Title: Far Cry 5
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal, Ubisoft Toronto, Ubisoft Shanghai, Ubisoft Ukraine, Ubisoft Reflections
Genre: Action-Adventure FPS
Available On: Xbox One, PS4, PC
Version Tested: Xbox One
Official Site: https://far-cry.ubisoft.com/game/en-us/home/
Release Date: March 27th, 2018
Where to Buy it: Steam, Microsoft Store, Playstation Store
Far Cry 5 is a beautiful sandbox filled with mayhem that demands your attention until the final credits roll. Set in the fictional Hope County, Montana, you play as a new deputy of the police department tasked with arresting the charismatic Joseph Seed. Seed is the psychotic leader of the cult terrorizing Hope County called Project at Eden’s Gate (PEG). As you play on, you’ll come to realize that your badge means nothing here.
The narrative of Far Cry 5 is an interesting one, to say the least. Most of the plot works (including a fantastic introduction of our characters), to the credit of our captivating four antagonists. The thing that makes these villains so intriguing is the motivations behind their heinous actions. Joseph Seed genuinely believes the world is going to end and he will be the savior of Hope County. John Seed (brother) uses the cult as an excuse to torment others. Jacob Seed (brother) is the military member of the family that has had to deal with major trauma during his tours overseas. He has given up on America and devotes himself to his brother’s cause in an attempt to “toughen up” the country. Faith (sister) is the most sympathetic of the Seed family for reasons you will find out throughout the story. While her actions are evil, it is difficult to not feel bad about her role in all of this. The most interesting thing about this family is Joseph was the “normal” one. While his family dealt with loads of physical and mental trauma, he seemingly had the best chance for a normal life.
That is where the story thrives. Where it falters is the lack of any real meaning. You are allowed to make choices throughout the game, including its three endings, but none of these decisions actually matter. The game gives off hints of diverging story paths but ultimately if you don’t follow the script, you’ll just fail the mission and have to repeat it from the last checkpoint. The only other issue with the story is the endings themselves. All three endings (Don’t worry, no spoilers) leave you staring at your screen thinking “Really? That’s all I get?”.
One aspect I wasn’t expecting to impress me as much as it has is the visuals. This game is absolutely stunning. The character designs are excellently crafted and you are liable to find yourself wasting half an hour just fishing at a pond because of the aesthetically pleasing landscape. Hope County itself feels more immersive to explore than previous Far Cry locations. After playing this title, there is a high chance you’ll never want to go back to a remote island setting again.
This is Far Cry though. The gameplay is what it’s known for. How is it? Well, it’s unlike anything I’ve played over the last few years. This is one thing this franchise doesn’t get enough credit for in my opinion. There are so many ways to approach every mission. You can go in quiet armed with just a bow or you can go full force into combat, Rambo style, with an LMG and your trusty shovel. What sets Far Cry 5 apart from other first-person shooters isn’t just the diverse gameplay options but also the randomness that keeps the world alive. In a five minute span during a free-roaming session, it is entirely possible to be attacked by a passing PEG plane, a grizzly bear, and a rabid turkey while you are just trying to hunt. If you are worried about messed up controls, don’t. Everything is standard for an FPS title except for some iffy piloting controls but over time you will get used to them.
New features of Far Cry 5 include Guns For Hire, character customization, full co-op (Two players only) during the story, and Arcade Mode (Multiplayer). Guns For Hire (GFH) is a feature that I expected to loathe but it is actually one of the stronger elements of the game. I quickly found myself using both GFH slots at every opportunity. That has a lot to do with the unique characters Ubisoft created. From Nick Rye (A pilot who is your air-support), Boomer (Scout dog and a good boy) or Cheeseburger (A diabetic bear named cheeseburger. Shouldn’t have to say anything else), every GFH has a special trait that makes them an asset to your squad.
Character customization is a welcomed addition but can definitely be expanded upon in the future. The decision to have your main character act as a mute protagonist was definitely a mistake. Not to the fault of the story or characters but over time the overbearing monologues you are forced to be apart of starts to grow a bit tedious. Customization options are also fairly limited in regards to clothing and your overall character design. Finally, we have the long-awaited drop in-out story co-op. Personally, this is the feature I have been wanting since Far Cry 4 and it doesn’t disappoint in the slightest. Even though the story only progresses for the host, co-op is still an enjoyable mode that isn’t a waste of time for either player.
The reason for that is Far Cry 5’s Arcade Mode. An endless supply of content created by players using Far Cry’s map creator. Your character progression carries over to this mode. The map creator is fun to mess around with and some of these user-created maps are amazing to play on. From a recreated version of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2’s Rust to a dodgeball map where players throw shovels at each other, this Arcade Mode has the potential to be one of the best multiplayer games out there today.
Verdict: Even though it has flaws in character customization and some story elements, Far Cry 5 is a wild ride that keeps you glued to your screen for hours at a time. The additions of Arcade Mode, story co-op, and the Guns For Hire adds some fresh air to a franchise that started to become a shell of its former self with Far Cry: Primal. The outstanding visuals and unpredictable gameplay make this iteration of Far Cry one of the best, if not the best, in the series.
- Riveting antagonists
- Unpredictable, engaging gameplay
- Guns For Hire
- Arcade Mode and the overall potential of Arcade Mode
- Stunning visuals and refreshing setting
- Drop in-out co-op
- The ability to have a bear and a mountain lion as a companion
- Some story elements didn't stick
- Lack of customization options
- Questionable piloting controls