Far Cry 5
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal and Ubisoft Toronto
Release Date: March 27th, 2018
Reviewed On: Xbox One X
Available on: Xbox One, PS4, PC
The Far Cry series has been one of the longer-running franchises in Ubisoft’s library, with the first game being developed by Crytek back in 2004. Now 14 years later we have Far Cry 5, a modern day first person shooter taking place in the United States. This is the first game being set in North America which spike a lot of peoples interest in the title, myself included. Let’s dive into this game, story, and mechanics to find out if this is worth your precious gaming time and money!
This story takes place in the heartland of the United States in Hope County, Montana. Your character is a local rookie deputy tasked with helping a United States Marshal execute a warrant for the arrest of the cult leader Joesph Seed. Everything appears to be going according to plan until it doesn’t and you quickly find yourself scrambling for your life. In what feels like no time, you are hopelessly up against an army of cultists that want you dead with no help in sight. The game does a fantastic job in building up your character, as you meet locals who have been fighting back against the cultists for a long time. The game has fantastic characters with well-written backstories that genuinely make you care for everyone one of your comrades. Even with how well these characters are written, it’s hard to actually believe that how they managed to make 4 seperate villains within the Seed family that you grow to hate equally. Joseph, Faith, John and Jacob Seed all have unique personalities and all provide a different aspect to the cult, which makes each region you go to have a completely different vibe. You’ll learn to hate each of these characters for different reasons but you also start to understand the demons behind them, that drives them. It is amazing to see a game give equal shine to 4 different villains, with such great writing and variety.
Sadly, all of this is for not, as the conclusion of the game (split into two ending) makes all the build up for nothing. Without going into spoilers, I felt very cheated by the ending of this game. It felt like they could not figure out how to write an ending that gave closure to the characters while wrapping up the whole story in a 5-minute boss fight and a 3-minute cutscene, so it left me feeling empty. It’s a shame because the game’s build-up till the end was so fantastically well-written that it was disappointing to see the game wrap-up with no real clear answer on how or why the game ended like it did.
Now, if you are familiar with any of the previous Far Cry games the gameplay will feel very familiar to you. Far Cry 5 channels all the aspects that make the series great. Fast paced gun-fights, stealth-based kills, great sidekicks, outpost raiding and drugs, and when I say drugs I mean ALOT of drugs. Introduced in this game is a drug called “Bliss”; it basically turns people into brain-dead subservient zombies while causing hallucinations. One of the terrifying aspects of this is during a certain section of the game, your character will see animals or enemies that are not what they seem. There is nothing quite as scary as watching a rabbit turn into a grizzly bear and getting mauled alive.
The gunplay in this game is fantastic, they managed to do one thing that many games fail to do, and that is making your sidearm a powerful weapon. I found myself in stealth scenarios relying heavily on my silenced pistol because I knew it packed a punch and was an excellent way to dispatch multiple enemies. Taking usually no more than 2 or 3 bullets to kill unarmored enemies, it made stealth scenarios much easier. The gunplay felt tight, with realistic recoil as full auto weapons had a large amount of kickback and you had to learn the pattern in order to better use these firearms. Melee weapons provided a lot of fun, there was just something fantastic about killing cultists with a shovel with a smiley face on it.
One point I have to make that was a highlight for me was the “fangs for hire” which allowed you to have animals as your sidekicks in very similar fashion to Far Cry: Primal. You’re able to choose between Boomer, a friendly mutt who has the ability to tag all enemies within a certain radius (which is insanely helpful for taking outposts in stealth); Cheeseburger, a lovable grizzly bear, who got diabetes and his name on account of the trainers feeding him too many cheeseburgers, and lastly Peaches, the wildcat who is a must-have if you are taking the stealth approach as she sneaks while in tall grass and can silently take down enemies. I spent a good amount of my time split between Peaches for stealth-based missions and Cheeseburger for when it was a full out frontal assault. It added a very fun aspect to the game, unfortunately, you could not allow the animals to get into a vehicle with you. Which meant you had to look back in sadness as poor diabetic Cheeseburger attempts to follow your fast-moving sports car.
The game manages to not overstay its welcome, which I think helps it from becoming overly repetitive. I clocked in about 34 hours to finish up my playthrough. That included goofing around in Arcade mode, spending way too much time fishing and just running around and destroying side objectives. It’s not anything game changing to the Far Cry formula it’s just a more polished version of the said formula. You take down each region until you face off against that boss and then repeat. They did a good job on giving you a wider variety of tasks to destabilize the region, which ultimately led to a more enjoyable experience.
I reviewed Far Cry 5 on my Xbox One X, Ubisoft did a fantastic job in making this game a graphical showcase no matter what console you play on. However, on the Xbox One X Far Cry runs at native 4k which really makes the textures pop. The game is absolutely stunning and clearly sets a new standard for Ubisoft going forward, it is almost disturbing how real the characters feel with this level of graphical fidelity. While unfortunately, the game does not run at 60 FPS on any consoles, across base Xbox and PS4 as well as Pro and X the game runs at a locked 30 frames. Which while is not the most optimal for a fast-paced first-person shooter, it is definitely not a deal breaker. This is definitely one of the best looking multiplatform open world games this generation.
I did not spend a lot of time playing co-op, while it is awesome that you can play the entire game with a friend. One of the major downsides is only the host get’s story progression, which means if you play for 10 hours with a friend then load up your game after that, you will have story progress unless you were the host. This is a missed opportunity considering how fantastically done, Ghost Recon: Wildlands co-op worked in this regard. Hopefully, in a future patch, Ubisoft will address this issue.
Far Cry 5’s arcade mode truly was a unique experience and a lot of fun to play. Adding player created maps and challenges that you could play, with a separate level system with this mode. There was some really awesome player created maps, including a recreation of a level of the PlayStation classic Last of Us. With endless potential in this regard, it leads to endless fun. With such a variety of modes and content it’s like a game within the game, and I seriously recommend checking it out if you have the game.
One of the first things that I will say, is that the music selection for the car radio was absolutely perfect. A mixture of classic rock, as well as folk and religious hymns, really enhances the atmosphere of the game. The voice acting in this game was a high point as well, Greg Bryk did an amazing job in bringing the lead villain “The Father” to live in such an amazing way. You learn to fear and hate his voice whenever you hear it, and they did a fantastic job with all the characters in this aspect.
In regards to the game audio itself, the guns sound like perfection, gunfire matches up to the caliber of the firearm you are using. With high caliber, snipers sound like cannons as you hit targets as they go flying. It adds a certain satisfaction to using the weapons, the silencers sound accurate instead of the usual tinny unhearable sound. Enemies can now detect you even with a silencer within a certain range, which adds a certain detail of realism which is appreciated. The animal noises seem like such a minor thing, but your heart rate escalates insanely soon as you here a wildcat snarl from a random direction as you start trying to spin in circles trying to find the beast before it blindsides you to the ground. I commend Ubisoft on an excellent job in the sound and audio of this game, as it was fantastically done.
In conclusion, besides having a mediocre ending, Far Cry 5 is in my opinion the new standard for the series. While Far Cry 3 has been considered the best in the series for a long time, it’s time for it to step aside as this is the new pinnacle of the franchise. With great characters, amazing villains, stunning visuals and tight gameplay it is a must-play this spring.