FAR CRY 5: Very Little Hope in this County
Far Cry 5 is no American love story. Aiming to factually create an extremist cult, Ubisoft takes us on a journey across Hope County where things took a turn for the worst.
A Father, A Brother, and the Son of God
When a group of people, or movement, become out of control, officials take things in their own hand. You play as “Rook”, a nameless rookie following a team of three more officers on a mission to immobilize the threat, Project Eden’s Gate. The leader, Joseph Seed, also known as The Father.
Joseph Seed is in his own way, a madman. He is a follower of God and interprets the religious message to the extreme. His surrogate sister Faith, as well as his brothers John and Jacob Seed follow his words of wisdom. While doing so, they each have an eye over their own district, as well as a unique way of dealing with any form of resistance.
When you first meet the Father, he is calm, but your surrounding is tense. Compared to other Far Cry games, this introduction to the main antagonist is by far the edgiest. His advice, leave and you will be left unharmed. Of course, things never happen the way they are supposed to.
“We want you, we accept you and we will take you, willingly or not. And some of you may fight but, in the end, you will thank us. I am your Father and you are my children.” – Joseph Seed
After an accident, you and your team have been stripped apart; each one in a district under the watchful eye of Joseph’s right-hand men (and sister). To reach the Father, deal enough damage to each district and take out their respective leaders, only then will you face the head of the organization.
For the first time in the series, you play as a nameless and voiceless character referred to as ‘Rook’. As soon as you play the game, you are prompt to choose gender, as well as lightly customize your avatar. This is the first time in the series that these options are granted to you. High-level customization was not necessary, which makes this addition a good little plus for Ubisoft.
Customizing your character isn’t the only time you get to change the looks of something. During your experience, you will unlock, find and purchase new weapons and vehicles, all of which can be customized. For example, when you purchase a weapon, you can change its color, add a silencer, and more. It is even possible to purchase special ammo such as incendiary and piercing bullets.
Getting cool new toys is fun and all, but as you play along, you also get perk points. You can spend these to upgrade your character to become stealthier, carry more ammo, have more health, etc. At first, the changes make a difference to the gameplay – carrying two more weapons gives you a lot more offensive options. Although there are many perks to unlock, the game tends to feel unfair after just a couple of perks upgrades.
A Confusing Tone
In Hope County, the open world and its environment invite you to explore every inch of the valley. It also invites you to go out hunting. Although you don’t need skin to craft anything, it can be traded for some good money – the higher the stacks the more the worth. Besides making a quick buck and getting little perk experience, there aren’t any real benefits to hunting and fishing. The potential could have been titanic, but instead ended up being just extra things to kill.
Far Cry 5 isn’t only about exploring and hunting, but about the story behind maniac extremist Joseph Seed. From the moment you start, after you go over the first couple of missions, you are tasked with liberating three important outposts. Each is located in a different section of the map.
Interestingly, you can tackle the sections in any order you please, giving you a little more freedom than previous Far Cry titles. Although this option is available to you, the structure of each section is very similar. This similarity breaks the game’s tonality – missions become too predictable.
When you first met Joseph, his personality is striking. His development towards the end-game puts him as one of the best villains Ubisoft has ever designed. Unfortunately, he practically has zero-character progression throughout the campaign. Yes, you get to see him on certain occasions, but his direct messages to you, although emotional, break his character and sometimes even contradict themselves.
Secondly, the quests you are given sometimes don’t relate to the tone of the game. I understand that side quests might deviate, but main story missions should remain relevant throughout.
You Are Not Alone
Far Cry 5 offers you the possibility of having AI Guns for Hire to help you around most part of the grind-game. You start off with one, but quickly enough, you can get up to two followers. From air support to long-range sneaky assassins, you can manage your buddies to take down certain targets for you. In the game, there also are beasts that can be used as a follower as well. Pick between a mountain lion, a dog or even a bear – they all have their own special perks.
While the choice of followers covers all sorts of various gameplay styles, certain combos are broken. For example, having Peaches the mountain lion and either Jesse Black or Grace Armstrong gives you quite an edge. If used properly, you can take over an outpost simply by staying far away and targeting the right enemies. So long you don’t get noticed, you barely need to do anything. Worst case scenario, you put a silencer on a sniper and help your allies out.
If you don’t like AI or want your friends to join you, it is possible to invite them to join your game and assist you the same way your followers would. Although the option is a nice addition to the game, it doesn’t affect their progress – at all.
Always Carry an Extra Weapon
Far Cry 5 is a Far Cry game after all. It offers all the core elements such as excessive shooting, stealth infiltrations and takedowns, hunting and crafting, and of course, a rich and vast amount of land to discover. To reach all of those points of interests, you can walk/run, or use vehicles such as trucks, boats, helicopters, planes and even ATVs. The environment is gorgeous and the visual effect support that well.
Everything you need is at your disposal and honestly not out of the way. For example, after only a couple of hours of gameplay, I was able to reach a somewhat permanent access to a helicopter, which made it a breeze to reach any location on the map. Of course, the enemy is on your tail regardless of how you travel. Try to be the least suspicious as possible to avoid any surprise encounters.
When it comes down to weapons, the game encourages you to loot enemies and pick up what you can find. It doesn’t take too long before you get your hands on some sweet firepower. As you progress along, you get cash, experience, loot and more. Everything you are given has a purpose, but one thing changes the gameplay, aside from experience: the cash.
In Far Cry 5, money lets you purchase new guns, spawn vehicles, refill your ammo, and more. One of the most important things to note is that while you can buy weapons, you can also modify them. Adding silencers, mag extensions, and scopes change your guns’ behavior, and by extension the gameplay. For example, putting a silencer on a handgun reduces the sound it makes. This comes in handy when you don’t want to alert enemies and can’t get close enough for a silent takedown.
Too Much for so Little
Far Cry 5 is a great looking game that takes place in possibly one of the best settings yet. Far Cry 3’s island and Hope County are, in my opinion, the best two in the series. It develops well on the core mechanics of what makes Far Cry 5 a Far Cry game. However, little effort was put into certain things, such as mission relevance, tone consistency, and hunting.
As for the character development, Joseph Seed’s true colors are shown only at the very beginning and at the very end of the game. During the rest of the gameplay, his presence is barely impactful – you don’t see much traces of his tyranny.
Far Cry 5 isn’t the kind of game you play for its replayability value, but to discover more about the relationship between the cast, especially that of the Father and ‘Rook’.
- Beautiful Landscape
- Character Interactions
- Joseph Seed
- Great Music Selection
- Weapon Feedback
- Confusing Tone
- Irrelevant Mission Objectives
- Broken Guns for Hire Combos
- Lasting Appeal7.5
- Fun Factor6.5