Far Cry 4 E3 hands-on

Far Cry 4 has co-op, and I've played a slice of it at E3 with PC Gamer UK Editor Samuel Roberts. The structure for Far Cry 4 co-op is straightforward: there's a hosting player and a guest player, and once you're paired together all of the hosting player's campaign progression and story missions are disabled, liberating you to cause havoc and run around without fear of disrupting your save.

Sam and I attacked one of the new “fortress” bases, which Ubisoft described as reinforced, toughened super-outposts. On the surface, not too much about these enemy camps seemed significantly different: the one we busted into was roughly circular in shape and had a footprint maybe one-and-a-half times the size of most of Far Cry 3's outposts. What distinguished it were its massive walls, which obscured its interior entirely.

We took several cracks at the fortress together. In our first, and least successful, I climbed atop an elephant (which sadly can only be saddled by one player) and rammed the massive wooden doors by making the elephant sprint. Seconds later I was opening up with an LMG atop the elephant, gunning down armored and unarmored sentries while Sam circled through some of the wooden huts and guard structures on the ground. Once the attack helicopters and Jeeps with mountain MGs arrived, my elephant was dead. Overwhelmed with guilt, probably, I ran recklessly through the base, eventually shot down by one of the mounted MGs while trying to revive Sam.

Our next attempts went better. We respawned, and a grappling point to the left of the front door invited us to rope-climb up the side of a cliff, where we approached with crossbows and sniper rifles a second time. We killed three or four guards without being seen, dragging one or two of the bodies away. Then a gunshot from one of the sentries led to an alarm being raised. It very much felt like the same fun, frantic, dismantle-a-base gameplay from Far Cry 3, only I had help, and the responsibility to revive Sam if he went down.

The third attempt was easiest: we infiltrated again, then I hopped on a mortar inside the base after killing the nearby guards. Aiming it gave me an overhead perspective, letting me lob massive explosive rounds on approaching Jeeps and airdropped enemy troops. It felt absurdly powerful to be able to aim it from above, and with Sam covering me the only real threat were the helicopter MGs pounding down on us from above.

This demo showed us just a few grains of Far Cry 4's sandbox, and I wish Ubisoft had given us a greater overview of the texture of its environment and whether these super-outposts will differ significantly from one another. Co-op didn't dramatically change the experience of playing, but I enjoyed crawling around the base with Sam, plotting our next move. The mode seems like it'll be an unobtrusive aside to the campaign; I'm curious how co-op will feel with wingsuits, boats, and other fast-moving vehicles.

Evan Lahti
Global Editor-in-Chief

Evan's a hardcore FPS enthusiast who joined PC Gamer in 2008. After an era spent publishing reviews, news, and cover features, he now oversees editorial operations for PC Gamer worldwide, including setting policy, training, and editing stories written by the wider team. His most-played FPSes are CS:GO, Team Fortress 2, Team Fortress Classic, Rainbow Six Siege, and Arma 2. His first multiplayer FPS was Quake 2, played on serial LAN in his uncle's basement, the ideal conditions for instilling a lifelong fondness for fragging. Evan also leads production of the PC Gaming Show, the annual E3 showcase event dedicated to PC gaming.