Far Cry 5 returns to form with a few tweaks to its known formula

Change has come, and change is good

Michaela Nadine Pacis

9:0:0am April 12, 2018

7:30:7am April 12, 2018

If there’s one thing Ubisoft is known for, it’s their open-world series. These series stick to a repetitive formula, with each new entry introducing slight deviations. Sometimes it's a good thing. Sometimes that’s a bad thing.

For Far Cry 5, it’s a good thing.

The Far Cry series is known for huge open spaces with a lot of fun and chaos to be had that it’s almost too easy to forget about the plot. At its best, a Far Cry game will immerse you with enough things to do that the ending may shock you. At its worst, it will distract you with enough things to do that the ending may bore you.

Whatever the case, Far Cry will always have a ton of activities on your plate that I reckon you can spend a little more than 50 hours completing every single quest in the game leisurely.

From the time I’ve spent running around murdering the cultists of a twisted version of Montana, I’d say Far Cry 5 is a solid return to the series’ winning formula with welcome revisions in its overall gameplay.

Cruelty and charisma

Let’s start with the big baddies and the overall tone of Far Cry 5. Whereas in Far Cry 4, you dealt with only one terrifyingly twisted dictator - Pagan Min,  and in Far Cry 3, we only really talk one unhinged horror - Vaas Montenegro, Far Cry 5 has you dealing with an entire family of four demented villains. Each villain has their own brand of cruel, but the cream of the crop is a hipster looking fellow named Joseph Seed, also known as “The Father.”  

Opinions may vary here, but despite the surprisingly dark opening, personally, Joseph felt a little lacking. Sure, him and his devotees are more terrifying than real world religious cults, but he lacked the charisma and high strung insanity that Pagan and Vaas wielded perfectly. That being said, it’s good to see that him and the other Seeds have more screen time and more interaction than Pagan Min back in Far Cry 3.

But while the villains of Far Cry 5 will hold your interest, the character development of the rest are quite lacking. This is especially true for your own mute character. It did a little something different in that it allowed you to lightly customize your character.

Unless you’re playing Dark Souls or Bloodborne, customizing characters does not make sense if there is little to no development at all.

The subtle jabs and real world political statements surrounding the characters and permeating even through the item descriptions make up for the characters’ lack of - well, character. It doesn’t really delve into the extremists of America’s right-wing as I thought it would be, but it does enough to give you a sense that the game is what we millenials call “woke.”

Far Cry 5 balances the atrocities you might witness in the game by employing dark humor well. You’ll understand as you go through missions and instances that will make you go through the full spectrum of “slightly funny” to “too real, too funny.”

More chaos, less chores

Far Cry 5 offers almost the same selection of activities as it did in its previous games. It wouldn’t be Ubisoft after all if we didn’t see the pattern. The good thing is that Far Cry 5 keeps the best core elements: high-octane action with opportunities of getting into crazy antics against a gorgeous backdrop.

But it’s these new changes that will really keep you playing. The game's revamp of opening up the world to you is definitely one of the most welcome changes in my opinion.

Far Cry 5’s mission discovery system and lack of mini-map makes it more compelling for you to actually explore the area. Whereas the old system had me feeling like I was doing chores at one point, toggling missions on the mini-map and going from one repetitive mission to another, Far Cry 5’s version of stringing encounters and missions together gave my gaming sessions a natural flow. While towers do exist for you to clear the fog, it’s not much of a necessity when you’ve got civilians pointing out places of interest for you. Each quest unfolds into another with ease.

Still, there’s definitely a chance for you to overstep your boundaries and go to territories swarmed with cultists you cannot handle. While the entire map is engulfed with the fog of war, you are still very free to explore every area. There’s no specific order to which boss you want to take down first.

In fact, during my first hour of the game I encountered a plane and tried flying all the way to Joseph Seed’s town with not even an assault rifle on hand. I managed to get my hands on a rocket launcher, destroy a fuel tanker, and that’s about the most damage I was able to make before I had to run back to the plains and hop on my plane.

Another notable change in the game is its rework of NPCs and allies. Whereas before, you were mostly a one man destruction machine, Far Cry 5 lets you employ Guns for Hire or have civilians that could give you really helpful hints after you assist them. I remember saving one civilian and not realizing he’s been heading to the same location as I was until I turned around before entering a building. I almost shot the man from shock as I wasn’t paying attention to their dialogue.  

Definitely a must-play open-world game

All of that being said, this game indeed employs the classic Far Cry formula that we still know and love, with over the top action, chaos, and insanity bleeding into almost every aspect of the game. But it’s the subtle changes that enhance all of these elements and make everything blend well and seamlessly.

It’s a definite must-play if you are a fan of chaotic open world games, and I would even endeavor to say that gameplay wise, this is the best Far Cry game out there.

Ubisoft might do well to employ the same changes to their other open-world series. – Rappler.com