We here at Hardcore Gamer could not be more excited for Far Cry 4. The sequel to 2012’s tropical island murder simulator takes us to the Himalayas, adding a new layer of verticality to the series’ gameplay with a sweet grappling hook and wingsuit. It also innovates in its co-op design, allowing players who don’t own the game to jump in and play with their friends (which could be a brilliant marketing move).
Which is great and all, but not what we’re interested in. No, what’s really exciting about this game is how strong a contender it is for our most prestigious end of year award – best use of Troy Baker. The Last of Us‘ Joel gave our voice acting lord and savior the opportunity to deliver a stunning, heart-wrenching performance, but true Bakerites know he has a much wider range than that. Far Cry 4 gives us the chance to see him as a scene-stealing villain, and if Far Cry 3’s Vas is any indication, this is a team that knows how to write villains. Pagan min was envisioned as being different from Vas, but also his equal. If you locked the two of them in a room together, there’s no telling who’d walk out – maybe they’d even come out as buddies.
Min is the despotic overlord of Kyrat, a Himalayan region embroiled in civil war, and he doesn’t take no for an answer. Why would he, when he’s been ruling the region with an iron fist for 20 years? He also happens to think of Ajay Ghale, the player character, as his best friend, and man, he is a bad influence on his friends. One minute, he takes you sky diving, the next he sends you to blow up a rebel base with a weaponized elephant. Sounds fun, right? Well, you’ve got no choice but to do it, so you might as well enjoy it. He’s a brutal man, but he also has a sense of humor (he takes a blood-soaked selfie with you in the game’s intro), and he’s just a tad prissy (“you made me get blood on my shoes!”). He’ll certainly be fun to watch as he “tears shit up” over the course of the game, and from the few lines we’ve heard so far, Troy Baker really brings the character to life. But then, any game that lets you be Troy Baker’s best friend is fine by me.