Ubisoft’s fourth Far Cry is out today, and we were lucky enough to be invited to the launch event held in its honour last night. We got some very welcome hands-on time with the open-world shooter and indulged in delicious delights from the East… it’s tough being a gaming journalist sometimes.

First impressions are good. For starters, nobody fell through the floor, NPCs didn’t walk on each others’ heads or get stuck in walls. I bet the developers are relieved.

Following that excellent start was a whole heaped helping of the crazy that is Pagan Min, whose presence dominated the game’s opening scenes. There is so much of him, in fact, that he took up about ten whole minutes of uninterruptible cutscene time before I, playing as protagonist Ajay Ghale, could even do anything.

Once in Ajay’s shoes, I got to see first-hand how smooth the PlayStation 4 version played, and just how intense the game is thanks to a thrilling chase sequence that didn’t end too well for anyone (particularly the people I submachinegunned in the face). A quick stealth sequence (as well as some animal-skinning and predator-luring) later, and I was at the first objective – a tall tower, nestled in a mountainous pass.

From there I made my way to where some friendlies I had met earlier were hanging out, after which I helped them fight off more bad guys, culminating in… an avalanche! And that’s where I stopped.

I must say, after my brief time with it, Far Cry 4’s settings and characters look genuinely fresh and interesting, its cliffs and narrow ledges sweat-inducing, and the potential for greatness seems to lurk tantalisingly just around the next corner. And that was just the first half-hour or so.

It’s out today for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PC, and if you enjoyed 2012’s Far Cry 3 at all, picking this up is a no-brainer.

Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.