Recently, I wrote an article stating that Far Cry 5 was my most hyped game of 2018 (Find it here) and essentially how everything I had seen about the game so far had me incredibly interested and super hyped. The SECOND I wrote this article I realized that Far Cry 5 would need to be something special in order to live up to the expectations I had made for it in my own mind. I had made a rod for my own back, could the 5th installment in a series really live up to the unreasonable expectations I had?
In short, yes. I have spent about 30 hours in Far Cry 5 over this past week and can happily confirm I have enjoyed every minute of it.
Far Cry as a series has always nailed something that so many games forget in recent years of just creating a huge playground for fun, be this a jungle, or a jungle or a jungle as a cave man they have always been able to have fun… Even if they did get a little stale in recent years – Which is why I believe that Far Cry 5 is the best in the series as Ubisoft have taken the tried and tested formula from previous entries in the series and turned it on it’s head. Gone is the storyline of you playing as some random traveler trying to overthrow a dictator, Far Cry 5 instead opts for a (slightly) more realistic storyline of the player taking the role of a deputy officer of the law who has turned up at a church to arrest the leader of a drug fueled cult known simply as: Eden’s Gate.
This is where I feel the formula is truly shifted around in terms of story – Instead of some incredible, yet unbelievable, characters such as Vaas or Pagan Min – Far Cry 5 tries something new with Jacob ‘’The Father’’ Seed in that it roots itself in the believable; no longer are you tasked with taking down this impossible dictator in the middle of a jungle but you are rooted in Montana, taking down a Charles Manson-esque villain who is made all the more frightening by the realization that similar things have literally happened before. This is furthered by each of The Father’s lieutenant’s too – Each one turned to Eden’s Gate for different reasons, not only are they all related to The Father but they chose this after a life of parental abuse, suicide attempts, drug addictions and so on. Far Cry 5 has taken the story telling of open world games to new heights and is all the better for it.
Whilst the main storyline in general has taken a far darker turn from previous titles, there is still tons of that Far Cry humour we have grown accustomed too, from Ubisoft making fun of their own formula – One of the first missions you undertake is to restore radio communications to a small island you are on, as you are climing a classic “Ubisoft Tower” the mission giver exclaims “Don’t worry, I wont have you going around the state climbing towers” which was a delight to hear and brought an actual “LOL” out of my mouth. Alongside these more subtle pieces of dialogue there are also a lot more in your face styles of humour including the fact that one of the “Fangs for hire: Cheeseburger” the bear “Has the diabetes (pronounced die-a-beet-us). It’s this humour, both subtle and in your face, mixed with the darker storytelling of the overarching narrative that makes Far Cry 5 something special.
Then there’s the gameplay – There’s all the usual things you would expect with Far Cry side quests really; taking over outposts, killing VIP’s etc etc which is all standard fare… However there are also the character stories which, again, set this game apart from the previous entries in the series. A glowing example for me is a mission where you are tasked with helping out in the annual “Testy Festy” and you need to roam through a field of bulls collecting their testicles in different ways – My favourite being when you initially have to “blue balls” a bull and then murder it for it’s testicles all the while “Sexual Healing” by Marvin Gaye plays soothingly in the background (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XU1rn0ByFuI)… This is officially one of my favourite sections of video game ever created. There is so much to do in Far Cry 5 so even if certain tasks don’t take your fancy, there is ALWAYS something else to do instead.
One of the nicest things I found within the game is that you simply HAVE to do these sub missions in order to fill up the “resistance meter” which, simply put, is a progress bar for each area that has certain tiers which kick off story missions about each lieutenant.
Then there is the general gunplay of Far Cry 5 and as usual is best in show and runs incredibly smoothly on the PS4 even if I SUCK at shooting and driving at the same time I have no real complaints about the actual mechanics of either. Far Cry 5 is the most satisfying game I’ve played where I can shoot cult members with a bow and arrow or simply send my bear and cougar in to finish the job – Whilst this doesn’t overly do anything to change the formula it is the same Far Cry gunplay we know and love… Oh and they ditched 99% of the crafting: HALLELUJAH.
The soundtrack really encapsulates the American mid-west (Or South? I don’t know America…) filled with everything you could want when mowing down cultists in a combine harvester from the Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go” through to Creedence Clearwater Revival’s excellent “Bad Moon Rising” the soundtrack had me coming back for more – In both Far Cry 3 & 4 I found that I would actively avoid cars as a mode of transport but in this I couldn’t help getting behind the wheel just to hear some of the incredible licensed music included in the game. Then there is the composed sections of the game composed by award winning composer Dan Romer which really helps to hammer home the feeling of dread you get when roaming around the state.
All in all, Far Cry 5 lived up to every unreasonable expectation I had given it, even surpassing many of them to become my favourite game of the series and securing itself nicely in the middle of my top 5 FPS games of all time. If there was a cult for people who devoted themselves to Far Cry 5, I would join up in a heartbeat and for this reason I rate the game: 9/10.
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