Far Cry 4 is out today. We've only just received review code (opens in new tab), so you’ll have to wait a while for our verdict. But I did find some time to see how the PC version handles. We’ll have a full review soon, but in the meantime, here are some early impressions.
After the bug-ridden (opens in new tab) Assassin’s Creed Unity, a lot of you were probably bracing yourself for similar woes with Far Cry 4. But I’m semi-happy to report that the problems of revolutionary Paris do not extend to the mountains of Kyrat. On Nvidia machines this seems to be a solid PC release, but AMD owners might not be so lucky.
On a GTX 970 with 16GB of RAM and an i5 clocked at 3.4GHz I get a steady 60fps on ultra settings at 1080p. There’s an option above ultra, called ‘Nvidia’, but even with a card as new as the 970 this drops me to around 30fps, so I’ve been sticking to ultra.
Sam tested the game on his much older Radeon HD 7870 with 16GB of RAM and an AMD FX-6200 clocked at 3.8GHz, and the game ran at between 30-40fps on high settings at 1080p, but with occasional stuttering. At one point I blew up some barrels during a vehicle sequence and it paused for about a second, which is concerning.
This could be an issue specific to Sam’s PC, but I won’t know until I’ve tested it on a few other AMD machines. If you couldn’t wait and you’ve already bought the game, leave a comment with your specs and tell us how it’s running for you. I’ve seen a few people on Twitter say they’re having the same problem with AMD GPUs, and this extensive benchmark (opens in new tab) by Gamers Nexus has reported similar findings.
As for the graphics options on offer, they’re pretty extensive. You can adjust fine details like animal fur, vegetation, water, and god rays, as well as things like triple buffering, shadows, textures, geometry complexity, and FOV. You’re given a lot of control over the game’s visuals, which will be useful for people with older cards.
I’m not very far into the game itself, but Kyrat is a beautiful place. The fog-shrouded mountains on the horizon and muted colour palette give it a very different feel to the Rook Islands. There’s a lot more verticality, and standing on the edge of a cliff gazing down into a deep, yawning valley made it feel absolutely huge.
The grapple is a new tool, letting you clamber up cliffs and swing across gaps. You can only attach it to set points defined by the game, but they’re everywhere. Anyone who played Far Cry 3 will feel instantly at home. You’re given a bow early on to hunt a pack of wolves, and new hero Ajay is similarly good at healing himself on the fly.
But one of the biggest improvements for me is the story. I hated Jason Brody and all of his hooting jock friends, which really dampened the narrative elements of the game for me. I just didn’t want to save them. But Ajay is instantly more likeable, and charismatic new villain Pagan Min makes an unforgettable first impression.
So far I’ve spent most of my time taking photos of monkeys—the in-game camera now has an option to hide the HUD, which will please virtual photographers—but I’ll be getting stuck into the game properly in the next couple of days, with a review to follow. Let’s hope a patch or driver update irons these AMD issues out.
See more of Andy's screenshots here (opens in new tab), all taken on ultra settings.