PAX Prime 2014 Impressions: Far Cry 4

Far Cry 4 continued to excite audiences at this year’s PAX Prime gaming exhibition. As the sequel to 2012’s critically acclaimed Far Cry 3, the open-world action-adventure first-person shooter has a lot to live up to. The series has always thrived on exotic locals, wild action packed situations and memorable villains. The demo available at PAX did not disappoint.

You play as Ajay Ghale, a Nepalese native who returns home to Kyrat and becomes embroiled in the civil war raging through the untamed land. Ghale is well equipped for the task with tons of weaponry available including crossbows, bombs, knives and even a wingsuit for gliding off mountain peaks. He is equally skilled at hijacking cars, piloting helicopters and even riding wild animals. The game is being called a giant playground, giving the player free run of the land with near endless options and avenues to complete missions in their choice of style.

While we got a look at our main villain at this year’s E3, King Pagan Min voiced by Troy Baker, the PAX demo focused mainly on showing off the open-world gameplay. In the demo, you are tasked with liberating an enemy fortress from the evil militia. The full game will of course give the player free reign of the entire world and the tools to complete missions in a multitude of ways. For the sake of the demo, Ubisoft provided the players three different tactical approaches – stealth, ground assault or air assault.

In stealth gameplay, you are given a sniper rifle and crossbow and must cleanly and quietly take out the enemy guards. By carefully going through the fortress, you can avoid sounding the alarm and face minimal resistance.

The ground assault places you atop a wild elephant which you can use to ram the gate, guns a blazing. Armed with a shotgun and LMG, there’s no subtlety to the approach, but you can clear the fortress in record time.

The air assault gives you control of a gyrocopter to fly above the enemy base to rain bullets and grenades. Each option brings different story outcomes as well as different reactions from the enemies. The militia runs in fear from the massive elephant breaking down their walls and heads for cover when faced with an air assault.

This was only a taste of the single player experience. Far Cry 4 will also feature cooperative multiplayer so you can team up with your friends.

The game looks beautiful and is packed with detail. Ubisoft Montreal’s CryEngine allows for more textures and interactions than its predecessors while still maintaining the series look and feel. Most notably, the world feels more alive. Wild animals interact with their environments and scenic Himalayan mountain backdrops give you a sense of scale. Most of the controls remain the same, allowing veteran players to dive right in.

Far Cry 4 is scheduled to release on November 18th in America and Europe, with an Australian release two days later for PS4, Xbox One and PC.

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