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Is Far Cry 4 just a prettier version of Far Cry 3?

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In a few weeks (Nov. 18th to be precise) Ubisoft will release the first person shooter Far Cry 4. Looking at the images we’ve seen so far, Far Cry 4 does resemble its predecessor, especially if we take the difference between part 3 and Far Cry 2 into account. Is Far Cry 4 therefor a polished version of Far Cry 3 or does this latest title in this franchise offer us enough new stuff?

It sure does look pretty

Obviously, graphically the game has improved, since we played Far Cry 3 on the previous generation consoles. But looking at the interface, there are clear resemblances. The mini map and the indicators above enemies heads are very similar. Yet, it is still a Far Cry and they functioned well in part 3, so not everything has to be new.

This time the whole game takes place in the Himalayas, so there’s nothing tropical about it. The mountains look breathtaking (not just because of the lack of oxygen on those altitudes), and even though some of them look ridiculously high, you can climb them and visit mountain outposts and such. The images we’ve seen while free falling wearing a wingsuit are impressive. Once again, it looks as if this Far Cry will have some beautiful scenery. Ubisoft has admitted that the map of Far Cry 4 will be about as big as Far Cry 3’s, which means they have put all their energy in quality instead of quantity. There will be more things to do than before, which sounds like the great solution. Let’s face it, who thought the map of Far Cry 3 was too small?

Obviously, you will run into different animals here than in Far Cry 3, with the biggest new star being the elephant. You definitely do not want to piss them off, because they are real killing machines in this game. You can even ride them and cause a lot of mayhem. Another interesting beast is the yak. It’s a friendly grazer who won’t give you any attention until you’re acting like a jerk. Again, this animal is big and physically a lot stronger than you, so maybe it’s best to let them be instead of making them mad.

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When looking at the menu, you’ll notice some changes. You have 2 types of XP, one for leveling up like in Far Cry 3 and gaining skill points. Ubisoft has not answered to explain what the other type of XP is for. You also score KP (Karma Points) in Far Cry 4. It seems you can kill the guys that are on your side, which makes you lose those points. For you skill tree the developers have picked animals again, this time it won’t be the shark, spider and heron. You seem to be able to upgrade your weapons where ever you are, depending on the materials you’re carrying.

Do you need a license for this?

There are some new vehicles in Far Cry 4 that are worth mentioning. The gyrocopter, for example, is a really cool new asset. You fly over outposts while shooting at the baddies. It also saves you vast amounts of time going uphill. The hang glider and wingsuit are back, which were a lot of joy to use in the previous game. And when it comes to motorized vehicles, there will be a lot of new ones, but they don’t seem to be much different (experience wise) than the ones we saw in Far Cry 3. A cool thing though, is that you can now jump off of your buggy and enter a car or truck and kill the driver. This seems like a fun way to upgrade your ride.  The elephant as a means of transport sounds cool, but let’s face it, that’s is nothing compared to riding a kick ass tiger!

Far Cry 4 will have some new weapons as well. The typical Khukuri knife/sword that the local warriors in the Himalaya use is one of them. The coolest, and probably most useful, one is the auto crossbow though. The bow and arrow was a very important weapon in Far Cry 3. With this auto crossbow, you still seem to be able to kill your adversaries stealthily, but a lot faster.

So what’s it about?

There is still not much known about the story, but deductible from the reveal trailer during the E3 last June, is that you seem to know the evil villain. “I’d recognize those eyes anywhere”, is one of the first things he says to you. And he mentioned you both will be off on a great adventure. The blond man seems an intriguing character, but will he be able to top Vaas’ insanity? Just looking at the trailer it seems like we are in for a treat again.

In Far Cry 3 everyone on the islands seem to be very spiritual, in Far Cry 4 they all seem to obey a type of state religion. It is not clear if this is a forced religion or that the population is just really devout. There are also mission called the Shangri-Là missions. These take place in some kind of dream world, or as if you were on a trip. It all looks very spiritual and mystic. You have to enter temples that hold many weird enemies that have super powers, like teleporting. Luckely, you have a tiger that you summon to attack this bad boys.

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This is not Far Cry 3.1

Sure, there are some resemblances between Far Cry 3 and Far Cry 4, but that makes sense. That’s what game series are all about. It seems, though, that Far Cry 4 will be an amazing adventure in a beautiful, mountainous setting, with a villain that looks insane. You’ll have tons of cool weapons -and animals- to play around with. All this together makes the future for Far Cry 4 seem very bright, and it is why it is up there on top of the wishlist of many a gamer.

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