The makers of Far Cry 4 knew what they had from the very start, deciding that unlike many major game franchises, it wouldn’t be the hero or his mission that would first be highlighted. In fact, when the game’s official reveal came back at E3 2014, it was the villainous Pagan Min – the game’s antagonist – who became the star of the show. And in a new trailer, Ubisoft continues to show that as tyrannical and oppressive as Min may be, players are still in for a few surprises.
All those interested in taking a trip to the fictional country of Kyrat have likely seen the cinematic announcement trailer already. Following protagonist Ajay Ghale as he returns home from an American upbringing, Pagan Min’s forces soon take both he and his traveling companion hostage – after Min (voiced by Troy Baker) shows that his grip on sanity may be a loose one.
It appears that the new trailer picks up right where that footage left off, offering yet another surprise for players by having them not at the mercy of the game’s villain, but sitting at dinner as his ‘guest of honor.’ Match that twist on typical game story with some brief glimpses of torture, exploding hillside, and armed combat (and yes, those deadly elephants), and it becomes clearer than ever why the developers decided to set their story in a fictional conflict.
What’s most interesting about the trailer is that Pagan Min is still likely to come off as a charismatic figure; that may be more of a comment on the standard villains seen in video games, but it’s an interesting change of pace all the same. In addition, it’s hard to say that the dictator is wrong in his belief that calls for help are rarely answered in war-torn regions. In fact, in the world of Far Cry, it’s fair to say that the mentality expressed by Pagan is one reinforced by the franchise’s gameplay itself.
Ubisoft has also release a lengthy description of Pagan’s life, confirming that he may be one of the most interesting villains in recent memory – with a backstory as nuanced and conflicted as a typical game hero:
Sadistic dictator. Psychopath. Best dressed man in Kyrat. These are just a few traits on Pagan Min’s lengthy resume as the self-appointed King of Kyrat. Take a look into one of the most complex personalities gamers will encounter this coming holiday season.
Pagan Min was born in Hong Kong, the son of a mid-level drug boss in the Golden Triangle. His father was a small fish in a big pond and even as a young man, Pagan was as ambitious as he was flamboyant. This peacocking drove a wedge between them. Pagan worked for his father, hated him, and was frustrated as a lieutenant, seeing his father as a dinosaur. Nobody knows how his father died, but it wasn’t natural causes. After his father’s unfortunate passing Pagan inherited his small piece of the pie. He then left his old identity behind and adopted the moniker “Pagan,” naming himself after an old Burmese king who murdered his family to take control. Of course, he changed the pronunciation to be western so that he’d be more unique. Pagan quickly started carving himself more of the pie he believed that he deserved. He built considerable assets, a small private army, and started angering his allies in the heroin trade. He didn’t fit in and he knew he couldn’t kill them all; it was only a matter of time before the old guard decided to have him killed.
This is when his eyes fell upon Kyrat, a small failed state with multiple warring factions in the wake of the collapse of its monarchy. He allied himself with the Royalists, propping up a distant heir to the throne who he used to swell his ranks and to remove all opposing faction in the country. After a few bloody months, Pagan and the united Royalists took the palace by storm, but Pagan betrayed the Royalists by murdering the heir and seizing the throne for himself. He then started a purge of anyone who didn’t fall in line, executing his opposition. The betrayal led to the formation of the Golden Path, a small resistance movement dedicated to overthrowing Pagan.
The trailer also reminds players that there are still large portions of Far Cry 4 that they have yet to see. Just how many players will try their hand at the game for its story, as opposed to its open world carnage is a major unknown. But with so many AAA games being pushed out of 2014 altogether, there may be more players than usual taking a trip into the Himalayas. If this game’s villain isn’t what they expect to find, then all the better.
Will you be playing Far Cry 4 when it releases? Is it the story of Pagan Min’s (presumed) fall from the throne that has you interested, or the gameplay alone? Sound off in the comments.
Far Cry 4 will be available for PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3 and PS4 on November 18, 2014.
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