Lately the PC game market has been a bit barren. Games I have on my radar are months off and I get a bit bored waiting. Sometimes you need something to sate the hunger and that means going back to games we’ve already played. I decided to revisit Far Cry 5.
The Far Cry series has always been beautiful. I remember Ubisoft’s original, another classic from 2004, was a game of immeasurable beauty. The water was so blue! Now it doesn’t hold up as well because games like Far Cry 5 exist. Taking place in Montana, the landscape is about as beautiful as a game can get. The water ripples and moves like water does. The woodland is a hikers dream come true. If things are still improving, 10 years from now, I won’t know what games are created in a studio and which are created in the actual wild! Far Cry 5 is gorgeous.
The story this time has you playing a US Marshall’s deputy come to arrest a psychopath, Joseph Seed. He and his three siblings have taken over Montana as a veritable cult. He is an insane madman and his siblings are only slightly less deranged; like by a butterfly’s eyelash. They each have a sector of the map that they control and they each have special qualities that they use to control. Anyway, when you arrest him at the start of the game and put him into the helicopter, his followers don’t take well to that and you crash moments after takeoff. You manage to escape, but your companions are taken and as luck would have it: three of them means one for each county, held by one of each of Seeds siblings. You have to go get them back.
What I absolutely love about this series of games is that they have a winning formula down to a science. Everyone loves Skyrim, but you never have any idea about how many quests there are and the miscellaneous ones are completely arbitrary; I’m not even sure if there is a finite number. How many plants do I need to look for and where should I go for that? Far Cry, by comparison, lets you know how many of every style mission you can undertake. Some I did not appreciate like those that put you in the role of a fan of a daredevil named Clutch Nixon where you effectively have to do stunts, many of which was so mindbogglingly tedious that I was ready to punch the developers! But to be fair, these are side missions and don’t need to be completed. They are often fun, but not all of them and for me, they took me out of the story. The only other mission I hated was the fishing missions. Well, here again, you don’t have to do them. I’m a completionist and wanted to do everything, so to get extra skill points, you can hunt animals. The fish only requires one of each kind but imagine being hunted by lunatics and taking time to fish?
Get past those minor issues, and there are am array of amazing missions. Taking out an enemy base was my favorite. I loved being clever about my hiding spots, sniping enemies from on high, then moving to another location just as they were running to my previous spot. Boy howdy! Adrenaline rush. The array of guns is impressive too, but nothing beats a sniper rifle. Although the bow and arrow was a favorite too. And the fun doesn’t stop there. Take over any vehicle you see and drive it or fly it to your hearts content. (My kids loved watching me drive because… well I hit far more trees than bad guys but hey, I had fun!) I was far better with the helicopters and I loved diving out of one with a wingsuit on to allow them to crash into an enemy base. Plus it gave me the exhilarating feeling of flying.
Now, I realize this doesn’t scream “kids game”. There’s language and violence ramped up to 11. Some of the brutality is off the charts, as Seed disfigures people who he feel are sinners. (He’s a bit warped.) But look, I’m not reviewing kids games (yet). This is a fantastic adult game and worth every penny. Now, Steam’s summer sale is on (though it may be ending by the time this article goes live) but the typically $60 price tag can be snagged for $15 during sales so it’s worth keeping an eye on. Thing is, you’ll get your money’s worth so even if you miss the sale, it’s worth the investment. I’ve played it twice since it arrived in 2018 and pulled in a staggering 222 hours total. (Most $60 games will give you somewhere between 8-20 hours of play.) If that’s not enough, you even get three small mini-games with it but they are of varying quality. (Mars, a zombie battle, and a Vietnam story. To my surprise, the Vietnam one was my favorite!)
My biggest gripe with the game is one set of bonus points requires playing in coop mode with a friend. Luckily, the second time around, a friend of mine was playing and we pulled off our 60 minutes of coop play, but if not for him, I’d never have gotten that skill point. I had hoped Arcade mode would count towards that but it did not. (Arcade mode is literally where you find an arcade in game and play specially crafted maps. Tremendous fun!)
So while we’re stuck inside during the blistering hot summer, and a quarantine has made travel less than easy, we can still sneak off to Montana for some beautiful hiking through the woods, or a dip in the lake… or perhaps just getting to know the wildlife. As long as the Seed’s leave us in peace for a bit. And if they don’t, well we can go hunting them! I mean, what more can we ask for? I’ll leave you with the trailer for this incredible game. ML
Thanks, ML, for your very thoughtful review and this trailer for such a promising game.
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