Far Cry 5 Review: Simplifying a Game Doesn’t Necessarily Make It Better
+ Entertaining characters and a good game setting
+ Plenty of things to do in the game’s open world
+ Co-op adds much more fun to the game
+ Combat system is decent
- The game’s story and open world concept doesn’t mix well
- Big portion of the game’s story is repetitive
- The mechanics have been simplified to the point of making the game feel rather hollow
- Driving cars feel more akin to ice skating on a slippery slope
Far Cry 5 balances delicately between narrative and the open world concept. This Ubisoft nail it this time? Check out our full review of the game right here.
Far Cry 5 Review
The open-world game concept has been tried by many developers with varying levels of success. It’s not easy to make a great game when players are able to explore the game at their own pace and go at it in any way they wish. Ubisoft has released one of the most hyped up open world games in recent times but it is not exactly a game that would be perfect for everyone. Today, we’re going to dive into one of Ubisoft’s latest blockbuster hits, Far Cry 5.
What is Far Cry 5 About?
Far Cry 5 is set in the fictional Hope County, Montana, where a preacher named Joseph Seed has risen to prominence. Seed believes that he has been chosen by God to protect the people of Hope County from an “inevitable collapse” and has established a congregation called the Project at Eden’s Gate.
Ostensibly, this is to fulfill his mission of leading the people to salvation but in reality, Seed is a radical preacher and Eden’s Gate is a militaristic doomsday cult. Under his rule, Eden’s Gate has used both coercion and violence to forcibly convert the residents of Hope County, and intimidation to keep them from contacting the outside world for help.
Seed has assumed the title of “the Father” and maintains control over Hope County with the aid of the Heralds: Jacob, “the Soldier”, a former military officer and Joseph’s older brother, John, “the Baptist”, Joseph’s younger brother and a lawyer who has been able to acquire much of the land in Hope County for Eden’s Gate, and Faith, “the Siren”, an early member of the cult who rose up and acts as a pacifist to bring the people to trust in Joseph, but runs forced labour camps for residents who resist the cult.
The player takes on the role of a rookie sheriff’s deputy, referred to as “the Deputy”, who is part of a task force sent to arrest Seed. The residents of Hope County opposed to Seed include a cast of characters who join the fight with motives ranging from altruism to revenge, profit and boredom.
Rallying the People of Hope
Your main objective in Far Cry 5 here is to rally the people of Hope. However, there is no one way of doing it and you are free to do so in whatever way you please. After all, it wouldn’t truly be an open world game if the means of doing so is linear. The county is broken up into 3 regions, with each of them being under the supervision of a member of The Father’s “family.”
Each region has their own story arc, detailing your struggled with each of the family member. Everything you do in the region earns points that will go towards the Resistance Meter. This goes from completing the main story missions to smaller, impromptu encounters such as saving a civilian from a roadside execution. As the Resistance meter fills, the game interjects with new cutscenes and essential story missions at certain points of the game to paint a picture of the family and their work.
In other words, it means that there’s no single mission you must complete to advance a regional story, and thus complete the game. It also gives you the freedom to bounce from one region to another. Tired of fighting the hunters and wolves at Jacob’s region? Feel free to head over to Faith’s area and subdue the drug-infused cult zombies instead. Though characters often suggest that their goals are urgent, there’s usually plenty of time to change gears.
While this may sound like Far Cry 5 has evolved well from previous installments of the series, it will feel quite redundant very fast. The 3 regional stories, while having their own separate story arcs which deliver the most intense and exciting portions of the game, feels very repetitive as it seems to adhere to the same formula. Without spoiling much, you will feel like you have finished 3 of the same story arcs by the end of it. It also doesn’t help that it feels as if the game’s story is tied rather loosely to each other.
It’s Fun but It Has Some Drawbacks
Just like many open world games out there, Far Cry 5 offers a variety of things of players to do but with varying results. While shooting and causing chaos across the map feels fun, the gameplay itself doesn’t feel quite refined as what we’d hope it would be. Not to mention, the driving aspect can feel very tricky at times as the steering can feel very loose, which can make racing very frustrating and also serve as a reminder that you are playing a game, which will continuously fail to immerse yourself in the game.
While you are going out and freely experiencing the game, you may come across some strange happening in the game. For example, animals such as bears moving around in an endless loop for no reason, or suddenly being detected by the enemies and thus, having yourself in the line of fire out of nowhere. These are most likely glitches and hopefully, Ubisoft will be patching it in a future update.
Unlike previous games, the crafting system has been essentially streamlined into a more simplified form and in fact, it’s not even necessary to hunt animals. You can easily go through the game just running and gunning everything around in a blaze of glory. As far as learning new skills go, players will obtain them after hitting certain milestones such as subduing specific amount of enemies using a specific type of weapon. Unless you’re aiming for a particular type of proficiency, this can feel very random.
The most noticeable addition to Far Cry 5 is its emphasis on partnering up with A.I. characters. You can recruit people that you save as “guns for hire,” who will follow you around and provide backup in combat. Each partner will adhere to a particular class with their own specialties in weapons and skills. Chances are that you will be sticking to using the 9 specialist partners as they come with their own set of special skills and are more effective than regular partners.
Most of these specialists are simply upgraded versions of regular class characters but some fall into unique classes. For example, Cheeseburger the pet Grizzly bear, which will help you take down enemies at close range and can function as the tank of the squad as it will be absorbing plenty of damage for you. While this can be quite fun, the partners feel more like an extension of your arsenal of weapons rather than their own character, which can make the characters feel underdeveloped.
Far Cry 5 Verdict
While some of the things being said may sound like we’re putting Far Cry 5 in a bad light, it is actually a fun game. The issue here is that will all the hype surrounding the game, you’d expect Ubisoft to really nail the game down and properly solidify the game’s core concept. Perhaps a little more incentive for players to explore as well as a more defined structure, especially for the main story, would help players enjoy the game more.
We managed to finish the game in about 30+ hours so we’d expect most people to be able to complete it easily under 40 hours unless they’re having a fun time exploring through the game’s open world. With that being said, I am awarding Ubisoft’s Far Cry 5 with our Bronze Pokdeward!