Far Cry 4: played at E3 2014

Let's go back in time to Monday's Sony E3 2014 press conference, where Ubisoft revealed some new footage of their upcoming shooter, Far Cry 4. A lot of mayhem unfolded in the Kyrat region, with players liberating fortresses and taking down bad guys. Also, there were rampaging elephants.

All that's fun to see, but Shacknews took the opportunity to pick up a PS4 controller and actually try the ending sequence out in person during a closed-door E3 demo. Not only was it proven that there's more than one way to liberate a fortress, but it was also proven that flying isn't quite as easy as it looks.

What was noticeable during this Far Cry 4 demo was that there were multiple ways to go about liberating the Ratu Gadhi fortress. With a co-op partner at my side, I first took control of the gyro-copter, opting to take down enemies by air. This proved to be about as easy as controlling a gyro-copter in real-life. Flying controls can be tough, with buttons designated for ascent and descent. Aiming a grenade launcher while doing so was a little more hairy, since anytime I tried to aim it forward, I'd wind up with the cross-hairs at my feet.

As the gyro-copter took more and more fire, I finally opted to simply eject. At the very least, this allowed me to try out the wing suit and use it to float around the fortress vicinity. It was a bit of a rough landing, though, as I failed to deploy my parachute before landing outside the fortress area. Once I cleared out the cobwebs, my co-op partner and I cleared out the fortress the old-fashioned way, using automatic rifles.

The second try at liberating the fortress was a lot more fun, since it was time to use the wildlife to our advantage. But instead of coaxing the elephant to rampage through the area again, this time I had a chance to ride the mammoth pachyderm.

Walking up to a tame elephant allows players to interact with it and climb aboard, like any vehicle. Using the sprint button will cause it to charge forward, running down hapless soldiers and wiping out any Jeeps in its path. Clearing the fortress in this manner was a lot quicker (and a lot more fun), but it's important to remember that enemies can still shoot you while in mid-ride.

Far Cry 4 looks to retain its penchant for utter beauty with the way its depicted its mountain environment and its lush wilderness. Wildlife retain the same liveliness that they've been known for in previous installments. I encountered a pair of monkeys fleeing the area as I approached with the elephant, while Shacknews Editor-In-Chief Steven Wong adds that he encountered an actual honey badger during his playthrough, with the honey badger taking out an enemy soldier without a care in the world.

Far Cry 4 is quickly earning a place among our most anticipated games of the year. It's set to arrive on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 on November 18.