Game Review | Far Cry 5 Review
Type: FPS, Action Adventure
Demo Box: PC
Synopsis: Far Cry comes to America in the latest instalment of the award-winning franchise.
Welcome to Hope County, Montana, land of the free and the brave but also home to a fanatical doomsday cult known as Eden’s Gate. Stand up to cult leader Joseph Seed, and his siblings, the Heralds, to spark the fires of resistance and liberate the besieged community.
Far Cry 5 is the game I’ve been most anticipating this this quarter. I’m a huge fan of the franchise and was happy to sit down and start to play! Did it live up to my high expectations, yes and no. On the one hand this game was everything it promised and more. Yet on the other hand Ubisoft have shot off both their feet in one of the most sickening and despicable actions for a developer to do. Rigging the system in their favour!
Okay, lets deal with the good first, because there is a lot of it; and the game is fundamentally amazing.
The game is running on the same engine and Far Cry 4, the Dunia Engine, and just like in Far Cry 4 it looks amazing. The game delivers some delicious looking scenery as you explore the state. What’s more the characters themselves are, to my eye, better looking than in Far Cry 4. However this time around they dropped the Nvidia features that caused so many issues in the previous game. As a result of this it’s by far the most stable of the franchise.
Running it on maxed settings with upscaled UI the game it is barely using 3gb of my 1080 card, and the game is running smoothly at 100fps with the occasional drop down to the 80’s when the explosions start. Even then the game is smooth and solid, with the loss of frames barely noticeable. So I have to say, huge props to Ubisoft Montreal for making one of the most stable games I’ve ever played!
Settings wise you have a crap load to choose from, and graphically everything under the sun is a setting! This means you’ll be able to get the game to run on anything from a toaster, right up to a super computer!
However sound settings are once again ignored. The woefully lacking sound settings really stand out in this game since, Dutch, your friendly local adviser, likes to keep you up to date on the happenings of the county. However at times his voice is so low as to be almost silent. What’s more the music literally only has one setting, off and on, no volume control. Also no volume control for the car radios, which seemed abnormally loud to me. Most other games at least let you set volumes for SFX, Music, and Master, with more adding Voices as well. Here the only volume control is the master one. This, sadly, is not a new complaint, it was the same with Far Cry 4, and also with Far Cry 3.
Another area they did really well in, to the point of it rivalling Far Cry 3, was the story and characters. Far Cry 3 has Vaas and his insane sister who made the game so good. However once you got past Vaas the next boss was rather lack lustre and actually brought the game to an unsatisfying end.
However here we have the Ubisoft team in great form and giving us a family of Vaas’ with Papa Vaas making the original look sane and sensible! That said, it’s not the same sort of insanity. Vaas was off the wall insane, where as Joseph Seed is a calm, collected, and creepy insane. Of the two I actually think Joseph wins out because you simply don’t know what he’s going to do. Where as with Vaas he was sort of predictable. This makes for a great story and one I’ve been thoroughly enjoying.
The story has been much maligned in the run up to it’s launch, but I actually rather enjoyed the story. People seem to forget that this is a game, thus suspension of disbelief is a prerequisite! Though I have to admit the change from a named protagonist to an unnamed one that you can sort of customise, was an interesting change. For the first time in the franchise you get to build your own character, sort of. While the creator is lame, it is a welcome sight, and I hope we it being expanded in the future games.
The sounds in the game are just as impressive, whether it’s guns, cars or vehicles they all sound great. The various vehicles sound beefy, this is especially true for the Big Rigs and muscle cars. The weapons have great sounds and impact, making them all a joy to run around with.
I especially loved rolling around in a combine harvester shredding people! it sounds sickening and rather satisfying! (Does that maybe make me a sociopath!?).
It’s also worth noting that the music is done really well as well, perhaps a bit to well. I found I couldn’t listen to the cultist radio for to long before it made me decidedly uncomfortable! But I have to admit that this just adds to the feel of the game.
Combat is really satisfying on normal, which is to be expected. I’ve found the combat in 3 and 4 to be equally as satisfying. However I found turning the difficulty up to hard made the cultists bullet sponges. On normal you could sit in a perch and one shot headshot people with a sniper rifle. However once I but turning the difficulty up to hard just made every one a bullet sponge. I had one guy I’d shot 5 times in the head and he was still going! So the hard mode isn’t really a hard mode, just a frustration mode. I also encountered more than a few times where I shot some one with a .50 sniper rifle and they shrugged it off, very unsatisfying!
Another interesting change to the gameplay was the removal of the mini-map, something thats’ been a staple throughout the franchise. Instead it’s replaced with a compass at the top of the screen that is for most points useless. It’s small, easily forgotten, and doesn’t really tell you anything. I’m not really sure how I feel about it’s removal, on the one hand I used the mini-map a lot in the previous games, on the other hand it does make for an interesting change in gameplay, and harder game play; as you can not see oncoming enemies!
With fishing being added, and surprisingly a lot of fun, there’s stuff to do beyond killing and maiming. Though it is a bit odd, to suddenly stop and go fishing, despite being hunted down by a bunch of raving loonies! Yet I did find it fun and satisfying to just chill out for a bit with a mug of tea and catch some fish!
You can also by cars, boats, planes and helicopters now; which I find a little odd. Picking them up on the road always felt more natural to me. Going into a garage and paying for them just doesn’t really fit the setting well IMO.
Arcade mode is a new addition to the game, and it’s basically a level editor. A pretty robust one with a lot of options including terraforming and other such fun stuff. I messed around with it for a while, and found it to be a pretty fun time. I can see some interesting stuff coming out of this down the road! It’s basically Mario Creator for Far Cry.
While the arcade mode is interesting, at the moment it’s full of junk, which is to be expected. However it’s pretty much a mandatory thing if you want to earn money, as completing the levels earns you money for the main game. This sadly just highlights how much the main game is nerfed, if you have to play another game in order to gain money for the first game.
Another interesting thing I found was that time passes. What I mean is events in the world progress while your running round doing stuff. So your actions have consequences. For example after you finish the starter island your recommended to go save the village. If you decide to complete all the side quests along the way your actions have interesting results!
Although at the moment this time passage is pretty shallow, I hope they expand on it further. I for one loved this aspect of the game and would love to see it in more!
So, after all that, I liked the game right? Yes I did! So that means I’d recommend it, right? No, sadly it doesn’t! We’ve covered the good, now lets talk about how Ubisoft shot themselves in the foot!
In the run up to the games launch there was a huge debate over the micro transactions that are in the game. As with other games Ubisoft have released (most notably the Assassins Creed ones), they were having cosmetic and time skip options. Which people were up in arms over. Now, for me at the time my option was pretty clear. I trust Ubisoft. They’d used this system in multiple games for many years, and had never ripped off the player.
Sadly this ended this game. They have deliberately nerfed the payout for both missions, and in general loot gained; as well as seemingly fully removed the random treasure chests from the world. Playing Far Cry 3 and 4 you were forever picking up bits of junk that would sell for a decent price in stores, so you were always rolling in the money. However in Far Cry 5 they’ve pulled this back significantly, to the point where after 5 hours of play I’d still not broke $10k. Weapons cost a significant amount to buy, and to get the skinned versions, prepare to spend a lot more!
Money picked up in the world is significantly less as well making the grind even worse. After a few hours I’d come to realise that the developers were doing this on purpose. The reason? To drive you to buy the silver bars with real money and then to use them to buy your weapons, cars, trucks and outfits.
The above screen shot is the Silver Bar screen, with the smallest denomination being 500 at a cost of £4.49, and the largest being 7250 for £39.99.
So how much does things cost, whats the value? Lets Take a look at a few:
- AR-CL “Sharkbite” (Skinned weapon) $7,200 or 400 silver bars. Total = £3.59
- .45 cal lever action rifle (normal weapon) $2070
- .45 cal lever action Rifle “Fall’s Ghost” $3600 or 200 silver bars. Total = £1.76
- Rancher Outfit $5400 or 300 silver bars. Total = £2.69
- Chopper Outfit $9000 or 500 silver bars. Total = £4.49
- Mayday Outfit $4500 or 250 silver bars. Total = £2.25
- Trapper Outfit $7200 or 400 silver bars. Total = £3.59
- Jeep with Gun on top 400 silver bars. Total = £3.59
- Shovel with smiley face (I kid you not!) 200 silver bars. Total = £1.80
- SA50 “Free State” Shined Sniper Rifle 400 silver bars. Total = £3.59
As you can see the cost of these items are pretty high. Though they are permanently unlocked on the account side, and not on the game.
The prices for buying stuff in game being high, isn’t really a big issue in a Far Cry game, since as I mentioned earlier by the mid point of the game you’re usually drowning in cash and junk. However since they’ve artificially increased the grind time by significantly reducing the cash and item drops your left with either the slow slog of trying to raise funds, or throwing cash at the game. So instead of paying say £50 for the game, it’s pushing £90.
Next we have some gameplay issues, which hopefully will be ironed out down the road.
Cultist density. This is by far the biggest issue I have with the game. Once you leave the tutorial island it’s like the Cultists are all bunnies and reproduce at insane rates. Because you can’t seem walk 10 feet without running into more and more of the buggers. One time I’d literally walk 20ft from the shop and ended up with a mountain of corpses and blown up cars around me. Ultimately running out of ammo and having to peg it back to the store.
There’s a huge problem with the density, it doesn’t allow you any breathing room and it’s very easy to get overwhelmed. Cheap deaths in this game are the norm!
Next we have the planes and helicopters. They’re horrible to fly as there’s no mouse control, its W,A,S,D controlled. So no barrel rolls, no free flying, and dog fighting against NPC’s is painful. This is the worst implementation of flight control I’ve seen in a game! Whats worse is it feels terrible, and not satisfying at all. Which, is honestly really weird since the micro-copter was in the previous game, and worked really well. So there’s no reason for the flight controls in this game to be so bad.
And finally we have the afore mentioned micro-transaction bullshit going on. Some have come to their defence saying it’s not that bad, and they’re right, it’s not that bad. If it had been the same system as used in previous games I’d embrace it. However this is the start of the slippery slope. EA went through the same situation way back with Dead Space 3 and its ‘time savers’. That was the start of EA’s decent into milking that culminated in Battlefront 2’s disaster.
We’re currently at that starting point with Ubisoft, and knowing how it’s going to go, now is the time to cut it off. Stop it before it becomes the norm to milk you’re player base.
This is why I wont recommend this game, and I would say if you really want it, wait for a 75% of steam sale. Buying this game now will be rewarding Ubisoft for their predatory practices. Make no mistake, this is just as egregious as EA’s loot boxes in BattleFront 2.