Far Cry 5 – Review

When Far Cry 5 was revealed and we learned what its premise was, I knew that it could be fairly divisive. Far Cry 5 takes place in the fictional location of Hope County, Montana and you are a deputy. There is a crazy doomsday, religious cult that has taken over the area and making life miserable for everyone that lives there. Far Cry 5 begins with you in a helicopter with some other law enforcement personnel and you need to go arrest Joseph Seed. Joseph Seed is the leader of the Project at Eden’s Gate cult and his followers call him “The Father.” Joseph believes that he was chosen by God and that he was told about the world coming to an end. As such is trying to rule Hope County with an iron fist with the help of his family. As you can imagine the attempt at arresting Joseph did not go well and it isn’t long before are on your own. You end up joining the Resistance as you try to get back your friends that the Seed family and their followers kidnapped, as well as trying to rid the area of the cult altogether.

The game is set up into three big regions, with each member of the family controlling one. With this being an open world game you can tackle the regions in any order you choose. During my playthrough I decided to clear out John Seed’s area first and then once I was done with that I went on to Jacob, and then finally Faith. The Seed family, in general, are a bunch of psychopaths that follow Joseph’s lead. As you help the resistance more and more you begin to get the attention of the Seed family and there are times where you will meet each one and get up close and personal with them. The first time you meet John, for example, he sends a party to hunt you down and bring you in. Eventually, his guys will shoot you with a bliss bullet which will allow them to capture you and bring you to John. Bliss is a drug that is used by Project at Eden’s Gate cult to convert people to their cause. The principal ingredient of this drug is henbane, a plant with white flowers that has hallucinogenic properties. Wherever you go in the game you can see the brainwashing that the Seed family participates in and the propaganda machine they have in place. John Seed, for example, talks about the “Power of Yes” and that all you have to do is say “Yes” and admit that you are a sinner and that you will atone for your sins and then you can join the cult. Of course, you have to “swim through an ocean of pain” to atone for your sins and this is basically just a way for them to try and justify torturing people.

As soon as you boot up Far Cry 5 you will immediately notice how beautiful the game looks. The engine that Ubisoft used for Far Cry 5 produces some stunning visuals, especially on the Xbox One X which is where I played the game. It is one of Ubisoft’s best-looking games to date, which helps get you immersed in the world. The audio is also exceptionally well done whether it is the chatter between the resistance, listening to the Seed family spread their propaganda, hearing a deer traipse through the woods or the creepy cult-esque soundtrack that plays throughout the game. Everything draws you into that world and after witnessing certain events all you want to do is take down the Seed family and explore the world to help out as many people as you can.

Of course, going through the main story is only one of the many things you can do in this vast open world. As soon as you can I recommend opening up the map and completely zooming out so that you can appreciate this how big this game really is. In addition to the main story missions you also have option side missions, cult outposts that you need to take back for the Resistance, Prepper Stashes to locate so you can load up on money, supplies and perk points and much more.

As you progress and complete more missions you will gain access to different specialists that will help you throughout the game. The first one I got was Boomer, a dog with the ability to tag all the nearby enemies so no one can sneak up on you. He also had the Retriever ability which means that he could fetch a weapon to give me after an attack. He is in the scout class and, yes, he is a very good boy. The only problem that I have with Boomer is that, for some reason, Ubisoft decided not to allow him to ride with you in vehicles. If I get in a truck to drive somewhere Boomer won’t get in. He’ll kind of run alongside it and he’ll magically appear at your destination when you get there so you won’t lose him, but that is a huge oversight on the part of Ubisoft. Other specialists I have used will get in the vehicle with me so there isn’t any reason why Boomer shouldn’t be able to. I spent at least a few minutes trying to get him in my car but it just wasn’t happening, which was very annoying. One of my favorite specialists to use during the game was definitely Nick Rye. He is in the pilot class, which means he was able to help me and cover me from the sky. Using your binoculars you can target an enemy convoy, for example, and tell him to attack them. Nick will then proceed to either drop a bomb on that convoy or strafe enemies and take them down with a machine gun that is on the plane. He helped me out on more than one occasion and the nice thing is you don’t always have to order him to attack. There are many times where, because he is in the air and has a better vantage point than me, he would attack an enemy before I knew they were there.

Another favorite of mine was Grace Armstrong. She is a sniper and would help me take out enemies from a distance. This was especially helpful if I was trying to be quiet and not allow any of the enemies to know I was in the area. She has a green laser sight on her sniper rifle too which I liked because it is easy to see when she is trying to line up a shot to take an enemy out so you can plan accordingly. There are a total of nine specialists that you can unlock in the enemy, each with their own abilities and ways to help you. There also some fighters that you can hire to assist you as well. You can go through the game alone if you so choose but I definitely recommend using allies for help. This game also has campaign co-op so you can always have a friend jump into your game and help you as well.

By going through the game and completing missions and challenges and other objectives you will earn some perk points. You use these perk points to unlock a number of different skills. There are a variety of different perks for you to unlock such as being able to swim underwater longer, being able to reload your weapons faster, increased health, being able to use two specialists at one time instead of one, gaining access to an additional holster so you can carry more weapons and much more. You can unlock these perks in any order that you want so you will have to determine what you think is more important and what can point. For me personally, I wanted to gain access to more holsters so I could carry more weapons, in addition to getting the locksmith perk so I could pick non-electronic locks and unlocking the perk that would allow me to make less noise when walking, sprinting and landing. This definitely helped me out when trying to clear enemies out of a location, especially if it was a hostage situation where I had to save some people without letting the enemy soldiers find out. The aforementioned Prepper Stathes is a tremendous source of getting perk points, as well as money so you will want to locate those and then visit as many of them as you can to help expedite the process of unlocking more of these perks.

While making your way through the world of Far Cry 5 you might notice a notification pop up on screen every so often saying that you completed a challenge. There are a number of different challenges for you to take on that will also earn you perk points. There are really easy assault challenges such as getting ten melee kills or eight Molotov kills or three saboteur kills. There are other ones too such as flying 2,000 meters in your wingsuit, spending 60 minutes in co-op, having your specialist allies reach a certain number of kills and then, of course, there is some hunting. Skinning two elks will get you some perk points in addition to skinning three skunks, catching a Golden Trout, catching a Paddlefish and, well, you get the point. If you are the type of person that likes to do everything in a game than Far Cry 5 is going to be keeping you busy for a while.

In addition to all of that is the online component for Far Cry 5. There is the co-op portion that I mentioned up above that should be self-explanatory. In addition to that, there are “Live Events” and “Far Cry Arcade”. The live events give you new challenges to try and completed but unlike the normal challenges in the game, these events are timed, so they are only available for a limited time. If you beat the challenges placed in front of you, and if the community as a whole beats a challenge, then you will receive some unique rewards. If you happen to miss a live event one week you also don’t have to worry about missing out on those rewards as Ubisoft will be rolling out all of the rewards in its store at a later time. Next is Far Cry Arcade and this is another area where you can have a tremendous amount of fun.

Far Cry Arcade is where you can enjoy damn near infinite Far Cry experiences that are created by the community. You can create both solo and multiplayer maps utilizing the Far Cry Arcade Map Editor or if you aren’t the creative type, you can play the maps that have been created by others. You can play these either by yourself, in co-op, or you can choose to play the multiplayer mode which is standard player vs. player. There is also an option to browse some of the multiplayer maps that have been created and you can also mark some maps as “favorites” so that you don’t have to search for them again in the future. During my time in the Arcade, I played some maps created by Ubisoft where I had to liberate outposts and then I was also sure to play some community maps that were Team Deathmatch. Once you have completed a round you get the opportunity to vote on whether or not you like the map you just played. Not all maps are created equal and I played my share of some really great maps, as well as some maps that had really poor design. It is a bit of a gamble because you never know what you are going to get with community maps but finding a really great map (and marking it as a favorite) can lead to you and your friends having a lot of fun.

Far Cry 5 is a tremendous amount of fun and the team at Ubisoft did a great job of giving us a massive world to play in. In addition to simply running around the world, there are cars you can drive, planes you can fly, boats you can drive and more. I enjoyed going through the story and thought the Seed family made for some great villains. As I mentioned up above, it wasn’t long after I started the campaign that I witnessed some of that what family has done and I was ready to help the resistance rid the area of Joseph Seed and his cult. The side quests were fun for the most part, as was helping out the different residents of Hope County. The specialists that you can use add a great dimension to the gameplay giving you backup when you need it and the Far Cry Arcade was a tremendous idea. I expect people to be playing that for quite a while since the community can create their own maps. If you have enjoyed the Far Cry franchise in the past I definitely recommend you pick up this game. If you are new to the franchise I still highly recommend it, you just might miss out on some of the references the game makes. If you are an FPS fan at all, be sure to check out Far Cry 5.

Score: 9/10
Originally posted on Gaming Target

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