Far Cry 4 First Look – Explosions and Elephants Running Wild

Rule of thumb: never tick off an elephant.

One of the biggest surprises during last week’s E3 event was Far Cry 4, Ubisoft’s latest open-world adventure that puts you smack dab in the middle of the Himalayas. Fighting your way through the fictional town of Kyrat, hero Ajay Ghale goes head-to-head with a mysterious adversary, whose forces will stop at nothing to put you in your place.

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Thankfully, like the character from Far Cry 3, you have numerous skills and can easily mow down an enemy camp filled with soldiers. The game’s open-world environment once again returns, letting you roam wherever you wish on foot, in a vehicle or best of all, on top of an animal.

Case in point – the demo gave us the opportunity to overtake an enemy outpost. There were two general ways to go inside, depending on your style of play, and we tried them both.

The first involved stealth. Ajay is capable of sneaking into the camp and tearing apart soldiers one-by-one. Tactically, this is the best way to overtake a post, as guards are unable to sound an alarm and call in reinforcements. Better still, the game’s controls let you to sneak around with ease, whether it’s shuffling behind cover or running up to someone and slashing them with your knife. There’s a certain satisfaction to being the sneaky.

However, that doesn’t compare to going all out and rampaging into the camp with a little back-up. The secondary method calls you to jump atop an elephant and head towards the front door, using the beast to stomp your way through and fire your gun at anything that moves. While this proves more dangerous than the stealth approach, it’s definitely more fun.

That’s not all. In addition to riding on top of an elephant and running over soldiers, you can hop off and let it run wild on its own. This introduces a Titanfall-esque aspect where you can deal damage while watching your animal friend wreck havoc.

Naturally, there’s only so much damage the elephant can take. Thankfully, it goes out in style, whether bowling over a group of soldiers at full speed or better yet, having a full-on collision with an incoming jeep that results in a powerful explosion. It’ll make you want to ride more elephants in the game – or mountain goats or whatever animals you come across.

Although the demo had two main weapons– a slick gold-polished shotgun and a powerful assault rifle – Far Cry 4 will have plenty more to offer, giving players the opportunity to do some damage. Better yet, you’ll see explosives that’ll kill multiple enemies at once, along with more unconventional means, like shooting a car’s gas tank to make it blow up.

Like Far Cry 3, this sequel provides the option of using other vehicles. The only one we found in the demo was a Jeep, but it got the job done, with very responsive controls and the ability to destroy not only soldiers, but also terrain. We can’t begin to explain how much fun it was to watch enemies take cover in a nearby shop, only to die anyway after we drove through the entrance.

On foot, the demo provided ample enjoyment. The shotgun in particular is a fast-reloading weapon that’s superb for close encounters, and also does damage from long range. Obviously, the assault rifle is more effective for its firing rate, even if it doesn’t have as much kick.

Using a unique notification system, you can see where dangers lurk on the stage, with small markers displayed on a circular grid that show where enemy soldiers are. This lets you take down someone by spinning around, or finding cover when you manage to get outnumbered. Chances are this system will be useful, even if you’re riding around in (or on) something stronger.

Far Cry 4 was easily one of the most thrilling games we played at E3. It’ll be cool to see everything we can do with the final version when it arrives November 18th.

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Prima Games Staff
The staff at Prima Games.