Earlier last week, I got the chance to sit down with Far Cry 5 to check out how the game is coming along. I have a pretty basic history with the Far Cry series; the only one of the games that I’ve finished is Far Cry 3, though I’ve dabbled in Far Cry 2 and I wasn’t able to get into Far Cry 4 as much as I had hoped. So going into the fifth game, I was a little bit skeptical that I might not find it as exciting as the third — which, in my mind and many others within the gaming community, is regarded as the pinnacle of the series.
Luckily, as time went on during my demo, I was able to find lots of surprises in Far Cry 5. You’d think in an area like Montana, there wouldn’t necessarily be too much to do. However, the development team has made sure that the environment is exciting, interactive, and striking — easily in combat with more tropical or foreign areas of past games. Far Cry 5‘s characters, activities, and world should make fans of the long-running series feel right at home; meanwhile, if you weren’t necessarily into Far Cry 4, this game will be a breath of fresh air offering something a little different.
PS4 Pro, Xbox One X, and PC users have a lot to look forward to in Far Cry 5. The title is the most beautiful game in the series to date, boasting beautiful wide open fields, lush forests, rivers, hideouts, towns, and more. Exploring the area of Hope County is fun in and of itself and, in typical Far Cry fashion, players can get lost in the game’s world as they see fit.
Like past games in the series, Far Cry 5 doesn’t keep you on a leash — something I’ve always appreciated about the games. They’re open-ended and allow you to tackle them in whatever ways you can think of. The best part about that is the fact that everything you do has some sort of influence on the world. Whether you’re taking on missions, clearing bases, finding weapons, vehicles, etc., everything contributes to the bigger picture — your war against Far Cry 5’s antagonist, The Father.
But who is The Father? He’s a zealous character like past villains in the franchise, and I’m very interested to see if he can even hold a torch to Vaas — arguably one of the best villains in a series with noteworthy villains. While my time dealing with The Father in the demo wasn’t too long, his motivations have me very curious to find out more about him and his cult of followers. You’ll need the people of Hope County to help you against his seemingly endless minions. You’ll be able to find allies virtually everywhere, and you can hire guns for hire at just about any town or fortress, so don’t expect to take on Far Cry 5 alone if you don’t want to.
Speaking of which, like Far Cry 4 the game will include cooperative play online. This is easily one of the best features in Far Cry 5 as there are just some incredible experiences to be had with a friend in the game. I got about half an hour to sit down with the co-op, and in that time I only got to experience two missions — but the experience was so good that I’m itching to get my hands on more.
The mission I played revolved around my partner and I stopping an armored truck with a mounted machine gun on the back. As we chased down the armored vehicle we noticed a tinier truck sitting on the side of the road with another mounted machine gun and, of course, we took it without hesitation. Suddenly, the mission had gotten a lot more interesting as we felt we had gained some foothold on our enemies, but we were so wrong.
Something I found to be incredibly rewarding is how much the game challenges you at times. It’s not always easy, and enemies can do a considerable amount of damage to you if you’re not careful; we learned that the hard way. As we pulled up behind the armored truck, he began shooting at me (the driver) instead of our gunner. This made it a lot harder to keep up with the truck and ultimately resulted in us failing the mission. It was a hell of a lot of fun, and even in the demo build’s AI seemed pretty unpredictable in a good way. I’m eager to get my hands on more cooperative gameplay in the future when the game finally releases.
This same intensity carries over into the single-player as well. There was one instance I can recall where I was driving away from some enemies when I went off-road and hit a big bear with my ATV. It’s moments like these that stopped me in my tracks and really made me appreciate how much the development team has put into making players feel like they’re having a unique experience that’s finely tuned to how they play Far Cry 5. That framing is something that gets me very excited to see where the game will take players, as well as the new areas we’ll get to explore and how they’ll be different from the starting map. Far Cry 5 has the biggest map for players to explore in the series to date. In other words, you’ll never run out of things to do or find in Hope County.
Also, like other titles in the series, Far Cry 5 has a slew of outposts you can liberate from The Father’s forces. These are the most familiar encounters I experienced, since liberating outposts has been a staple of the games for a long time. While it’s essentially the same concept, go in guns blazing or take a stealthy approach and disable all of the sirens, it’s still as fun and open-ended as returning players will expect. It took me a bit to get the hang of playing a more stealthy approach, but once I figured it out I felt like an unadulterated badass.
While you can go around and experience those freeform moments that you can only get in Far Cry. There’s also a slew of characters and missions for you to experience if you want. The first mission I played ended with a stampede of cows that were on fire coming right at me. That was only one mission. There were at least five to eight missions I could’ve played in my demo, and who knows how much more there’ll be when the game launches. It’s experiences like these that really set the franchise apart from other action-oriented titles.
If you’ve been skeptical that the Far Cry series might be losing some steam, push those concerns aside: Far Cry 5 is the most innovative title in the franchise from what I’ve experienced so far. It’s a highly dynamic sandbox and playing the series again after such a long hiatus felt like I was going into something unique and refreshing. If you’re a fan of Far Cry or action-heavy titles in general, definitely be sure to keep Far Cry 5 on your radar going into 2018.
Far Cry 5 will be available on March 27, 2018, for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.