So, basically everything I loved about Farcry 3 is now even better. I didn't care for 3's story either For me, the moment to moment gameplay is what makes your story in these games.
After FC3, less story is a feature. Congrats, FC3 devs, your story was literally worse than nothing.
FC4 is working out much better. Ajay is pretty much a tabula rasa and I'd rather be left curious about things like the statues rather than having it overdelivered. So far so great!
I really get the impression that Goodman hasn't played the first two games. Unless the vehicle sections of FarCry 1 and 2 were a highlight (I shudder at the thought), or that either of them had action similar to FC3. It seems from this and other reviews that FarCry 4 is the first game in the series which is just the previous game but more of it from the looks of it which is a massive shame considering that 1, 2 and 3 are so different to each over. Could be fun, but I was a bit tired of the whole Ubisoft sandbox thing with FC3.
The confusion about the statues is something I don't really understand. Why prevent their destruction? Well, because its probably very old cultural heritage. Think Taliban. The question should have been: "Why would you not want to save them?"
Other than that: From what I know of FC3 there was a lot of annoying hand-holding and excessively gamey mechanics. Murdering half the Fauna for upgrades for example, seeing people through walls, constant reminders of what the game wants the player to do, and so on. After reading the article, my understanding is, that some of this is gone, but it still sounds a lot like the developers were afraid that anybody would get bored. About right?
Huh, the Shangri La missions are kind of novel, but at the same time, they're jarringly displaced from, well, anything. You don't even get the explanation (such as it was) of being on hallucinogenics from Far Cry 3 for how Ajay's suddenly in the past living out this other guys memory. The sudden emphasis on melee combat (because as nice as the time slowing bow is, it doesn't show up til the second one, and against larger zones will not keep the demons at bay) really sticks out how shoddily simplistic the melee is. To say nothing of the major difficulty spike being from groups of fire spamming enemies who have to be taken out one by one via combo with the Tiger (who often gets set on fire and stops attacking).
The binary choice is silly, its advertised in its introduction as a "completely different set of missions until the next choice", but its the same missions with one or two alternate objectives. You still go and stop them blowing up the mentioned statues, but one has you light torches after, while the other blows up a rock. Even most of the cutscene dialogue is unchanged, though delivered in angry voice by whoever you irritated.
Pagan's oppression is pretty heavily covered across sidequests, and the propaganda radio broadcasts, and in his phone calls. I'm not sure how you'd be unclear on it.
Reggie and Yogi are irritating, and you're not really given a reason why you'd keep associating with them.
Yeah, it's just Far Cry 3 2.0... and I'm perfectly fine with that. My only big complaint is the driving. You never have acceleration and movement control on the same button for driving. They also decided to make the touch pad on Dualshock 4 open your inventory. I've hit it so many times already. I really need to see if I can disable it. Honey Badgers are awesome too. The first one I saw just ran right in the middle of the road and tried to kill me... while on an ATV. I ran the poor creature over a couple times.