Far Cry 5: A Worrying Downhill Cartwheel

Oh Boy Another Ubisoft Game!

I’ll admit i like FarCry. It doesn’t break any records, but it does enough well that it’s a series i can enjoy while relaxing or listening to podcasts and stuff. Of course it also has alot of strengths such as beautiful art direction, engaging villains, and multifaceted gameplay. But I’ve been noticing a worrying trend in the series that has begun to develop. Full disclosure, i’ve played all the games, and beaten FarCry 3, 4, and 5 twice each. 5 is easily the worst of the bunch, which pains me to admit honestly. Far Cry had bad games in the past like the terrible Far Cry Primal and Far Cry New Dawn. But when it comes to main games they’ve always been great. Far Cry 5 is the exception to this, as it doesn’t not hold up nearly as well as its other titles. 5 is the equivalent to a perfectly good plane driven by terrible pilots who pass around a bottle of vodka mid flight and forgot to put the landing gear down.

Pro: Gameplay Styles

Far Cry’s biggest strengths have always been its flexible approaches to different gameplay possibilities, and thats certainly true here as well. The game allows for equal opportunity of playstyles such as close range combat, long distance marksmanship, stealth, and melee kills. Its pretty standard fare really, go to outposts/ bases, kill everyone inside, rinse and repeat. You’ve played this before, i’ve played this before, so what does this game do to try and be interesting?

Well, there are a few wrinkles to the fold this time. You get an assortment of new vehicles to play with, from a giant semi truck with guns bolted on, to vintage ww2 fighter planes that you can shoot rockets from and drop bombs. These provide a fun alternate way to play, although i rarely found enemy pilots while flying so it was hard to dogfight. The biggest gameplay change is that of the new ally system, where you can call up specialist NPC’s to give you support during a firefight. While i’m not usually a fan of these types of systems, it works well here because it feels less like an essential ingredient to the game, and more of a type of seasoning, that can change the game based on the way you want to play, ranging from long range snipers, to an attack plane with a gatling gun on it. Overall, when it comes to raw gunplay and combat, the systems in the game work well, and never bogs itself down with any unnecessary gimmicks or pointless gameplay elements.

Cons: Removal of Unique mechanics

While the above points recieve alot of praise from me, Far Cry 5 consistently takes two steps forward, one step back. NPC allies and customizable vehicles are welcome, but seem to come at the removal of iconic features. For example, the famous first aid system, where you could heal a portion of health at anytime by pressing a button and having to sit through a few second long healing animation, or buy a syringe that would allow you to do it in half a seconds is gone. It has been replaced by a traditional healing system: use a first aid kit or sit on your ass and wait for it to regenerate. The regeneration is painfully long, to the point it kills the pacing of a potentially fun firefight, . This makes each fight longer than a few minutes seem agonizingly slow up until the last parts of the game.

The hunting system, where you could craft holsters, ammo pouches and other gear?: Axed, now everything is relegated to a boring, watered down skill tree that takes forever to find points for, with the animal skins used solely to grind for money.

While an outsider may point to this as a non issue, I would disagree. These mechanics are what made Far Cry so successful. It gave you the feeling of scrounging whatever you could to fight an overwhelming dictatorship. When you gutted the black bears and rhinos in 4 it felt as if you were trying to claw your way into a powerful guerilla fight. Without it, it’s honestly just a pretty generic open world game. There is one feature i am glad they removed , as it was pretty much infesting every open world game for the past half decade: the radio towers. No more climbing samey boring structures to reveal small pin pricks of a map over and over again. That alone is worth a game of the year award right there.

Mixed: Strong Characters, but Weak Protaganist

The characters in Far Cry have always been close to legendary, particularly the villians. It started out with the Jackal in Far Cry 2, then moved onto the iconic Vaas and Pagan Minn, from Far Cry 3 and 4 respectively.

5 is no exception as the main character, The Father, is an intimidating villian. Head of the cult that infests Hope County, Project of Edens Gate, he demonstrates his insane fervor through killing and kidnapping anyone who gets in his way.He creeps me out in the same way Kenneth Copeland does, though i’d much rather join Eden’s Gate.

However, the rest of the cast is strong as well which, for a game with easily more than a dozen characters, really says alot about the writing. None are really unique besides the Father, but there are strong character motivations in even the more minor characters. My favorite ended up being Nick Rye who, despite being scared shitless by The Father, ends up staying behind to fight the cult. Its moments like these that make the characters stand out and become relatable.

There is an exception to this rule though: The Deputy. Your own character has no voice, no internal thoughts, no character at all. It stands to be a remarkably stupid decision, as having characters talk at you, rather than with you stonewalls the dialogue unless other characters are involved, which is rare. Every time it’s just the deputy vs some character, the dialogue gets increasingly repetitive. Overall, strong relatable characters minus a terrible lead. Shame about the artstyle though.

Con: Lazy, Generic Artstyle and Look

I felt the smallest amount of effort went into the art style of the game, as its very clear they’re just copying and pasting used assets over and over again. The graphics themselves are nice, with lots of contrasting colors, but it never feels as if they’re not stealing stuff from Far Cry 4. The most obvious are in the NPC’s themselves, with lifeless, emotionless expressions, as theye flap their gums at you for several minutes anytime you want to talk to them. They all have the same fashion sense too, which is odd. Every NPC civilian dresses up in mesh trucker hats, wifebeaters, flannels, and of course cowboy boots, With American flags slapped on to everything, of course. For those of you outside of America, thats not what people here look like. Thats what pompous British tabloid writers think Americans look like. It’s even worse for the enemies. I guess the cult loved Jesus so much they decided to all look exactly like Him, with every male in the game having long flowing dark hair, beards, and dressed in pure white clothing, which would be totally perfect from tramping through grass and hiding in forests. This serves to make them stick out like sore thumbs and probably costing the cult a small fortune in Tide pods. Style choices like these make alot of the game seem cheesy and ridiculous. While past far Cry games had added bits of humor to it, this game uses it to such an extent that you don’t take anything seriously.

Conclusion

If you have a bit of time to kill and it’s on sale, I’d say give er a go. But if your’e expecting it to stand up to 3, You’ll be severely disappointed. Still, it does have its moments of fun, and hopefully 6 takes influence from it and develops into a proper Far Cry sequel. Fortunately, it passed the lowest hurdle, and is better than Far Cry Primal. Hopefully Ubisoft doesn’t pull a.. well.. Ubisoft and screw the series up any further.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: