Review – Far Cry 5

I walk around the woods for about a quarter of a mile until I reach a farm full of maniacal cultists and a tractor. I hop into the tractor, turn the radio on, change to the classic rock station, and proceed to run over a bunch of armed lunatics to the sound of Foghat’s “Slow Ride” while my dog companion collects loot from their corpses. I hop off the tractor, pet my best friend and proceed to the next mission. This is just one of the various enjoyable moments I’ve had so far with Far Cry 5, an excellent return to form for the franchise, and one of the best games of 2018 so far.

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Just another lovely day at the boondocks

Far Cry 5 combines elements that have worked in previous installments while simultaneously correcting issues that have plagued not only other Far Cry games, but Ubi games in general. The gameplay is basically the same from previous games, and most shooters in general. The control scheme is the same you’ll find in a Call of Duty or Battlefield game, with a slightly more senstive aiming reticle and more aiming assist perks. It’s totally fine for what it is. The driving mechanics are still a bit confusing when you try to control your vehicle AND shoot at the same time, but you can also set your destination on the map, put the vehicle on cruise control, and focus completely on the shooting, turning the game into an on-rails shooter of sorts.

Gone are radio towers as well. Ubisoft was self-aware enough to actually make fun of its previous fetish on radio tower climbing at the beginning of the game, mentioning that you’d only climb one tower during your entire playtime. The entire map is fully visible from the start, and if you want to find collectibles and side missions, you need to go out there and explore. The amount of sidequests and items to find is smaller than, say, Far Cry 4 or an older Assassin’s Creed game, but it makes up for that by having content that’s designed better than previous Ubi games. It feels less like filler and more like actual entertainment.

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Who’s a good boy???

The Montana landscape is absolutely gorgeous and more enjoyable to explore than Kyrat in the previous installments (given how Primal‘s map was basically Kyrat with a different coat of paint, never forget). Think of it as a much larger, more varied and more beautiful version of the rural counties present in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Small towns, farms, trucks, tractors, classic rock stations, angry locals, rivers, angry bears, angry badgers, a lot more guns than your average first world settlement, and so on. You’re given a wide variety of cars, boats, quads, helicopters and fully loaded airplanes, as well as a humongous arsenal of weapons, in order to transform that little piece of America into your own chaotic playground.

And that’s where Far Cry 5 absolute shines: sheer chaotic gameplay. The game wants you to go full berserk and raise as much hell as possible in order to irritate the cultist leaders. Destroy silos, hijack or blow up their supply convoys, sabotage their pollution schemes, bombard their settlements, kill their VIP commanders, destroy their air squadrons with your own fighter team, everything here is carefully designed to make you want to cause as much chaos as possible.

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I have the best neighbors

Sure, you can be stealthy and use silenced weapons and bows in order to take down strongholds without alerting your enemies, but given the fact you have access to such a destructive arsenal right from the beginning (you can use a flamethrower, for crying out loud), you can imagine what’s the most entertaining way to wreak havoc in Montana. The game knows its story isn’t the best around, with yet again another case of wasted villain (the hipster priest doesn’t show up as much as he should), focusing on providing great gameplay instead.

Another fantastic addition to the series is the Arcade mode, complete with an incredibly detailed map editor. The editor includes assets not only from Far Cry 5, but from other Far Cry titles and Ubisoft games in general, such as Watch_Dogs and Assassin’s Creed. You can easily recreate the Chicago setting from the first Watch_Dogs with a Mayan temple in the middle of the map, lots of hijackable airplanes and Yetis hanging around. The possibilities are endless, and you can share your creations online, as well as inviting friends to test your creations.

Is Far Cry 5 a perfect game? No, it isn’t. Besides the aforementioned driving controls and a weak storyline (something that has plagued pretty much every game in the franchise besides the third one, to a degree), the character models feature weird facial animations, looking very robotic in comparison to the well-detailed environments. Thankfully, Far Cry 5 features a lot more pros than cons.

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The Arcade Mode is incredibly enjoyable

Ubisoft’s new open world shooter is a true testament to the power of listening to fans and critical feedback, a vast improvement over Far Cry 4 and Far Cry Primal. While the game’s story isn’t exactly brilliant, the sheer amount of hell you can raise, coupled with the addictive arcade mode, are more than enough to guarantee a purchase. Murdering a bunch of lunatics in rural landscapes to the sound of lovely classic rock and country music hasn’t been that good since Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas! Far Cry 5 is one of the best games of the year so far, without a doubt.

Graphics: 9.0

Incredible environments with great lighting effects and constant 30 frames per second. The characters feature awkward facial animations.

Gameplay: 8.5

The typical and fairly responsive control scheme from every other shooter out there, and the same non-ideal vehicular gameplay as always.

Sound: 8.0

The voice acting is functional, not great nor awful. The game’s overall soundtrack is really good, and it also features tons of great licensed songs.

Fun Factor: 9.5

The story isn’t exactly great, but the improved open world gameplay and sheer chaos more than make up for it. The arcade mode is also excellent, with an extremely addictive map creator.

Final Verdict: 9.0

Reviewed on Xbox One.
Also available on: PS4, PC

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