Developers: Ubisoft Montreal and Ubisoft Toronto with help from affiliate Ubisoft Studios
Price: 69.99 euros
Available on: Xbox one, PS4, PC
Review console: Xbox one (copy was purchased)
A bit about the game:
“Far Cry 5” is an open world, first person shooter that takes place in the fictional Hope County, Montana, USA and tasks the customizable, player character referred to as ‘Rook’ to bring down the ‘Path of Eden’s Gate’ cult led by ‘the Father’ Joseph Seed, who also has taken your friends and colleagues and sent them to his lieutenants; the rest of the Seed family consisting of John, Faith and Jacob. The game features a massive open world and has a ‘do it your own way’ mentality driving it, as the player is free to go anywhere and complete the challenges presented to them in any fashion or order. The player can shoot, blow up, sneak, drive or fly their way through the open world mayhem they create, while continuing the narrative in a system that rewards the player’s preferences for any kind of mission and play-style.
- Excellent feel of guns and movement.
- Immersion in the world is instantly gained with minimal UI elements on the HUD.
- Exploration and discovery aspects of the game have been greatly improved and focused on, in comparison to previous games. There was a real desire to make exploration and discovery more organic and natural which the game achieves.
- Far cry 5’s open world is a fun and chaotic sandbox. All the systems interacting in the background have been tweaked in a way that the world is full of moments which can potentially lead to mayhem.
- The game also feels like it was made to allow as much freedom as possible in the player. Story can be progressed through side mission alone, an open-ended perk system, allowing for co-op from the beginning and the multiple ways the player can get to and tackle objectives makes for an experience that the player can shape as they like.
- New “…For Hire” system is excellent when it works as intended.
- Occasionally interesting and surprising side content.
- Lackluster gun variety that at its worst remove any tactical considerations the player had to make in previous games and at its best is baffling (such as unlocking 3 identical in gameplay terms Magnums).
- Flawed overall progression system that rewards players for doing what they want; up to a point. In theory this system would allow players to do what they wanted and upgrade their characters as they liked, however in practice it encourages switching styles and doing activities you don’t like until you get the rewards and stopping; if you like that activity though you won’t be rewarded for sticking with it. Perk system is similar in that there are perks that are essential and you can choose which you get first, however after those perks, all others feel trivial.
Visuals& Technical performance 9/10
- Excellent look of the world. There may not be as much detail as other games in the series, however Far Cry 5 still looks amazing and a solid upgrade from the previous games. Some standout features are the draw distance and the art style.
- Technically runs very well and-besides a few frame rate drops- had no crashes or game-breaking bugs.
- Occasionally buggy AI performance that either breaks immersion or makes AI companions unresponsive, useless or annoying to use.
- A disappointing variation in enemy characters. Running around the world and seeing a fair amount of variation on the procedurally-generated friendly AI, will only make the couple of visual representations of the enemies more noticeable.
Sound& Music 10/10
- The excellent original soundtrack is an unexpected standout of the game. I especially enjoyed the orchestral tracks that play in the menus of the game that recreate the melancholic American folk music sounds with the ‘end of the world’ vibe of the game.
- There are some licensed songs in the game as well, which are used in missions-in sometimes goofy fashion and other times appropriate with the song or the mission. They can later on be unlocked to hear them in-game and the catalogue is quite solid and enjoyable.
- Excellent voice over work from all voice actors; their material is for a different section, but I found their performances and the directing to be either excellent or what was intended; even if I didn’t like the intention in most cases I can’t fault the execution for that.
- Great sound design as well, which is especially difficult to pull off in a massive open world like this. The guns sound great, the vehicles sound distinct-depending on their type and size- and the ambient sounds in the game are really well handled, making the massive world feel alive and filled with wildlife and forestry.
- Some occasional bugs like AIs using their loud, combat voices on stealth situations and vice versa.
- Occasional sound bugs where explosions far away sound near etc. These are not enough to deduct a point, but deserve a mention
- The premise of taking back a county in rural Montana from a cult, region by region, rescuing civilians and allies while witnessing how people dealt with the cult and how the cult took over the region is a great concept for the Far Cry series.
- Some good character work with interesting themes but not that great execution. However, the game does enough to get the player invested in some characters and their stories without skipping cutscenes or not paying attention to them.
- Side content that is fully voiced and have unique stories that are occasionally compelling and/or funny.
- While the story is fairly light and not that interesting, the ending is going to be polarizing for a lot of people. I personally didn’t like the ending but it was a surprise that made me hold my breath until the credits rolled-which is when I put some thought into it and sighed in disappointment.
- While the premise and the characters are interesting and thematically rich, they are not executed well. Due to the way the game’s progression is structured, narrative and character progression was always going to be difficult to achieve and for me the story had such an interesting premise with so much potential that when it ended up being fine-considering the limitations- it was pretty big disappointment.
- Friendly characters are uninteresting at best and annoying at worst.
- While the side content is fully voiced with unique stories, so many of them try to make you laugh at the absurd stereotypes of the quest givers or of the ludicrous objective, that they ended up feeling repetitive.
- While the antagonists were clearly better treated-in terms of the narrative- and some of them are genuinely creepy at times, they are also quickly shown to be hollow. They show up in a spectacular way, make the themes they represent apparent to the player and then stop being interesting or a way to explore those themes through them. Same occurrence with the twist; an interesting twist that once thought of is pretty hollow and disappointing.
A great attempt that resulted in a great game, that provides a solid foundation for the future. There is a feeling of disappointment though, as the game had potential to be amazing if it stuck the landing on the story and certain aspects of the gameplay.
As always the G.R.IN.D. is recommended for those who want a more in-depth analysis. You can find it by clicking here (for part one) and here (for part two).