Far Cry 4 review

Why don't all first-person shooters let you ride an elephant into battle?

While each of Ubisoft's previous sandbox shooters has felt like a reinvention of the franchise, this year's offering hews so close to the structure of Far Cry 3 that it sometimes feels like a re-skin. But does it really matter when the end result is this much fun?

The convoluted plot basically boils down to an enormous game world with countless missions to play through – many of which (including outpost raids, climbing towers to unlock new areas on the map, and hunting wild animals) will be familiar from Far Cry 3. Yet this follow-up adds some new twists, including buddying up with a ghost tiger during hallucinatory trips to Shangri-La and riding elephants into battle, plus the addition of a grapple hook that grants you access to ever more remote areas of the map. You can also team-up with pals online to battle through the Campaign mode, or try one of the competitive multiplayer options.

The game world is beautifully rendered and sonically immersive, and the overriding sense of enjoyment means the lack of real originality is easy to overlook.

Far Cry 4, Ubisoft, Xbox One/Xbox 360/PS4/PS3/ PC, £50 Approx