I make no secret of my love for the Far Cry series. With each installment, Ubisoft continues to refine its combination of beautiful visual design with open-ended environments and combat scenarios and based on the time I’ve spent with Far Cry 4 here at PAX Prime, it’s looking to be better than ever.
I played a single-player sequence in which I was tasked with infiltrating a fortress up in the mountains. From the outset, three loadouts were available; Sneak, Ride, and Fly. Sneak was your basic infiltration using a crossbow and sniper rifle, Fly had you dropping in on the fortress from above, and Ride consisted of blasting your way in on the back of an elephant. The base was littered with ingress points, nooks and crannies, alarms, and special weapons that can be turned on your enemies.
After spending some time sneaking around the base and disabling alarm posts, I figured it was time to go loud. I pulled out my sniper rifle and began picking off the guards I had spotted earlier. I suddenly realized that there was one last alarm post I missed, and a message appeared at the top of the screen saying that reinforcements were on the way. I climbed up to the wall and used a mortar on incoming jeeps, which evened the odds for a while.
Flying in was a far less successful endeavor, which led to me being very quickly killed due to my poor aiming skills and inability to pick enemies out from the environment. That isn’t a criticism either; everything is so well detailed and dense that identifying enemies out of it is a real challenge; just one new way that Far Cry 4 has managed to raise the level of total immersion into the game world.
As fun as those modes were however, nothing was as fun as jumping onto an elephant’s back, crashing through the front gate, and pounding my way through the fortress with a double-barrelled shotgun. Not only is it useful as a vehicle that shelters you from damage, but it can also be used to trample, as well as pick up and toss, enemies aside. It’s chaotic, insane, and absolutely exhilarating. If this is the level of detail and quality that we can come to expect out of the full release, then Far Cry 4 is going to be at the forefront of many people’s Game of the Year discussions.
Far Cry 4 is coming to PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, and PS4 on November 18th.