There is a beautiful chaos the emanates throughout the Far Cry series, and Far Cry 5 is no different. When the world was first opened for me, I drove around Hope County, checking out the environment and lay of the land. As I began to drive, I saw some cultists with a hostage. Before I could engage, a mountain lion jumped out of the wilderness and took out the enemies. My good boy, Boomer, took care of him for me. Then, about a mile ahead, I saw another hostage situation. As I freed him, a random cult truck drove by and began to shoot me. The former hostage tried to run away, only to be run over by a tractor driven by, you guessed it, a cultist.
That’s a lot to process in a 5-minute span. Yet it fits perfectly with the narrative of Far Cry 5. Hope County is filled with a terrifying group of individuals who believe in one course of action. They are a group who believe in divine intervention – that a higher power gave them a calling and justifies their actions. I don’t believe this is some kind of satire of our current political climate. I believe this is a story about finding the will to fight when all hope is lost.
Throughout the game, through conversations with NPCs, notes, and/or answering machines messages, you discover how downtrodden the citizens are. The odds are indescribable at times. Much like my early experience, the citizens of Hope County are overwhelmed by a force that thinks they are benevolent. Yet a powerful narrative that is seen throughout the story is the never give up attitude that is seen in several NPCs. They know they are in a tough spot, yet they fight on.
On the opposite side of the coin, we have some of the most terrifying antagonists that I have ever seen. The way they dominate their will over their followers is incredible to see. Joseph Seed, the leader of The Project at Eden’s Gate, has such an intensity in his eyes. His cutscenes are usually up close, and you can feel him peering into your soul. He manipulates, threatens, crushes your soul, then builds you back up. It is easy to see how Joseph gathered this mass following of individuals willing to die at his command.
All in all, I am a huge fan of the story in Far Cry 5. It’s not perfect, but it is meaningful and gives you moments of joy and despair. Each story mission shows you the thrill of defeating the cult, yet gives you moments where you realize that there is more work to be done. The only thing that didn’t sit well with me are the missions where you are marked by the cult. As you progress, the cult can capture you and put you into an unsettling mission that involves specific members of the Seed family. These missions aren’t bad per se, but it interrupted the flow of the game and would set me back from my plan of action in each region.
If you have ever played a Far Cry game, then you will get a few been there/done that moments. You have a wide variety of missions to choose from, both story missions and missions to help rebuild Hope County. You have the familiar Far Cry humor. The gun gameplay is crisp with a wide variety of customizations and layouts. Usually, I love to run and gun, but the bow and silenced pistol was my preferred layout for my playthrough.
Don’t let these familiar aspects prevent you from playing Far Cry 5. There have been a few adjustments to make the game feel fresh and never tedious. First and foremost, the towers are gone!! In a fantastic nod to their fanbase, Ubisoft tells you very early that you only have to climb one tower. The map, which starts in a fog, opens up as you explore and play the game. Maps are around Hope County for you to find, and they put points of interest for you to find.
The Guns and Fangs for Hire are one of my favorite parts of the game. Each Gun for Hire is a living breathing character with wonderful (or crazy) backstories. Each helps you in a unique way, so make sure to use each of them and explore how they can best help you when you get into a pickle. The Fangs for Hire just annihilate cultists. While Cheeseburger the Bear and Peaches the Mountain Lion are devastating allies, I prefer my good dog, Boomer, who would attack enemies and bring me their guns. Like the Guns for Hire, each Fang has a skill set that can help (or hurt) you, depending on the mission. You can even unlock perks for your Guns or Fangs.
Far Cry 5 is an open world game, and it lets you pick your path. No, you can’t do what you did in Breath of the Wild and immediately try to take on the main antagonist. But you can pick which region to liberate. Hope County is split up between Jacob, John, and Faith Seed. As you work to complete missions, take over outposts, etc, you will build a resistance meter. Once filled, you can take on those good for nothing Seed siblings. I don’t think there is any benefit to starting in one region over the other, so pick whatever path you want!
For those of you who want a break from the story, then you can check out Far Cry Arcade. I’m not very creative, so my levels were a bit disappointing. But if you have the time, use their editor and create some truly magical maps. If you don’t want to create, then play maps that others have created! It’s fun to a point. I didn’t spend a ton of time on it because the story had me wrapped around its little finger, and I preferred to play side missions and find collectibles instead of the arcade. I think I will be more drawn to it as the community develops more and more maps.
Graphically, Far Cry looks spectacular. I played on the Xbox One X and was blown away by the colors and framerate. A special shoutout needs to be given to the voice cast in Far Cry 5. They are stellar and give each character the right amount of emotion (and in some cases, humor). The game itself runs very smooth, and I had minimal issues with bugs. The biggest bug I encountered caused an armored cult vehicle to destroy itself when the mission called on me to do it. Other than that, everything was smooth.
Far Cry 5 covers the majority of what you can expect in the series – chaotic gameplay, loads of content, and memorable antagonists. Yet Far Cry 5 makes subtle changes that make the journey more memorable. Far Cry 5 is not just the usual with a new coat of paint – the new setting, Guns/Fangs for Hire, and subtle gameplay changes helps create an overall amazing gameplay experience.
Still not sure if it is the game for you? Check out the first 2 hours of the game!
Note: GameOctane Editor Ryan Welch reviewed his personally bought copy of the game. Any code or product given to GameOctane that is intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience.
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True open world
Plenty of action and things to do
A bit too chaotic in parts