OF GOD AND GUNS (cntd)
The Rookie is a blank slate. At the beginning you pick your gender, and then after the opening sequence you further elaborate on their looks from skin color, to face, to clothing and hair options. The customization isn’t as robust as I’d like it to be (very strange that at some point I don’t get access to a new law-enforcement outfit) but for a series first, it’s a welcome addition.
The only downside to this is it now has been used as an excuse to put the player in the role of the silent protagonist. Far Cry 5 is, in many ways, branching outward to attempt to become more than just an open world shooter. Ubisoft would’ve done well to at least give us a small amount of dialogue options, rather than just being spoken to by the cast.
WE’VE PLAYED THIS BEFORE
Gameplay wise, Far Cry 5 is about 90% the same as Far Cry 3 and 4. Not that this is a bad thing, it just doesn’t leave me much to talk about beyond the map, and the few new bells and whistles. For those worried, yes the gunplay is still amazing and the vehicles are finally fun to drive.
As for new additions, the most prominent are the additions of gamewide co-op, planes, helicopters, and fishing. Co-op is perhaps the best of these new features, as Ubisoft teased us with a small taste of it in 3 and 4, but now players can hop in with a friend and play the entirety of the campaign with mission progress only being bound to the host player. Joining players will not have to worry about joining in a random part of the story, and messing up their own personal save file. I personally still prefer to play solo, but hopping into a friends’ game now and then to cause some chaos is always fun.
Next up on the plate of new items, are the air vehicles. Planes handle somewhat awkwardly, with the yaw and pitch being controlled on the same input but helicopters handle like a dream. They’re both incredibly fun to fly once you get the hang of them, and if you ever get tired of bringing the fight to the enemy on the ground, you can always rain hell from above from a gunship.
Last, but not least, is fishing. Self-explanatory, relaxing, and even though I should be out there stopping cultists I’ve found myself distracted by the fishing several times in this game. There’s just something cathartic about being able to take a virtual fishing trip in nice weather when I keep looking outside and seeing snow in real life in Spring.
The map itself is beautiful, and it’s definitely my favorite setting yet in a Far Cry game. Being set in rural Montana, players are treated to beautiful views of mountains, farm fields, small towns with various residences throughout the map. Rolling hills, gently flowing rivers, and highways and dirt roads that just beg the player to put the pedal to the metal. The sights, the sounds, the genuine country feel; Ubisoft said they did their homework with this one, and it really shows. I’ve never had a desire to visit Montana before, but Far Cry 5’s Hope County makes me reconsider that notion.
THE LAST BIG OUTING
That’s what I ask myself, is Far Cry 5 the last big outing for the series? When we get to the point that the new items are so quickly listed, it may be time to reconsider the formula. Far Cry 5 is a great game, but it’s also very much the same game we’ve played before. In the same way I become frustrated with Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed, that frustration is starting to show up for the Far Cry series as well. When Far Cry tried to re-imagine itself with Far Cry Primal, Ubisoft took a lazy approach. With Far Cry 5, they went back to what they know works for certain, they played it safe from a gameplay perspective while adding just enough to call it new and improved. If there is to be a Far Cry 6, there will need to be a re-invention of the key gameplay elements or else it’ll become stagnant. Because even a good series, can suffer from fatigue and stagnation.
Best map in the series so far, great villains, fluid gunplay, new additions add more luster to the game
Ally characters are mostly either too bland or too over the top, core gameplay elements are starting to become tired and fatigued after so many years with little changes