REVIEW – Welcome to the USA, to the fictional world of Hope County with a dangerous sect and all the action and the chaos of the Far Cry saga. We stood up to Joseph Seed in Hope County and tested the sophisticated arsenal of the new Ubisoft shooter. Do you want to know if it is worth it? Here’s our review of Far Cry 5…
The Far Cry saga started at the hands of CryTek in 2004, – initially as a technical demo that ended up becoming a great FPS. Still, the truth is that we already have so many titles with the brand in the hands of Ubisoft that many people already erased the work of the German studio from their mind. Not only because we have already enjoyed five episodes from the hands of the French company, but also because all the elements that define the franchise now are those that have been established by the Montreal-based development team.
However, in the end, if you come to a Far Cry, you know what you are doing now. You are once again in an open-world action with a light tactical varnish and, above all, a shooter title where spectacularity is the main hallmark in the battle against Joseph Seed that we have fought in Hope County. We are facing one of the most rounded episodes of the franchise. It does not have the surprise factor of the third and is not as innovative as the second, but it does things well and also has a Far Cry Arcade that contributes even more to prolong its fun life.
Where there is (no) Hope
The story of Far Cry 5 has a similar base to that of any other installment in the series: that of a stranger in a hostile land. The particularity is that those places chosen by Ubisoft to set them up are sufficiently differentiated from each other and have such a robust degree of exoticism that each one has made the corresponding video game something very iconic. Each episode of the franchise is a fantastic sum of correct decisions in the field of the universe that they create, although not in all the previous games they have been accompanied by a script that would yield at the same level.
At which step does FC5 stay? In that of being a shooter that not only meets that minimum that I usually fix in the action genre that is “do not insult my intelligence while killing people”, but also tells a story about some very interesting things. The County of Hope, located in deep America, is ruled by a psychopath and his paramilitary army of fanatics, the terrifying Joseph Seed. That, thanks to his acolytes who are known for the surprisingly affectionate nickname of “the saints”, governs a state of terror that is dictated by the norms of the sect that they profess.
A character that in Ubisoft Montreal places particular emphasis on portraying as a kind of modern Colonel Kurtz, who lives outside the law and who commands a whole region with an iron fist. There is not much space to explain how a situation of this kind can be allowed in the heart of North America from the authorities, and the only thing that we are told is that we are part of the police force that is introduced in the area to restore order and that, of course, in a few moments will leave us alone in Comanche territory.
From there begins a classic structure of the open world. Meet guys who give you missions and, with these, advance the story. However, there is an unexpected turn that makes things more exciting, and that is how everything is structured. Seed is not alone, and he has three lieutenants who make him more manageable administration tasks that do not seem to worry him in the least.
So, John, Faith, and Jacob run the three great regions of Hope and, following a classic scheme of video games that have been running since the 90s, we must finish them before they can stand up to Joseph. The particularity is that each one of those areas that govern has a series of points that we must reach to “invoke” them and kill them, and we can reach that figure by doing whatever we want. What will give us more points will be to do major missions, of course, but it is very good to alternate them with rescues of hostages, the liberation of occupied installations or destruction of sect materials, and knowing that doing all that kind of things will also bring us points.
Edgy, but not trying too much
Far Cry 5, yes, he does not want to get into trouble. It is already brave enough to address the issue of religious fanaticism to go much further, so the game does not delve too deeply into the beliefs of The Door of Eden, which is the poetic name chosen for an organization that is neither more nor less, that a mob of psychopaths, murderers, and extortionists.
I would have found it exciting to discover more about their fanaticism, but not many opportunities are given, and in the end, the missions are great regarding fun, but most of them do not have too much plot weight. Something similar happens with the secondary characters that are our allies, some seems that it is going to bring some good narrative revenue, but then they deflate. Everyone has his personality, most of them with archetypes: the beautiful and determined girl, the freak obsessed with conspiracies, the faithful dog … however, none of them has just defined himself or of having too much weight in what happens.
A bad guy to remember…
Wherever it does things better, the video game is when it comes to building a network of enemies that are fascinating and that are fun to know and combat. Because something that Ubisoft has understood very well with the Far Cry brand is the difficulty of creating a charismatic protagonist from a subjective perspective. I am not saying it is impossible; there are good examples of heroes of an FPS that are memorable and remembered. However, most pass without pain or glory, as mere observers of dialogues with little intervention on their part. If you have it so difficult to make a good main character, what can you do?
Focus on what you see. Moreover, what is the most visible? Villains. So, and from the third installment, the Far Cry have focused on creating icons in this field, and Joseph Seed is frankly well done. He has terrifying ideas about life and death, and although it would have seemed more convincing if he had managed to convince his worshipers only with words and not so much with the use of drugs, both he and his lieutenants star in some brilliant sequences. I particularly liked Faith, do not delve too much into the “what a girl like you do in a place like this,” but her influence and the dreamlike scenes in which she is seen have an indisputable strength, and some of them are truly chilling.
Warrior of the People
All Far Cry since the brand is in the hands of Ubisoft deal with uprisings of the people against an order that oppresses them and, of course, Far Cry 5 could not be an exception. So almost all our activities in the game are in this line, there are no big surprises in this area, so the orders (main or secondary) will be for you stimulating or not as you empathize with the situation. Where there is no doubt is how much fun it is to make them, and that the Montreal studio continues to play a game that is a hallmark of the series and, to be honest, nobody does as well as they do.
I am talking about merging the mechanics of a first-person shooter with the basics of the sandbox. And not only because we can go from one point to another of that open world to do things in the order we want, but also because every place we go is a mini sandbox in itself and that still seems, simply, great. I will explain. Of all the things that the Far Cry 5 map proposes, you want to free the sawmill, okay? Well, this is a complex of buildings that we can assault as we wish.
A good look at your surroundings
That means that there is the option of entering the open chest and getting involved with everything that moves or studying the situation with our binoculars and drawing a plan from a distance and then executing it (with more or less success) or, to put it a third example, that is in our hand to approach the area with a helicopter and turn the scene into a phenomenal shower of lead to provoke a spectacular massacre from the heavens.
I am giving you three very obvious and very drastic examples, but there are infinite examples of epic combat scenes. In the end, everything depends on how ingenious you are. Your battle against Joseph Seed will be as fun and varied or conventional and boring as you are, the video game simply gives you the tools so you can decide what will happen.
It is best to combine roads. If you like stealth it seems very good, but in the end, it is not a specialized title in these arts, and it obviously falls short if you compare it with references of the genre such as the Splinter Cell saga, to mention a single example related to Ubisoft. The key is to mix everything. To me, to tell you my personal experience, I am very amused to study an enemy complex, to draw a plan, to start with a certain subtlety and, if things go awry shot everything on sight.
In fact, the game works better as a shooter because its shooting mechanics and the feeling of opening fire against enemies are very successful, and because there is a huge variety of options in our arsenal. Also, I love that we continue to evolve in introducing in the equation the nine assistants that we can take with us in pairs. In
Far Cry: Primal we began to flirt in a very positive way with it, allowing us to tame creatures which accompanied us, but here they not only have a very specific personality and abilities, but they are much more useful and their presence a constant support that we are going to thank for each type of action we want to do. Pity, that their AI and comportment are also somewhat bugged, but more on that later.
Ubisoft continues to get rid of certain tics in recent times that had their worlds open, and that was strongly entrenched in some of their brands. There are many elements that were quite superfluous and that the French company has succeeded in filming. To give an example, the towers of the Far Cry were something like the watchtowers of the Assassin’s Creed saga and mechanized the search for the next step to take. The fifth episode follows the wake of Assassin’s Creed Origins in terms of not taking us from one hand to another, and although it is not a Zelda: Breath of the Wild in the sense of being absolutely free of indications, it does force us to “find our lives” to find missions or objectives. Something that comes in handy to encourage exploration and that is a growing line in open-world games that I like.
Creating the Versatile Soldier
The need to be suitable for the most varied tasks in the title is something that forces us to mutate at all times and is one of the things that I am most amused by Far Cry 5. You never know exactly what kind of entertainment you are going to find it below, and situations always arise in which there is no one way to solve things. Even so, the program wants us to have a certain specialization, and for that, it puts at our disposal all the mechanisms that can be imagined in a work of these characteristics to personalize ourselves.
There is, for example, a tool to edit the protagonist cosmetically. Moreover, the options are limited regarding the physical aspect of it beyond their sex and a small handful of predetermined faces, and quite more generous regarding accessories, clothing or hairstyles. However, after all, in an FPS, this is of relative importance, since we do not see ourselves. What is more relevant is to define our range of skills among the many possibilities offered by Far Cry 5. The scheme is simple: as we carry out missions, we get to experience and skill points, and then we allocate them to different disciplines that range from classic ones such as improving resistance or our ability with weapons, to others how to increase the capacity of ammunition that we can carry or unlock accessories such as the hook for climbing.
The arsenal also offers great possibilities in this field. The modern setting allows a greater variety than, for example, in Primal, which was much more limited. There is a great selection of weapons of all kinds, with everything we can expect from a shooter of these characteristics and, also, we also have authentic classics such as the bow or the flamethrower. The good thing is that, also, they include great possibilities of the cosmetic edition, with which we can define their colors and vinyl, as well as incorporate infinity of accessories to improve their performance.
Nothing to worry about microtransactions, by the way, you can get all the tools without paying a cent, playing, and most of the items that can be paid with real money are purely aesthetic … with the little relevant that is that in an FPS, On the other hand, the response of the weapons has always been fantastic in the IP in full, but even this time I observe elements such as some stops and more emphasis on the recoil that seem inherited from recent incursions in action as the Rainbow Six Siege .
It does not try to be as serious in the provision of weapons as the last R6, of course, but I appreciate that effort to achieve something a little more realistic … Inside the madness that is the campaign. It is a pity that artificial intelligence has that tendency to slip away that takes us from one fantasy to the next, and that it can not be fought with any of the three levels of difficulty.
So everything you can expect from a game of the series is here and also seasoned with some fantastic additions such as airplanes or the possibility of ending the campaign in cooperative with a friend. Share even with Far Cry 4 that detail and so iconic of the brand to allow us to finish the campaign in less than ten minutes as a nod. However, the great novelty lies in a Far Cry Arcade that we told you its main novelties a few weeks ago, and that is the craziest and carefree part of the whole. It has all the good of the campaign regarding how careful the shootings are and allows the fans to dictate the rules of the game with their fantastic editor.
What I have seen so far shows enormous potential, with some maps and situations that have already created the first professionals in the sector. However, you can not assess their actual scope until a few months pass and we begin to find the fruits of the real talents of the community. The tools at your disposal, of course, have seemed unbeatable.
The Door of Eden – Graphics and Sound
The Far Cry series has always been characterized as a great exponent in visual terms. Since it is in the hands of Ubisoft, we have seen its video games through two generations, and they have always been productions of very careful aesthetics and very interesting technological bill. Far Cry 5 achieves great results at all levels and is the most advanced game of the series … Something logical considering the year we are in and the features offered by such powerful machines as PS4 Pro or especially in an Xbox One X where it looks particularly good as you could see in the live show of Far Cry 5 that we carried out a few days ago.
Artistically it is also a very beautiful work, a title that makes good use of what it has and that shines, especially when it is unleashed. The religious imagery of the La Puerta del Eden sect is very powerful and disturbing, and all the important characters that are part of its organization chart have a very characteristic aspect. Special mention for daydreams and dream moments, another element that seems non-negotiable in a Far Cry and that here leave brilliant sequences.
What’s more to cry about
Still, I do not like so much the recycled and interchangeable aspect of the enemy soldiers, without too much variety in the models and with a tendency to repetition. Also, I think lazy concepts such as the angels, enemies affected by the use of the drug Bliss, which, directly, look like zombies.
Also, there are unfortunately tons of bugs in the game, and those include (main) quest bugs as well, not only NPCs acting weirdly. It is a shame since with another two months of work the game could have been a true winner (9/10 in my book) not “only” an excellent (8/10) game.
The choice of scenarios makes the result especially colorful, and it is very beautiful those wild vegetation dotted with small towns, old and chipped factories and the disturbing churches of the cult that we have to destroy. When all those places are mixed with the incredible effects of shots and explosions, and we shake the cocktail with a few drops of that fire that expands and that has been the saga of the saga since the second episode … The result is spectacular and the experience, as if that were not enough, it is fluid.
As for the audio, the game again demonstrates the emphasis that Ubisoft puts on this facet. The soundtrack works on many levels. First of all, because the music of Dan Romer has several layers, and all of them are brilliant. On the one hand, there is a score proper of fantastic quality. On the other hand, there is a selection of songs typical of the style of what we might expect to hear in that region and some reminiscent of religious choirs that are as beautiful as they are disturbing. Fantastic. Also, there are also a handful of licensed songs for vehicle radio stations. The mix is fantastic and tells us about the good work of a video game that has put all the meat on the spit. Further? Super audio effects and a complete dubbing to our language of an extraordinary level.
A “Far Cry” in gaming?
Far Cry 5 is a very good example of what the shooter saga wants to achieve and, surely, also of where it wants to go. The new video game of the series becomes strong in all the elements that characterize the brand and, although it does not risk too much in its ideas, it achieves a very good result. Many hours of entertainment, lots of fun and, above all, the most spectacular and explosive action you can find right now. Shame about the rather annoying bugs (especially in co-op mode), which brings down this otherwise excellent title.
+ The great variety of things to do in your world
+ The FPS action and the control of vehicles and weapons are very fun
+ The magnetism and the charisma of the villains
– Moments in which artificial intelligence is not up to par
– Something new had not hurt him
– Tons of bugs!
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Genre: FPS, open world
Release date: March 26, 2018