Title: Far Cry 5
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One (reviewed)
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal & Ubisoft Toronto
Release date: Out now
tl;dr: Assassin’s Creed with guns.
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Welcome to Hope County, Montana, the ideal vacation spot for crazy bastards. As a handful of US Marshals are about to arrest the leader of the nut jobs, Joseph Seed, a.k.a. The Father, things fall apart as they’re leaving. Cultists attack the marshals and take down the chopper carrying The Father. As they carry away their leader, they also manage to take away your co-workers, but alas, you manage to escape as a barrier of fire protects you from the crazy people. Thus begins your mission to find your colleagues while taking down The Father in order to restore peace to Hope County. Don’t expect an award winning story. The Seed Family are fleshed out enough so you can grasp their mindset, but with a mute character don’t get your hopes up.
Far Cry 5 is an open world game where the fictional Hope County is split into three wide areas with their own leaders. Each area has their main missions, side-quests, and other fun shenanigans to get into, such as fishing, hunting, blowing up silos, to name but a few, or you can easily roam around the map and reach your next objective. The more mayhem you cause by either destroying cultist property or simply throwing a wrench in their plans, you’ll grow the ire of the respective area leader, and once the meter has been filled up, the leader will come out of hiding and confront you in a drawn out and intense boss battle mission.
Now, do not expect to run and gun or simply drive from point A to point B unharmed. If you decide to drive your way to the next mission objective,
Thankfully, there’s a bit of enemy variety. Considering all three leaders handle their disciples differently, enemies come in different types. You’ll have the generic cult members, VIP cultists (which reward players with a bit of additional Resistance Points once killed), Armored members and drugged up zombified cultists. Downed enemies can be looted for ammo, items for crafting (more on that later) and new weapons. Dead wild animals can be looted for fur, skin, meat, feathers; all of which can be sold for extra cash. Be warned, however, if you feel like blowing up some wildlife, the looted meat will be damaged and buyers will pay way less for those. And the more damage you do to an area, the leader will send someone stronger; for example, at one point, they send a plane which hovers over the area the player is running around in. As long as you stay low and in the shade, you’re good.
Saved civilians will also give players hints about new areas and secrets to find, which will reward players with additional loot. As players progress through the game by accomplishing main and secondary objectives, they’ll be rewarded with Perk points which can be used to unlock a bevy of new perks. What’s interesting is that players can unlock the perks they feel they need most. If you have the required number of points for your desired perks, you’re good to go. Be noted however there are *some* exceptions. Some perks will be specific to the Gun (of Fang) for Hire that you can unlock, so obviously if you haven’t saved Boomer (the good boy) or Grace (the sniper), you can not obtain a perk related to them.
Crafting is your friend! You can craft useful toys such as dynamite, remote bombs, proximity bombs and cocktail molotovs, but you can also craft boosting items which will give you an edge in battle. Having a hard time against a group of crazy bastards? Craft yourself some Ultimate Survivor to get a bit more resistance to damage. Not walking fast enough? Make yourself some Fast, so you can feel like run faster (and hear your heartbeat as if you drank five Red Bulls). You want to punch your way through a gunfight? Drink some Fury and get a melee damage boost. Or you can make some booze on the fly and get drunk. Just for fun.
Being an open world game, you can expect some flying missions, as they seemingly go hand in hand. The problem with flying planes is that the control scheme is really counter-intuitive and will make you nauseous. As I was in an air firefight, the enemy had a more “modern,” plane than mine, making air movement simple and fluid while I slowly tried to turn in circles trying to catch him; at one point I had to pause the game because I physically felt sick. Thankfully your Gun for Hire, Nick Rye, can be used in these situations and basically do your job.
Once you’re done with the campaign, which can easily take at least 30 hours, players can tackle Arcade Mode. Arcade Mode is basically where all levels created via the Level Creator end up. Players can pick and choose which player made level they want to go through. Depending on the malicious mind behind the level, things can be as easy as being invincible and plowing through waves of the undead or as complicated as being stuck in a Maze bare-handed against a bear. Interestingly enough, perk points and money earned in Arcade mode is transferred into the campaign. Nice way to make a quick buck. Otherwise, you can tackle a bevvy of side-quests, treasure hunting, hunting, and fishing. Ubisoft also plans to keep you hooked. Not only can the campaign be done with a friend in co-op, but the developer will also host Live Events featuring exclusive gear to be found.
Unfortunately, not all is well in the fictional Hope County; I mean it is a Ubisoft game, you basically have to expect glitches. Often times, if in an enemy zone, cultists can spawn right behind you out of nowhere, targeted vehicles will vanish in thin air, objectives will be bugged out forcing players to die or reset the game. There are hilarious glitches where bulls will headbutt shit in the air. Visually, the game looks great. Environments are lush and pretty; it actually made me want to go outside (it’s horrible, right?).
Characters in mission cutscenes look great and voiceovers are well lipsynched. Generic conversations with random NPCs aren’t as well defined and often won’t synch properly with the dialogue. The road pavement also looks like re-used assets from PS3 projects and vehicle dashboards look fugly. Audio wise, the soundtrack is a game’s asset. The selected track really bring the atmosphere of the environment and Dan Romer cooked up a really enjoyable score whether you’re running from point A to point B or when you’re shooting up cultists. Dialog is both solid and hilarious; just a bit disappointed that the protagonist is mute (what is this? 2001?).
Far Cry 5 is definitely the first must play experience of 2018. Despite the minor technical nuisance and the fact that flying planes can cause nausea, the sheer amount of stuff to do is enough to keep you hooked for the foreseeable future. Completionists will have a field day (pun intended) with this one; each area can take at least 20 hours each to max out. And thankfully, the mission variety is solid. Due to the nature of each area, no mission are two alike. Now, if don’t mind, I have a few loose ends to tie up in Hope County.
- So much to do; great mission variety
- Decent arsenal of weapons
- Addictive. Prepare to lose to your life over this game
- Fucking plane missions
- Sometimes overly aggressive A.I.
- Peaches side-quest
Far Cry 5 is rated M for Mature and PEGI18 due to the presence of blood, gore, violence, language. I mean if you’re tasked in taking out a cult and its crazy leader, it won’t be a battle of words. You can also get drunk. You also have to get a bull’s testicules after it mates.
This review is based on a copy of the game provided by the publisher for the purposes of this review.