Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles What do the Pacific Islands, a Himalayan kingdom, and a post-apocalyptic 80's parody have in common? Amongst all the high-power weaponry and explosions, they all include one throwback: the bow. While this video focuses on Far Cry 4, the bow functions identically in Far Cry 3. Blood Dragon gets a mention, but it's a reskinned Far Cry 3. Far Cry 4 offers the most variety in bow-type weapons, with three different choices. The bow is actually the first weapon you use past the prologue. Ajay receives a wooden traditional hunter bow. A simple wooden design, not unlike traditional bows made in various regions around the world. The hunter bow deviates from traditional design by including a crude sight, featuring two pins. In the game, the top pin often falls too short, and in most combat distances the player will likely aim between the pins or use the lower pin for mid-range. The player can soon purchase the recurve bow, the same modern design found in Far Cry 3. By default, it starts with the same two-pin stock sight. The player can then purchase a reflex sight, providing a very useful illuminated dot, making it far easier to aim. The recurve bow also has a marksman sight, an interesting modern inclusion. The sight provides a cosmetic electronic interface with distances marked, making it far easier to acquire long range targets. Actually hitting them can still be challenging, mostly because it is difficult to gauge distance in the game. While both the bows have different stats, they function the same. Both are practically one-hit kill weapons against regular soldiers. Soldiers with body armour take two hits, or one headshot. The heavy armoured soldiers are practically invulnerable. In addition to the regular broadhead arrow, both bows can use flaming arrows, which can be very useful for trapping enemies or burning a heavy trooper with a single arrow. The player can also make use of explosive arrows, allowing you to replicate the Rambo shot against helicopters. Since the recurve bow outperforms the hunting bow in every way, it normally occupies a spot in the player's inventory for the first third of the game. This is because the bow offers the clean kill ability when hunting animals, giving the player a karma bonus and extra skins per harvest, great for speeding up upgrades. Additionally, the player is unable to purchase suppressor upgrades until much later in the game, which makes the bow the only silent option. Along with being a one-hit kill weapon against most enemies, it has a useful purpose in taking out outlying sentries before moving in for the kill. Once you start getting suppressors, first for your pistols, then for your submachine guns and sniper rifles There's really no reason to bring a bow. Suppressors are perfectly silent, even if you're using a .50 calibre sniper rifle. Later in the game you gain access to the Autocross, a semi-automatic magazine-fed pistol crossbow. It's advantages are…well, all of the above. Despite its size, it still has one-hit kill capability, can equip an accurate sight, and its rate of fire even allows it to take down heavy troopers. It's a fun pocket-sized weapon, but by this point you would have unlocked better firearms. While it's useful to have it as a sidearm in case you still need to hunt, I personally prefer using the sidearm slot for an explosive option, such as the M79 grenade launcher. For the most part, your enemies will rely on modern weaponry. The exception are stalkers, who are stealthy opponents that disappear off your radar and are armed with recurve bows. The bow is also used by the legendary warrior Kalinag in the Shangri-La missions. It's capable of some really farfetched abilities, but it's a mythical battle, so we'll let that one go. So with all that said about the gameplay, what are some of the real world curiosities and anomalies? The choice of having sight pins on the traditional hunter bow is quite different to how it might have been used if Kyrat was a real place. Most traditional and primitive bows would not have had sights, and traditional archery would have been shot instinctively. Of course, in a game where every weapon uses sights, it makes it possible for the player to aim. It's anachronistic, but makes sense for gameplay. The reflex sight on the recurve bow is highly functional in-game, as is the marksman sight. In real life, these would likely be low-tech accessories, such as the typical hunting sights that use illuminated fibres. Again, it makes it easier for gameplay's sake. The marksman sight is interesting for a different reason. It appears to be holographic. Yet the player holds the bow in a canted position with the sight markings perfectly straight. In real life, an archer using a sight would most likely hold the bow vertically and keep the pins straight. Angling the bow will in turn affect the trajectory of the shot, making the pins out of line. The design of the bow itself is not based on a real bow. Some of the apparent features on the riser indicate that the sight is an integrated system, while modern bows in real life use a standard bushing that most sights screw into. I suppose you could say that if bows were turned into hypothetical military-grade weapons, this would be it. The autocross is a purely fictional weapon. There is no magazine-fed semi-automatic crossbow. It's a cool idea, so let's leave it at that. Perhaps the most misleading aspect of the game's depiction of bows is that the bows are perfect. The arrows always fly straight, and you only have to adjust for distance. In real life, there is a lot of fluctuation on the horizontal level, mostly due to the user's technique. Whether you're playing as Jason Brody in Far Cry 3, or Ajay Ghale in Far Cry 4, you immediately fall into the trope of the perfect protagonist, a master of all weapons. At least Rex Power Colt can get away with being a cyborg. But that's the nature of the game, and as the player, you're thrown into the action. You get a weapon that is intuitive to use, rewards skilful planning and shot placement, and is a challenge to use, even alongside better firearms. The bows in Far Cry are appealing to many players, a low-tech yet effective weapon in a modern arsenal. Perhaps the inclusion of the bow in a modern game is what makes it so intriguing. Overall, Far Cry 4 is an excellent game with lots of action. The bow works fluidly in stealth missions and outpost raids, though more or less falls out of favour when things really get heated up. The bows look nice, not over-the-top, and feel good. The subtleties of gauging distance and using the sight does make it feel like you're the one making the shot. You're rewarded for your hits, and punished for your misses. It reinforces how, even in modern times, you can appreciate a weapon with its origins in the Stone Age. Until next time, shoot straight, and aim for your best.