Far Cry 3 ended up being far more fun and successful than anyone who played the second game might have imagined. The series is back for a fourth adventure in a fantastic new location, this time the snowy mountains of Kyrat, a fictional city nestled somewhere in the white-capped mountains of Nepal.
The latest in Ubisoft’s sumptuous open world shooter, this time Far Cry puts you in the boots of Ajay Ghale, returning to his homeland. He’ll be up against the zealous, probably rather insane dictator Pagan Min. Maintaining the standard structure, this mountain-top escapade’s environments are as rich and as impressively detailed as you’d expect a new gen Far Cry to be.
As with the last one, there are enemy camps that need to be raided, side missions aplenty, sub-quests and collectibles – but everything’s just that much bigger, more beautiful brighter and well, more badass.
There were two, wildly different missions that I got to play at Gamescom, It started out with one of the game’s additions, the wingsuit. As it’s set in the mountains, there are new tools to help get about the game’s new verticality. Those would be the wingsuit, which is great for going down, and a hookshot, which is handy for ascending the rocky terrain.
After gliding down to a snowy mountain fortress, you need to sneak about the place and take out the head honcho, all while avoiding his nameless goons. There are a few new options to do so; the first is a little hand held crossbow with medium range that’s great for one-shot killing. You’re also now able to throw knives, which is equally useful for sneaky silent kills. The last new item, and one that I found most interesting, is meat.
Yep, meat. It works as bait, and is useful for luring in the game’s menagerie of deadly creatures. In one instance, I was able to break up a group of patrolling guards by throwing a bit of bait between then, ducking out of view, and laughing gleefully as an angry snow leopard attacked one the guards. It gave me the perfect opportunity to duck behind and sneak around to find the camp leader – who I had to take out with a knife for some reason.
I switched to throwing knives, and threw a knife squarely at his head…which missed. He would have alerted the remaining goons had I not very, very quickly sent another blade right through his skull. Mission over, right? Nope. I had to then duck out of the camp, and take to the skies with my wingsuit again, avoiding the outcrops of rocks on my decent.
The second playable mission was far stranger, and far more beautiful. The open world is littered with bits of tapestries, and finding one throws you in to one of the game’s trippy Shangri-La missions; a sort of crimson-hued otherworldly experience reminiscent of Far Cry 3’s drugged out sequences. In them, you’ll no longer be playing as Ajay, but you’ll be reliving meditative myths as a legendary warrior named Kalinag. Armed with a magical bow that can temporarily freeze time before dispelling fiery demons intent on turning you to cinder.
The time-warping bow is not Kalinag’s only weapon; he’s also able to use “The Protector of Shangri-La.” That’s a grand name, but it belies just how awesome it is. The Protector of Shangri-La is indeed a magical, spirit tiger that you can use to attack on command. Send the beast to attack one foe, while planting an arrow in the face of another, and you’ve got an idea of what you can expect in the Shangri-La missions.
If you hated the drugged out missions from Fry Cry 3, you’ll be happy to know that these Shangri-La missions are mostly optional, occurring only happen when Ajay finds one and sits to meditate within the real world. If you prefer skinning animals and clearing out fortresses, you can skip all but one of them entirely. You may not want to though, as we’ve been told that Ajay and Kalinag’s stories do in some way conflate.
It’s the same sort of deliciously over-the-op action we saw in the last game, only with that sort of veneer the new systems can provide. I’m looking rather forward to losing myself to Kyrat.
Last Updated: August 18, 2014