Ben explains his perfect version of Far Cry 4 

Ubisoft has finally given us some details about Far Cry 4. Hooray! Rumours had been circling around for a while now, but with a solid release date, November 20th for Australia and the tease for more information to be revealed at Ubisoft’s E3 Conference next month we’re left with two things: First is a man in a lovely pink suit, and secondly is all the anticipation and expectation of what the next instalment will bring. So with the bare bones information we have, alongside my wild imagination, let’s delve into what could help Far Cry 4 become a game of the year contender.

A key and now signature part of the Far Cry games is the attention to detail in the game world. Far Cry 2 and 3 felt alive as the realistic beauty of the savannah and subsequent tropical beaches were juxtaposed against the danger of roaming bands of mercenaries and wildlife to create worlds that remain memorable for the freedom they allowed. The use of the environment to manipulate situations through choice based mechanics and tools that can only be achieved through an open and responsive game world were critical.

Taking this into account with the news that Far Cry 4 will have a setting in the Himalayas, I believe Ubisoft and their endless list of production studios should step up the world immersion a few notches. Picture this. Random snowstorms that obscure visibility while driving along mountainside roads, having to find shelter and maintain warmth by lighting a fire as temperatures go sub-zero, all while trying to outmanoeuvre the preying wildlife and Pink Suit Man’s probable army of angry gun-toting minions. I just get excited thinking about scenarios like this.

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There was some particular emphasis on that use of “random”. Having an increasingly player driven world is important, but with the inclusion of an unforgiving world where the best laid plans of mice and men can truly go awry would be snow-like frosted sprinkling on top of the already yummy Far Cry cake. The next step is relying on the developers to incorporate that with an engaging narrative and characters that add nuance and depth to the already treacherous and mysterious world. With the internet ablaze over the aforementioned Pink Suit Man, we can assume Ubisoft is aiming for a similar impact to what Far Cry 3 antagonist Vaas had in 2012.

Unfortunately Far Cry 3 was by no means flawless, or competent at all on occasion when it came to story. Having the player shoot their way around a big island as a dude-bro in order to save his kidnapped dude-bro and dude-chick friends felt hollow at times to say the least. More importantly, since Far Cry 2, it feels like the writers have been reading Heart of Darkness and watching Apocalypse Now a fair amount, so a new angle on the narrative’s core themes might do well in promoting freshness in Far Cry 4.

“a new angle on the narrative’s core themes might do well in promoting freshness in Far Cry 4.”

Far Cry 3 did however succeed in telling discrete stories through the use of collectables that revealed back story about the world and its inhabitants. Bringing this feature back would be great as an incentive for players to explore every corner of the open world in search of short story titbits and other rewards. Expanding further, Ubisoft could capitalise on their penchant for hiding Easter eggs quite easily. Personally I’d love to meet an in game version of Dean Hall trying to climb a big mountain or something similarly bizarre.

Now let’s jump in time to the first quarter of 2015. By this point you’d probably be finished with Far Cry 4, making it the perfect time for an expansion pack that’s akin to Blood Dragon in satire and ridiculousness. Ideally, Ubisoft will scrap the so-so multiplayer and linear cooperative mode found in Far Cry 3, in favour for a mode like Blood Dragon that comes alongside the main campaign straight out of the box (or Steam Library). My little rant is over, but what do you expect to see out of the much beloved franchise? We’ve got until June, so get busy thinking of protagonist names that don’t suck.