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Far Cry


Far Cry 4 photo
Far Cry 4

When Far Cry 4 goes right, it goes so, so right


Style bonus
Apr 10
// Brett Makedonski
"Hmm, shotgun's not gonna work for this boat. Damn. Guess I'll have to go down there. Oooh, cargo truck! Let's take care of this real quick... ... Totally meant to do that."
Funny glitch photo
Funny glitch

His hair is made of the sky


Happy accident
Apr 03
// Jordan Devore
If glitches had sequels, this would be the long-awaited follow-up to Mafia II's "his hair is made of little faces" bug. The accompanying line of dialogue -- "I don't give a fuck" -- makes it even better. How did this happen? ...

Lots of games are morally bankrupt, we get it

Mar 19 // Anthony Burch
Most games are horrifying celebrations of violence and empowerment that prioritize aggression over compassion, and competition over empathy. And that's completely fine. (So long as the game, and the audience, know that that's what is going on.) We all -- to some extent or another -- are aware that the art and media we engage with can often be full of shit. We often love our art for being full of shit! I love Doctor Who, and it's one of the most full-of-shit television shows of all time! It champions optimism and mercy without ever approaching anything even remotely similar to a real-life dilemma, and -- so long as you know that's what it's doing -- it's a perfectly fine bit of escapism. And so it is with violent videogames. Yes, it's really, really weird that you run around massacring orcs because They're The Bad Guys, and it's even weirder that we were more excited to massacre them in Shadow of Mordor specifically because they felt more human. They felt like people with lives and backstories and that made it way more satisfying to slice their heads off what the fuck. But! It's escapism. It's full of shit, but it's full of shit in a way that is decidedly fun and effective. Should we ask greater questions about why Shadow of Mordor is fun, and consider how its fun-ness might be inexorably linked to racism and classism? Absolutely. Should we stop playing Shadow of Mordor and paint everyone who enjoys it as an enormous pile of human waste? Of course not. Or, to quote Anita Sarkeesian: "It is both possible (and even necessary) to simultaneously enjoy media while also being critical of its more problematic or pernicious aspects." (A quote that, if more people actually listened to, might have resulted in a way goddamn calmer gamer culture over the past few years.) So, it's okay to enjoy sadistic, weird, violent bullshit, so long as all parties involved know that that's exactly what they're doing. The only real problem, to me, is when that bullshit starts pretending to be about something else. Going back to Shadow of Mordor -- which was unquestionably my favorite game of last year -- I loved the over-the-top violence and the multitude of horrific things that you could do to your enemies. I distinctly did not love the story that tried to morally justify those things. The story of Talion's vengeance, and how justified he was in killing all those orcs because they are inherently "vile, savage beasts" (again, you should really read Austin Walker's article), is kind of nonsensical. It gets the player from A to B, sure, but it never stopped feeling weird for the game to paint Talion as a hero with one brush, and then allow you to decapitate an orc who is defined by a very human, relatable fear of fire moments later. But we've heard this argument before, right? Ludonarrative dissonance, blah blah blah. We've heard this argument so much, in fact, that it spawned an entirely new genre of games: the Violent Games That Criticize Violence And People Who Enjoy Violence genre. Anyone who has played Hotline Miami will remember the constant, enigmatic questions posed to the player by its cast of animal-faced murderers. "Knowing oneself means acknowledging one's actions." "You like hurting people, don't you?" "You're not a nice person, are you?" "Do you like hurting other people?" On its surface, these questions -- questions that many games pose to their players -- are deep, interesting queries. Functionally, though, they do nothing but jab an accusatory finger at the player. You fucking caveman, they shout. What's wrong with you? Why do you like this horrible, violent pornography? The answer to these condescending questions is simple: because these games are fun, and you know they're fun, and you spent hours and hours and hours of development time making sure I'd find them fun. These games never broach the actual social or biological reasons we find violence entertaining. Evolutionarily, it's to our advantage to find violence more stimulating and interesting than other aspects of the human experience, because a failure to find violence noteworthy can result in our deaths. Culturally, there are reams and reams of academic papers on violence as a (chiefly male) expression of worth and power that can often poison the aggressor almost as much as their victim. These games don't address that. Far Cry 3 says you like violence because you're a racist, simple-minded tourist (or at least, you have no problem taking on the role of one because, as a player, you're so eager to get to the murdering that your avatar is meaningless). Hotline Miami says you like it because you're kind-of-sort-of-bad-person-I-guess-but-maybe-not-really-I-don't-know. Spec Ops: The Line suggests you've just never given any thought to what the hell you've done as a player of games. These games chastise the player for enjoying consequence-free violence, right before offering them a smorgasbord of beautifully rendered, lovingly visceral consequence-free violence (Spec Ops less so, as it actually gives a shit about the choices you made in the story. Additionally, it forbids the player from being as graphically sadistic toward his or her enemies as FC3 and Hotline Miami). This is kind of weird, right? This is a hypocritical way of having your cake and eating it too -- of pretending you're making a grand statement about violence, without actually saying anything of note beyond -- bizarrely -- blaming the player for buying your game. If a game truly cared about exploring violence and its consequences, wouldn't it bake that into its game systems? XCOM, to me, is a greater treatise on violence and death than any of the other games I've mentioned because its systems force the player to make real, consequential, dynamic choices about the value of life. Should I put my elite assault trooper into the path of a crysalid if it means that he'll be able to save two or three civilians? Is it worthwhile to use my rookie to draw a sectoid's fire, just so my sniper can get a shot off? How much do I care about "winning" versus being a good person? What is the actual, financial cost of a human being? XCOM, while seemingly just a silly game about marines fighting aliens, directly engages with these questions in a way that the Hotline Miamis and Far Crys of the world never do. (And what's more, they do it without relying on gore for spectacle's sake). The answer for that is, perhaps, obvious: because it's hard. Because to do so is expensive, and means you're making a mechanically complex game in a time where it's easier and cheaper and often more profitable to make simple games. But if you're going to make a simple game that casts the player in a simple, hyperviolent role, why pretend to be an exploration of violence when your game mechanics obviously aren't? Why not go the other direction? Why not celebrate the fact that you're, to be brutally cynical, kinda full of shit? That's what Borderlands 2 was about -- from my perspective, at least. (It should probably go without saying, but a TON of people worked on Borderlands 2, and though I wrote about 90% of the dialogue, that dialogue makes up a comparatively small percentage of the overall Borderlands 2 experience. I can only speak for myself, and my own frame of mind when I worked on the game.) Early on, after the player kills a few psycho bandits, I had Claptrap comment on the battle: "Minion! What did you DO?! Those people had LIVES, and FAMILIES, and -- nah, I'm totally kidding. SCREW those guys!" As a joke, this line of dialogue isn't great. It's too long, its punchline is obvious, and it's just plain not all that funny. But nonetheless, this was a line I found myself coming back to as a thematic touchstone for the series as a whole. Yes, you are a murderer. Yes, you only exist to kill people and rob their corpses so you can kill more powerful things and rob more shiny stuff from their corpses. But it's all bullshit, so don't sweat it. Don't forget that you're being kind of a murderous antihero, but have fun with it! It's entertaining to be a murderous antihero. Don't pretend you're something that you're not (a hero), but don't beat yourself up over your antiheroism -- revel in it. There was a bit of internal worry about casting the player as such an amoral mercenary, but by making the bad guy an even bigger asshole, and by surrounding the people with (hopefully) charming, equally amoral good guys, everything basically turned out okay. We didn't, to my recollection, get any letters about how horrific it was to play as an antihero -- if anything, people seemed to enjoy that Borderlands was so jovially honest with its players about what it was and what it asked them to do. Saints Row works for exactly the same reason. The first two Saints Row games can often veer toward the horrifying, as the player upholds "values" like loyalty (which manifests itself in the player brutally murdering Julius, the founder of the Saints who rats on them in an attempt to bring peace back to Stillwater) and justice (which sees the player kidnap an unarmed woman, lock her in the trunk of a destruction derby car, and trick her boyfriend into ramming her to death as a means of avenging one of their fallen comrades). But Saints Row 3 and 4? The games where the franchise fully accepted just how batshit insane its players, characters, and world are? God damn, those are some good fucking videogames. Yes, your only method of interaction with civilians sees you punching or bludgeoning or shooting them. "Fuck it," the game says -- "let's incentivize that kind of behavior by making civilians drop health when you kill them." The moment Saints Row stopped trying to make serious statements about anything was the moment it reached its full potential. It accepted its own ludicrousness, and in so doing became the most honest videogame ever made: you play like a psychopath in these games, so we'll cast you as a mass-murderer and have everyone talk about how hilariously fun it is to be a mass-murderer. Fuck it, we'll make you president because you were so good at being a mass-murderer. Sure, the Saints Row games aren't "deep" (except for the fact that they totally are, thanks to their treatment of sexuality), but they're honest. Their messages, such as they are, match up perfectly with their mechanics. In my dumb, ex-game-dev opinion, XCOM and Saints Row represent the two best ways of actually tackling violence in games. Either build your systems around violence and its consequences -- actually force your players to answer questions of morality and power for themselves --  or just throw up your hands and create a world where the player can have fun being a total piece of shit. Above all, just be honest in what you're doing -- don't pretend your game is about How Bad Violence Is when it's really about How Awesome Pixelated Blood Looks.
Immoral games photo
Now move on, already
With Hotline Miami 2 recently released, I realized I am really, really tired of games that belong in its genre. When I say "genre," I refer not to "action games" or "indie games" or even "violent games," but a subtler, more h...

Far Cry 4 DLC photo
Far Cry 4 DLC

Far Cry 4 somehow gets more dangerous in Valley of the Yetis


Didn't think that was possible
Feb 26
// Brett Makedonski
If Far Cry 4's jaunt through Kyrat serves as any indication, the Himalayas are an incredibly dangerous place. Whatever isn't trying to maul you is trying to shoot bullets at you. It's like being caught between a rock and a h...
Far Cry 4 photo
Far Cry 4

Visit the steep mountains of Far Cry 4 at a steep discount


Plus a few other deals
Feb 13
// Brett Makedonski
Plane tickets are expensive. If you want to go check out the Himalayas, you're looking at several thousand dollars. "In this economy?!," Steven might scoff. A more affordable route to world tourism is through Ubisoft's rendit...
Ubisoft photo
Ubisoft

Ubisoft had a good quarter despite mediocre showing from Assassin's Creeds


No year-over-year change
Feb 12
// Brett Makedonski
Ubisoft didn't have a disappointing holiday season, as it posted financial reports today indicating that the publisher exceeded its quarterly sales expectations by approximately €80 million. More surprising, it did ...
Far Cry 4 photo
Far Cry 4

Ride a dune buggy in Far Cry 4's 'Overrun' DLC


Or just keep on riding on elephants, that's cool too
Feb 10
// Jason Faulkner
Already tired of everything Far Cry 4 has to offer? You're in luck, because Overrun, the latest batch of content for Far Cry 4, is available today. This is a more multiplayer-focused endeavor, with a brand new PvP mode in whi...
Far Cry 4 photo
Far Cry 4

Ubisoft restores some third-party Far Cry 4 keys


Keys were purchased with stolen credit cards
Feb 03
// Mike Cosimano
Just over a week after Ubisoft deactivated digital copies of Far Cry 4 purchased through various third-party resellers, the publisher has reactivated copies of the game that have been played in some capacity and has permanent...
Far Cry 4 photo
Far Cry 4

Ubisoft kills copies of Far Cry 4 sold through third parties (Update)


This sounds like something Pagan Min would do
Jan 26
// Mike Cosimano
[Update: Marek Zimny of G2A recently got in touch with Destructoid regarding this story. According to his comment, the company is not responsible for "any of these procedures" and is working towards obtaining refunds for affe...
Far Cry 4 photo
Far Cry 4

Far Cry 4 'Escape From Durgesh Prison' DLC is out today


This one isn't free
Jan 13
// Chris Carter
In addition to the free Assassin's Creed Unity DLC out today, Far Cry 4 is also getting an add-on. Escape From Durgesh Prison is a timetrial of sorts, where you race the clock to best your friends on leaderboa...
Far Cry's future photo
Far Cry's future

Alaska, vampires, Jurassic Park: Ubisoft polls future Far Cry settings


Copy-paste the formula to a new locale
Jan 06
// Steven Hansen
Not that it was in doubt after Far Cry 4's sameness (to FC3), but Far Cry has been Ubisoft'd, its mechanics ripped and torn from one setting to another in the name of disconnected virtual tourism. Ubisoft polled its fans...
Far Cry 4 issue photo
The Great Elephant Shortage of 2015
[Update: Far Cry 4 has been reinstated on the Xbox One games store, restoring permissions for several users. For those who are still experiencing difficulties, Ubisoft officially recommends a hard reboot of the Xbox One conso...

GZ in FC4 photo
GZ in FC4

Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes made in Far Cry 4 is a work of art


Two wonderful things
Jan 05
// Brett Makedonski
We already knew that Far Cry 4's level editor was an open invitation for masterpieces to be made. That much was evident after this goat butt stabbing video surfaced. But, some people are making more serious playgrounds. One ...
Far Cry 4 photo
Far Cry 4

Far Cry 4 DLC wants you dead... permanently


Naked fights to the death
Dec 20
// Laura Kate Dale
Far Cry 4 was a pretty restrained game by comparison to Far Cry 3. Sure you could command an elephant into battle, but the game's hero Ajay Ghale never got himself into enough truly bizarre situations. Thankfully, there's a n...
Goat butts photo
Goat butts

I like Far Cry 4's map editor because it leads to goat butt stabbing videos


The bridge, I have to yump it
Nov 20
// Brett Makedonski
Imagine a scenario where goats take over and rule supreme. Not good-natured, frolic in the meadow, eat your leafy spruge goats. No, purely evil, human-devouring, straight-up refuse to eat your leafy spurge goats. Pretty...
New Ubisoft game  photo
New Ubisoft game

Far Cry 4 lead working on brand new personal project at Ubisoft


New IP along with staff from Assassin's Creed III and IV
Nov 20
// Steven Hansen
As much smack as I have to talk about the likes of Assassin's Creed and Watch Dogs and all of Ubisoft's open world oeuvre, along with Uplay practices, I can never damn the company fully. Aside from it putting out Ra...
Far Cry 4 photo
Far Cry 4

Far Cry 4's alternate ending only takes a half hour to access


Now we can finally shoot some goddamn guns
Nov 17
// Brett Makedonski
Alternate endings are a fascinating way to put a non-canonical spin on the tales that we know and love. Sometimes it's a silly and light-hearted Pentagon piefight. Others are grim, like Dante taking a bullet to the chest on ...
 photo

Dragon Age: Inquisition, Far Cry 4 & More AAA Weekend Deals


Uh, more time please?
Nov 15
// Dealzon
Deals brought to you by the crew at Dealzon. FYI: sales from certain retailers go toward supporting Destructoid. Next week Tuesday we get two Triple-As from two big publishers: Dragon Age: Inquisition along wit...
 photo
Well. 50 minutes, anyway.
Far Cry 4 is a game I've been looking forward to since ages ago -- and now, it's finally something I can play. Poorly. Here you go, watch us flounder. Go on, we're a mess.

Review: Far Cry 4

Nov 14 // Chris Carter
Far Cry 4 (PC, PS3, PS4 [reviewed], Xbox 360, Xbox One)Developer: Ubisoft MontrealPublisher: UbisoftRelease:  November 18, 2014MSRP: $59.99 Away from the archipelago of the Rook Islands, we now find ourselves in the vast expanse of the Himalayas in a land called Kyrat. The new protagonist, Ajay Ghale, has returned to his homeland to spread his mother's ashes in Kyrat at her request. The only problem is Pagan Min, the ruling warlord. Min has history with Ajay's family, and knows he's coming. Ajay is thrown in the middle of an all-out war between Min and the Golden Path, a resistance movement led by Ajay's father, thus sparking the narrative and giving you reasons to shoot things.This time around Ajay is a bit less in-your-face than Jason was in Far Cry 3, and the game is more enjoyable for it. Ubisoft deliberately downplays most of the main character's dialog, and while Ajay isn't quite a silent protagonist, he doesn't say a whole lot. While I'd definitely prefer a well-written, vocal lead character, Far Cry 4 puts the spotlight on the supporting cast, allowing players to focus on the action at hand from Ajay's position as someone simultaneously new to Kyrat, but not quite an "outsider". The real star of the main event is easily Pagan Min himself, played to perfection by Troy Baker in one of his best turns yet. His outfit, mannerisms, and actions all make him a villain worth pursuing, and he steals the show every time he's on-screen . Even the in-game guide is written by Min, offering up some humorous takes on the lore. His army has some more flavor than your typical mercenary crew found in most sandbox games as well, with proper in-world context to justify their outfits and abilities. [embed]283393:56291:0[/embed] The story itself takes place over the course of 32 campaign missions, which will no doubt take ages to complete as you get distracted by pretty much everything else. There's 24 outposts to take, over 200 collectibles to find, radio towers to scale, and 100 extra quests to complete. There's also two major characters in the campaign to side with, and choosing one over the other will change the course of the story slightly and give you access to different missions. Of course, I spent the first 20 hours hunting and completely ignored the story. Just like Far Cry 3, it's very easy to get distracted here. There are also a small number of "Fortresses" to take, which are basically bigger and tougher outposts with individual alarm systems. The developers even hint in-game that you should complete story missions to weaken them first or take them by way of co-op (which I'll get to later), but it's an awesome feeling to carry on as a one-man army. Even if you haven't earned enough skills to say, take down the Heavy units with a stealth kill, you can still work around it by systematically going around them to take everyone else out, then cut the alarms and improvise. They're like miniature puzzles to solve, and are easily one of the stronger points in the game. Taking them also affects the meta-story in Far Cry 4, as it stops the ongoing attacks to the outposts you've already claimed in that particular region. At first I was kind of annoyed that outposts could be reclaimed by the enemy, especially since losing one takes away a hard-earned fast-travel point. But after two of my posts were stolen I was emboldened to take the fort at any cost, which was a pretty awesome feeling and led to a real sense of accomplishment. It's this mechanic and the increased count of dynamic events that attempt to make the conflict in Kyrat seem more authentic. While in the end it's still all very "gamey" and not truly organic, the experience never really feels dull. At nearly every turn some random event could happen, drawing you into an exciting car chase, or a rescue op to save a comrade from a army of honey badgers, when what you originally planned to do was hunt some docile little animal. By the end of the story you may not care so much about the Golden Path, but you'll remember all of your personal stories and interactions with the characters. Once again the developers have nailed the actual shooting mechanics, and driving is improved this time around with the "auto-drive" button that lets you hand over the steering to the AI -- allowing you to take in the sights, make a sandwich, or focus on shooting your sidearm while riding. Movement is still very open, as a heap of different travel options are out there including various cars, hang gliders, rudimentary flying machines, and even a grappling hook that has the power to scale mountains and swing from specific catch points. Elephants are fun to ride and stomp around with, but they're even more fun if you're watching them from a distance as they make ragdolls out of the enemy. Due to the mountainous layout of the region, everything in Far Cry 4 is more vertical. For the most part getting around isn't inherently difficult, but the mountains themselves can often obscure parts of the map, which makes them feel like gates to prevent you from getting to a location faster. It all opens up more as you explore and unlock more fast-travel locations, but there was something special about the vast seas of Far Cry 3 that really resonated with me. While I personally prefer the less hilly setting of Far Cry 3, the exotic locale of Kyrat does have its perks. Not only is the wildlife more interesting, but the lore actually feeds more into the region in general, giving it more of a purpose than most sandboxes. It's also beautiful on a current-gen system (especially during the Shangri-La dream sections), with long draw distances and incredibly impressive setpieces. The map most certainty does not have a cheap feel to it -- you can see for what feels like miles, and it's almost all accessible. Don't expect a whole lot from the Elephant (defense) and Tiger (offensive) split skill system though, as it unfortunately feels like a copy and paste from Far Cry 3's tree. While the rest of the game makes an effort to forge its own identity, the actual skills are still uninspired, to the point where some of them weren't even worth picking up in the first place (not once have I found shimmying stealth kills or a faster repair ability essential). Karma on the other hand is actually a nice addition, offering a more traditional way to "level-up" with the locals by going out of your way to help. In return, you'll get better deals on items and weapons as well as better assistance from the AI out in the wild. All in all, the campaign is fantastic and completely worth buying Far Cry 4 for alone. But wait? Isn't there multiplayer in there somewhere? Why yes! Multiplayer comes in two flavors in Far Cry 4 -- a competitive five-on-five mode called Battles of Kyrat, and co-op. The former is a basically by-the-books asymmetrical versus mode, with soldiers (Golden Path) going up against a more technical mystical group (Rakshasa) gameplay that leaves both sides with different powers. One side has more raw strength, the other is more tactical and can teleport, basically. There are three modes -- Outpost (base capture), Propaganda (bomb offense), and Demon Mask (capture the flag). You've seen this all before, and you've seen it done better. Though it is a serviceable addition, I feel the same way about Battles of Kyrat as I did with Tomb Raider's multiplayer -- a zero sum gain that doesn't help or hurt the campaign. Most players will just outright skip it. Co-op on the other hand is a bit more enticing. In essence, you can flag your campaign session and play online (or completely avoid co-op altogether by starting your playthrough with the offline option), which lets random players or friends join your session for a bit of help or general tomfoolery. You can't play story missions together but you can enlist them to take down just about everything else in your game world, including fortresses. The limitations of co-op are probably the worst thing about it (it's a pain to have to stop your crucial story progress and start up again), because it works as advertised and it's actually quite fun. It would have been great if the other multiplayer bits were scrapped entirely in favor of creating a fully featured co-op mechanic that allowed for zero discrepancies though, because the feature feels less like a groundbreaking addition and more like a diversion. As a side note, the PS3 and PS4 platforms allow you to send out 10 two-hour trials to your friends, even if they don't own Far Cry 4. The last online component is probably the most interesting -- the map creation and selection system. Here you can craft unique maps that have a variety of objectives like horde style gameplay or base defense, and unleash your creations to an online database. It's very rudimentary and only supports one player (plus you have to log into uPlay to create), but it reminds me of the old PC mod days in many ways, especially with a few of the wacky maps that are out there right now with low-grav modifications and floating islands. I ended up playing it far longer than Battles of Kyrat, but the main event is decidedly the gigantic sandbox. Far Cry 4 could have all of the multiplayer elements stripped away and it would still be a very strong game. If you enjoyed its predecessor and didn't grow tired of Ubisoft Montreal's open world formula, you'll have a blast living the experience again. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Far Cry 4 reviewed photo
♪Shangri Feat. La (Everbest remix)♪
Far Cry 3 was one of my favorite games of 2012. It didn't stray too far from the normal sandbox conventions set before it, but gallivanting around beautiful island vistas and flying about with wingsuits was pretty damn fun. For some that wasn't enough, though, and for those folks, Far Cry 4 won't be enough either. But for me, it's still pretty damn fun.

Penis photo
Also, cocks
Far Cry's new thing seems to be free flowing painted/tribal tits, nipple slips be damned, and those feature prominently in this video. But if you stick around, you'll see that there is also a little, flaccid penis! I never l...

Blood Dragon photo
Blood Dragon

Ubisoft: Far Cry 4: Blood Dragon 2 isn't happening


Maybe Ubisoft has something else up its sleeve, though
Nov 12
// Kyle MacGregor
Don't expect a Blood Dragon spin-off for Far Cry 4, says Ubisoft producer Alex Hutchinson. "No. The answer is no, you won't get another one of those," Hutchinson told IGN Australia. "But hopefully we'll be able to come up with something that surprises you just as much." Pubcast Happy Hour 10: Far Cry 4 Special [IGN via Game Informer]
Far Cry 4 photo
A nice rundown of the premise and every enemy
This new Far Cry 4 trailer highlights the entire premise in detail (more than the actual start of the game does), and shows you pretty much every major character, weapon, and item in the game. If you're already interest...

Far Cry 4 et al photo
Far Cry 4 et al

Ubisoft's upcoming releases back on Steam (except in the UK)


F4r Cry, Assassin's Creed Unity, and The Crew
Nov 10
// Steven Hansen
Last week, Ubisoft pulled its upcoming games--F4r Cry, Assassin's Creed Unity, and The Crew--from Steam. This allowed me to roll with a headline, "Going hard in the Uplaynt," a play on "going hard in the paint" and ...
Weekend Deals photo
Weekend Deals

Weekend Deals: Far Cry 4 and Valkyria Chronicles at a discount


Pick one: Ubisoft or Sega
Nov 09
// Dealzon
Deals brought to you by the crew at Dealzon. FYI: sales from certain retailers go toward supporting Destructoid. We're about a week and a half away from Ubisoft's next big release Far Cry 4. The game is priced at the sta...
Hard in the Uplay-nt photo
Hard in the Uplay-nt

Hard in the Uplay-nt: Ubisoft pulls upcoming PC games from Steam


Going hard in the Uplay-nt
Nov 06
// Steven Hansen
Ubisoft's biggest three upcoming releases, F4r Cry, Assassin's Creed Unity, and The Crew have been pulled from Steam, the place where a lot of people buy and play their PC games.  PCGamesN got this statement from Ub...
Far Cry 4 photo
Far Cry 4

GOOD LORD, ANOTHER FAR CRY 4 TRAILER


Tick tock
Nov 04
// Kyle MacGregor
Far Cry 4 is just a fortnight away. Just two more weeks. Fourteen long days. 336 interminable hours. 20,160 minutes. 1,209,600 some-odd seconds. 1,209,599 seconds. 1,209,598... Are we there yet? No. Quit asking! And stop teasing your sister or I'm turning this car around.
Far Cry 4 photo
Far Cry 4

Far Cry 4's take on asymmetric multiplayer has elephants, magic, and machine guns


These are the Battles of Kyrat
Oct 31
// Brett Makedonski
Far Cry 4 is the latest game to get in on the asymmetric multiplayer craze, something that's seemingly inescapable from in games today. However, this one's a bit more nuanced than the likes of Evolve's "four hunter...

Far Cry 4 features a more dynamic and vibrant open world

Oct 14 // Alessandro Fillari
Far Cry 4 (PS3, PS4 [Previewed], Xbox 360, Xbox One, & PC)Developer: Ubisoft MontrealPublisher: UbisoftRelease Date: November 18, 2014After the release of Far Cry 3, the developers at Ubisoft Montreal took a lot of criticisms and affirmations to their open-world shooter to heart. They received some flak from those who found Jason Brody and his exploits on the Rook Islands to be a bit of an annoyance. By setting the next installment in a war-torn country and giving all the central characters a deep and emotional connection with it, the developers hope that the narrative will resonate with players, and give them a greater sense of the tension and suffering in the land of Kyrat. Though to be frank, the opportunity to include rideable elephants was also a driving factor for this setting. Speaking with game director Patrik Méthé, he spoke at length about the origins of Far Cry 4, and what players can expect."After we shipped FC3, we had a discussion about what IS Far Cry. With the past games, we saw that we blended open world with shooting mechanics, while having lots of animals to interact with. After some talking, I said that I wanted to be able to ride an elephant," said the game director proudly. "At first, the programmers thought it would difficult, but once we agreed upon it we started looking at possible locations for the game. That's when the Nepal region came in, and with it came the sense of verticality [in terms of terrain and landscape], along with a rich culture and varying types of weather and environments. It was a challenge, but we wanted to turn that into an advantage."Set in the fictional Asian country of Kyrat, players take on the role of Ajay Ghale, who returns to his homeland after many years living in North America. Seeking to fulfill his mother's last wish to have her ashes scattered in her home country, Ajay is soon caught up in a conflict with Pagan Min, a charismatic and sadistic warlord who has named himself Kyrat's ruler. As the country is tearing itself apart from civil war, we learn that Ajay and his deceased father had deep ties to the country and its people. Ghale soon joins the Golden Path rebellion to fight for the freedom of Kyrat. But in order to take down Pagan Min and his personal army, he'll have to reconnect with his roots -- and of course, learn the ways of a warrior.At first, it all sounds very familiar. I was watching the cutscenes during my session and engaging in missions, and I felt an odd sense of déjà vu. Of course, the plot and gameplay structure for Far Cry 4 take many influences from its predecessor, particularly the fish out of water trope and along with the now standard Ubisoft Open-World Formula. While this may disappoint those expecting a complete reinvention, I can say that FC4's approach to storytelling and the country of Kyrat makes things felt incredibly fresh. In the few hours I spent with the game, I felt more of a connection with Ajay's struggle with the fate of the country than most of what I experienced with FC3 (which I still enjoyed).In another lesson learned from Far Cry 3, the developers wanted to ensure that exploring Kyrat would be different from what players experienced on the Rook Islands in Far Cry 3. Visually, the terrain and locales are much more varied, featuring snow, tundra, jungle, and urban locales, and as a result the color palette is much larger. The lush green jungles are accompanied by snow-capped mountains and ancient catacombs decorated with clay statues and ceremonial decor. In regards to gameplay, the mission structure in Far Cry 4 was expanded and reworked. In FC3, the missions themselves were fairly static and finite in nature. If you played long enough, the content would basically dry up, leaving players with only minor mini-games and small skirmishes to entertain themselves with."When we saw that the majority of players spent so much time in the single player, one of the first things we did was to put much more emphasis on the open-world," said Méthé. "So that's why we came up with multiple types of quests, new types of encounters, new collectibles -- everything is much more embedded in the fantasy of the world, to make sure that as a player, spending fifty, sixty, seventy percent of their time in the open world, that they always have new stuff and new surprises along the way."During certain story missions, players will have to choose to side with some characters over others, which can cause a rift in your relationships with them. In one mission, I had to choose between helping two of the rebel leaders, Sabal and Amita. Sabal wanted me to break into an enemy camp to save hostages, while Amita wanted me to acquire intelligence instead. Opting to go for the intel, the following mission had me sneak into an enemy location, use my hunting bow and knife skills for silent kills, and acquire the intel. Upon completion, my next mission for Sabal had him reacting to me unfavorably, asking if what I did was worth it. It certainly made me cautious about how we would proceed from here. Choices during the main story matter, and with several different endings, the main campaign looks to be far more developed than in previous FC games.To oust Pagan Min from power, Ghale will have to take down outposts and cripple the resources for the enemy army. Ultimately, Ghale has to increase the rebels' power to have a fighting chance against Min's strongholds in Northern Kyrat. Of course, how to do this is up to each player. The choices include completing story missions for the Golden Path, side-missions for the civilians of Kyrat, hunting missions, the optional and trippy Shangri-La side-story that goes on a journey to a world of myth and legend, or the brand new Karma Missions. Karma Missions are dynamic and randomly generated micro-objectives that occur while in the open world. At some point, players will find allies in danger fighting the enemy, being led to an execution, or requiring general support. Such missions yield Karma Points (KP), which levels Ajay's overall Karma level. Upon leveling your Karma, you can upgrade members of the Golden Path with better armor and weapons and get discounts for the Trading Posts. Of course, you can ignore these objectives and leave the GP members to their fates, but doing so would miss out on Karma growth.Much the like the one in FC3, completing missions and other objectives yield experience points and currency, which can be used to level up a character and purchase gear respectively. The arsenal Ajay can acquire is vast, ranging from pistols, machine guns, shotguns, sniper-rifles, cross bows, flamethrowers, and more. There's even a weapon that's a wonderful nod to last year's Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon -- but I won't spoil that. Upon leveling up, Ajay can use attained skill points to purchase new abilities, perks, and other augments -- now in a much more streamlined two-school skill menu. Skills are sorted in two schools; Tiger skills focus on offensive abilities, while the Elephant skills focus on support perks. I appreciate this attempt to streamline, as the last skill menu felt needlessly spread out and had skills that should have been standard for players.The dynamic nature of the missions, including weekly updates for the hunting challenges, and constant threats from enemy soldiers looking to retake territory, are designed to ensure that players will stay active even after the main story is finished. Moreover, this makes the world feel alive and reactive to the choices made. With the wildlife constantly on the move looking for new prey -- by the way,  honey badgers are indeed vicious little bastards -- walking tradesmen looking for your business, and enemies waiting for the right time to strike and take back territory, the land of Kyrat feels organic and lived-in.Back at E3 2014, we got a chance to see the newly designed co-op play for Far Cry 4. Opting to go in a different direction, the developers chose to implement the co-op mode directly into the open world setting of the main story. Those who enjoyed the stand-alone co-op mode with its own side-story from Far Cry 3 will likely be disappointed, but I had a lot more fun than I expected exploring the the open world with a buddy. And going by what the game director says, that's exactly what they were going for."Very early when we had the discussions about what we want to do next, the first thing was that we wanted to put more emphasis on the open world," said Méthé. "It took only seconds, but we saw that most players just wanted to play with a friend in the open world. What would it feel to take part in quests, to attack outposts with a friend  -- so that's why we wanted to explore that."At any time, players can activate the Guns for Hire option, which springs up the option to initiate online co-op or call in NPC allies to help. The Guns for Hire option is not dedicated to just co-op, players offline can still utilize this feature and receive help from friendly AI squad mates. But with the co-op, things can get pretty hectic. Once connected, the main story missions are disabled, leaving players to focus on any other objective they wish. The player joining takes on the role of Hurk, a returning character from Far Cry 3 who somehow made his way to Kyrat. During my session, my partner and I engaged in a hostage rescue mission that required stealth and quick thinking. I stayed behind for sniper support, while the other guy snuck in and made quick work of the enemy with a blade. Or perhaps, players can just drive around and cause chaos, which is exactly what Max Scoville, Bill Zoeker, and I did during our play sessions. We pulled off drive-bys against Pagan Min's forces in our beat-up compact vehicle. We rode around in the Buzzer, a gyrocopter that was fun to fly, but got us into more hairy spots than we could manage. Flying too far up into the sky will cause the vehicle to malfunction, and unfortunately, we didn't have a parachute or wingsuit to save us.Speaking of heights, one aspect of Kyrat that is apparent is the increased focus on vertical gameplay. Throughout the landscape are grapple points that can be used to climb steep surfaces and get the high ground. With the surprise appearance of the wingsuit in Far Cry 3, players began to experiment with ways to explore and engage the enemy. And because of its popularity, the developers plan to give players access to it much earlier in Far Cry 4. Unfortunately, the enemies can also take advantage of vertical terrain to their advantage. "Right from the get-go, we wanted to make sure the NPCs are able to navigate the vertical environment, " said Méthé. "In FC3, you could climb a ladder or climb a ledge and you were out of their territory. But in this game, they can use the same traversal tactics as you."Not all was great during my journey through Kyrat. I had some issues with the technology powering the game. While this title was running at a mostly solid 30FPS at 1080p, I found that there were some points where the game would become extremely sluggish, which resulted in performance dropping and serious texture pop-in issues. While the developers stressed that the build we were playing was from four weeks prior to this event, I still found a lot to feel a bit worried about.I also had misfortune of encountering many bugs and glitches during my travels. In some cases, I had to restart missions, as NPC characters I had to meet with were completely absent from the game world. During a mission with Sabal, I followed the waypoint into an ancient temple of worship, with many followers and visitors nearby. Unfortunately, I couldn't find where to go as the marker pointed to an empty space in the temple. I ran around temples and the jungles outside looking to see if I missed something, only for an attendant to tell me that I encountered a bug. On one hand, I felt a little disappointed that FC4 largely uses the same formula as its predecessor; on the other, I recognize that it's a much more refined and developed game. Far Cry 4 does a better job with utilizing space, as the world size is roughly the same as FC3, but is much more dense with content. I was constantly coming across missions, side-challenges, and skirmishes -- and it made me want to just drop everything and see what trouble I could get into. Though we're still in the dark about the game's competitive multiplayer mode, I feel that Far Cry 4 already has a lot to offer players come release next month. Though I still do have concerns about the technical issues, and since it's almost down to the wire with only a month get them ironed out, I'm ready to expect some quirks on launch day. With that said, I came away pretty jazzed with what I played, and with a musical score from Cliff Martinez (Drive, Only God Forgives, and The Knick) -- I'm looking forward to seeing what chaos I can cause come release.
Far Cry 4 photo
Beware the Honey Badger
Back in 2012, Far Cry 3 turned out to be a surprise hit for Ubisoft. It became the bestselling title of the series, appearing on many game of the year lists, and also created a rather excellent spin-off title. But with the an...

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Sadly, the C'caine Tiger has been un-stabbed to near-extinction
Max was poring through some new Far Cry 4 footage and spotted a few things that he didn't quite understand. Here's his top picks of interesting things he can't explain, because this game isn't out yet and we thought you might want to see some of it because this is a videogame website, you clown.


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