The pitch behind Far Cry 4, an open-world first-person shooter due out later this year, is that you can approach any situation however you want. We got some hands-on time with the game at E3 in Los Angeles this week, so we decided to put that to the test.
Ubisoft's Far Cry franchise has you attacking enemy bases, securing territory, hunting animals for upgrades and more. In our demo, I was attacking a mountain outpost occupied by a host of bad guys, with an alarm they could trip for reinforcements.
I was given a few options for loadouts, because the type of equipment helps determine the approach. I attacked the base two times with two different strategies.
First, the stealthy approach
The first time, I tried to go in stealthily with a silent crossbow and melee kills from behind. Using a grappling hook to get over the base wall, I started my quiet assault.
The goal was to take out enemies without alerting one that might run to the alarm and hit it, bringing in reinforcements. If you can get to the alarm first, you can disable it so it can't be triggered.
I silently took out several enemies as I worked my way toward the alarm, which I could see on my mini-map. When I was just a few feet away, I saw two enemy soldiers standing at the bottom of a hill. I snuck behind a parked Jeep at the top of that hill and realized that the game gave me the option to press a button to cut the brakes of that Jeep.
I cut the brakes and the jeep rolled down the hill, running over the soldiers.I cut the brakes and the jeep rolled down the hill, running over the soldiers. Of course, that drew attention. I ran to the alarm and disabled it, so no reinforcements would come, but the base was aware of me now.
I stole an assault rifle from one of the dead guards and fought off the enemies from behind cover, peeking over a crate to take my shots. Once they were all dead, the base was mine.
Then, the aerial approach
Since I still had time with Far Cry 4, I decided to attempt the same base assault with a different strategy and equipment loadout. This time: an aerial assault.
I started with a handheld grenade launcher and an automatic pistol, and jumped into a small gyrocopter. Flying over the base, I peppered the enemy with grenades. Some missed, but others took out multiple targets.
The alarm was quickly pulled, so jeeps full of reinforcements arrived. Their mounted machine guns damaged my gyrocopter, and smoking, I had to make an emergency landing on a rooftop in the middle of the base.
From there, the action unfolded like it had in the botched stealth attempt.
As in Far Cry 3, you'll face off against a particularly maniacal, over-the-top, hammed up villain. The focus of the story trailer is on that villain, who establishes his evil disposition by brutally stabbing one of his own men for making a mistake.
It's all pretty standard action movie stuff, of course. We weren't able to deduce much else about the story during our playtime, but we were told the game is written by a different writer than the guy who wrote Far Cry 3.
That will be welcome news to some, who found the writing in the previous game off-putting. But then again, that game's writing had its fans, too. Fortunately for the franchise faithful, Far Cry 4 is written by the writer behind Far Cry: Blood Dragon, the tongue-in-cheek '80s action spinoff of Far Cry 3. If you liked that game, you're sure to like this one.
Far Cry 4 will be released Nov. 18, 2014 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC.