I should probably start by saying that Far Cry 5 will likely finish the year in my top 5; I’ve played every game since (And including) 3, and this felt like such a different experience from the last 3 games, in a very positive way.
Personally I wasn’t particularly looking for a change in formula as I enjoyed the games for what they were, take over an area, discover secrets and collectables, kill bad guys, move on… But right from the offset I could tell this was going to be a very different experience.
You start the game in a helicopter with your fellow cops, you’ve been tasked with arresting a cult leader after a video was released of him murdering someone – Obviously shit goes south as your helicopter crashes, and Joseph Seed, the leader of the cult Eden’s Gate, escapes. Luckily you’re rescued by a bloke named Dutch, who explains that the Seed family have taken control of pretty much the entire county, and are making people join them or die in a sort of militia-style takeover – The county is split into 3 areas, each controlled by a different member of the Seed family, which you must take back before being able to face Joseph.
Each Seed has their own motives, tying them to Joseph, but ultimately they all think the world is going down the shitter and some sort of control needs to start now before it’s too late – In swoops you to destroy the cult and serve up some justice. Overall I found the story really engaging – I thought every member of the Seed family was awesome and threatening, and I really liked meeting all of the NPCs, especially those that helped you. Everyone had really different personalities and had good reason to get back at the cult.
The gameplay is where this game absolutely shines. Far Cry has always been fun but I really felt that they have given everything an overhaul, whilst still being really fun it now feels a little more realistic and gritty. I found myself having to duck for cover and plan my attack a lot more than I used to, and actually fucked up the stealth a lot because the enemy is a lot more aware. There’s less of the chain takedowns and a lot more fun gunplay and open world FPS vibe. Driving a buggy off a cliff and opening a wing suit has never felt so fun.
The introduction of buddies to help you is also really great, and extremely helpful later on in the game – This starts simply, starting you off by having a dog and bear as assistants, but eventually progresses into air support and snipers, and they’re all very useful in different situations.
I rarely fast travelled as I enjoyed the exploration and the CONSTANT events happening everywhere; I promise you you’ll never be bored playing this. There’s always someone getting kidnapped, or a truck to blow up, or just a random group of cult members to take down. The fun literally never stops; I can actually say that this is some of the most insane, no holds barred fun i’ve had in a while and it made me play it non stop.
Then we come to the missions, just when you think “Surely with all this open world madness some sacrifices have been made in the missions and there’s that classic Ubisoft repetition” – No there isn’t. Much like the changes to Assassin’s Creed, I think they’ve realised copy and paste no longer flies; the missions are varied and all extremely enjoyable, I honestly felt that I didn’t do the same thing twice. In one mission I was flamethrowing zombified drug heads, another I was racing around a make-shift assault course to test an enhancer, another I was attacking a giant propped up training ground etc, etc. This game tries very hard to not repeat itself, and succeeds.
As you complete missions in each area you fill up a progression bar which is essentially a “You’re pissing off the Seed in this area“ bar; every quarter of the bar you’ll have an interaction with them where they’ll send hunters to capture you, or will trap you in a certain way (Hope Seed’s drugs essentially make her a transdimensional traveller who can appear anywhere). Only thing is that this bar doesn’t take an extremely long time to fill up so it’s very easy to miss lots of missions if you’re just completing the story. Even all of the boss fights vary hugely, which makes everything that bit more exciting. If you’re looking for varied open world sandbox fun then this is the game for you!
This time around you can customise your character a little more, although it’s always in first person so there’s not a lot of point, but it’s a good way to spend in-game money. Additionally there’s a huge range of gun customisation which reminded me of the Rainbow Six games… So there’s lots to tinker and buy to really kit yourself out depending on your play style; I ended up with a bow and arrow, silent pistol, heavy machine gun and rocket launcher.
The character models and environments all look really great, there’s a lot of weird drug effects also added in that all are varied and don’t fail to make scenarios unique and interesting. There are times where you have to stand and appreciate the environment you’re exploring; all of the main enemies look fantastic as well, which makes a decent change to past titles – My game did crash on me a couple of times but that’s not the end of the world.
I had a heap of fun with this game and it’s definitely my favourite in the series. I wasn’t bored for a second and cannot wait to go back to it some time; I felt I did rush it a little as I wanted to get to God of War, but I would have definitely spent more time on it had that not been the case. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the ending of the game, but I don’t want to spoil that. Trust me pick up this game, you won’t regret it.
I give Far Cry 5 an 8.5/10