Far Cry 4

Ubisoft's open-world shooter returns in a considerate but by-the-numbers sequel that adds co-op, but can't match its predecessor's charisma.

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Far Cry 5 has officially been unveiled, with the series focusing in on a fictionalised group of murderous far-right fanatics. It's a bold choice, one that's seen some series fans longing for simpler times - times when Far Cry was about getting questionable tattoos and being offered plates of Crab Rangoon.

Food's alright really, isn't it? It tastes nice, stops us from dying and helps keep TV chefs from getting into trouble - let's face it, Gordon Ramsay would just be an angry man yelling in a bus shelter if it weren't for the food industry.

Given how frequently video game characters take damage, you'd think most developers would be medical experts by now. Sadly, that couldn't be farther from the truth; you only need glance at some of the healing methods in video games to know that something is rotten in the hospitals of Denmark.

With the exception of a few characters from Far Cry 3 popping up in Far Cry 4's Kyrat, the general assumption is that each Far Cry game stands alone, lacking any significant narrative links. The thing is, I'm a massive Far Cry nerd and, after noticing numerous subtle details in Far Cry 4 that seemed to reference past games and characters, I decided to dig a bit deeper. After wading through the endless swamp of online speculation, I've got a pretty solid theory (I think) that not only ties the whole series together, but also points us toward a possible setting for Far Cry 5.

Far Cry 4: Complete Edition announced for PS4 and PC

Far Cry 4 will be getting the Complete Edition treatment as a retail release in the UK come 19th June on PS4 and PC.

Strangely, no mention is made of Xbox or last-gen versions of this comprehensive edition.

Naturally, the Far Cry 4 Complete Edition includes all the content from the game's Season Pass. This means it gets the Valley of the Yetis expansion, The Hurk Deluxe Pack, and DLC add-ons The Syringe, Escape from Durgesh Prison and Overrun.

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It doesn't take much more than a cursory glance at the pastiness of my skin or the way I flinch at the words "team sports" to realise I have never been a fan of the great outdoors. Nature seems a little bit too adept at making terrible things happen to adequate people for my liking, and video games seem to agree.

Far Cry 4's Valley of the Yetis DLC gets a March release date

Far Cry 4's Valley of the Yeti's DLC is due on 10th March, Ubisoft has announced.

Unless you're playing on PlayStation consoles in Europe, in which case you have to wait an extra day until the 11th.

This add-on to Ubisoft's open-world shooter sees you back in the green track jacket of Ajay Ghale as he crashes in a snowy plain occupied by a sinister group of cultists and, as the name implies, yetis.

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FeatureJon Blyth on: Fixing Far Cry 4

"Time is like location, but for watches."

My first column for Eurogamer was published four weeks ago. It was designed to fix NPC dialogue in shooters, and it worked perfectly. Since that day, not one shooter has been released with unconvincing or repetitive barks. You'd think, with such a resounding success still ringing around the internet, I'd be allowed to rest. You can imagine my horror when I received an email on Monday asking what my next column was going to be about.

Ah, good old permadeath - who isn't a fan of when a beloved family member or pet passes of this mortal coil, never to return again? It's great in video games too, as Far Cry 4's new DLC, Escape from Durgesh Prison, proves. In this new slice of open world action, you're given 30 minutes to reach a goal, your success in side missions helping unlock new tools to help boost your chances. Die, though, and that's it - there's no coming back. Just like that time my cat had a spinal embolism!

FeatureGames of 2014: Far Cry 4

The Kyrat's whiskers.

I have a confession, and it is this: I really like the Ubisoft formula. Items everywhere, side-quests out the wazoo, big mission arrows, the steadily-expanding skill-set - bliss. I don't like every game made with it, of course, and Assassin's Creed shows what happens when the recipe is used too often. But when it works, and when it fits, you get a game like Far Cry 4.

Last-gen revisited: Far Cry 4

Digital FoundryLast-gen revisited: Far Cry 4

Pushed beyond their limits?

Did last-gen simply run out of steam? Xbox 360 launched in 2005, with its successor taking eight years to arrive - three years longer than the console lifecycle established by the first two PlayStations. Artificially extended due to rising software development costs and the urge for Sony and Microsoft to maximise profits from hardware sales, the prolonged life of these consoles was both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, the need to upgrade was staved off, but on the other, there was undoubtedly the sense that these machines were hitting their limits in their twilight years. Far Cry 3 is a perfect example - a game that wowed with its scale and ambition, held back by its rather wobbly performance on console. This year's instalment emphasises the wall developers hit - Far Cry 4 is bigger and better than its predecessor, but the problems faced by its predecessor on last-gen console are just as pronounced, if not more so.

Ubisoft's latest Dunia engine-powered magnum opus is simply beautiful on Xbox One, PS4 and PC. Could it be that the latest iterations of the tech were always designed with next-gen architecture in mind? Triple-A games take years to develop, and nobody quite knew when the 360 and PS3 replacements were going to arrive - developers had to hedge their bets. Far Cry 3 was a world apart on PC compared to its console incarnations, while Battlefield 3 - its Frostbite 2 engine designed around DirectX 11 and a many-core PC architecture - was clearly a next-gen warm-up project. Crystal Dynamics' Tomb Raider is another example of a title built with one eye towards the future of console hardware.

Last-gen scalability was built into all of the games, but the results were lacklustre compared to their PC versions - next-gen console proxies, if you will. Far Cry 3 arguably fared worst of all, bereft of the graphical bells and whistles, and blighted with horrible screen-tear, low frame-rates and muddy controller response issues. The core game was there, the performance wasn't. This begs the question - how much more compromise is built into the last-gen versions of Far Cry 4? Is it still worthwhile?

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FeatureMoving targets: the scattergun politics of Far Cry 4

Ubisoft Montreal's latest could be a fine portrayal of a country under siege, if only it stopped to breathe.

Somebody has left the radio on. As I swerve the truck through the outpost gate, into the precarious wiggles of Kyrat's infrastructure, Royal Army trumpets blare from the radio, obscuring cries about this great nation, these meddling anarchists. It's tempting to toggle auto-drive, settle back and gloat over the cracks in the rhetoric, as the regime labours to play down my recent conquests - fully half of the realm's radio masts mounted and flipped to the rebel cause. But there is, as ever with Far Cry 4, no time. I'm already out of the car, slicing through the underbrush.

Face-Off: Far Cry 4

Digital FoundryFace-Off: Far Cry 4

A tech showcase on console, but what's up with the PC game?

Far Cry 3 received acclaim on the last-gen platforms, but it was clear that the Dunia engine powering the game was simply too much for the ageing 360 and PS3 to handle, with intrusive tearing and sub-par frame-rates seriously impacting the experience. However, our recent in-depth hands-on with the PS4 version of the sequel paints a very different picture: free from the limitations of old technology, the Dunia engine is allowed to shine, delivering a level of graphical polish only seen in high-end PC releases, along with a near-solid 30fps update in native 1080p. It's an impressive start for Far Cry 4 on consoles - but how well does the Xbox One version hold up in comparison, and what kind of graphical leap forward are we getting on PC, where the series has always been at the cutting edge?

First impressions of Far Cry 4 on Xbox One are positive. Image quality is very clean and the overall presentation compares favourably to the PS4 game. On close inspections, detail looks a little softer and less refined, but otherwise it holds up very well during gameplay. Pixel counting - not very easy here, for reasons we'll go into later - reveals a 1440x1080p framebuffer horizontally scaled up to full-HD resolution (1920x1080), although artefacts from the resizing process appear subdued compared to most sub-1080p games. In comparison we see a native 1080p image deployed on the PS4 that appears suitably sharp, and indeed clearer than the Xbox One game, but the Microsoft console is punching enough above its weight with a presentation that - by and large - defies its sub-native pixel-count.

Halo 2 Anniversary shows how well a horizontal upscale can work in providing reasonably crisp image quality, but with Far Cry 4 there's a lot more going on behind the scenes, via the use of an impressive new anti-aliasing technique known as HRAA. The effect is used in both console versions of Far Cry 4, and is a comprehensive solution that blends various elements from different anti-aliasing techniques together, using both post-process and temporal sampling. The end result is that HRAA tackles jaggies across various elements of the scene poorly covered by traditional post-process AA algorithms and multi-sampling (MSAA), and in combination with a good upscaling filter, helps to mitigate the usual artefacts of sub-native rendering.

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Greetings Eurogamers and congratulations for making it through the November assault course of new videogame releases. Everything gets a bit more quiet from here on in and your poor, abused wallet can breathe a leathery sigh of relief.

Digital FoundryDigital Foundry vs Far Cry 4

Frame-rate tests and tech analysis on Ubisoft's next big release.

Far Cry 3 stretched last-gen consoles like no other, but its sequel on PlayStation 4 gives Ubisoft Montreal a chance to unleash the engine's true potential. With its gorgeous Himalayan horizon, our original hands-on at E3 2014 applauded a very well-rounded technical showcase for Sony's console, one which its creative director confirms has 1080p resolution as its target. But with final PlayStation 4 code to hand, does the game deliver a generational leap, and with this peak console resolution in mind, can it do so at a respectable frame-rate, bearing in mind the issues seen this week with Assassin's Creed Unity?

Far Cry 4 review

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound? If I strap a wodge of C4 to a tuk-tuk and send it trundling off a cliff and into a mountainside military base while hopping aboard a gyrocopter and luring a tiger into the midst of a crowd of armed guards with a piece of meat I've freshly carved from a yak, does the chaos that ensues even count if there's no-one else around to appreciate it?

Among the great joys of 2012's Far Cry 3 were the anecdotes you accumulated just by stepping outside any spawn point and heading off into the wilderness with naught but your grenade launcher for company - but save for sharing any videos you might have made, you were always the sole witness to these feats of derring-do. Far Cry 4 aims to address this with not only a 5v5 multiplayer component, but a two-player co-op mode that allows you to invite a friend to accompany you on your excursions through Kyrat, its fictional setting in the Himalayan mountains.

During co-op sessions, Far Cry 4's main story campaign isn't accessible, but nearly everything else is. Given how little time developer Ubisoft Montreal devotes to protagonist Ajay and his impromptu cultural exchange, you wonder if it wouldn't have rather skipped the formality of a single-player campaign entirely, instead letting you loose on the local populace with a bunch of new toys and allowing you to have at it. It's just a shame the playground isn't nearly as compelling as its predecessor's was.

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Far Cry 4's Battles of Kyrat PVP mode revealed, gameplay shown

Far Cry 4's Battles of Kyrat PVP mode revealed, gameplay shown

Five vs. five multiplayer across 10 maps at launch.

Far Cry 4 developer Ubisoft has revealed Battles of Kyrat, the game's new five-on-five multiplayer mode.

It's the first time that a Far Cry game has included PVP multiplayer since the series' classic Predator mode.

Battles feature two factions, Pagan Min's elite Rakshasa guard and the Golden Path rebels, each of which has their own weapons and skills.

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Far Cry 4 Achievements mention new Homestead upgrades, multiplayer and story details

Far Cry 4's full list of Achievements has popped online ahead of the game's release next month.

The awards cover a number of activities found in Ubisoft's Himalayas-set open world, which now includes a new Homestead base for you to upgrade.

Assassin's Creed 3 also included a Homestead and, perhaps not coincidentally, shares a creative director in Ubisoft's Alex Hutchinson - who has previously expressed an interest in the feature returning.

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VideoVideo: Karma, rhinos and wrestling bears - let's talk Far Cry 4

A talkthrough with all-new footage of Ubisoft's open world shooter.

If there's one thing better than playing video games it's talking about them, and fewer games in recent years have had the ability to tell yarns quite as good as those spun by Far Cry 3. Quick-fire follow-up Far Cry 4 is an even better story generator, it seems, as Aoife Wilson attests having come back with an extended hands-on complete with tales of wrestling bears and clumsy companions. Far Cry fan Ian Higton quizzed her on the time she spent with the game, and you can see the results of all that below.

VideoFar Cry 4 adds karmic balance and tactical beehives

Plus more videos from Outside Xbox.

Far Cry 3 veterans will recognise Far Cry 4's familiar gameplay loops of commandeering vehicles, hunting animals, climbing towers and liberating outposts, but there are new bits too. Take Far Cry 4's new karmic levelling system, which awards you karma points for good deeds and deducts them when you are a jerk.

VideoVideo: Far Cry 4 has asymmetrical multiplayer

But what does that actually mean?

Far Cry's multiplayer has, in the past, had the capacity to something a little bit special, so it's no wonder whenever Ian Higton's had a chance to speak to the developers of Far Cry 4 he's hassled them about how that part of the game is going to take shape. They're yet to fully reveal what it'll involve - and they've kindly refrained from getting a restraining order from Ian - but they did let slip that it'll be asymmetrical multiplayer.

Far Cry 4 looks very much like more of the same, which is a slight disappointment from a series that's always done a wonderful job of reinventing itself with each new entry, but at least it has one new and very exciting feature in co-op play. Aoife went to go and play through some of the campaign and chat to the developers recently, which all went awfully well. Playing co-op with another person, though, less so. Have a look at what happened below, and get some helpful tips on how not to be an absolutely dreadful partner in Far Cry 4.

Do you remember that time in Far Cry 3 Jason Brody accidentally set fire to a truck, only to have it careen down a hill into an enemy encampment, crashing into a crudely constructed tiger cage and serendipitously unleashing the trapped beast upon his unsuspecting foes? That one instance he made a daring escape from a pursuing mob, swan-diving off a waterfall mid-explosion moments before being devoured by a hungry crocodile? Or how about that unforgettable evening when, outgunned and outnumbered, he used a Komodo Dragon to clear an enemy encampment, simply because he was all out of bullets?

Far Cry 4 trailer explains kidnapping etiquette, according to Pagan Min

Far Cry 4 trailer explains kidnapping etiquette, according to Pagan Min

UPDATE: Far Cry 4 will be bundled with PS4s and PS3s in Europe.

UPDATE 27/09/2014 3.33am: Far Cry 4 will be available bundled with both PS4s and PS3s in Europe upon its 18th November launch, Sony has announced.

No pricing details for these bundles have been revealed.

ORIGINAL STORY 26/09/2014 5.59pm: Far Cry 4 antagonist Pagan Min is certainly an eye-catching fellow with his ornate pink suit and shock of blond hair, and now we get to see his rather strong persona host a kidnapping/brunch (which, depending how you look at it, is either the best kind of kidnapping or the worst kind of brunch).

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Hello, Eurogamers! Welcome to your weekly selection of videos from Outside Xbox, where this week we've focused on job efficacy. Take the legendary Kyrati warrior you play as in Far Cry 4's Shangri-La side missions, for instance, he's very good at what he does. He slows time with his bow and arrow, sics white tigers on demons, and spins prayer wheels to restore peace and good times.

VideoVideo: How exactly does Far Cry 4 differ from the last game?

Everything changes, everything stays the same.

Now that the annualisation of Assassin's Creed isn't quite enough for Ubisoft, which is pushing ahead with two new games in the series this year, is Far Cry the next to be subsumed by the development churn? Far Cry 4's come relatively quickly after Far Cry 3 - which was, of course, brilliant - but there's some small concern it's a quick reskin, especially given the series' appetite for reinvention with previous iterations.

VideoVideo: Vehicles are coming to Far Cry 4's multiplayer

As is the level editor. More details in this new video.

It's been a while since Far Cry 4 was announced, and we've yet to hear much on its multiplayer. UNTIL NOW! Ian Higton met up with game director Alex Hutchinson earlier on today, and wouldn't let him go until he told him about how exactly online competitive play will work in the new game. You'll see the full details in the video below.

Far Cry 4 PlayStation exclusive Keys to Kyrat feature detailed

Far Cry 4 PlayStation exclusive Keys to Kyrat feature detailed

Buy the game, get 10 keys. Use them to bring in a friend to play for two hours.

The PlayStation versions of Ubisoft shooter Far Cry 4 have the exclusive Keys to Kyrat feature, as announced. During Sony's Gamescom press conference this evening Ubisoft elaborated on it.

If you buy the game on PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4 you get 10 Keys to Kyrat. Each one lets you invite a friend to play co-op via the PlayStation Network, even if they haven't bought the full game.

Each key is good for up to two hours of game time, during which you and your friend can explore Kyrat, capture outposts and gain in-game rewards.

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Welcome to your weekly videoblast from Outside Xbox. This week we played Far Cry 4 in the triumphant return of the Far Cryathlon, our digital sporting challenge par excellence. The event this time is a fortress liberation challenge: each contestant is assigned a liberation method and the quickest to liberate the Ratu Gadhi fortress is the winner. Expect mortars, elephant rampages and many, many explosions in this new Far Cry 4 gameplay.

Far Cry 4 villain's magnificent suit explained

It's "an homage to his mom."

Far Cry 4's villain Pagan Min is certainly an eye-catching character with his magenta suit and bleached blond downward faux-hawk making him easy to spot in a crowd. And now Ubisoft has explained the enigmatic villain's colourful threads in a new video expanding on the origins of Far Cry 4's villain and hero.

In Far Cry 4 you can cut the brakes on a car, load it with explosives and roll it down a hill into a mob of henchmen, says Far Cry 4 creative director Alex Hutchinson. Speaking of vehicles for incendiary content, here is your weekly selection of videos from Outside Xbox. Welcome, Eurogamers, and thanks for joining us.

Digital FoundryDigital Foundry: Hands-on with Far Cry 4

In-depth PS4 tech analysis from E3 2014.

One of E3's big highlights for Digital Foundry - particularly at the Sony booth where demo stations took pride of place - was Far Cry 4. While the hands-on only amounts to a 10-minute appetiser, developer Ubisoft Montreal's open-world Himalayas setting looks every bit as traversable and rife with strategic options as you could hope of the series. But given the series' handling on last-gen hardware, with Far Cry 3 and its predecessor teetering at 20-30fps with tearing, can the PS4 sequel finally deliver a home console experience closer to the franchise's polished PC releases?

VideoVideo: Games that should have been at E3 (but weren't)

Also from Outside Xbox: Far Cry 4's villain and devastating spoilers.

Hi Eurogamers, welcome to your pick of the week's best videos from outsidexbox.com. This week, we decompressed after the mayhem of E3 and realised not everything we expected to see actually turned up to that games industry bunfight.

VideoVideo: Dr Ian Higtonborough presents... The animals of Far Cry 4

Our renowned zoologist journeys to Kyrat in search of wildlife.

In more than 50 years of broadcasting, Dr Ian Higtonborough has circled the globe to document the living world in all its majestic wonder. Now, in the landmark series Kyrat Life, he goes in search of the animals in Far Cry 4. Dr Ian Higtonborough's Kyrat Life is told with stunning photography, state of the art visual effects and the captivating charm of the internet's favourite naturalist.

Ubisoft unveils Far Cry 4 protagonist

Ubisoft unveils Far Cry 4 protagonist

Meet Ajay Ghale, aka, the player.

In Far Cry 4, the upcoming open world shooter from Ubisoft, you play Ajay Ghale.

Ghale is a native of Kyrat, the fictional Himalayan region in which Far Cry 4 is set. It is ruled by a despotic self appointed king Pagan Min.

In a Tweet Ubisoft described Ghale as a "devoted son", and "Pagan Min's guest of honour".

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FeatureHow Far Cry 4 is like a Paul Verhoeven film

"We're going for that awkward intersection of serious people doing outlandish things."

Has there ever been a series as tonally diverse as Far Cry? Sure, the likes of Final Fantasy, Assassin's Creed, and BioShock have drastically changed their settings, genres, and flavours to various degrees, but the feelings they invoke remained largely the same. Far Cry, however, went from a light, goofy shooting adventure about aliens on a tropical island to a sombre dissection of the African blood diamond trade, to a satirical take on the modern open-world shooter, to an extraordinarily goofy parody of "edgy" 80s sci-fi culture. Now, with Far Cry 4, Ubisoft has settled on a tonally ambiguous Himalayan adventure that rests in the nebulous place between drama and comedy, light and dark, satire and sincerity. It's not a place often explored by the medium and that makes it as difficult to decipher as its wildly enigmatic cover.

Don't judge Far Cry 4 by its cover, says game director

Alex Hutchinson responds to criticism of key art, pointing to Ubisoft's strong heritage of diverse characters.

Open-world action game Far Cry 3 was treasured by many, including Eurogamer's Tom Bramwell, who fell in love with its meticulously constructed open world and the interplay of systems within it, awarding it 10/10 in our Far Cry 3 review. But there were also other takes on it. Some players even felt the game's story of a white guy saving darker-skinned island natives was vaguely racist or at least racially insensitive. Now, Far Cry 4's cover depicting a blond man in a magenta suit terrorising an ethnically ambiguous fellow holding a cocked grenade has stirred up its own storm for its various interpretations.

Far Cry 4 gameplay footage shows co-op, grapple hook, kicking

Far Cry 4 gameplay footage shows co-op, grapple hook, kicking

Invite your PSN friends to play even if they don't own the game!

Watch the first five minutes of Far Cry 4 here.

A brand new Far Cry 4 gameplay trailer has revealed the game's co-op mode, the grappling hook tool, the ability to kick and shown those stomping elephants in action.

And best of all, you can invite your PSN friends to join you playing the game even if they don't own it, Ubisoft said on Sony's E3 stage. This is a PlayStation-only feature (for PS3 and PS4).

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Video: Far Cry 4's first story details leak

Ubisoft's online store appears to have inadvertently revealed a few story snippets for the recently announced Far Cry 4.

A now-deleted paragraph (still available in Google's cache of the page) revealed the player character's name and why exactly it is you'll be trekking round the Himalayas.

This time, it seems, you're not a bratty American teen on holiday.

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