Far Cry 4: everything we know so far

UPDATE: All the latest on the game's leading characters.

A little more information about the game's hero Ajay Ghale - not to mention the villainous Pagan Min - has been revealed since Ubisoft's fanfaring of Far Cry 4 at E3 last month. We've updated our guide with all the new details, as well as a new video that explains more about the characters driving the next game in the series.

If the last Far Cry took its dystopian tropical cues from The Beach, it's a case of Seven Years - and almost certainly a shedload of radio towers - in Tibet for the fourth game in the series. Rather than making another sun-soaked paradise its home, Far Cry 4 has upped sticks and relocated to a fictional region in the Himalayas called Kyrat. Here, the game's hero Ajay Ghale finds himself caught up in a brutal civil war crafted by the self-appointed king of the region, Pagan Min, otherwise known as the bad guy.

Given the setting, it's easy enough to conjure up an endless panorama of white peaks and shin-slicing precipices in your mind's eye, but there will be more than an endless succession of Mount Everests to the game. Early screenshots throw up some rather clichéd albeit breath-taking vistas, but we're also promised a generous dash of variety in the environments. All in all, you should hope to see as many crystal-clear lakes garnished with evergreen forestry as you do cold and chilling peaks.

Vehicles

Making your way around this new world should be more of an adventure than ever, thanks in part to an all-new grappling hook, which allows you to inch your way along rock formations. While Far Cry 3 convenient hang-gliders provided a swooping bird's-eye view of Ubisoft's open-world handiwork, this time around you'll be putting around the skies in gyrocopters and swooping into action using white-knuckle wingsuits.

More literal putting about will take place at ground level, and Far Cry 4's faded yellow tuk-tuks will no doubt put a smile on the face of any nostalgiac backpacker. Even better, you can now not only fire your weapon while driving at high speed, but you can also leap directly from vehicle to vehicle during road chases. Or you can just finish the race before it's even started by cutting the enemy's brakes - whatever takes your fancy.

As well as the more conventional means of gadding around, you'll also be able to tackle the challenges of those ever-present outposts from the comfort of the local wildlife - elephants, to be precise. If you're looking to make an entrance, you'll be able to charge into battle on the back of one of these beasts, while the more cowardly might prefer to simply strap a few clumps of C4 on the trunk and send 'em charging in to achieve a brief and presumably spectacular kind of glory.

Characters

Ajay Ghale might be the local boy on a homecoming mission, but it's the blond-haired, magenta-clad Pagan Min who stole all the attention when the game was officially revealed at E3. Since then, Ubisoft has released a new video that goes into a little more depth about the pair of them.

Apparently, Min wears that particular suit as an homage to his mother. "When you're making fun of the suit, you're making fun of his mom," says executive producer Dan Hay. "And I would not make fun of Pagan Min's mom." Min took over Kyrat two decades ago, and even the local currency now bears his face.

Ajay's family name is famous in the region as well, but he's returning to a land he hasn't seen since he was a small child. "Everywhere you go, people are like 'okay, I know who you are,' and you don't even know who you are," explains Hay. "The game is a reflection of that."

Frame-rate and resolution

With fewer palm trees and more crisp mountain air filling the space between places of interest, you might be wondering how much of a technical toll Ubisoft's latest open world is going to take on your hardware. Digital Foundry managed to get a look at the game at E3 this year, and reports back that a slightly tweaked version of the build shown off in LA runs at 1080p resolution, with a frame-rate that - much like the game's predecessor - sticks to 30fps from the most part, while occasionally dipping into 20fps territory. There's time for tweaks on this front, of course, between now and the game's release.

Far Cry 4's co-op system

There's an intriguing taste of co-op to be had from Far Cry 4, even if your partner doesn't actually own the game. If you've got a PlayStation Plus friend sitting on the - presumably electrified and heavily guarded - fence, they can download an app which contains the entire game world, minus the single-player mission content.

Once installed, they will be able to jump into tougher-than-usual co-op missions with you as Far Cry 3's Hurk, and while Ubisoft hasn't yet pinned down how exactly the difficulty will be scaled for two protagonists, higher enemy hits points, tougher attacks and smarter AI seem like sensible bets. Each player who owns the full game will be able to send out up to 10 invitations, but it doesn't look as though the same functionality will be offered to Xbox Live subscribers, sadly.

Release date and platforms

Far Cry 4 will be released for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PC platforms on 18th November this year, and we'll keep updating this article with all the latest announcements made between now and the game's release. In the meantime, you can dig a little deeper into the game by using the links below to catch up on our key coverage so far.

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