Far Cry 5 is set to release globally in a matter of hours on all major platforms (Xbox One, PS4 and the PC). When you first hear about Ubisoft’s Far Cry franchise, the first thing that comes to mind is Vaas. The infamous antagonist from Far Cry 3. The subsequent sequels have tried to capture the audience in the same way, but haven’t quite succeeded. Now the fifth entry in the Far Cry series is upon us, so see whether it succeeds where it’s immediate predecessors failed.
Far Cry 5 – Welcome to Hope
Far Cry 5 is set in Hope, Montana. This is the first Far Cry game set in the Americas or in any White/European setting. While this shouldn’t make any significant difference, it does have a sizeable impact on the game as you’ll see shortly.
Far Cry 5 puts you in the shoes of a rookie cop sent to the fictitious county of Hope to take a cult leader, Joseph Seed into custody. As you might have already guessed, that doesn’t go so well. Once you drag Seed into your chopper, all hell breaks loose and his followers pretty much try to quarter you and your fellow cop buddies.
After a fairly long number of explosions and scenes of torture, gunfire and screaming, you are rescued and armed by an old dude (Jay-son?). Nope, not a Dennis rip-off. You are briefly introduced to the rest of the resistance. There are nine NPCs with a distinct backstory and combat style, and you can unlock them by completing their questlines.
They provide support and backup on while you’re on mission or just messing around blowing stuff up or conquering outposts.
Apart from these scripted, unique combat-buddies you get access to an infinite number of resistance men. Yeah just like all the other Far Cry games.
The first order of business in Far Cry 5 is to strengthen the resistance and then take care of Father Seed. To do that, you gotta do some, well not some, at lot of killing, destroying and burning. You have to bring down Seed’s lieutenants who also happen to be his siblings.
These deputies can be defeated by weakening the cult’s strongholds and then liberating that particular region by taking care of the baddie in-charge.
Sound familiar? Yep it’s analogous to Far Cry 4, and also some of Ubisoft’s other popular titles like Ghost Recon Wildlands.
Far Cry Formula: Burn, Explode and Conquer
As for the main campaign, it’s decent enough. Mission one, liberate area A, Mission two, blow-up area B. Then of course there are a bunch of unique missions that are insanely entertaining. Cannibalism, torture, rape, infanticide, large-scale destruction of land, just when I thought Far Cry couldn’t get more insane, Far Cry 5 proved me wrong.
Another major change in Far Cry 5 is the setting. You can’t parachute or glide across the land as you will, it’s more of a semi-urban setting. However, you get access to a small airplanes to make up for that. Mind you though you’ll have to keep an eye on deranged cultists trying to bring you down with rocket launchers.
There are lot of unique quests in Far Cry 5. There are references to Donald Trump, the gun violence in US and you’ve got a quest where you’ve to track a bear named “Cheeseburger”.
Speaking of gun culture, the game doesn’t directly try to address it. After all, throughout the game, you shoot and blow up cultists. As for the other prominent theme, white/christian extremism is also sort of prevalent throughout Far Cry 5, but one thing you will notice right off the bat is that the cultists are of varied races. Seems like Ubisoft wanted to keep Far Cry 5 as far away from controversies as possible, amid calls for restrictions on the firearm laws in the US.
Far Cry 5 is a beautiful game. I tested it on the PC, and it was demanding but within acceptable limits. I was able to get solid 60 FPS at 4K on my GeForce GTX 1080 Ti by lowering a few setting in the Ultra preset.
Ultimately though, the campaign falls way short of what Far Cry 3 had to offer. Maybe, hoping for a villain as good as Vaas is unfair, but I can’t shake the feeling that the Far Cry formula needs some major updates. The old combo of explosions, extreme violence, disturbing mind-fuckery and conquering, ultimately culminating into a showdown with the big bad crazy antagonist has become almost predictable. I mean I’m pretty sure if Ubisoft doesn’t bring some major changes to the franchise, I’ll be able to write reviews on Far Cry games without actually playing that much of em.
Coop and Arcade Mode
The coop, it’s a plain rip-off of the one Far Cry Primal had with a shiny new skin and mildly updated mechanics. The Arcade mode makes a return in Far Cry 5, a map editor which lets you create levels and start PvE or deathmatches.
This time however it’s quite something. You’re free to mix and mash assets from previous Far Cry games as well as other Ubisoft franchises like Watch Dogs 2 and Assassins’s Creed. You might wanna visit the Ubisoft forums to see how creative video gamers truly are.
The presence of assets from a multitude of environments actually makes for an entertaining round of craziness. Put a skyscraper on top of the Himalayas, a river smack-dab in the middle of a metropolitan, there’s no end to it. I have a bad feeling about the DLCs though.
You’ve got a Mars DLC and a Vietnam one. I can’t stop but wonder if you can construct those maps using the editor and have loads of fun with other players without paying for jack, I really don’t want to pay the big bucks for the DLCs. And I seriously hope Ubisoft doesn’t make Far Cry 5 map editor into a standalone product and start making money off of it.
In the end Far Cry 5 proves to a Far Cry game at heart with just the right amount of insanity, explosions (maybe more) and conquering. However, the paint is really wearing thin now, and it’s high time that Ubisoft does something to renew the spirit of the franchise, just like it did with Assassin’s Creed.