by Matthew Thompson (Images-Ubisoft, Far Cry 4‘s site can be found here)
(I was trying to work out how to discuss E3 this year (Note: I’m not there, just watching from home) and I’ve settled on rolling out about 10-15 small blogs over the next two weeks. Each will focus on a game shown or announced at E3 that caught my eye and will be presented in alphabetical order. I will include some other impressions when appropriate as well. You can find all of these blogs archived here. Enjoy!)
While there were a couple of games shown at E3 that I am more excited for, I think Far Cry 4 had the most impressive showing. At Ubisoft’s Press Conference, we were treated to the opening moments of FC4 and the introduction of the game’s antagonist, Pagan Min. He is very much in the mold of Far Cry 3‘s Vaas, but considering he was one of last generation’s best villains that isn’t such a bad thing. Vaas was a little underutilized too, something I hope Ubisoft won’t make the mistake of doing with this new villain assuming he is as close to as entertaining as Vaas was. He will also be voiced by Troy Baker, so we can at the very least expect a great performance from him.
The intro was interesting enough, but it was the gameplay demo shown off at E3 that really got me jazzed about the game. Much like the villain, it felt a lot like Far Cry 3, but the host of improvements looks to make Far Cry 4 a big upgrade from its predecessor which was already one of my favorite FPS’s. The new setting, the fictional country of Kyrat, is situated in the Himalayas which brings a bigger element of verticality to the level and world design. And with it comes new ways to traverse it like a grapple hook that can allow you to swing across gaps or climb rock faces opening up new ways to infiltrate areas and explore new territory. It also means much better opportunities to utilize the wingsuit which makes a return from FC3.
In the demonstration, the player is shown trying to liberate a fortress, this game’s version of Far Cry 3‘s best feature, outpost takeovers. Fortresses are bigger and more challenging and new approaches to the game’s varied combat means you’ll have more ways to take them over. The most significant ones are the new ways you can use animals against them. Throwing bait near enemies is one method, but Far Cry 4 is also fulfilling a long-time video game dream of mine by allowing me to ride an elephant into battle. You can blast away from atop your giant mount while he flings enemies around with his trunk and flips jeeps with a charging attack. I’m not sure there was a moment featured in all of E3’s greatness this year that looked more fun than that.
Other additions like vehicle takedowns, a stealthy crossbow and the odd new co-op mode where friends without the game can join the action are just the icing on the cake. The developers also promise that story missions will feature much more of the open-ended gameplay and “anything can happen” element that made Far Cry 2 and 3‘s best missions shine. All this adds up to the most promising looking FPS on the horizon. One I can’t wait to get my hands on this Fall.
This is the only Ubisoft game I will be talking about in my Games of E3 blog series, so here are a few more thoughts on their E3:
- Both Rainbow Six: Siege and The Division look like they could be great games, but with me not playing online much anymore, I’m not sure I will ever get into them. Also no one voice chats like that online Ubisoft.
- I am completely over Assassin’s Creed at this point. Even after the disaster that was AC3, I tried 4 and just couldn’t get into it. I do think the return to European architecture should be a plus for Unity and I was very impressed with the way they changed climbing down buildings and the animations to go with those changes looked fantastic.
- Valiant Hearts looked like it would make me cry. I might play it if I can deal that fact.
- I really thought we’d see a new Prince of Persia. Bummer!
- I did not think Beyond Good & Evil 2 would resurface though. Still a bummer, but an expected one.