Far Cry 5 comes after the prehistoric setting of Far Cry Primal, and we are returning to modern day and a more familiar setting. This time, we’re in Montana, up in the North West of the United States of America. This state has plenty to see with Yellowstone National Park, a stack of wildlife and an abundance of natural beauty with forests and rolling fields.
As with the previous three games you have a main enemy, this being Joseph Seed, along with his two brothers, John and Jacob, plus their adopted sister Faith. Much like Far Cry 4, the individuals each hold a set area on the map and have to be dealt with before you can go after Joseph.
The story behind Far Cry 5 sees the uprising of a religious cult (sounds familiar to what has been happening in the Middle East over the past few years). Joseph and his brothers have been free to do what they want, amassing large sums of money through different nefarious practices, brainwashing folks to recruit them to their cause, and taking land. Local law enforcement have no power any more, with a lot of their staff being on the cult’s payroll and so on. It starts with you – being a rookie of course – in a chopper with other US Marshals and the local Sheriff. After arresting Joseph, you head back to the chopper and all hell breaks loose when you take off. The chopper is brought down, Joseph is free and you have to make your escape…
The game itself plays similar to Far Cry 4. Each area has numerous missions to complete, and doing so loosens the grip of the cultists in the area. Once you manage to do enough damage to them by destroying assets: freeing prisoners, destroying Bliss and so on, it will draw the lieutenant out so you can finally go after them. The missions on Far Cry are the same as most open world games: go somewhere and do something, rinse and repeat! Thankfully, there are a few stand-out missions on this one, and as an example, one of the side missions in the recommended opening area (southern part of the map run by John Seed), sees you having to drive like crazy to get Nik and his wife to the doctor’s to deliver the baby. Suddenly, a plane crashes ahead of you, there are enemies on quads, and other weird stuff all homing in on what you are doing.
One thing I do like is the inclusion of planes and helicopters in this game, not just hang-gliders and wingsuits (makes life easier and quicker than the roads). Once you get access to the planes, you will do bombing runs on enemy convoys and the like, which thankfully, adds variation to the missions.
Just like the prior entries in the series, you can just go off and do whatever you want. There are Clutch Nixon challenges. Clutch was, according to the local folk, the greatest daredevil who ever lived, and his stunts have never since been copied successfully. Of course, that is until you come along… they are a fun distraction involving high speed driving or flying. Then there is the gathering of growing plants and collecting miscellaneous items from killed foes so you can craft items, rather than having to buy them. Finally, you have hunting animals and fishing which, once done with the former, you can sell off the skins, while both are a great way to earn money a bit earlier in the game, and again a fun distraction. Overall, there is plenty to see and do within the world even if it isn’t too original.
Alongside the fleshed out campaign, you have the Far Cry Arcade: essentially this is where you can access the user made content, co-op play and multiplayer. Ubisoft have created some nice pixel art for the backgrounds, with a jeep driving across the ground or a helicopter above, which initially reminded me of the old arcade game Silkworm, but I then realised it is reminiscent of the Far Cry games with their locales.
The user content is what you would expect: some of it is great and the other is not so good. These are self contained missions where you are given objectives to work through by the respective creators.
I have yet to play co-op, but have read that if you join someone else’s game, you receive no XP or perk coins for your participation – that’s just for the host. I hope that this is just a bug or oversight by Ubisoft, as it makes it a bit pointless if you get nothing out of it for your character.
Multiplayer, I have mixed feelings about. Some of the maps look like they are poor user-created stuff, but then you also get some excellent content with various modifiers. I played on one game where there was heavy mist and you only had bows, so you had to use stealth to get anywhere. Mind you, I did notice you got the usual idiots jumping around to make targeting them harder, and they can headshot you from halfway across the map.
Another map is Wild West-themed, where you have shotguns. One player on the opposing team got up the tower in the middle and was managing to take pot shots with a shotgun from a distance, which didn’t really make sense. Annoying thing is, however, trying to get up the tower and take them out was impossible, since when you clamber up, you ended up with a shotgun in the face….go figure!! So yeah, it is fast-paced and you do have your usual cretins playing, but I reckon if they can get the guns balanced and matchmaking sorted a bit better, then I could find myself playing this side of it a bit more.
On a downside, I do have to mention the bugs which, at the time of writing, this have still not been sorted out. One in particular is really annoying and can be game-breaking. The first one is a biggie, and thankfully this hasn’t happened to me, but I have read about it in numerous places: you get killed and re-spawn, only to keep getting killed over and over again (Edge of Tomorrow, anyone?). The big issue with this, is that you have one save slot, so if you end up in this situation you have to delete your save and start over.
Another issue I personally encountered, is after I failed the turret section going after John Seed, the woman who drives the jeep is halfway across the map for some unknown reason, and you are sitting in the turret waiting for her to get in the vehicle. If she doesn’t get there in time, you fail the mission. Why didn’t they just have her re-spawn in the jeep along with you?!
To get past this one you have to reload your save and watch the lengthy cutscene again to try again. Then after you get past the turret section, you will be dog-fighting John Seed. If you fail here, then instead of putting you back at the ranch, it puts you on the ground wherever your plane was. Final issue with this dogfight mission is that you can go out of bounds. Now, this is fair enough, but don’t make the enemy AI fly out of bounds so you can’t get to them without failing the mission!
There are also loads of little annoyances, especially when starting out in an area: things like constantly being attacked by enemies when driving, so every minute or so you have to get out and take them out. If you don’t, they will take pot shots and can kill you with ease. They can fire at you through the vehicle you’re driving (not forgetting they are driving also), and we’re talking 100% accuracy from them, so you cannot make a quick getaway.
A big plus for me, however, is that I love the Dunia Engine. I have done since Far Cry 2. The characters and the open world look amazing and lifelike, and the effects look superb. I would like to see it used in more games in the future as, on PC, it scales really well and it runs perfect on consoles.
Even though Far Cry 5 has it’s bugs, I still do enjoy the single-player campaign. I will admit though that Far Cry 4 is by far my favourite game in the series, as I loved the setting of the Himalayas. This new one seems quite political in it’s messages with what is going on in the world today. We play games to get away from all that stuff and don’t need reminding of it.
Note: The scores both gameplay and enjoyment are based on the game as it is, but once patched I’ll happily give an 8 for each.
(DVDfeverDom adds: RGT85 made a great point in a recent video about patching games, and as a lot of viewers berated him for reviewing the badly-programmed MX vs ATV on day 1, and how it should only be reviewed after a month. Really? I agree that games shouldn’t need to be patched, and pre-internet, it was IMPOSSIBLE to patch them! They had to be perfect on Day 1! (and a lot weren’t, and it showed!) You can see this below.
Thanks to the Youtube channels featured for the gaming footage.
Also check out my Facebook album of fantastic screenshots.
- Developer: Ubisoft
- Publisher: Ubisoft
- Players: single-player, co-op, multiplayer
Retro at heart and lover of all things ’80s, especially the computers, the music and the awesome movies and TV shows! Crazy huge retro gaming collection spanning the ’80s and ’90s with hundreds of tapes, discs and carts for various machines on top of a 600+ strong Steam library that is ever-growing. No I am not a serial hoarder, just a dedicated retro gamer!