Far Cry 4 Preview
Easily one of the most anticipated titles of 2014, Far Cry 4 might also be a legitimate Game of the Year contender. Ubisoft Montreal is cooking up another delightful yet demented thriller, complete with a rousing single-player campaign and a robust multiplayer component. If you’ve been a fan of the series from the start, get ready, ‘cuz it’s about to get even better. The exotic locale, multiple vehicles and kick-ass weapons, and oh yeah, elephants counting as part of the arsenal; it all sounds like a vibrant, ceaselessly entertaining experience.
Set in the Himalayan Mountains in a fictional area called Kyrat, players may have to deal with some difficult terrain. After all, the infamous Mount Everest calls the Himalayas home, so you may have to resort to vehicles more often than not. We already caught a glimpse of that motorized glider during the E3 gameplay presentation, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Obviously, it will be critical for the designers to implement solid, reliable control mechanics for each vehicle. This can be challenging but it’s absolutely essential; nothing sucks more than an otherwise sweet vehicle that controls like sh** (I’m looking at you, Banshee).
Far Cry is rapidly becoming a franchise known for its colorful and downright satanic villains. Vaas undoubtedly stole the show in Far Cry 3 and in the upcoming sequel, we’ll be introduced to the totally loco Pagan Min, a sociopath who dresses like a low-end pimp. He takes center-stage on the box-art, and he’ll be the guy you have to hunt down during your madcap adventure. The protagonist is Ajay Ghale, who has a personal interest in taking down Min: Ghale’s father tried and failed to overthrow Min’s regime, so it’s up to the son to finish the job. There’s a love triangle worked in for good measure, too.
Ghale will have access to a grappling hook, crossbow, multiple bombs and knives, and a wide assortment of firearms. Players will have the option of approaching objectives stealthily or guns-a-blazing; your decision will likely depend on the weapons you have at your disposal. The fearless hero even has a wingsuit that lets him maneuver swiftly through the Himalayan peaks. Using the grappling hook and wingsuit should make for easier travel along the steep, inhospitable mountain terrain and that’s probably a blessing. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the hero in the next Just Cause outfitted with a wingsuit, by the way.
You’ll be able to play the campaign with a friend, as you can invite your buddies to assist at any time. One of the most attractive features is for PlayStation fans only (at least, it has only been confirmed for Sony’s platform): Even if a friend doesn’t actually own Far Cry 4, you can still invite him to play alongside you. This is an unbelievable feature that allows multiple players to enjoy a game…and they never even had to pay for it. Of course, one could argue that they had to drop the $50/year on PlayStation Plus in order to play games online, but it’s still minus the $60 cost of the game.
The only potential downside is that I heard the campaign is about a dozen hours, which seems a lot shorter than previous entries. Then again, that estimate probably doesn’t include absolutely everything there is to do, and I guarantee there are plenty of optional quests. Besides, if the campaign is indeed on the short side, the developer’s extra focus on multiplayer this time around will benefit the product’s longevity. Oh, and did I mention that the game looks pretty damn sweet? This could be a visual tour de force for the holiday season, and there’s nothin’ wrong with that.
6/27/2014 Ben Dutka