Hands-On: Far Cry 5 Story Impressions

Hands-On: Far Cry 5 Story Impressions
* PS Nation was invited to an event at Reinstein Ranch in Livermore, California by Ubisoft for a hands-on preview of Far Cry 5. Travel and food was paid for by the studio. The game was played on PS4 Pro and 4K HDR display.


Far Cry 5 is an upcoming first person shooter with strong customization elements and multiple vehicular combat from Ubisoft. Not having a ton of background with the Far Cry franchise, I was worried when I first saw Far Cry 5 revealed. However, the story of a religious cult really piqued my interest.

Ubisoft has had an excellent few years with great games like Watch Dogs 2, The Division, Ghost Recon Wildlands, Assassin’s Creed: Origins, and Rainbow Six Siege. All of these games have seen tremendous long-term success. The Far Cry franchise followed the Assassin’s Creed model and took a year off and that extra development time appears to have paid off well.

This is the first time the Far Cry franchise has been set in the United States. It takes place in Hope County, Montana, where a cult called Eden’s Gate is gaining a strong foothold in the county. You play as a rookie cop who is part of a task force assigned to a US Marshall.

Your first mission is to arrest the leader of Eden’s Gate, Joseph Sneed – “The Father” as everyone calls him. His family has full control of the group and their hold on the county is growing every day turning more and more people to the way of the cult.

The game starts with you in a helicopter on your way into the cult’s compound. Alongside a US Marshall, who is armed with a warrant, your role is to arrest and escort Joseph Sneed off the property. However, taking the cult’s leader away from his followers won’t be easy. Things go somewhat smoothly, until you begin to take off again in the helicopter, then everything takes a turn for the worse.

Your helicopter is shot down and you lose some of your partners. The next thing you realize is that you’re in a fight to save your own life from the members of the cult. This is where the tutorial for the game begins and this whole section is about an hour long at most. If you’ve played other Far Cry games, the tutorial will be familiar.

This is also the first Far Cry game where you get to create your own character. You’re given the choice to make a male or female character and you can then pick from a small variety of custom features like skin tone, face type, and headgear. This felt somewhat limited in the build I was playing, but I have faith that it will be fleshed out more in the final version of the game.

During the tutorial mission you’re introduced to Dutch, an expert on the Eden’s Gate cult. He becomes your first quest giver, sending you out to fix a few things in the first small area you encounter in the open world.

While working on these tutorial based quests, Dutch begins to set the tone for what the cult has done to the county. He informs you that there are people in the area trying to form a resistance to the cult and that Sneed’s family members each have control of a section of the county. Your job will be to slowly take the county back by building your resistance meter up and adding people to your guns for hire.

Building your resistance meter is done by just playing the game – exploring the open world, helping the people in the area, collecting intel, and building out your guns for hire system, that last one being a new addition to the franchise.

You could rescue a person in a van and they could end up joining as a basic hired gun. Likewise, you could help a major point of interest in the county and get an elite gun for hire. You use these guns for hire by giving them tasks to help you build of the resistance. You’ll be able to equip two guns for hire at the same time and each one has a specialty that you can then build your gameplay around.

Each time you complete an event in the game you increase your resistance meter. In addition, each time you hit a level on the meter you’re are awarded a skill point which can be used to upgrade your player.

Upgrades include equipping a wing suit instead of a parachute, or the ability to hold your breath underwater longer, just to name a few. Since you can go wherever you want in the world, some of these upgrades can really help you in certain areas. But the ability to build your player the way you want feels really good.

I was briefly able to play a co-op mission with another writer but it was somewhat challenging to get the mission started. I also found the way co-op is handled to be odd. The host player is the only player that progresses in the game. If you are helping the host, once you leave, the host game you will be put back where you were prior to joining.

You’re treated similar to a gun for hire when joining a host game. This, I feel, is a poor choice in terms of making co-op fun for all players. Why would I want to play co-op with my friends just to have them be ahead of me in the end in terms of level and skill?

The overall gameplay is solid, however, some of the shooting mechanics felt off to me. I had a hard time controlling the recoil on my guns and they just didn’t feel very crisp while shooting. Some of this could be using basic weapons early in the game and some of it could be the build of the game I was playing.

Also, talking to some of the other quest givers you encounter while exploring can go on very long. I found myself becoming almost impatient as the quest giver kept talking and talking and I just wanted to get to playing. This is a minor criticism, as I am sure the conversations get shorter the more missions you do for each quest giver.

We will have an audio interview with Dan Hay, Creative Director for Far Cry 5 on Episode 565 of the Playstation Nation Podcast. I am very intrigued by this small taste of the game as it hints at going to places within the storytelling that games have never gone.

Published by Ubisoft and developed by Ubisoft Montreal, Far Cry 5 will be released on March 27, 2018 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

* All screens used in this preview were provided by the publisher.

Written by Dave Hunt

Dave Hunt

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