Far Cry 5 Review
Ubisoft’s Far Cry franchise has taken gamers on a trail of love, loss, rebellion, and redemption, but for Far Cry 5, that journey takes place a little closer to home. Set in the fictional Hope County in Montana, Far Cry 5 sees a group of religious fanatics known as Eden’s Gate taking control of the area. Is a new setting for Far Cry 5 enough to get away from its past repetitious woes, or has its past its prime?
Far Cry 5 Review
The Eden’s Gate cults fanatic leader, The Father, overseas the control of the populace with several lieutenants under his command. In a near identical way to Ghost Recon: Wildlands, Far Cry 5 tasks players with individually usurping each lieutenant by causing havoc, completing missions, and aiding civilians in each of the different regions. These objectives can be tackled freely, in any order, until a lieutenant is forced out of hiding for a big showdown.
The Far Cry franchise has long been known for its stellar gameplay, but that’s never forced storytelling to take a back seat. Some of the industries greatest antagonists are the brain child of the Far Cry teams, and although its clear every effort has been made to replicate past formulas, it hasn’t really worked. While The Father’s voice-over work and script are both fantastic, the game struggles with an identity crisis throughout the experience. Attempting to intertwine a very serious story, one that manages to avoid taking any standpoint on current political issues surrounding the stories main aspects (with gameplay features and mechanics way crazier than the norm), doesn’t work. One moment I was burning off a bulls’ testicles to provide food for the county’s annual Testicle Festival, the next I was absorbed in a dream-like sequence where I watched one of the characters I’d met die.
Although most of my fondest memories of Far Cry revolve around the characters and story of past games, I almost feel as if Far Cry 5 would have been better more heavily investing in the insanely chaotic open-world gameplay. Despite the best efforts of the cast, I struggling to develop any emotional connection towards many of the characters – with the exception of a few allies you can bring with you on your travels.
Far Cry 5 shines most as an open-world playground. Hope County is huge, filled with twisting rapids, towering mountains, rural towns, and trailer parks. Each of these areas can quickly become a war zone in the blink of an eye. Far Cry 5 pushes the freedom of approach from past games in the franchise to its limits, giving players complete control over the battlefield. Players can approach by air in a helicopter, a plane, or adopt a stealthier approach in a wingsuit. Stealth not your style? Smash through the front gates in a truck equipped with fully-automatic machine guns. The varied approach is further amplified when playing co-op with a friend, easily the games most attractive feature.
Every aspect of the game can be completed in co-op, although it quickly becomes clear that certain aspects were developed with a single player in mind. There is a tether between the two players, restricting the distance the two can travel apart, but it’s seldom an issue. While Far Cry 5 suffers identity issues and doesn’t really offer any leaps for the franchise, the inclusion of co-op promises endless hours of chaotic fun just blowing shit up with a buddy.
Longtime Far Cry fans will be happy to hear that Ubisoft have done away with many of the franchises more glaring issues – issues that have been persistent throughout the years under various banners and guises. There’s no tower climbing, and hunting animals is an optional feat. Upgrading gear and leveling new skills has been replaced by a Perks system. While a small part of me does miss the hunting aspects of the more primal games in the franchise, the ability to progress doing activities I personally enjoy is a very positive step forward.
Just as I sat down to write this review, I’d realized I hadn’t spent much time in Far Cry Arcade. Knowing next to nothing about it, I was expecting some cheap and tacky last minute add-on fueled solely by global leaderboards in an effort to make the game more of a long-term experience. Boy, was I way off. Far Cry Arcade is arguably one of the greatest additions ever to the Far Cry franchise.
Some of the fondest memories I have of my younger years gaming was spending endless hours creating maps and screwing around in the earlier Far Cry games – something I thought the franchise had long forgotten. It makes a glorious, triumphant, and most welcome return. Players can create maps using assets from a multitude of Far Cry games, as well as Ubisoft’s other top titles, such as Ghost Recon and Watch Dogs. Developing arenas for use over multiple modes, both competitive and cooperative, Far Cry 5’s Arcade is worth the price of admission alone.
With a disappointing lack of conviction with the story and glaring identity issues between comedic relief and serious storytelling, Far Cry 5 is not Ubisoft’s best constructed Far Cry in terms of an immersive story. Stepping away from that, however, it’s just great damn fun. Far Cry Arcade is sure to keep the content fresh for many months to come, offering real value for your money at the $60 price tag.
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