Sandy beaches are out and snowy mountaintops are in, as Ubisoft's highly anticipated open world adventure Far Cry 4 readies itself for release. Set in the fictional nation of Kyrat (closely based on Nepal) in the Himalayas, Far Cry 4 casts players as Ajay Ghale, an expatriated son of Kyrat who returns to the country to scatter his mother's ashes, but is soon drawn into a bloody civil war against the self-appointed ruler Pagan Min.
The story and characters were a key selling point for Far Cry 4's immediate predecessor, Far Cry 3, and since the very early days of its marketing Far Cry 4 has taken cues from the popularity of Vaas Montenegro by putting Pagan Min front and center, even using box art that closely imitates that of the previous game.
In the latest story trailer for Far Cry 4 - subtitled "Born to be Wild" - there's even an homage to one of the more memorable missions from Far Cry 3, only instead of burning up a field of cannabis plants with a flamethrower Ajay goes on the rampage in a poppy field. Hopefully there'll be a suitable song playing in the background for this mission as well - "The Needle and the Damage Done," maybe?
Pagan isn't the only big selling point of Far Cry 4. The wildlife showcased in the game - elephants in particular - has been central to a lot of the trailers, as have the new ways of traversing the open world, which include both new vehicles and the use of grappling hooks to scale vertical drops.
Then there's the killing, of course, which can be done by using a range of familiar and new weapons (the crossbow joins the recurve bow and throwing knives for those who enjoy a stealthy approach), or by using Kyrat's environments and fauna to your advantage. Far Cry 4 definitely looks like it has Game of the Year potential, but we'll have to wait a couple more weeks to find out if the final product lives up to the trailers.
Far Cry 4 will be available for PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3 and PS4 on November 18, 2014.