I should preface this editorial by saying I love Far Cry. The series pulled me in with its third installment and since then I have gone and played almost every game in the franchise, besides Primal (I know, I know, but I haven’t had the time). Almost everything about the series is great: unique characters, great world, fun gameplay, and a decent story. However, there is one thing that’s starting to get a bit stale after so many installments: its formula.
Every Far Cry game follows the same similar formula: some type of foreigner comes to a sort of mystical location, where he joins a civil war. While this formula does work, and has worked in the game’s last two “main” games, it was time to spice things up a bit, and in my opinion Far Cry 5 looks to be doing just that.
One of the most glaring and obvious differences is the change of setting. Gone is the “foreign land” trope; instead we are given the United States to explore. This is one of Far Cry 5’s most promising features. You’re not going to the savannas of Africa, or the jungle of the Rook Islands, or to the mountains of Kyrat; you are exploring the rich landscape of Hope County, Montana. As mentioned in our preview, the whole point of Far Cry is to make you, the player, feel uncomfortable, and what better way to make you uncomfortable than by having you kill fellow citizens.
You see, Far Cry 5 will be able to appeal to two different types of people. Because of its change in setting, the title will appeal to those like myself who felt that the foreigner trope was getting a bit old; at the same time, those who enjoy the foreigner formula still get with they want with the introduction of Joseph Seed – or “The Father” – and his cult that’s spreading throughout Hope County. In my opinion, it’s nice to see a change in the formula, albeit a very small one.
While I’m glad to see that Ubisoft is changing it up a bit, there’s one thing I would have wanted them to alter even further. In previous entries, the protagonist will align himself with a group of resistance fighters, who have been fighting the opposition for a certain amount of time. While it probably won’t happen, I wish there will be some sort of feeling of isolation in this game.
This may be a controversial opinion, but after so many games where I team up with a faction, I feel like this game – with its new setting – would have been the perfect opportunity to break from that formula. I want to feel like it’s me against the cult. I want to feel as if little to no one is there to help me on my journey. However, I can understand why Ubisoft didn’t do this, as this could seem unappealing to some. As our preview reveals, the player will be helped by resistance fighters during the course of the game: my only hope is that these fighters will be used sparingly throughout my time in Hope County.
So what do I hope to see from Far Cry 5 in the future? Well, to put it bluntly, more Far Cry. Even though the whole point of this editorial was to emphasize the series’ break from the formula, the franchise does have some incredible strengths that are still worth it capitalizing on.
I hope there will be an engaging story with twists and character arcs. I hope I will still be able to go activate radio tower. I hope I can go and take over the militias compounds. I hope I can meet a myriad of different creatures along my journey. I hope that I’ll be able to drive an ATV off a cliff, hop off, and proceed to parachute into an enemy base. And I hope I’ll be able to wipe that smug smile off of Joseph Seed’s face. All of these things are what makes the series unique, and I personally can’t wait to see more of Far Cry 5 from Ubisoft at E3 2017.