While the Far Cry series has always been well known amongst first person shooter fans, it wasn’t until the third iteration that it drastically broke it into mainstream popularity. Far Cry 3 did everything right: a beautiful world to explore, a story filled with a compelling cast of characters, entertaining main and side missions, and of course, the psychopathic Vaas. Since its release two years ago, Ubisoft has been hard at work creating a follow up with an entirely new story, setting and set of characters. While we got our hands on the game at E3 this year, we take a deeper look at what to expect when the game launches next month.
Players take control of Ajay Ghale, a young man originally born in Kyrat who moved to the United States with his parents when he was little. After the passing of his mother, Ajay goes back to this birth place to spread her ashes. Unfortunately things don’t go as planned as, upon arriving in the mountains, Ajay and a bus full of traveler are stopped by Pagan Min’s men, the dictator of Kyrat, and nearly killed. This is where the story begins as Ajay is put through the wringer to overcome various challenges that threaten his very life. It’s up to the player to not only stop Pagan and his viciously cruel acts, but also survive the harsh lands. Like past games in the franchise, Far Cry 4 also takes place in a beautiful foreign land ripe with adventure. It’s not just luscious jungle that we’ll be traversing, but high altitude mountains filled with snowy terrain, and vast wetlands.
Considering how popular Vaas was in Far Cry 3, Ubisoft has tried to replicate yet another psychopathic antagonist, but giving him his own flavor. Pagan basically runs the entirety of Kyrat, obtaining most of his power and money through the sale weaponry and drugs. While Pagan doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty in most situations, he still runs his own empire which has various underlings that Ajay will encounter throughout his journey. This includes the beautiful, yet extremely deadly, Yuma, and the ruler of the Min’s Royal Army, Paul Depleur. These are only a few of the many individuals that will be encounter as there are those that will try and help Ajay dethrone Pagan from power, and those that will stand in his way.
This isn’t just a cut and paste shooter as Ubisoft has implemented new mechanics to hopefully break away from other similar games on the market. For one, while vehicles have been a big part of the series in the past, the action of shooting from the driver’s seat is now possible. Ajay will simply shoot out his windshield to fire at enemies in front of him, or blast through his side windows. This ensures that gameplay isn’t simply to run someone off the road, get out and open fire, but instead always being engaged whether on foot or in a vehicle. In additional, similar to games such as Sleeping Dogs and Just Cause 2, mid-car chase hijackings have been implemented. So if players don’t like what they’re driving, they can simply roll up to another car, jump out the side and hopefully be able to dispatch of whoever’s in the driver’s seat. It’s not just about on road vehicles, either, as there are snowmobiles, boats, and even a gyrocopter available for traversal.
Since Far Cry 4 takes place in the fictional Himalayan area of Kyrat, there’s a large array of exotic wildlife to be found and hunted. This includes elephants, which can also be rode, rhinos, bears, monkeys, and more. Better yet, if the player doesn’t want to engage with certain enemies, they can bait animals into a fight, causing even more chaos than we’re used to. In addition, the player will obtain their very own magical white tiger, but is only made accessible in the Shangri-La missions. These are accessed through paintings found throughout Kyrat in which the player will be able to travel to red-tinted enclosed area in which they’re tasked with a straightforward objective. It seems like a very unique set of side quests and is reminiscent of a later mission in Far Cry 3, focusing on mystical events and having a bow as your primary and singular weapon.
With a far more diverse set of areas to explore that’s populated with various activities and wildlife to find, Far Cry 4 will surely be an immersive experience. While a lot of what Ubisoft is doing seems cut and dry from the last game, the improvements over both the visuals and gameplay will surely have your adrenaline pumping when strapping on a wingsuit or participating in a huge firefight. Throw in seamless cooperative play and you have something gamers will be playing for months on end. It may be only a month away (November 18 for PC, PS4, PS3, Xbox One and Xbox 360), but Far Cry 4 can’t come soon enough.