Joseph Seed and his flock of worshippers have descended upon Hope County and it's up to you to save the people of this land! Ubisoft's highly-anticipated 5th Far Cry is finally here and we explain why this one is the best one yet.
Wickedly Fun, Addicting Campaign
Since 2004, the Far Cry franchise has always taken their unique first-person thrillers across sees. Its first setting was in Micronesia, back when it was developed by Crytek, and since then we’ve been to Africa (Far Cry 2), the Pacific Islands (Far Cry 3), and the Himalayas (Far Cry 4). With Far Cry 5, Ubisoft decided to tackle the United States, more specifically Montana, with a story so captivating and real it feels ripped out of the headlines.
In Far Cry 5, you play as a rookie cop on his first mission to bring in Joseph Seed, the “Father” of the Project at Eden’s Gate cult. They believe that the world is full of sinners and that in order to achieve salvation they must go back to a simpler time. While that’s all well and good, the problem with the “PEGgies” is that they have been kidnapping and drugging the citizens of Hope County, Montana with a substance called Bliss, which is like a drug-form of Absinthe but 100x stronger. It’s when the rookie, along with his partner, Hope County’s Sheriff, and a U.S. Marshal trespass on the Peggies’ land to take their “Father” away, that the fanatics of this cult go nuts and decide to take over. The result is a murderous rampage and kidnapping spree of epic proportions ensues, causing the rookie cop to step up, recruit the Hope County inhabitants, and put an end to this cult and the Seed clan.
One of the best parts of the Far Cry series are the memorable characters Ubisoft creates. More notably, the villains. Far Cry 4 had the enigmatic Pagan Min, while Far Cry 3 had the ruthless Vaas. The 5th Far Cry game employs Joseph Seed to be this game’s big bad. Unlike the previous two, who flaunted their power, Seed has a quiet confidence about him that makes him out to be ethereal and creepier than the others. Where Vaas’ motivations were to be more than the others around him and Min’s was about lording over his country, Seed’s motives are to have everyone follow him, cleanse the world of sin, and consequently abolish free will. Despite not openly flaunting his power, it’s definitely well-proven that he has authority over this part of Montana. While Vaas may be more cutthroat and Min more enforcing, Seed feels more dangerous than the other two in the way he empowers others. There is a moment during the first 10 minutes when you question whether or not you should actually go through with arresting Joseph Seed. The doubt doesn’t stem from his words or any of his followers, but by his gaze alone. Ubisoft definitely upped the creepiness for the Father of the Project at Eden’s Gate.
Much like the normal theme for a Far Cry game, the main antagonist has plenty of interesting personalities on his side that must be overcome. In this game, Joseph Seed has converted his brothers John and Jacob, as well as his sister Faith and given each of them a territory to control. Each territory feeds the cult with Faith producing the Bliss and the brothers building the army and producing the propaganda. While inside their territory, interactions with specific members of the Seed family help build their own personalities and ideology, that’s really enjoyable to experience.
Unlike the previous 2 Far Cry mains, our protagonist doesn’t speak. Instead, we are his character, roaming through this intense land, with an intent to liberate it. So, the majority of the character building resides with the characters around you. Ubisoft does generate main NPCs to help further the plot, but the real personality comes from the Fangs for Hire, specialists you have to help in order to employ them to the fight. There are 9 total, but it’s pretty clear that 3 of them were inspired by one of my favorite Far Cry games, Far Cry Primal. As with any game, if you’re around these characters long enough, they will repeat themselves, but the more they interact with different FFH, the more their dialogue becomes unique.
A Sandbox Rich in Content
Far Cry 5 is a game you could easily spend hours upon hours just running around the Blue Sky Country, without even doing any story missions. With compounds to take over, characters to help, Fangs to liberate, animals to hunt, Bliss to destroy, stockpiles to pilfer, and a massive map to explore you can definitely get lost in this world and not realize 3 hours have passed.
It’s apparent that Ubisoft wanted to develop a game with so much to do and at a high quality so that the gaming consumer could get their money’s worth, and they definitely will. Along with the campaign, and everything I previously mentioned, Ubisoft also created the Far Cry Arcade, an interactive mode, that involves world-building. The developers were such big fans of their own idea that they try to give players access points all throughout the game, via posters and classic arcade machines. What cracks me up every time is hearing a resident of Hope County exclaim, “This game is so great!” and “They add new stuff to this all the time!”. Thankfully, the Arcade lives up to that promise.
In the world-building function of Far Cry Arcade, gamers are able to customize maps in order to create the wonderful mash-ups that would never happen in a normal video game. However, this is the Arcade so anything is possible! You want ships from Assassin’s Creed Black Flag? Have at it. You want elements from the cyber-terrorist Watch Dogs games? Done! How about something from the French Revolution in AC Unity? Just do it already! The point is, Far Cry Arcade’s map constructing mode is an incredible creative wonderland!
During my short-tenure in Far Cry 5, I’d say I’ve amassed probably 20-30 hours of gameplay. Throughout this long stretch of time, I can happily say that I didn’t find hardly anything annoying or disappointing with this 5th game. This truly is a remarkable feat for Ubisoft and they do deserve heaps of praise for producing a product that is near-perfect.
That said, my main issues with this first-person shooter stem from the vehicles. Nearly every part of the Far Cry 5 experience is smooth. The weaponry at your arsenal feels right, the animals attacks are seamless, and even the transitions between scenes don’t feel long. However when it comes to transportation, that’s where Far Cry 5 falls flat.
The saying “Bigger is better” isn’t just a colloquial statement people use to enforce Texas’ greatness or justify buying a bigger truck, but it also represents the theme when driving in Far Cry 5. When it comes to Helicopters, planes, boats, etc. you can’t go wrong. It’s when you try to drive any compact car or 4-wheeler that the first-person POV game becomes near impossible to play. A game that utilizes this first-person feature can’t be low to the ground, going at high speeds, otherwise it can become hard to watch. This is true when driving on a 4-wheeler. At first, it’s a ton of fun but it quickly becomes uncontrollable within the first 20 seconds of driving. It’s even worse for the compact car because the viewing box becomes much smaller. It doesn’t help either that it feels as if they’ve turned off the traction control because I found myself involuntarily doing donuts, for no reason.
While that’s the biggest flaw I could find, there was another that I believe will be patched by release and that is the glitchy conversations between NPCs. Several times, I found myself flying with two companions in the back of the helicopter. One would start a conversation and then abruptly stop. As I would travel, they would restart and then the other NPC would start to respond but glitch out, so there were some conversations that got lost along the way. It seems like an easy enough fix that Ubisoft will have it taken care of by release.
Far Cry 5 is the Best Far Cry Game So Far
For fans of Far Cry 3, 4, or Primal, this may sound like sacrilege, but it’s just the truth. The gameplay experience just feels bigger, smoother, with so much more to do. Furthermore, it includes a captivating campaign with characters that are memorable and impactful. The story leaves you consistently on your toes with surprises you’ll never see coming. Then, it’s able to break up the seriousness with a bit of brevity that gives the game a perfect balance.
Additionally, the way Ubisoft captured Montana was absolutely breathtaking. I would’ve enjoyed more of a weather system, but the scenery was picturesque and made me rethink about adding Montana to the places I need to visit.
Whether you've liked them or not, Ubisoft has always done a remarkable job with the Far Cry series. What makes Far Cry 5 stand out among the others, though, are its attention to detail, the shock value, all the gameplay content, its fantastic gameplay, and the psychological thrill of it all. Within the first hour of playing this big open-world game, it becomes apparent that Far Cry 5 is something special.
If you’re new to the series, you don’t need to have played the previous Far Cry games to enjoy this one. That’s one of the great things about Far Cry, it’s always different. If you’re a veteran of Far Cry, I believe you’ll feel just as happy, if not happier, with this game as you have with the previous incarnations. It wouldn’t surprise me if this game was up there for Game of the Year. I know it’s early, but it should be in mind when award season comes around.