Following an open-world game like Assassin’s Creed: Origins, Far Cry 5 just shows you that Ubisoft has figured out open-world games. With all the hype around Far Cry 5 – it is afterall, one of the most anticipated games of 2018 – we were really hoping for an experience much like Far Cry 3. However, we were left disappointed, but also ended up having a lot of fun. To find out how disappointment and fun ended up in the same sentence, read on!
When you first start Far Cry 5 you’re greeting with an amazing intro, where you’re introduced to Joseph Seed and the Seed family. This immediately sets the mood for what is to come and leaves you the player, wanting to learn more about how all this came to be. How did this cult start, how did Joseph Seed become “The Father” to this cult, why are the “Peggies” (basically a shorthand name for the Project and Eden’s Gate cult members) doing what they’re doing and so on.
Unfortunately, you don’t get much of that. Throughout the game we hear about this charismatic and benevolent “Father” but we see no sign of him. By him here we mean the charismatic or benevolent Joseph Seed. All we do see, is mangled and tortured corpses in his wake. Now if you were to take Far Cry 3’s Vaas as an example, he pretty much sets the standard for what you would or should expect from a Far Cry villain. Joseph Seed on the other hand, just leaves you wondering what could have been and doesn’t leave an impression quite like Vaas, or even Pagan Min did in Far Cry 4.
Moving on, this is the first Far Cry game where you can choose between a male or female protagonist. Which is great. It doesn’t affect your gameplay in any way other than cosmetic customization. You take on the role of deputy sheriff of Hope County Montana (the fictional location where the game is set) and you want to stop the Seed family from taking over the region. That’s it. That’s all you know about yourself. Again, there’s no backstory or anything.
In order to get to Joseph, you need to defeat his siblings first, each of whom control a portion of the map. You lure them out by filling up a “resistance meter”. Filling up about a third of the meter in a sibling’s area of the map results in a story sequence. Here you learn a little more about each of the siblings and what drives them, but like Joseph, they’re all lacklustre, save maybe Jacob, the oldest sibling.
The setting is great and all, but the story is weak. Bliss-addled cultists taking over a fictional place in Montana is all well and good, but there are several disconnects. We never learn why exactly they’ve gone to such great lengths to horde up weapons and ammunition and what they’re protecting them from. We just know that something is coming, and apparently it was us because if you’ve managed to get the secret ending, nothing ends up happening.
We simply don’t know why the cult even exists in the first place. They’re just there, murdering, kidnapping, and taking what they want for no reason whatsoever, but bohoo look at us whining about the lack of logic in a video game.
This is where Far Cry 5 shines. For the most part, the formula is still the same, with a few tweaks here and there. When you play Far Cry 5, you will definitely feel like you’re playing a Far Cry game.
Far Cry 5’s world is pretty huge, larger than any Far Cry yet. The moment you’re done with the introduction, which basically introduces you to the game and what you’ll be doing to help the resistance, the entirety of the world opens up to you, and you’re free to go wherever you please.
They’ve got rid of the mini-map in Far Cry 5, which helps improve the overall immersion of the game. But don’t worry, you can still bring up the map and mark locations which brings up a marker on your screen. So you won’t be completely lost. You have an Elder Scrolls style compass at the top of the screen which shows you the general direction of enemies and map labels/markers.
The chaos that comes with a Far Cry game is alive and well with Far Cry 5. The game offers you a truly open-world experience, and all of the randomness that comes with it. Be it rescuing hostages, or destroying Peggy property, or capturing bases, there isn’t a moment where you’ll feel like there’s nothing to do. The best part is doing all of the above fills up your resistance meter, albeit slowly, so that’s basically the game giving you a free pass to do as you please while STILL making progress on the main questline without actually doing main quests. However, the fastest way to progress the meter is still by doing the main quests.
But that’s not all, in addition to all the violence, you can kick back and relax with some other activities, such as fishing, skydiving, swimming, hiking, hunting etc. That is, unless you’re mauled by a wild bear or wolverine while you’re at it. Or even worse… a turkey! While these activities don’t fill up your resistance meter – it would weird if they did, “fear my fishing skills Peggy!” – they award you with perk points, which you’ll need to acquire skills.
Hired gun system
Like in Primal, you can now recruit animals as well, from a total of nine major characters you can recruit in the game to accompany you. This is in addition to randomly generated characters that pop up around bases you capture and around the map. However, they’re comparatively weaker and less useful. Each of the major characters have their own little series of quests you need to do in order to gain access to them.
They’re great for watching your back, and reviving you when you’re down. They can take out enemies you’ve marked and are overall really good at following orders. They don’t even (at least for us they didn’t) mess up when you’re trying to be stealthy. You’re initially locked to just one companion slot but you can unlock a second companion slot with perk points.
While playing Far Cry 5 you might come across Prepper Stashes, either by accidentally stumbling upon them, or by someone who points you towards them after you save or “liberate” them. These stashes have quite a bit of loot in them but there’s always a puzzle of sorts that needs to be solved in order to get to them. They can be quite fun to complete and offer a break from the chaotic violence in the rest of the game, if you were looking for one that is.
Player progression is now determined by perk points, which are unlocked by completing basic challenges set by the game. These could be anything from getting a set number of kills with a certain weapon, or related to any of the activities we mentioned above. You will need these in order to acquire skills and, well, perks, such as increasing your ammo capacity and unlocking extra weapon slots etc.
In Far Cry 5, while you can hunt, you won’t be needing the animal parts to craft anything. Instead, you sell the skins for in-game currency. Weapon upgrades are straight up purchased at the shop and not crafted, so it’s a bit straightforward there as compared to previous titles. You can however craft explosives, and the process for doing so is quite easy. When opening the weapon selection menu, you can access a sub menu for slots which have multiple weapons in them. This is usually the case for throwing weapons. Here, you can simply scroll to the weapon you want to equip, or in this case, craft, and if you have the materials, hold the designated button to craft them. As easy as that.
We decided to bring out our old copy of Far Cry 2, because why not, and thought, “hey, wouldn’t it be fun to compare the two”. Wait wait, hear us out, we know you’re wondering why would you compare Far Cry 5 with its 10 year old predecessor. We’ll tell you, for one thing, in terms of graphics, Far Cry 2 still holds its own. We were kinda surprised at how good it still looked.
The one thing that immediately stood out was the fact that Far Cry 2 was clearly not as story driven as the games that followed, however, that meant that more focus was put into gameplay and the environment. And it shows. We were surprised to see some of the mechanics in Far Cry 2 that weren’t implemented into Far Cry 5. Considering that both Far Cry 2 and Far Cry 5 are made in the Dunia engine, you’d expect that Far Cry 5 would have the same mechanics. We’re not really bashing on Far Cry 5 here, we get that it’s a story driven experience now but they’ve done it before, what’s stopping them from continuing?
What we’re talking about is subtle things, things one wouldn’t notice if they didn’t really pay close attention. Admittedly, you probably wouldn’t even notice these differences if you didn’t play Far Cry 2 right before Far Cry 5. The way foliage reacts, the way fire works, even the movement of the clouds, it somehow felt like Far Cry 5 was a step down from Far Cry 2 in these matters. But that’s not all, how the AI acts, weapon mechanics, explosions, obstacles in the environment, it feels like everything was a downgrade from Far Cry 2. To see exactly what we’re talking about, check out the video below.
Graphics and Audio
Far Cry 5 is a nice looking game. As a bonus, it runs well on older PCs without too much compromise as well, which is great. We did experience quite a few crashes though, but a driver update later we were having a much better time. We also tried the game on an older GTX 680, which by no means is a weak card but it’s almost 6 years old now, and the game worked quite well with all settings on high, even ultra for that matter. The game very rarely dipped below the 30fps mark. Which is bearable, especially if you consider that the console version is locked to 30 fps at 4K. However, we did experience frame drops when things got too chaotic and had to drop a few settings to maintain an average of about 40fps. It was smooth going after that.
We also played the game on a GTX 980Ti, a GTX 1070Ti, an AMD RX460 and an RX470. Here’s an FPS comparison between each of the cards. The game is seemingly better optimised for AMD cards but we should point out that we didn’t really have any major issues while playing on any of the Nvidia cards.
The game ran great on the 980Ti and was even performing better than the 1070Ti, that was, until we updated to the latest Nvidia drivers which were optimised for Far Cry 5 on the system with the 1070Ti. We’ll link to the latest drivers for both Nvidia and AMD at the end of this section. The 980Ti was on a system using an Intel 6700k while the 1070Ti was using a Ryzen 7 1800x.
Post the driver update, we saw a massive boost in fps on the 1070Ti, and it was smooth sailing from that point onward.
The game is clearly better optimised for AMD cards, even on ultra settings, the game didn’t drop below the 30 (29) fps mark on the RX460. That’s great considering the price range the card sits in.
One look at the fps on the RX470 and you know the game is optimised for AMD cards.
The game’s set in a different setting from previous Far Cry games, so a change of setting is always nice. Montana is filled with fields, and pine trees and hilly regions and flowing streams. All of it looked pretty good on our systems. Even when we took to the skies on a chopper or plane the surroundings still looked good. Mind you, there are open world games that look much better but Far Cry 5 looks good without overheating your system into a pile of ashes.
In the sound department, the voice-acting is quite alright, as much as you’d expect from a AAA game. We did enjoy the music though. Maybe we were just country music fans and didn’t realise it until now? One of us was especially enraptured by the version of “Amazing Grace” that played during the game’s intro.
There are a lot of customisation options for your character and even your weapons with several skins and outfits to choose from. However, in order to access them you need to have access to the internet. This is true for anytime you visit a shop in the game, it can take a while to load up depending on your internet connection. While you initially don’t have a large selection to choose from, you eventually begin to unlock more. We know it’s not for everyone, but it’s nice that it’s there.
Online and Co-op
The entirety of Far Cry 5 can be played co-op with a friend. Just one person playing is quite chaotic, but two people?! That’s double the chaos, and possibly, double the fun!
We played quite a bit of co-op and it was actually a blast. Both parties get to experience the story. Sure there’s some break in immersion at times because you’re being addressed as a single person during story sequences, but other than that, we didn’t come across any problems. And having a second player along with you is definitely better than an AI, however, you can still call upon your AI recruits and have them assist as they would in a normal single-player playthrough. Another thing to note is that only the host player gets credit for completing missions, so one of you would have to do them all over again anyway, which is kind of a bummer. However, both players get to keep all the earnings and perks they acquire during the playthrough.
Far Cry Arcade
Far Cry’s new in-game editor which allows players to design their own levels and missions. it’s quite genius really. How do you increase the lifespan of a game? User-generated content! And honestly, there are already some amazing levels that have been made. Someone even recreated the legendary De_Dust2 in Arcade. Arcade is still in its early stages though, and there’s not much to do as of yet. However, we see a lot of potential here.
Far Cry 5: Verdict
|Tested on: PC
Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Price: PC: 3,499, PS4 and Xbox One: Rs 3,999
Far Cry 5 is another great open-world game from Ubisoft in the wake of Assassin’s Creed: Origins, but that’s about it. It’s a great open world game. In terms of story it leaves you unsatisfied. It only gives you the impression of having depth. Joseph Seed could have been so much more but he simply doesn’t hold a candle up to someone like Vaas. We’d really liked to have seen more from the story. But despite that, the game is a lot of fun with plenty to do and will definitely keep you entertained as far as Far Cry games go. We’ve also done a Xbox One review of the game which you can check out here.