The protagonist Ajay Ghale travels to Kyrat, a fictional region of the Great
Himalayas, to scatter his mother’s ashes. But, by fate, he finds himself in the service
of the Golden Path, an army of Rebels founded by his late father. They’re locked in
a brutal civil war with Pagan Min, the cruel ruler of Kyrat, and it’s up to Ajay, the
prodigal son to free it from his tyranny. It’s a neat twist on the usual Far Cry setup.
You are, as in the earlier games, as a tourist stranded in an beautiful, dangerous,
alien place, but now you have a more personal reason for being in Kyrat.
Pagan Min is a colourful villain, and is similar to Vaas Montenegro, who was in Far
Cry 3 one of the best highlights of the game. Pagan once had an affair with Ajay’s
mother, and as a result has taken a special interest in him. To hammer the fact that
he’s a deeply evil character, an early scene sees him wetting his finger, dipping it
into her urn, and tasting her ashes. But like any good old Bond villain, his charisma
and eccentricity means you’re kept between wanting to kill him and see more of him.
Ajay doesn’t say much, which instantly makes him an improvement over the last
game’s endlessly punch able boy hero Jason Brody. Really, though, Min is the real
star of the game, and Ajay feels more like an empty vessel for the player than a
meaningful character. But you still care about his story, because he’s propped up by
a memorable cast, including the two leaders of the Golden Path, Amita and Sabal.
Both have totally different opinions about how to take Kyrat back from Pagan’s
clutches, and you’ll have to occasionally to make their decisions for them, which
affects the way certain missions play out.
A lot has been written about Far Cry 4’s setting, its psycho villain, and its ride-able
elephants, but they’re all secondary to the fact that, at its primary, this is just a
brilliant, well-designed shooter. The weapons feel great, there’s genuine
opportunities for creativity, and it all takes place in a dynamic world where random
animal attacks are common. There are some boring scripted missions to endure in
the story, but the aim and variety of Kyrat more than makes up for it.