It isn’t very often that realistic animals provide a major source of antagonism in gaming; most only offer cartoonish variants on real life creatures. Far Cry 4 instead places them in a position of power, in every one of Kyrat’s ecosystems. From the depths of murky rivers, to the highest mountain peaks (how do the tapirs get up there?!), the world is full of dangerous, wonderful and downright ridiculous displays of beasts within their native environment. They are as threatening as they are astounding, and each one provides a plethora of entertainment throughout.
Bengal tigers are seriously beautiful, and within the game’s world, this is still very much the case. Not only that, but they are also some of the most difficult menaces that I have come across. Bears? They’re too slow. Elephants? They’re too big. Wolves? They’re too weak. But tigers? They’re fast, strong and are small enough to fit into any crevice. No hiding spot is truly safe from them.
Little damage can be done with arrows; guns are definitely a necessity. That being said, even with a decent SMG, they can absorb at least 25 rounds, which is a monumental amount of ammo for a large, stripy cat to be taken down. I am glad, however, that evolution has developed tigers sufficiently enough to defend against poachers. They may think twice about hunting them, or face taking out a short-term loan to pay for that much-needed ammunition.
In the UK, badgers are essentially non-entities; the most I’ve ever seen one do is lie uselessly at the side of a road. But apparently, the good folks of Kyrat have given these little fellows some honey, turning them into ravaging psychopaths.
They may look harmless at first approach, but will soon attack in full force with their sharp teeth and claws; possibly grabbing onto an arm or two. What makes them so deadly, however, is their size and speed. They are incredibly difficult to shoot, impossibly so with arrows, proving them to be a creature of ferocious nature that is equally frustrating.
Why. Won’t. You. Stay. Still.
Swimming itself in Far Cry 4 isn’t that much of a problem. You get in the water, paddle for a little bit, and then reach the other side of your chosen river, lake or pond. You even have enough oxygen if you wish to dive under, so there are no worries in that department. But take heed, because no matter what, a scaly demon fish will always be on hand to dampen your gentle midday swim.
Similarly to the Slaughterfish of The Elder Scrolls series, these guys generally pose problems because you cannot raise weapons when under water. You are totally defenceless if the fish decides to attack. Getting in a boat, and shooting at them from above water seems to be the best strategy. But if that fails, grab some explosives, unleash your inner redneck, and partake in the ecologically destructive activity of blast fishing.
I’m no ornithologist by any means, but I’m not sure that Far Cry 4’s representation of Kyrat’s eagles is 100 percent accurate, perhaps not even 40 percent. They have wings like all eagles; talons too – but I’m not exactly sure if they’re capable of lifting pigs three times their size many, many feet into the air, and then off to their nests for consumption. This actually happens, and it is truly something to behold.
This is all well and good, but these eagles appear to be objects of incredible fear amongst the country’s inhabitants. Throughout my time with the game, I have heard the desperate cries of “Eagle!” on numerous occasions. This has then always been met with heavy gunfire. Something is clearly amiss with these birds; they stop the Kyrati in their tracks and force them take up arms. A kind of super-eagle if you will.
If only you could take up arms against them once they have flown, claws outstretched, into your face; there is no stopping these winged monstrosities then. Are they really that deadly? Or is this a terrible error in their design? A tough debate, but probably the second one.
I love these big beasts. I can’t think of any other game that includes such an awesome interpretation of the rhino. In Far Cry 4, they are plundering grazers that are quick to anger. Remaining far from their vicinity is probably the safest method of observation, but sometimes getting up close and personal is needed to view such an incredible force of brutality.
They may stay docile for a short period upon approach, but soon become aggressive to the point of absolute destruction for anything nearby. They can then charge you down until you’re a bloody heap on the grass, and don’t think that escaping into a well-placed vehicle will save you from their deadly horns. Ramming anything and everything is no problem for the rhino, and cars are certainly not an exception. There is one positive from their rampant destruction, though: they can also be a source of crushing devastation for your enemies.
The one complaint I have, and this is a big one, is that you cannot ride them. What have I got to do to grab a horn and ride that rhino? Seriously, I’ll do anything.
My fondness for tapirs knows no bounds, and in Far Cry 4, it pains me to kill and skin such a majestic creature for the production of shoddy wallets and pouches. But sadly, it has to be done.
When I’m not taking my knife to them, I am playing the role of the keen observer; studying that proud and noble snout as it sniffs heartily at the undergrowth in search of fruit and nuts. An acute and powerful forager to the last.
Tapirs populate a vast majority of Kyrat’s forests and plains, so spotting one isn’t a difficult feat. They do turn up in the most extraordinary of places, however; often on mountaintops with no way to ascend or descend. Strange, and yet proof of the tapir’s wonderful resilience in a world full of danger. Haters gonna hate, tapirs gonna tape.
They may not be tapirs, but the elephants of Far Cry 4 are still pretty fantastic. They are huge and beautifully designed, often found near lakes where they drink and bathe in the crystalline water. They will not attack unless provoked, unlike those troublesome rhinos, and are also rideable, again, unlike those bad-tempered rhinos (why won’t you let me ride them, Ubiosft?!).
Riding them can be a blast. They are fast and extremely powerful, allowing you to bash into enemies and their vehicles with crumpling results. Nothing can stand up to the stature, immovability and the flailing trunk of the Asian elephant.
Even when you aren’t riding up top, the elephant can still be a devastating force to be reckoned with. For some reason, the idiotic enforcers of Pagan Min decided to enclose the elephants in shoddy cages with only a simple lock to keep them in. One shot at the lock will send the gates flying open, allowing the elephant to pillage enemy encampments without mercy.
In Far Cry 4, the elephant is your saviour, your constant ally, and your best friend. Treat them wisely.
These goats don’t do much in terms of excitement, but it is a lot of fun flinging them in multiple directions with a well-timed grenade launcher blast (see above).
Power Up Gaming does not endorse animal cruelty.