Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that. It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece. I strongly recommend anyone...
In Far Cry 4, players will assume the role of Ajay Ghale, a man on a quest to complete a simple task, to return and spread the ashes of his deceased mother in her fictional country Kyrat high in the Himalayan Mountains. While minding his own business, Ajay is introduced to the region’s self-appointed King Pagan Min. Suddenly your trip home lands you smack-dab in the middle of a civil war.
One of the first things you’ll notice about Kyrat is the amount of vertical gameplay. You’re outfitted with both a wingsuit and a grappling gun, which allows you to swing across gaps and climb cliffs and rocky ledges with ease. Add to that the functionality of a wingsuit and you start to get endless ideas for an approach, one of which will allow you the ability to travel across the valleys in between the mountains, definitely giving you multiple ways to approach the outposts that you’re going to need to take control of.
Far Cry 3 was a fantastic single-player adventure that also had a two-player mode that included a variety of different missions. While it wasn’t bad, it just didn’t stand up to the quality of the single-player experience. With Far Cry 4 the devs are looking to solve that issue by bringing in a co-op partner right into the campaign experience. One of the features revealed at Sony’s Media Briefing prior to E3 was that a co-op partner could join a friend’s game without actually needing to own a copy of Far Cry 4.
That’s not only a great idea but gives new players and extended opportunity to play the game and might just encourage additional sales of the game. This feature, though, is only available on PS3 and PS4. When a co-op partner joins your game, only the story missions are disabled, leaving the game world free to explore. This allows you and a friend to take over outposts, hunt animals for crafting purposes, ride elephants, and just enjoy the experience and beauty of Kyrat.
The outposts in Far Cry 4 are more like fortresses than the little shanty buildings you took over in Far Cry 3. As you’d expect, there are multiple ways to try and liberate them. One of the new ways to try and do it is by gyro-copter. This can be flown with or without a co-op partner riding shotgun and it’s definitely not as easy as it looked in the stage demo we saw. Along with using the face buttons to ascend and descend, you can aim the onboard grenade launcher which is a bit tricky as well, especially if you’re trying to attack in mid-flight and not just from a hovering position. My first two attempts at the gyro-copter I was blown out of the sky, once from enemy fire and the second time by a rocket from an incoming helicopter.
Far Cry 4 looks to continue the franchise's trend of gorgeous visuals with the new Himalayan Mountains and vivid wilderness. The indigenous wildlife looks to have the same natural instincts they’re known for as well. Far Cry 4 is definitely becoming one of my most anticipated games coming this holiday season. It’s set to hit store shelves on November 18 for PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360.