Release date: November 18, 2014

Developer: Ubisoft Montreal

PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U

The story of Jason Brody  from Ubisoft Montreal's Far Cry 3, released in December 2012, left much to be desired . The game opens in Bangkok where Brody, the player character, is on vacation with six companions. After a botched sky-dive landing you end up on the Rook Islands and your entire party is captured by the evil pirate Vass Montenegro and his men.

After being forcibly separated from your friends, you manage to escape. You encounter the island natives who are known as the Rakyat. They tell you of their suffering at the hands of Vaas. He has taken over the land and oppressed its people. The Rakyat tell you they will help you rescue your friends if you liberate them from Vass' reign of terror. A few tribal tattoos  later, you are officially a Rakyat warrior. White savior complex, anyone?

The plot of Ubisoft's Far Cry 4, is much more promising. You play the character of Ajay Ghale, who is on his way to Kyrat, a fictional country located somewhere in the Himalayan region. He carries with him the ashes of his recently deceased mother. This is his first visit to his native country - a place he has no memories of whatsoever. His mission is to honor his mother's dying wish for her remains be scattered in the country where she was born.

Kyrat is a beautiful place indeed. Stunning landscapes and verdant forests teeming with wildlife are set against the backdrop of the breath-taking, icy peaks of the Himalayas – a "far cry" from the tropical jungles on the Rook Islands in Ubisoft's earlier game.

In Far Cry 4,  you can still expect to be thrown into the arms of a notoriously cruel villain. This time, he comes to you in the form of a charming, bleached-blonde lunatic who goes by the name of Pagan Min .

Like his pink suit? You really should. He wears it as an homage to his mother. According to Dan Hay, Executive Producer, "When you're making fun of the suit, you're making fun of his mom. I would not make fun of Pagan Min's mom." Judging by how this self-appointed, dictatorial monarch relishes the act of stabbing people repeatedly, we're inclined to agree with Dan.

Pagan Min and his militants are not your only problems in Far Cry 4 . Almost every living thing in the alluringly eye-pleasing game world wants to murder you . Collecting experience points, unlocking new skills and crafting items will ensure your survival. Ubisoft has stocked you with a gigantic arsenal of brand new weapons to buy and collect.

Not that you absolutely have to go in guns blazing. One characteristic of open world games is the freedom afforded to players in devising their own strategies to complete missions. After all, i f you’re going to kill  virtual enemies, you might as well do it creatively !

Ubisoft has given us something really special in Far Cry 4, and that is elephants, everybody. Elephants that you can ride . Who cares about guns, vehicles and sneaking around when you have the option of climbing onto the beautifully rendered back of a majestic Asian elephant and charge raging into an enemy stronghold ?

Aside from the single player main game, Far Cry 4   also offers Co-op (2-player) and Multiplayer (5 players) modes. Co-op mode allows two players to explore certain sections of the open world for a 2 hour time limit. PlayStationPlus subscribers who own the game are given 10 invitations which can be sent to PlayStation Network friends who don’t own the game. The recipient will be able to download a trial version of the game from PlayStation Store. Although the world limitations of the trial version have not been specified, Dan Hay has hinted that quite a large portion of the game is accessible .

Multiplayer PvP (player versus player) mode is called “The Battles of Kyrat” which itself contains 3 different modes of play: "Outpost," "Propaganda" and "Demon Mask". Unlike Co-op mode, "The Battles of Kyrat" is separate from the main game and is set in Kyrat's turbulent historical past. A game session in any of the 3 modes of "Battles", which lasts around 20 minutes, pits two teams of 5 players each against one another. Far Cry 4 's Multiplayer mode is asymmetrical, which means that each team is assigned different abilities at the start of a round.

Ubisoft has also made attempts to shift the focus from player character to player. First-person perspective means that the player rarely gets a glimpse of the avatar she/he is controlling. Ajay's dialogue is intentionally limited. Rather than detract from the playing experience, Ubisoft's design choices are an attempt to maximize immersion. Limiting visual and verbal connection with Ajay allows player experience in Far Cry 4  to completely center around exploration and interaction with an unfamiliar world. Like Ajay, the player is visiting Kyrat for the first time. The mystery of his parents' past, the violent history of Kyrat and all the other details of his narrative are revealed as the player progresses. He only knows what the player can find out.

The open world of Far Cry 4  with its unique Himalayan setting, the infinite possibilities for interactions and outcomes and the immersive experience combine to form a game that Ubisoft has described as an “anecdote factory” . While the central, linear narrative of Far Cry 4 still exists, it becomes secondary to the player’s own narrative of imagination and discovery. And you get to ride elephants!