At Ubisoft’s press conference, Dan Hay, “Far Cry 4’s” Executive Producer, said that players would be given “a passport, a gun, a few dollars, and then… well, you’re f****d.” But at the E3 2014 closed-door demo, it certainly looked a lot brighter for Ajay, the game’s main character.
Set in the fictional Himalayan nation of Kyrat, under the despotic rule of eccentric psychopath Pagan Min, “Far Cry 4” gives players the same immersive, open-world, first-person shooter experience as previous entries in the series. But this time, the power of the Xbox One allows for more stunning graphics and a bigger, more vibrant world than ever before. The demo we saw showed Ajay using his grappling hook to traverse gaps in the mountainside he was climbing, while explosions went off in the distance. Ubisoft promised a fully-fledged in-game ecosystem, in which animals will prey upon one another (we saw a gigantic raptor make off with a mountain goat, for example), and interactions will happen without the player’s input.
Likewise, “Far Cry 4” is an open world, and dynamic activities, such as a convoy raid, will present themselves as Ajay moves through the world and completes missions. Players can elect to complete these missions using stealth, sneaking and using silent weapons like the new crossbow. Should that not satisfy, they are at liberty to “go loud,” throwing grenades, blowing up barrels filled with explosives, and even calling in friendly pachyderms to assist in causing chaos.
Of course, if things get too hairy, players can always jump in the nearest vehicle and high-tail it down the mountain. In the demo we saw, this happened to be the traditional Himalayan tuk-tuk, or auto-rickshaw, complete with a radio playing Nepalese tunes. Enemies gave chase as the demo went on, and Ajay was forced to abandon his tuk-tuk in spectacular fashion, leaping to an enemy vehicle and killing the driver in one fell swoop in an impressive takedown maneuver. Unfortunately, the road summarily ran out, and the car flew off a cliff.
Not to worry, however: Earlier in the demo, Ajay had picked up a wingsuit, and was able to abandon the car and glide through “Far Cry 4’s” beautiful environs. Eventually, he came to an easy landing with the help of a parachute in the middle of a rice paddy. From here, it was time to take down one of the game’s tougher fortresses, which was a perfect time to display “Far Cry 4’s” co-op gameplay. Calling in assistance in the form of a buddy flying a helicopter, Ajay mowed down enemies with a machine gun while his buddy piloted the makeshift whirlybird. Eventually, the fortress was taken down, despite enemies dynamically calling in reinforcements.
“Far Cry 4” will be bringing its outstanding, co-operative, open-world experience to the Xbox 360 and Xbox One in November of 2014. We can’t wait.