FAR CRY 4
Publisher/developer Ubisoft (Montreal) Format 360, PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox One Release November 18
What you saw of Far
Cry 4 at Ubisoft’s E3 press conference was its opening cinematic, which says a lot when you realise who’s in charge. As creative director on
Assassin’s Creed III, it was Alex Hutchinson’s job to keep the terrible secret that you didn’t get to play as the assassin on the box for six long hours.
Far Cry 4’ s opening seems to be a response to that. Within the space of a few minutes, players are informed that they’re a foreigner in an unknown land, one where border guards are there to kill or be bribed, and one ruled by a murderous, pink-suited, peroxide-coiffed headcase. The scene has been effectively set. Far Cry 3’ s marketing effort focused on the definition of insanity. This takes that concept to a more extreme, blackly comic level.
Your toolset has expanded accordingly. The E3 demo focused on an assault on an outpost, which could be carried out by stealth, from the air, by gyrocopter and wingsuit, or by smashing through the front gates on the back of an elephant. Naturally, we found the final option in that list irresistible. Your mount is a surprisingly nimble thing, too: a slow mover, admittedly, but with a reasonable turning circle, and a decent amount of health. And despite the fact we spent a fair chunk of
Far Cry 3 skinning all manner of tropical wildlife for the sake of a brand new wallet or weapon holster – a mechanic Hutchinson confirms will return – we feel a stinging pang of guilt when our companion finally succumbs to the enemy threat and keels over.
A series-first co-op mode will offer further flexibility in approach, and hopefully save some elephants in the process, with one player covering from the sky while the other trumpets in through the outpost gate, perhaps. On PS3 and PS4, those with a PlayStation Plus subscription will be given ten invites which will allow friends who don’t own the game to download it and join in.
It’s the tone, not its approach to multiplayer, that will define
Far Cry 4, though. Far Cry 3 was at its best when it wasn’t taking itself too seriously, and while players shouldn’t expect a dubstep-soundtacked sequel full of burning weed fields, it’s clear that Hutchinson is relishing being let off Assassin’s Creed’s historical leash. “Maybe it’s the fact I was coming from this very serious franchise and I just wanted to blow shit up,” he says. “It was very liberating to say, ‘Let’s roll with this funny tone.’ We still want it to be serious, but it’s OK to laugh. Hopefully, it’s an uncomfortable one.”
Kyrat is a spectacular piece of world-building, made more remarkable by the number of formats it will have to support, and the brief time in which it’s been created