Far Cry 5 is probably the finest game in the series yet, but for some reason its not the best.
Having played, but not completed, all the main instalments in the Far Cry series, I was very eager to check out Far Cry 5. I remember the build up to the game release, seeing the new additions to the game series, and how evil the antagonist seemed. The setting seemed very interesting and the gunplay looked better than ever. However it only took me about 2 hours of playing this game to make my mind up of how I felt about Far Cry 5. I loved it, but I knew early on it wouldn’t be my favourite in the series, I will explain.
Story In Far Cry 5, you play as a silent protagonist called Rook. You start the game by attempting to arrest the leader of a religious cult and then everything pretty much goes to $#*¡ from there. There’s a bit of a fire fight, then you escape and meet a guy that explains you need to take down the three faction leaders to get to Joseph Seed (the main bad guy) and take him down successfully. Now the story isn’t the main reason you'll be playing this game, but it’s enough to help you stay invested. My main problem with the story was being a silent protagonist. In previous Far Cry’s you played as an actual character. While people may like to customise their character, for me it created a disconnect. All the other characters in this game are vibrant and memorable, so it makes your character feel empty. Another issue I have is; although Joseph Seed feels very evil and dangerous, he is no Vaas from Far Cry 3. From memory, you would run into Vaas a lot in the third game, and I’m pretty sure you only see Joseph Seed 6 times in total in this 25 hour long game. So to me, Vaas seemed much more menacing, I know he wasn’t the end villain, but he is clearly the most memorable in the franchise to me and many other fans. SPOILERS: This game doesn’t end well, which I love. Most games have a happy ending with the hero saving the day, in Far Cry 5, you think you’ve saved the day and then atomic bombs start dropping left right and centre! Unfortunately I already knew this ending as the spin off sequel takes place in the post apocalyptic future. Nonetheless, the ending is shocking and devastating. The last boss fight was great fun, fighting alongside the characters you’ve met throughout the game was very empowering, but after the game ends, you have no option to replay this mission. This was disappointing to me because I wanted to see the alternative ending.
Gameplay In terms of gameplay, Far Cry is the best game in the series. It is certainly the most refined. The guns feel tight and heavy, the vehicles are easy to use and are all pretty solid. The outposts are great fun as always, however I feel there wasn’t much variety between them. The new additions of the specialists (basically side kicks) really changes things up. I had great fun stealthily approaching an outpost, taking enemies out with my stealthy specialists, then roaming around and exploring with the airplane and helicopter specialists covering me from the sky. The enemies are quite repetitive, but when a bigger enemy turned up to the fight, it would mix things up a bit and make me change my approach to fighting them off. The only problem is, even though the gameplay is the most refined and tightest in the series, apart from a few things its all been done before. It still fun to play don’t get me wrong, but just a bit too familiar.
Visuals At first I was pretty impressed with the visuals in Far Cry 5. Most Ubisoft games look pretty great nowadays; they all have quite realistic graphics and lighting. Nothing too shiny, or too vibrant, or too dull and dark. Far Cry 5 is a bit more colourful than recent games, which is great! The grass is greener, the sky a deep blue and the overall prettiness of the game can help you get lost exploring the countryside of Montana. During the day at least. When the sun sets, everything looks a lot more dull and boring. All the environments just look the same when it is night-time. It does feel realistic, but I would of appreciated nicer lighting during the night. I ended up doing my exploring during the day, and the missions at night. I ran into a few graphical glitches, especially when using a helicopter. For some reason, half the environment would be in daylight, and the rest pitch black.
Content If you like a lot of bang for your buck, then boy are you in luck with Far Cry 5. There are so many side missions to complete here and most of them are actually good and not just fetch quests! After completing every outpost, there is a boring fetch quest to do, but I just ignored those. The side missions where you meet new characters are the best! I especially loved the one where you helped a guy travel to Mars, and the Blood Dragon mission was great fun. There are bland lists for you to check off too, like rescue 10 civilians, which you complete by finding them through random encounters. These are okay, nothing new but still solid content for you to complete. But my favourite side missions were the smuggler’s dens. You usually have to find a way into a house or bunker, and each one is a little puzzle. And you know how much I love me some puzzle elements in games. You can easily spend over 50 hours completing every single thing in Far Cry 5, and you probably wont get too bored doing it.
Overall Opinion No matter how much I really love Far Cry 5, it just isn’t anything new. I can easily play Far Cry 5 for many hours and have a great time, but I could do exactly the same thing in 3 or 4, or one of the spin off games. I love the new additions, the characters, the gameplay, the setting, the side quests, and the variety of weapons. But when it comes down to it, I would still prefer to play the first 2/3’s of Far Cry 3 rather than replay Far Cry 5. I would definitely recommend Far Cry 5 to any fan of the franchise, or anyone who is slightly interested, but I just think the third game has certain magic to it, and most Ubisoft games seem to have lost that magic recently. They are still great games, but just missing something.