing cause you aimed to low or too high. Still once upgraded with sights it is is probably the best weapon in the game and my go to weapon. Also is it just me or are bows getting a lot of love in games since Tomb Raider nailed the whole bow physics thing. Hmmm… moving on

2.  Warrior Assault rifle:

This assault rifle is good when you want to finish off a battle in a blood filled rage that doesn’t include stealthy bow work. I used it a lot when i just wanted to get over with the retaking of an outpost that didn’t have any heavy duty gaurds. The Fire rate, accuracy and mobility on this thing when completely upgraded makes it a really good go to weapon when you have no arrows left.

3. Generic Sniper/Shotgun/RPG/Launcher – having no Preference is also a preference

I used my third main weapon slot as a utility for mission based artillery, need a helicopter shot down – carry an RPG, need to silently take out a bunch of guards – equip the sniper. I also filled it with LMGs, SMGs and Shotguns – anything I would pick up off of guards.

Pistol: Not part of the enumerated list…

Didn’t care- I don’t use pistols unless I have no other ammo, which would never happen because the enemies drop a ton of loot. No I am not joking a ton of it, upgrading the ammo bag, gun holster and loot bag would/should be your top priorities. There is an entire level after escaping Yuma Lau’s prisons where I could have gone for a stashed weapons arsenal which instead I got through only with a SMG and an Assault rifle and some throwing knives.

A weapon which deserves a lot of credit are the elephants, here is what the elephants in Far Cry 4 are capable of:

Moving on to the best part of this game:

“Should I stay or Should I go”

This line plays after the opening cut scene that sets up the premise of this game.  Also Pagan Min says quite clearly that he is careful with his words. Immediately what follows is a whole dialogue with Pagan Min (the ‘antagonist’) that ends in him walking away and explicitly telling you, Ajay the protagonist to wait for him. Remember he is very careful and precise with his words…

The whole opening can be seen below:

This is what really blew my mind.

As most people playing a video game would, I began roaming around, exploring the mansion and upon hearing flashing lights and screaming I went down the stairs into the torture room where I got sucked into the civil war of Kyrat. I then play through the game help Kyrat pick a new leader from the two that lead the Golden Path, Amita and Sabal, neither of whom deserved anything. I tried killing them on several occasions only for the game to reset saying – nope can’t do that. After realizing both of them would anyway drive Kyrat into ruin, I finished the game only to learn Ajay (me) could have been king, if Ajay (I) had just waited, as Pagan had told me too. And who else to explain this to me but the man himself who leads the protagonist to the grave of Ajay’s half-sister Lakshmana (the whole point of this game) who was killed by Ajay’s father, to place the ashes of Ajay’s mother (Ishwari) at Lakshmana’s side.

So I did what any person who could bend the space and time of the game world. I booted up a new game to see what happened when I waited.

I waited for about 10 minutes and lo and behold – Pagan Min does come back, he gives me the keys to his kingdom, takes me to see Lakshmana where I place the urn with Ajay’s mother’s ashes and talks about getting to the shooting while the game ends.

So what is playing the game then? Is not playing the game still playing the game, was there any game to begin with or did the game unfold because we decided not to do what we were told to do by the in-game characters but rather follow the instructions that some invisible being put in front of us (UI). Did I really rampage through and tear up a nation merely because I couldn’t hold myself back and just had to be curious about the basement. Who were the good guys and who were the bad guys was there any ever difference between the two. The whole objective of this game was to return the ashes to Lakshmana, so why didn’t I just choose the easy way out the first time? Honestly both leaders of the Golden path lead the country to ruination; so I ran off, acted like a monkey and handed over the country either to a religious nut-case or a wannabe drug lord, how exactly had I helped Kyrat again?

I was lost in thought with all these questions in in my head. I decided to take a step back and finally I just accepted that I had been taken away by this alternate ending and allowed my mind to ponder on something less about the artistic artifact in front of me and more about the people who made it and their intentions. Was this ending just an easter egg or was it truly the primary intention of the developers all along. A game that shouldn’t be played; a game where the ‘obvious choice of a game’ is superceded by the ‘obvious choice of reality’. I mean honestly if I was really in the situation Ajay was in and not playing it as a game I would have never moved from that spot and would have done exaclty whatever Pagan Min said, I mean his face is on the currency and he brutally murdered that army guy with a pen. (Plus there wouldn’t be any UI giving me conflicting information…)

With that I rest my fingers on the keyboard and read over this article for spelling and grammer mistakes, which I am sure it still has plenty of.

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