Far Cry 5 is easily my favorite Far Cry title to date. Taking what made the franchise good and streaming it is something I had wanted from the franchise for awhile now. A plethora of missions, a massive world to explore, great cast of characters, and an Arcade mode that adds infinite replayability.
Far Cry 5: Welcome to Hope County
Far Cry 5 takes places in the fictional Hope County, Montana where a cult calling itself Eden’s Gate has expanded to every corner of the county. After some leaked footage of the cult’s leader Joseph Seed seemingly gouging out the eyes of a young man the government sends in a US Marshal to arrest Joseph Seed.
You take control of a rookie cop sent in with a US Marshal and the Sheriff of Hope County to take Joseph Seed into custody. As you may imagine things don’t go according to plan as you must fight off the cult and escape from their clutches. An intense chase sequence ensues where you’re rescued by a man named Dutch who’s building a resistance to take down the cult.
Joseph Seed is easily the best villain the franchise has ever created. His incredible charisma and way with words almost has you believing what he’s preaching. It’s a shame though that his presence, though constantly in the background through radios and loudspeakers, doesn’t appear throughout the story sequences as much as I would have hoped.
In order to get to Joseph Seed, you must rid the county of the cults hold on it. Hope County is separated into three regions. Each region is controlled by one of Joseph Seeds siblings. John Seed: a lawyer who has helped the cult seize valuable land throughout the county. Jacob Seed: Head of security and main recruiter for the cult. Faith Seed: A half-sibling, who uses her Bliss flowers to loosen the mind of the populace making them susceptible to suggestion.
Each of the siblings controls a region of Hope County. In order to get to Joseph Seed, the resistance with your aid must liberate each region from Joseph’s control.
Hope County is a gorgeous location to explore and feels more alive than past Far Cry titles. The farm land, the small town communities, and even the large spaces of forest and mountain ranges just feel alive with activity. The music is also a stand out with both original and licensed music; my favorites are the folk songs that just enrich the world building.
Far Cry 5: Resistance is Futile
Far Cry 5 is an open-world game much like its predecessors. Hope County itself is massive and there is always something for you to do. Far Cry 5 has well over a hundred missions and side missions to take part of. In order to free regions of the cults control you must rescue civilians who are being taking against their will for conversion, liberating cult outposts, and destroying cult propaganda.
Far Cry 5 has gone away from the watch towers that you had to climb to unlock points of interest on the map. This time around information is relayed from rescuing civilians and liberating outposts. Every time you liberate an outpost the resistance moves in to take control of it opening up new quests, shops, and fast travel points.
Your liberation of each region comes in the form of a resistance meter. Any time you rescue civilians, stop cultist transport vehicles, liberate outposts, and complete missions you earn points on the resistance meter. There are four major points in the resistance meter. Once you reach each point the head of the region will reach out to you to warn you that they are coming for you and they have taken notice of your activities.
These warnings set up some really cool scenarios as the region’s leader will send out a hunting squad to track you down and capture you. You can of course fight them off but it’s almost worth getting captured as it sets up an awesome story sequence that sees you essentially being tortured in order to get you to join the cult.
It also sets a sort of disconnect in the story. Throughout the story Joseph Seed has been giving strict orders that you should be captured rather than killed. So it makes sense that these hunter squads are out to capture, but for some reason every other cult member is out to kill you. I get it from a gameplay perspective but it’s weird seeing them constantly tell you that they want you captured and converted but everyone else is out to kill you.
Far Cry 5 has seen a great refinement in gameplay and progression. Shooting mechanics have been refined to give a smother shooting experience through and through. Another improvement has come in the controls of vehicles. Flying a plane or helicopter is probably the easiest in any game I’ve played. There are even awesome side missions where you must try and complete courses based on a stunt man name Clutch Nixon.
Far Cry 5’s biggest improvement comes in the form of the crafting and perk system. In past Far Cry titles you had to hunt animals and collect random loot to craft almost anything in the games. In Far Cry 5 the crafting has been refined to make it a little easier and less busy work. Almost all the materials can be found when looting dead cultist bodies.
Far Cry 5: Craft your Poison
Crafting bombs and medkits is as easy as the two button presses. Simply press L1 to bring up the weapon wheel and select one of the items you want to craft with the right analog stick and hold triangle to craft it. In the past animal skins were used to craft various items, but this time around animal skins are used primary for selling and completing challenges.
Challenges are the primary way to unlock perk points to unlock new skills. Challenges vary between exploration, hunting, and weapon proficiency. Hunting down three black bears will net you a perk point or getting ten sniper rifle kills will also net you a perk point. Some challenges will even have three stages allowing you to unlock up to three perk points.
Perk points are used to unlock new abilities and skills. The Perk system is actually quite balanced when it comes to how many perk points are required to unlock abilities and how quickly you can earn them. Some skills I found were an absolute necessity to unlock as quickly as possible such as extra weapon slots and locking picking doors and safes.
Far Cry 5 allows you to hire partners and use companions to help you out on missions. “Guns for Hire” allows you to take resistance members and hire them to help tag along as a virtual co-op partner. Most of the Guns for Hire are standard NPCs. The ones that truly matter are the “Companions.”
Companions are characters who join you once you complete their unique missions. Boomer the dog is one such companion. There are nine in total and all of them are worth unlocking.
Far Cry 5: Companions are my Cult
Each companion comes with unique abilities that can benefit any situation. Boomer acts like a scout and spots enemies for you, while Nick Rye will take to the sky in his plane and lay down aerial support as well as dropping bombs in the middle of a battlefield. You must be careful though because they can be killed.
If a companion falls, you have a short amount of time to revive them. If you fail to revive them you must wait about fifteen minutes before you’re able to use them again but you can shorten that time by buying specific perks. I love the companions in Far Cry 5. Each one of them not only helped with any given situation but each one had a great personality and I grew attached to them as I completed some of their personal quests.
The companions aren’t perfect though. The enemy A.I. will simply ignore them even though they are clearly in their line of sight until you yourself get spotted. The other issue I had with the companions was how often they got in my way. I constantly found my companions getting in my way and not allowing me to move through door ways or get around to a hiding position because they were simply in my way.
Far Cry 5: If you build it they will come
Far Cry 5 sees the return of Arcade Mode: an awesome addition that allows the community and players to create their own missions and maps. The creation tools are surprisingly easy to use and the large amounts of assets available should leave the table open for some great community missions to come.
Solo and Co-op missions can be created in specific categories. Journey: allows you to make actual missions and even make your own type of mission like a horror mission or a platformer, and Bounty Hunt: Has you hunting down a specific target. These are just a couple of examples of missions that are available for creation.
The big stand out in the Arcade mode is the ability to create your own multiplayer PVP maps. This opens up a massive advantage to Ubisoft in the multiplayer market. It also leaves them open to work on other things rather then releasing map packs for you to buy.
Unfortunately the game modes are limited to only Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch. I’m hoping that Ubisoft releases more types of multiplayer game modes like Capture the Flag and Domination.
Far Cry 5 as a great surprise for the franchise. As soon as the franchise started to feel a little stale, Ubisoft’s new action-adventure comes around and makes it fresh again. The setting and characters themselves are worth the price of admission but the great changes Far Cry 5 has made to the core mechanics and Far Cry Arcade gives the title an almost limitless amount of content.