The Far Cry franchise is climbing from exotic islands to snowy mountaintops for the upcoming sequel Far Cry 4, which is set in the fictional nation of Kyrat in the Himalayas. Ruled over by self-appointed King Pagan Min and held in the grip of a civil war, Kyrat looks like the perfect setting for Far Cry's blend of FPS action and open world exploration, with plenty of secrets to be uncovered.
As a follow-up to the flawed but nonetheless outstanding Far Cry 3, there are a great deal of expectations being heaped upon Far Cry 4 that have only been compounded by the developers' ambitious promises. It's certainly exciting to see a AAA shooter that breaks out of the grey-brown urban and industrial settings that have become so common in the genre and instead whisks players away to an exotic and colorful location.
Far Cry 3's single player campaign took place on two main maps: a North Island and South Island that made up the bulk of the Rook Islands, but it looks like Far Cry 4 will stick to just one large map that covers the entirety of Kyrat. This map was posted by a user on Reddit this week, and gives details of the flora and fauna that players can expect to encounter in each of the regions, as well as showing which faction controls each area and what landmarks players can expect to encounter.
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The legend offers a full list of the animals that can be encountered in the game, including the fearsome honey badger, the much-touted elephant and two different species of wolf. The map boasts both outposts and fortresses, the latter of which seem to be more robust versions of outposts that are harder to take down. Radio towers are also making a return, which means more dangerous climbing sequences (made slightly less dangerous by Ajay Ghale's wingsuit).
It seems likely that players will start out in the Alder Forest biome with the rebel faction and work their way up the mountain to Pagan Min's royal fortress over the course of the game, encountering enemies like Yuma, the general of the Royal Army and Pagan's right-hand woman, along the way. Structurally it looks like the game's narrative could be similar to that of Far Cry 3, and some of the trailers have shown callbacks to the previous game including a mission where Ajay must burn his way through a poppy field using a flamethrower.
All that unexplored terrain definitely looks tempting, but can Far Cry 4 live up to the standard set by Far Cry 3's open world?
Far Cry 4 releases on November 18, 2014 for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.