Review: Far Cry 5 (PS4)

Review: Far Cry 5 (PS4)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One
  • PC

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move None
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Title: Far Cry 5
Format: Blu-ray Disc / PSN (35.84 GB)
Release Date: March 27, 2018
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Original MSRP: $59.99 (US), £49.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: M
PEGI: 18
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Audio Review:
The audio review for this game is available on Episode 568 of the podcast.

Gameplay:
The Far Cry franchise has been around for a long time and over the last few entries in the series, it has built a following for having some of the coolest, most in-depth villains around. You could almost say the villain is the main character of each of the games.

Far Cry 5 takes place in the United States, in Hope County, Montana. You play as a rookie deputy on his first assignment. You’ll start off in a helicopter with the sheriff of Hope County, a US marshal, and a few other officers.

You’re on your way to the center of Hope County to the compound of a cult called The People of Eden’s Gate who are led by Joseph Seed, also known as “The Father”, with a warrant for Seed’s arrest. The sheriff spends the entire ride to the compound trying to talk the Marshal out of serving this warrant.

The mood of the game is set right from the beginning. You almost feel like you’re in a different country. The cultists don’t respect your badge. They have their own way of dealing with things and it doesn’t involve outsiders at all.

I don’t want to spoil the story at all so I will jump ahead now. While trying to leave the compound, your helicopter is shot down and crashes. Most of your team is captured by the cult but you’re able to escape.

You’re eventually found by a member of the resistance named Dutch. He helps get you cleaned up and begins to tell you the story of Hope County and Eden’s Gate. There are still good people in the county, but they are either too scared to fight back or just aren’t strong enough.

You’re tasked with getting your team back from Eden’s Gate and helping defeat the cult from the bottom up. Once you work on cleaning up the small cult members on Dutch’s island, you’re introduced to the rest of Hope County.

This is the first Far Cry game where you get to make your own character. You can choose gender and race then pick out your clothing. Progression through the game gives you cash that you can buy new items with. You can also purchase silver bars for real money, though silver bars can also be earned in-game, as well as perks for being in the Ubisoft club.

Also, playing previous Ubisoft games gets you unique rewards, a Rainbow 6 Siege outfit as an example for having a save file on your system. Customizing your character is a nice touch, but in this game, you don’t spend much time looking at yourself. It’s mainly for the other modes where you can see how the other players look.

Hope County is set up in three very large regions, each being led by a different member of the Seed family. You have John Seed in the Southwest, Faith Seed in the Southeast, and Jacob Seed in the North. All of them answer to, and blindly follow, Joseph Seed.

Each region has a resistance meter that is built up by pushing back the cult. You can do this by completing story missions, side missions, as well as other small encounters you run into along the way. Like all areas of the world, there are plenty of things to do in Hope County. You have hotels, bars, observatories, airports, etc., that Eden’s Gate has taken over. It’s your job to help the people get their lives back.

Far Cry 5 is truly an open world, you can go wherever you want in the game. There’s no level system so you don’t have to worry about running into an area that you’re underpowered in and nothing in the world is blocked behind a mission completion wall. You can just go out and explore and kill some cult members.

One of the new mechanics to the franchise is the Guns for Hire system. You save a few people from being captured by the cult and they’ll want to help you. You can add them to your roster and can direct them to do things using the D-pad.

These Guns for Hire are referred to as fighters and you can have different ones hired on your roster at different times so you can switch them out based on their fighting style. One might have a bow and be a sneaky killer, the other might have a sniper rifle and be a long-range killer for you.

You’ll also notice in the world that you have nine different points of interest where someone is calling you to come help them. These are also Guns for Hire but they aren’t as easy to get on your team as the previously mentioned fighters.

These are specialists that have unique and powerful skills to help you and each of them has a direct conflict with Eden’s Gate. Either the Cult stole something from them, interfered with their family, or maybe even it’s just getting in the way of them just drinking beer and having fun with the ladies all the time.

Once you help them begin to push the cult back they’ll join your team as a Gun for Hire. Each specialist brings their own flare to help you. You could have a silent archer assassin, a rocket launching loud mouth, a loyal dog, air support from a bomber plane, an on-demand helicopter, and much more.

These specialists allow you to approach each encounter however you want. You can be super sneaky, never to be seen, or you can drive a semi-truck that shoots machine gun rounds right into the area you’re attempting to take over.

You can also play all missions in Far Cry 5 in co-op. However, only the host player will progress in the game. Each time you take over an area or complete a mission, you’re rewarded with resistance points. Each region has a resistance meter and as you level up the Seed family gets more and more angry with you and begins to hunt you down. Eventually, you’ll max out the region and the family member in charge comes to even the score. That’s all I’m going to say about the story.

So no level system? No new areas to explore after completion of missions? How do I get upgraded? Glad you asked. Far Cry 5 uses a “Perk Points” upgrade system. Perk points are rewarded to you for completion of challenges in the game. Some of those challenges could be overall kills, fighter kills, specialist kills, melee kills, and long-range kills, just to name a few.

You also have other challenges like freeing hostages, destroying cult convoys, or hunting/fishing challenges. It’s a little disappointing that no perks points are awarded for completion of campaign missions or even story missions.

You do have to go out of your way to get some of the challenges completed. Also, the perks you unlock with perk points are very important to your gameplay experience. Perks control how many weapons you can carry, how many guns for hire you can have equipped, having a parachute, and your overall health just to name a few.

It’s nice to just play the game and see challenges complete and perk points be awarded, but again, having to change your plan of attack because you don’t have the second Gun for Hire or you really need to carry three weapons to feel truly effective while having to go find wolverines to skin or hostages to be freed just to upgrade your skills is a bit of a letdown to me. It also doesn’t make progression through the campaign feel rewarding.

That being said the game is really fun to play and mess around however you want. There is no right or wrong way to build your skills or loadouts. You can go all long-range snipers or run in with flamethrowers to burn it all down.

The shooting mechanics do leave a little to be desired. I found myself getting more used to them the longer I played but they still feel a bit off to me compared to other shooters. This isn’t game breaking but it just feels odd to me.

Also, I recommend working on one region at a time. On my playthrough, I was doing a little bit in each region and the game felt like it was starting to drag a little bit like I was almost getting bored.

I had gotten two regions up to about 90% complete when I decided to just get one region finished. The end of region missions really tied the missions together greatly. Each region is like its own mini-campaign that really made me feel much more invested in the story.

Visuals:
Playing on a standard PS4 and just a 1080p display, the game looks great. The day-night cycles really make an impact on lighting and the draw distance lets you see a lot of the world.

Like with all open world games, you do have that little bit of pop-in as you approach areas, but with a world this big it’s to be expected. The detail on the cult members as well as the specialists really helps to make each of them each look unique.

Far Cry 5 does have PS4 Pro support as well as HDR support for all consoles. When I played at a preview event a few weeks ago I played on a Pro and the game looked and ran great. Also, the visuals for completion of a quest or liberation of an area are some of the most rewarding parts of the game – they have a little nod to ‘MERICA.

Audio:
This is where Far Cry 5 really shines. The voice acting is excellent and the environmental sounds really help tell the story. When I was focused on a convoy and slowly began to hear the growl of a bear or the howl of a wolf, only turn around and have the thing attack me scared the crap out of me every time.

The cutscenes that flesh out each character’s story are acted out perfectly. The radio chatter you hear as you build up resistance points really delivers on the leaders of the cult getting upset with you. The music changes perfectly based on what you’re doing and how the encounter is or isn’t going.

Online/Multiplayer:
Far Cry 5 supports drop in and drop out co-op and it works great. You can leave your game open and people can join freely.

Your co-op partner takes the space of a Gun for Hire and brings all of their current weapons and skills with them. However, they will not progress in the game while playing with you, only the host progresses.

This is a big negative for me personally. What’s the incentive to play with your friends? Who gets to be the host? Sure it’s fun to just blow the world apart with friends but in 2018 co-op should just be seamless or not in the main game at all.

Far Cry Arcade also makes a return and can be accessed via the main menu or by just walking up to an arcade cabinet or poster in the world. This is all user-generated content. You can make your own challenging missions for single player/co-op or you can make a PvP made for you and your friends to duke it out.

All content that’s created can be uploaded and used by the game’s entire player base. Multiple assets from other Ubisoft titles can also be used to help create your level or map. Live events and challenges are planned for Arcade mode and should begin a week or two after the launch of the game.

Conclusion:
Ever since this game was announced a few years ago I have been excited to see just how far the story would or could push the envelope. I feel they could have pushed a little bit more into the religious and political landscapes but it’s still a great story with the over the top moments that the series is known for.

I found myself constantly laughing at the dialogue between characters as well as having the cool moments of executing an explosion just right and sending bodies flying. The story is compelling and the impact you are making personally in the county is great.

I wish my character had more interaction in the game. You never speak but are always spoken to, of course. There are a couple of confusing parts to how the story gets played out, but most are cleaned up at the end of each region.

Using different guns and weapons types is rewarding, both in the game and for the player. Nothing feels better than landing a sniper headshot while pressing the “holding my breath” button. Each region’s story is fleshed out really well, making your fight against the cult feel truly impactful.

Score:
8.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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Written by Dave Hunt

Dave Hunt

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