Far Cry 4: Hands-On Preview

Far Cry 4: Hands-On Preview

Ubisoft’s Far Cry series has continued to gain acclaim with its first-person, open-world gameplay. I was fortunate enough to get some hands-on time with the game. So let’s talk about the game and what’s it has to entice gamers to the Himalayan country of Kyrat.

Co-Op Mode

In coop, the second player (as Hurk) can help you in your missions.

In co-op, the second player (as Hurk) can help you in your missions.

As my hands-on started, I initially began playing in co-op mode. I was playing protagonist Ajay, while my second player was playing the role of Hurk, a mercenary that you encounter during the game’s story. When you want to get help from a friend, you contact Hurk, and Hurk allows your friends to join you in the game. We started our team-up attempting to liberate an outpost from the enemy. My partner snuck around the back ends of the outpost, while I mounted an elephant and charged straight through the center of the enemy, sending them into a panic. When it became obvious my large mount was making me an easy target, I dismounted and began to run and fire… only for the elephant, now free to act on its own, to go on a rampage and tear its way through the soldiers. The animals in Far Cry 4 are more than capable of acting on their own, and a lot of good strategy can be made by manipulating them into attacking your foes.

Animals can be used to your advantage, clearing out whole areas for you.

Animals can be used to your advantage, clearing out whole areas for you.

After liberating the outpost, we stole a pick-up truck and proceeded to explore the open world. Kyrat is roughly the same size as the island areas of Far Cry 3, but as it’s more mountainous than before, it is a lot denser, as we discovered as we wandered up the peak. After a quick run-in with enemy soldiers, we attempted to continue driving, only for me to get attacked by a leopard, who then ran off. I proceeded to chase it down, and after I got my revenge, I skinned the animal. The various animal pelts and feathers can be traded at friendly towns. At the same town, you can switch out and buy weapons as well, as well as find new missions, such as the hostage rescue. With Hurk at your side, the stealthy rescue mission becomes less about simple speed than it is coordination, since if the enemy is alerted to your presence they’ll kill the hostages.

As we came to the end of the co-op playthrough, my partner and I commandeered a mini-helicopter, with me riding shotgun and firing as he piloted. Together we managed to take down a tower, allowing us to open up the map more and see more of Kyrat.

Solo Playthrough

Amita and Sabal argue over which course of action to take. If you choose one person's mission, it'll affect the kind of missions you can do later.

Amita and Sabal argue over which course of action to take. If you choose one person’s mission, it’ll affect the kind of missions you can do later.

As I started the solo story mode, I found myself in a cutscene as protagonist Ajay is drafted into a war, when all he wanted was to scatter his mother’s ashes in his parents’ homeland of Kyrat. However, it turns out Ajay’s parents were leaders of the revolution, so now you have to play hero for everyone.

As detailed in the picture, I found myself at a crossroads already. Allies are about to be overwhelmed, and Amita and Sabal argue over what to do. Sabal wants to save the rebels, when Amita thinks the intel they’ve gathered is more important. I decided to take Sabal’s mission, leading me into a firefight as I helped the rebels hold off the arrow-firing hunters. Once I’ve saved everyone, I began to explore in earnest, with the wide wilds of Kyrat as my playground. I found grapple points along the side of a mountain, and using my rope I started to ascend, exploring the higher areas. As I explored the area, I was rather shocked to discover a discarded hang glider. I briefly wondered if I should, then I simply picked it up and took off, soaring through the air. Once I landed, I spotted a group of hostages being marched along the road.

You'll find karma events throughout Kyrat, which will help raise your karma rating.

You’ll find karma events throughout Kyrat, which will help raise your karma rating.

As I engaged, I attempted to keep from injuring any of the hostages, as that would affect my karma meter and the game’s outcome. After rescuing the hostages, I continued my exploration of Kyrat. The massive country is filled with all sorts of missions and things to discover, such as hidden caves and camps.

I had several hours hands-on, but even then, it feels like there’s a lot to more explore. We’ll just have to wait until Far Cry 4 releases on November 18th to see what more there is.

Ahmed is not just a fanboy, but also a martial artist and an indie author who has published such fantasy adventure books as “Lunen: Triblood”.

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