The Far Cry games stumbled upon a formula that worked really well; it took three games to get there, but Ubisoft truly struck gold when Far Cry 3 released. Ever since then, they have been chasing the shadow of this game and at the same time trying to create something new to avoid comparison and criticism. With the series set in the West for the first time, does Far Cry 5 recapture the old formula or break the existing formula?
Far Cry 5 is set in Hope County, Montana, a fictional location. You are known simply as the ‘Deputy’ and you are sent in with the Sheriff and a US Marshal to capture Joseph Seed, a cult leader who has been stirring up violence and an uprising. The opening scene is pretty intense, you helicopter into the hornet’s nest and are soon attacked by his faithful followers. The game does well to inspire the feelings of dread, fear and helplessness quite early on. After fleeing from your captors, the world around you feels very alien, and again Far Cry 5 conveys this well by avoiding giving you objective markers to guide you from the outset.
Cleverly, the game starts you off quite slowly and gives you a ‘mini island’ to get your bearings and get to grips with the control scheme. You will learn almost everything you need to know in this location, which can be cleared in an hour or so. Immediately after this, you realise that the map is huge, and that it is split into three areas, each one of which is governed by a sibling of Joseph Seed and each one twisted in a different way. You have the option to take on any of them in whatever order you like, but the game directs you towards John Seed first.
If you boil it down to its basic components, you are effectively doing tasks to increase your resistance points in order to face the ‘final boss’, and unfortunately this is what the game feels like. Some of the side missions you play are quite entertaining and mix the gameplay up drastically, from flying planes to driving a car and doing stunts.