sun 20/10/2019

Far Cry 5 review – forget the story and just go with the flow | reviews, news & interviews

Far Cry 5 review – forget the story and just go with the flow

Far Cry 5 review – forget the story and just go with the flow

God, guns and the great outdoors

All in favour of the right to bear arms?

Civilisation is under threat from a bunch of religious rednecks, and it’s your job as the new Deputy Sheriff of fictional Hope County to right the wrongs of a year-long silent coup initiated by Eden’s Gate, a fanatical doomsday cult, intent on purging sinners and imposing their law on the land. There's a Brexit gag in there somewhere.

Set in America, a first for the franchise, Far Cry 5 serves up more of the same freedom to explore a massive open world. It’s a beautifully detailed environment filled with pine forests, mountain ranges, shimmering lakes, rickety old towns and winding roads. A noticeable departure from the Himalayan backdrop of FC 4 and the tropical setting of FC 3. But beneath the picture-postcard scenery lies a scared and vulnerable local populace that must be shaped into a fighting resistance force.

Far Cry 5 is a first person shooter with freedom of choice. Gunplay is still the main meat on the bone, along with crafting items and looting treasure, but it’s the spontaneous stuff that happens – such as being attacked by a bear while quietly fishing, or stumbling across a bad guy being pounced on by a wolverine, that makes you feel like you’re playing through an a unpredictable environment where anything could happen. Players can work through the story any way they want, including recruiting Guns for Hire, Fangs for Hire (taming wild animals to do your bidding – first seen in Far Cry  Primal), and a Friend for Hire, which allows players to play the entire game in co-op, is a rare first for the series. And it’s the "rare first" where Far Cry 5 becomes a little too familiar.

The game largely feels like a fifth instalment rather than breaking much in the way of new ground. This is nothing new in the world of long running franchises, but while the action always remains fairly similar it’s the quality of the story that drives the incentive to play. And this is where Far Cry 5 goes off the rails.

Far Cry 5

The plot is weak and the antagonist – a previous highlight in Far Cry 3 and 4 – lacks any of the charisma of previous villains. When combined with a narrative that jars sinister horror with awkward comedic moments and overlayed with the clumsy message of "aren’t we as bad as the cultists?", you’ve got a story that doesn’t make you want to play through to the climax.

But for most players, the plot is really a secondary concern. The driving, flying, shooting, hunting, crafting, missioning and being a general badass is more than enough incentive to play through the game. When coupled with some robust multiplayer modes and the innovative Far Cry Arcade, a versatile map editor mode where you can create scenarios using characters from other games including Assassin’s Creed, there's enough good stuff to play through.

So we’re left with a good, but not great game – filled with enough entertaining moments to keep fans of open world shooters happy, but scant regard for those that want meaning to the mayhem. Far Cry 5 is a solid game but when it's born into a heritage franchise, it's expected to achieve greatness.


Beneath the picture-postcard scenery lies a scared and vulnerable local populace that must be shaped into a fighting resistance force


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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