During E3 at the Sony booth, I got the chance to play the hands-on demo for Ubisoft’s Far Cry 4 for the PlayStation 4. After the amazing Far Cry 3, and what had already been announced for Far Cry 4, I was itching to play this game. I loved the idea of a move from a more tropical setting for Far Cry 3 to a location based in the Himalayas. The demo offered three different gameplay mode approaches. You could take a heavy load approach to storm a compound; you could fly in on a rotor copter; or you could take a more stealth approach. Since I like to generally go in guns blazing, I started with the heavy loadout.
So the heavy loadout puts the player right by a field outside a Fortress Outpost for the game’s villain, the deranged military dictator Pagan Min. This puts the player by elephants to utilize to storm the compound. The most fun thing about the demo is the ability to befriend the elephant, bust through the gates of the base and ride into battle. Using the elephant in combat was a lot of fun, but also very dangerous–even with the heavier weapons. Players do not want to shoot the elephant and get on its bad side because then they will have a rampaging elephant to deal with. Another fun new aspect of the game is the mountain climbing mechanic that takes full advantage of the mountainous terrain of the Himalayas. It is a new feature I am excited to see implemented into the gameplay. Besides rock climbing, protagonist Ajay Ghale also has a wing suit that can be used for gliding.
Action and combat still feels very familiar. There is now a healing function that players will have to be quite aware of when they take damage. During combat, it is necessary to press the healing button so Ghale will self-administer some field first aid during combat. First-person shooter controls were smooth and responsive. The Fortress Outposts are heavily fortified, so the demo provided a nice challenge. Enemy AI has been enhanced for the game, so soldiers will try to find Ajay wherever he is located and attempt to flank him. I enjoyed that you can take multiple combat approaches in taking down the outpost.
The setting of Kyrat is probably one of my favorite aspects of this game. The new environments and locations look great. It is a vast setting change that is really unlike anything that has been done in the franchise before. Graphics and new-gen visuals looked fluid, lush and gorgeous.
Ubisoft’s Far Cry 4 is due out on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Windows PC on November 18