Far Cry 4 is set to be completely different this time around. As opposed to previous entries, a strong emphasis has been placed on the vertical aspects in this open world which is set in the Himalayas. As a native to the region (the first game in the series in which the protagonist is a native to the area), you have returned to fulfil your mother’s final wish of having her ashes scattered over her homeland. You quickly find yourself caught up in a raging civil war being led my a fearsome man known as Pagan Min.
For the purpose of our demonstration we were tasked with infiltrating and liberating a small fortress over run by Pagan’s crew. Three options were given too me. I could choose between sneaking, flying or riding. ‘Sneaking’ is your basic stealth option, you are given a sniper rifle, cross bow and grappling hook to scale rock walls to use at your discretion to achieve your goal. ‘Flying’ arms you with a tiny one man helicopter where you can attack from the skies with grenades and rockets. Obviously this louder more direct approach is going to cause mayhem for you as enemies can call in their reinforcements. Finally ‘Ride’ lets you mount the back of an elephant, steer it around as its own vehicle, barging down the front door and assaulting anything in sight with a shot gun and machine gun. The elephants can also be used to attack foes, after all it is getting shot at as well and doesn’t appreciate it.
I opted to go with the stealth or sneak option. I managed to enter the fort undetected and take down a few adversaries unnoticed until a small slip up cost me dearly. I miscalculated a shot as the guard moved and the missing shot whistled past his head alerting him to my presence. Within the blink of an eye, reinforcements were called in and I was well and truly on the back foot. Making a near death escape, I found myself outside at the font of the fort, only to find that the elephants were just leisurely enjoying a frolic in the river. I was reluctant knowing that they could be harmed but I scaled the elephants back and rammed down the front door. Using the panic and confusion of the guards to disembark the elephant only to find him fighting on my side as he trampled and threw enemies like they were rag dolls. I ducked off too the side and sniped a few enemies until I found one of their guns that I could pick up. I did and turned the tides almost in an instant as I picked off the enemies in clusters with grenades and my gun.
I had lost track of my elephant and hoped to god he was safe somewhere but I was forced to consider my own survival as a helicopter arrived bombarding me. I found a turret gun mounted on one of the empty reinforcement vehicles, climbed in and decimated the helicopter. Ending my demonstration as I has successfully liberated the fortress.
After completion, I was offered to try the demonstration again but on a different method. I had already used elements of the ride and sneak option so naturally I went with fly. Once loaded I manned the small helicopter and began my bombardment of the fort. Seeing as I was such an easy target it didn’t take long for my small aircraft to become shrapnel as it fell out of the sky. I bailed before the explosion caught me only to be offered a slight redemption. I was prompted to activate my wing suit, gliding smoothly down to the ground before activating my parachute to land safely in the middle of the guard infested fortress. needless to say I died exceptionally quick. I had already completed the mission and to the best of my knowledge tried all the options to tackle this mission. I sat the controller down and began watching to see what style other plays were using.
Everyone was trying different things and this is a true testament to this games open world and open ended structure. I must argue, I didn’t see the brilliance in it once I saw some players tactics of liberating the fortress. One player I observed actually strapped explosives to the elephant, sent them into the fort and progressed to detonate it once the enemies were close enough. This is something I cannot agree with, I don’t believe it is the developers fault for this but more the moral stance a portion of the world is at. Although once the elephant had died It could be skinned for materials. Previous games have opted for this feature but only flashed the screen to turn the body into a skeleton but in this instance, the player actually pulled out a very detailed heart from the elephants course. Obviously something I don’t agree with.
I found the gunplay and movements to be fun and precise, whilst the visuals were brilliant. Far Cry 4 seems to take advantage of the PS4’s internals from the demo. Overall hearing the chatter of other eager gamers they thoroughly enjoyed their hands on experience with this as did I, minus those two minor griefs I mentioned earlier. None the less this game is looking the be the best the series has to offer with new features, another deep story and some exceptional acting from the one and only Troy Baker.
Far Cry 4 releases Nov 20th on PS4,PS3,Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC. Keep an eye out for our review as the release draws nearer.