Far Cry 5 Review
You’ve seen it coming, and now it is finally time. They call it the Collapse, and they have started with the Reaping. It is up to you now to put a stop to the atrocities of “The Father” and his heralds, and to shut down the Project at Eden’s Gate!
Far Cry 5 is Ubisoft’s latest and possibly greatest entry into the Far Cry franchise, which will be released on 27th of March 2018 for XBox One, PlayStation 4, and Microsoft Windows. This Action-Adventure FPS stays faithful to it’s predecessors with its large open world environments that can be explored in any number of ways, however, some new features have been added in this installment, giving the fans a lot more to look forward to, such as being able to customise the appearance of your character, and an inclusion of more melee weapons to encourage more close-combat scenarios. You will also find the “Guns For Hire” system again, where you are able to recruit locals in the Resistance to help you take down the Cult and assist you in your missions (more info on that later). A lot of effort went into the marketing of this game to build up hype, so here is where the fun begins – was it worth it?
The game’s story follows your character, the new junior deputy in town, in the fictional Hope County of Montana. You will be able to choose the preferred gender of your character as well as be able to customise his/her appearance before the start of the game, which is neat new addition to this franchise. After this, the game starts off with an introductory cinematic of people talking about the cult and its leader called Joseph Seed, who refers to himself as “The Father”. Joseph Seed believes himself to be some chosen prophet who is going to save humanity from the end of the world, an event he has dubbed “the collapse”. Seed created his cult, which he calls a “project”, and has named it the “Project at Eden’s Gate”, where he uses militaristic and violent approaches to forcibly convert the residents of Hope County. This is where you come in. You get sent into Hope County, along with the Sheriff, the U.S. Marshall, and Hudson, to find and apprehend Joseph Seed.
This, however, does not go as planned, as his fanatical followers do everything in their power to prevent you from taking their leader away from them. After a helicopter crash, you get separated from your allies, but manage to escape with the Marshall for the most part. The Marshall gets captured, but you fall into the hands of the Resistance coordinator named Dutch, who gives you the rundown of everything and asks for your help. It is now up to you to spark the fires of resistance, rise up and disrupt all of the cult’s plans, and liberate the community of Hope County. You will be able to do this by saving Resistance members or Town locals who will join the fight alongside you, or destroying Cult Shrines to which subsequently destroys their morale, or Liberate Outposts established by the cult as smaller bases of operation. Once liberated, these areas will be populated by Resistance members who will strengthen the movement against the Project at Eden’s Gate. From there, you will also be able to embark on Resistance Missions that will aid in hitting the Cult the hardest. All of these methods will give you Resistance Points for the region.
Fires of Resistance
The world is split into multiple regions; bigger regions controlled by one of each of Joseph’s Heralds. John Seed, the lawyer of the Seed family, controls Holland Valley. Jacob Seed, a former military officer and hunting fanatic who oversees the soldiers for The Project, controls the Whitetail Mountains, and Faith Seed, the younger and more pacifistic sister of the family, controls the Henbane River region. Each of these heralds have their own harrowing back-stories, and you can go to any of the regions they control as soon as you Liberate the island on which Dutch is located, and to help start you off, Dutch gives you an explanation of what you will encounter in each area as you embark on your missions. I chose to go to John’s region first to rescue one of the allies I got separated from in the beginning of the game, as they looked like they were in dire straits, to say the least. Once you are in these regions and start to finish objectives, you gain more Resistance Points. These Resistance Points get allocated to a Resistance Meter of sorts for the region, which will progress you in the story of the region. When you get enough RP, you will gain levels in the region, which will cause the Region’s herald to send their strongest to find and capture you, and capture you they will.
You will not be able to escape these soldiers. It is, quite literally, meant to happen for you to be captured, as it is the only way the story will progress. I managed to escape a few times by taking them down quicker then they were expecting, mainly as a show of power, but then eventually got taken down, because these soldiers just keep coming. There are around 3 levels of Resistance that can be achieved, the last one allowing you to defeat the Herald of the region. The story-based Resistance Missions will yield the most Resistance Points, and the other smaller missions, like liberating an outpost or freeing captives, etc. will yield less, but will also take a lot less time to achieve. You will also be able to find random Encounters in the world, like Cult Events; killing a Cult VIP, or destroying a Cult fuel supply, looting Cult supply trucks, etc. These will also instantly add additional RP to the Resistance Meter. You will encounter other fun things in the world as well, such as Traffic antics, NPCs doing their own thing, and even Wildlife. If you watched our preview video, you will find some rather humorous events that transpire with the Wildlife.
All of these events are fun to take part in. I often find myself focusing more on these Side Events than the Main Story, because there is a whole other aspect to the game as a result of this feature. Side Missions are also a lot of fun and have their own unique stories. I really enjoyed the “VIP For Hire” Missions – there was some truly brilliant humour to be enjoyed in these missions. These VIPs are people you unlock after helping them in their personal quests. They will then be added to your roster and you can call on them at any time to add them to your party. Each one has their uniquely useful specialties, so you can choose your party members according to your playstyle, eg. Boomer is able to mark every enemy in the area for you (this is a Scout ability). Aside from the humans, you are also able to “recruit” animals, called “Fangs for Hire”. There are 3 “Fangs for Hire”, namely a loveable Bear named Cheeseburger, an adorable dog called Boomer, and a regal Cougar named Peaches. Each of these animals are truly great assets to the team, and I would encourage you to give them a go. If any of your NPCs “For Hire” go down during a fight, you are able to revive them, but only while their “Last Stand” meter hasn’t depleted. If that meter depletes before you are able to revive them, they will be “temporarily unavailable” in your roster, during which time they are recovering – who knows where, but will be up for another fight again later on.
Rockets on Rails
In this game, you are able to raise all kinds of havoc, especially with the vehicles you find. The weapons are a lot of fun too, with rocket launchers and heavy machine guns taking a lot of the cake, but when comparing that to sitting at the back of a van on the mounted gun with some really badass alternative country music playing on the radio, then you’ve got a whole new experience right there. You’re not limited to only land vehicles though. You can fly helicopters and planes with mounted guns, bomb drops, and even rockets! You find different types of rockets as well, my personal favourite being the scatter rockets, dealing damage in a wider area, with a small sacrifice to accuracy, but really, its barely noticeable when there are explosions going on all around, so who cares. I personally enjoy causing enemies to fly out of their own vehicles with a well-placed grenade underneath their pickup trucks. If you get hit by some unfortunate event while in a plane or helicopter, which is sure to happen, you are able to eject and parachute to safety, or even use your wingsuit beforehand to get some distance. These you will need to unlock first in your “Perks” Menu.
How do the Perks work? You will need to earn Perk Points by completing a wide variety of challenges found in the game. To understand which challenges you can take on, you are able to explore the variety in the “Challenges” Menu. All around every region you will also find areas called “Prepper Stashes”, which will have 3 Perk Magazines in each one, earning you a quick 3 points every time (along lots of cash and even weapons and vehicles sometimes!) There are five categories of Perks with 10 perks in each, some being a LOT more expensive than others, so even if it feels like you’re earning a lot of Perk points, you’ll spend it all very quickly. All of this happens at a decent pace, and I never felt it being either unfair or even feeling like I was being given an advantage. The further you progress in the game, the more difficult it gets, so these perks are very handy when you get into sticky situations!
You are able to purchase Weapons and Items from the Shop found by each Resistance Outpost. These shops will have sections where you will even be able to buy Ammo and Outfits for your character. And like I mentioned before, you can unlock vehicles in the game, either through completing missions, finding Prepper Stashes, or even buying them. Ranging from Quad-bikes, Four-by-Fours, Sedans, Trucks, Helicopter, Water Planes, Boats, etc. And you will have your own Garage that will stock all the vehicles you have purchased, which you will be able to make use of from any Garage station in the world. The stations are obvious in their purposes, meaning there are stations at where you are only able to buy either Land vehicles, Helicopters, Planes, or Boats. The more money you have, the better kinds of vehicles you can purchase, but once they’ve been purchased, you can make use of them again at any time, even if they get destroyed. Money is a little harder to come by than in most games, unless you save it up like I have been and have been hitting the Prepper Stashes like a madman, but it still feels fair. I end up commandeering the enemy vehicles a lot of times anyway, and then run them over with their own vehicles “by accident.”
Yes, you can play Far Cry 5 with a friend, however it is strictly online Co-op, so there is no split-screen co-op. That being said, the online Co-op is pretty awesome. I was fortunate to play with Edward from Vamers, and despite having some issues getting the Co-op to work properly on XBox – whether it was because of NAT settings or whatever – the moments we were able to run around was pretty fun. We managed to explore a few features, such as making sure the Fast Travel system works fine for both, that you are able to have a Gun or Fang for Hire in your group at the same time (depending on if the host has unlocked the perk for a second “For Hire” member) and to see if the joined party member is able to drive a vehicle while the host keeps an eye out for baddies, since I have seen some games where the host is the only one with priveleges, but we were met with some unfortunate disconnects as well, which I can easily blame on the fine internet in our country. My fondest memory will be of us flying with the helicopter, when suddenly he gets disconnected, suddenly leaving the driver seat empty and the helicopter making a very rapid, and ultimately explosive, descent – needless to say, many laughs were had. So here’s a special thanks to Edward and his good humour despite the connection issues!
I can confirm however that you are able to play and finish the whole game, with exclusion of the intro and tutorial, while playing in Co-op mode. Only friends on your friends list will be able to join you in your game, so there is no Matchmaking system. The narrative of the game is centered on the player who is hosting the game. As the host, you get to keep both your World and Player progression, exactly like in single player mode. When joining a friend’s game, you will essentially be a “Friend for Hire”, and you will only be able to keep your Player Progression, meaning XP, in-game currency, inventory items, perks, etc. All missions and story unlocks, etc. doesn’t get carried over into your own world. This is a bit of a downside, though a great job has already been done on all the other features of the Co-op mode. At least when you return to your world, you’ll be that much stronger and richer! You will also require either PS Plus or Xbox Gold memberships on consoles to be able to play Co-op modes.
For those seeking more, Ubisoft has added the Far Cry Arcade! Here you will be able to explore additional game modes for singleplayer, co-op, and multiplayer games. Multiplayer has returned to Far Cry, and it’s quite a fun mode to delve into. First off, the game modes for Solo and Co-op are split into the following; Outpost – kill all enemies in an outpost, sometimes the objective will require you do this without being detected. Assault – enemies will be arriving in waves, and you win when the last enemy is killed. Bounty Hunt – kill all of the marked enemies in the area and make it to extraction. Journey – which is quite self-explanatory, this will have more exploration in it than actual combat, but is still quite a good mode to “explore”. Finally, Multiplayer will have two modes: Free-for-All Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch. Each of these maps will take a total of 12 players, with TDM having 6 players on each side. The highest scoring player/team, within the timelimit, will win the match. After each of these missions, you will be granted Arcade Points, which will level up your Arcade Career, giving you money and extra perk points that you will be able to use in your main game! Far Cry Arcade also uses your in-game avatar for these game modes. The game narrative does not get affected whatsoever, but you get to bring back your rewards. There is also a Map Editor that will allow players to create their own maps for these game modes. These maps will be assessed by a team of curators in Ubisoft’s studio, and also in the community to ensure that the maps are playable and, especially, fun. The tools will allow you to access objects from:
- Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
- Assassin’s Creed Unity
- Far Cry 4
- Far Cry Primal
- Far Cry 5
Imagine running around a dock, with pirate ships all around you, during multiplayer deathmatches. There are up to four weapon loadouts that can get chosen on each map, which will differ with every map you play. Some extra facts: The Multiplayer works on a peer-to-peer system, and the Arcade is said to have an anti-cheat system in place, so woe to all ye hackers!
Ubisoft has done a fantastic job with Far Cry 5, bringing us another great entry into the franchise and giving us more to look forward to by saying there will be DLC for the game, so if you are already deciding on purchasing Far Cry 5, be sure to put in a bit extra for that Season Pass. The gameplay is a lot of fun, even outside of the story missions, with many crazy and chaotic antics that can be enjoyed along the way. Far Cry Arcade has a lot more to offer as well, bringing in Multiplayer for the fans to enjoy once again. The graphics is beautiful. I often found myself staring at the fields and bushes and the way they moved in the wind. But the aspect I enjoyed the most in this game was the music. The soundtrack fits brilliantly with the whole scene and story of the game, and often makes you feel like the badass you are playing as. The story has a lot of controversial subjects, so play at your own discretion. This cult is crazy and messed up, but fortunately you find non-heretical characters in the game who are the true heroes in this story. Joseph Seed and his family need to be stopped in order to bring peace to Hope Country. Think you can do it? Then you can get yours (at the time of this review) from PSN and Microsoft Store for Xbox for R999.00, and Steam for R849.00