Far Cry 4
One of Kyrat's many Asian elephants. (Ubisoft)

Far Cry 4 is a bloody open world shooter that frequently expects you to shoot first and ask questions later.

Set in a fictional Himalayan nation called Kyrat, the player is thrown into the boots of a native (Ajay Ghale) brought up in the US but returning to spread his mother's ashes. Shortly after his arrival he becomes embroiled in an escalating civil war between the rebellious Golden Dawn and the forces of Kyrat's tyrannical and eccentric ruler Pagan Min.

Chaos engulfs the region, with the player partaking in violent skirmishes in attempts to seize outposts for the rebel's cause and tackle objectives laid out by a plethora of supporting characters.

In the downtime between the fierce fighting however there are moments to appreciate the extraordinary and often beautiful setting developer Ubisoft Montreal has created. The splendour of its visuals juxtapose with the brutality of its violence wonderfully, so more often than not you may want to holster your weapons and opt for a photo shoot instead.

That's what we did during our first 12 hours with the PlayStation 4 version (a review will follow in due course), and here are the results.

Far Cry 4
Kyrati natives on a stroll through the south's woodland (Ubisoft)
Far Cry 4
The beauty of the game world owes a lot to its lush vegetation (Ubisoft)
Far Cry 4
This Bengal Tiger snuck up on me as I climbed a radio tower. I leapt out of my skin (Ubisoft)
Far Cry 4
Elephants can be ridden into battle, but piss them off and they're difficult to bring down with conventional weapons (Ubisoft)
Far Cry 4
I happened across these natives on a hillside having a chat. As good a place as any (Ubisoft)
Far Cry 4
Rhinos do not like humans one bit. You can't ride one (sadly) and you don't really want to go near one. Draw one towards enemies however and they can have a devastating effect (Ubisoft)
Far Cry 4
Kyrat's northern region is more mountainous and familiarly Himalayan (Ubisoft)
Far Cry 4
Monuments to the region's culture are everywhere (Ubisoft)
Far Cry 4
It didn't take long after snapping this for the tiger to spot me. A chase ensued (Ubisoft)
Far Cry 4
Splashes of colour break up the more monotonous areas (Ubisoft)
Far Cry 4
A rebel sits to take in the glorious view (Ubisoft)
Far Cry 4
You'll hate eagles more than your armed enemy by the game's end. They're b******s and will try to peck your eyes out with little warning (Ubisoft)
(Ubisoft)
Far Cry 4
A different eagle attacked me not long after taking this (Ubisoft)
Far Cry 4
Understandably given their co-star status, the elephants are the best re-created animals in the game (Ubisoft)
Far Cry 4
I was in that car driving while looking behind me. I crashed into this guy and, well, you can see the result (Ubisoft)
Far Cry 4
The waters are safer than in Far Cry 3, but still not completely hazard-free (Ubisoft)
Far Cry 4
Another example of the dashes of colour (other than blood red) added throughout the game (Ubisoft)
Far Cry 4
This enormous statue was part of a pair before Pagan Min's troops destroyed it. One mission will see you defend the survivor (Ubisoft)
Far Cry 4
An elephant grazing beside the road (Ubisoft)