Release Date: 27 March 2018
- Playstation 4 and variants
- Xbox One and variants
- PC and variants
- Visuals: 3/3: excellent use of current generation graphics features places this game’s visuals among some of the best available today.
- Audio: 3/3: clever use of religious chanting, gospel music and nature sound effects creates an immersive experience.
- Mechanics: 2/3: some simplification compared to previous Far Cry games is welcome, however the main freeform game play mechanic will be disliked by some players.
- Worth It: 1: a feature rich game experience with alot more to offer than the developers give themselves credit for. A game well worth buying for both the casual gamer and hard-core alike.
CXG Verdict: 9/10
Far Cry 5 Review – From the Great Plains to the Rockies
Welcome to the ChartX Games review of the newest Far Cry game, Far Cry 5, the fifth instalment in the massively popular open-world FPS.
In this Far Cry 5 review I will outline the important details concerning Far Cry 5, giving an overview of the story, game mechanics, graphics and pros and cons, and then score the game based upon game play, visuals and audio.
So, with no time to spare, let’s get to work on the original CXG review of the newest Far Cry game.
Far Cry has Cried Further
First developed by CryTek in 2004, Far Cry, although being a pretty good first-person shooter, was more of a tech demo for CryTek’s innovative game engine, CryEngine of which subsequent incarnations have been the building platform for many AAA titles including CryTek’s own massively successful Crysis series. Having seen the potential for the game engine and indeed the Far Cry series of games, games industry super publisher Ubisoft acquired the rights to Far Cry with Ubisoft Montreal heading the development of the games in the series since Far Cry 2.
Although Far Cry was not a massive commercial success it put CryTek on the map and has subsequently been a commercially viable hit with each incarnation, typically being released every few years since 2004.
The newest Far Cry game is the fifth in the series and has been highly anticipated since the huge commercial success of its predecessor Far Cry 4.
Far Cry 5 was released on 27 March 2018, has already sold half a million copies on Steam and has had the biggest launch of 2018 so far.
The game’s main features are said to include a huge open world map with single or multi-player available, dynamic AI, wildlife, side-missions, a wide array of vehicles in which to traverse the map and the usual assortment of weapons to “defend” yourself with.
So, lets dive in to the CXG original Far Cry 5 review.
The Setting – “I am your Father and you are my Children”
Far Cry 5 is set in the fictional city of Hope County, Montana, which seems a perfect place to set an open world game of this nature. Montana is a Western state which covers very diverse terrain types from great planes to the Rocky Mountains and is home to an impressive assortment of wildlife.
In Far Cry 5, Hope County has become under threat from a powerful cult known as The Project at Eden’s Gate (an extreme mash-up of real-world cults such as Heaven’s Gate, Branch Davidian’s* and the Project cult of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh) headed by enigmatic and ruthless leader Joseph Seed and disciples known as the Herald.
Playing as “the Deputy” is up to the player to liberate Hope County from the doomsday grip of this illustrious organisation.
Opening – Paradise is What You Make of It
It’s hard to put in words just how serious the opening cinematic of the newest Far Cry game is. Playing like a documentary we hear from people living in Hope County, stating their concerns and experiences with The Project at Eden’s Gate.
The animations are incredibly detailed and realistic with a cinematic progresses utilising a cut-in, cut-out of residents and an extremely violent Eden’s Gate sermon by cult leader Joseph Seed which has been caught on a mobile phone.
Following the documentary/sermon video, we are introduced to the playable character “the Rookie/Deputy”, who is part of the Sheriff’s team accompanying a U.S. Marshal’s raid on Eden’s Gate.
From a helicopter night flight, we get our first view of Project at Eden’s Gate’s compound which is large and well maintained with a looming presence of foreboding. As the chopper lands it is clear that the Heralds are numerous, very well armed and don’t take kindly to someone landing on their front lawn.
Walking in to the compound towards the main church, the dialogue between the Sheriff and another deputy is one of mutual animosity between Eden’s Gate and law enforcement, and as we approach the church the spine-tingling chants of “Amazing Grace” from the truly faithful Zealots resonates ever louder with each footstep.
Reluctantly we enter the church and walk towards Joseph Seed, shrouded in unholy light and sermonising of a reckoning yet to come.
Despite numerous warnings from the Sheriff, the U.S Marshal insists on executing the warrant, and as he does so, Joseph Seed relays chapter and verse from Revelations. It is then that things go terribly, terribly wrong…
Audio/Visual – No VR Needed Here
The graphical detailing in the newest Far Cry game are just amazing. Everything looks and feels solid, with obvious high-resolution textures covering expertly crafted and highly detailed 3D character and world models to which the voice acting applied is above par for this type of game.
The opening scene, the arrest of Joseph Seed instantly told me all I needed to know about the visuals of the game; current generation effects are all visible including dynamic shadows, tessellation, volumetric lighting, high resolution shadow mapping and specular mapping to name a few.
This was certainly one of the most impressive game openings I have ever experienced, with the tone, look and feel of the game being set and displayed right from the beginning. Where A/V is concerned, from the impressive graphics to the menacing audio I found myself actually trying to find something wrong with Far Cry 5 straight away and I could not.
I am not stating that these are the best graphics I have ever seen, but they come close and they do exactly what they are supposed to do as is the purview of this Far Cry 5 review.
World Map – You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat
The world map for Far Cry 5 is said to be the largest Far Cry world to date, however finding a trusted source on just how big the world is proved to be quite tricky. There are some suggestions that it is around 60 km².
Concerning the map in the newest Far Cry game; following the opening, the entire world is open to the player with no “go here and do this” linear story progression being dictated to the player. Right from the start you are in control of your own destiny and you can go wherever you like and follow the story at your own leisure, giving the game a more free-flow and organic style.
The map is divided up in to three areas and a powerful member of the Project at Eden’s Gate commands each area; Faith Seed (the Siren), Jacob Seed (the Soldier) and John Seed (the Inquisitor).
The vast open world available straight away can feel a little overwhelming at first but once you start walking in a direction it isn’t long before you will come across something to keep you occupied whether its liberating a farm that is currently being illegally occupied by the Herald, skinning road kill and taking them back for someone or moose hunting.
The non-story missions are typically easier than the story progression missions but harder than some of the side missions most of which are gained from a parent mission such as blow this up, torch this or liberate this, and while entertaining can feel a little repetitive. However, some of the fun lies with how you come across these missions since there are no map markers to tell you where things are unless a quest giver has specifically told you where to go.
Referring back to the new freeform style of play which Ubisoft is experimenting with here, it is a welcome style of play, bold and works extremely well for me, but one which I think a lot of gamers will feel should be optional.
Game Mechanics – Organic, Not Free Range
Upgrade System – Feeling Perky
For the newest Far Cry game, the skill upgrading system, now called “Perks” has been simplified and feels like a mix of the systems used in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 4. The more you perform an action the better you will become at it. This I feel is an attempt to balance the game’s combat as it will allow you to become expert at some things but amateur at others.
This means that unlocking new perks will be more difficult unless you try to equally divide your efforts between combat and gameplay in order to unlock all perks, something which can be quite difficult for some gamers to do.
Perks unlocks can be purchased by spending skill points which are gained via an achievements system. The achievements system pays skill points for completing certain specific milestones and challenges such as rescuing people, hunting specific animals or killing a set amount of enemies with a particular weapon. Skill points can also be found in perk magazines scattered throughout the world.
Weapons – We Sold Them “Farming Equipment”
Far Cry 5 is a gun-nut’s dream and comes with the usual array of weapons; melee weapons, sidearms, shotguns, sub machine guns, rifles, machine guns and a flamethrower with a compound bow thrown in for good measure.
Although there is a vast arsenal to choose from, we found that a lot of these weapons however can perform poorly and as with most FPS games you will probably stick to the usual shotgun for close range, assault rifles for multiple enemy engagements, sniper rifles for long range and machine guns, well, for sheer joy of killing. A word of warning though, the flamethrower, whilst fun to use can be very hazardous to your health, as the game’s physics system propagates fire very realistically. You have been warned.
Weapons can be upgraded to have more power, higher accuracy and longer range etc. The fun however is with the prestige weapons. While these are the same as standard weapons they have skins/liveries available similar to GTA Online’s MKII upgraded weapons. I know it’s only for aesthetics, but there is something wonderful in pounding a maniacal farmer about the head with a shovel emblazoned with a smiley face.
Vehicles – Planes (No Trains) and Automobiles
In the newest Far Cry 5 game there are over seventy cars, motorbikes, helicopters, planes and boats all with some rather awesome variants such as the custom 2012 Kimberlite TCZ monster truck, the “Pack Hunter” plane and the 1973 Pygmalion SSR muscle car.
Note: There are too many vehicles to list here and is outside the scope of this Far Cry 5 review.
Other vehicle variants include multiple ATV and off-roaders, jet-skis and power boats and military choppers and similar to GTA Online some of these vehicles can be customised and weaponised.
As mentioned the vehicles are similar to some GTA Online vehicles and the controls are also identical, so GTA Online players will feel right at home. However, I don’t purport that the feel of the vehicles and the physics are near as good as GTA V/Online. A lot of the vehicles feel identical and they don’t have that characterisation which GTA V/Online implements so well.
For me, the vehicles also feel unbalanced in the world; yes, there are sedans and luxury cars but they are for the most part quite useless in the rugged terrain of the Western United States.
ATVs and off-road vehicles seem to be the only real choice. There are lots of muscle cars and racing cars but no racing mode, this doesn’t make sense to me and I feel that Ubisoft should have focused more on what would be useful in the world rather than flooding the game with out of touch items.
The aerial vehicles are also a little unbalanced however the variation makes more sense since it is necessary to use them to cross the large open world of Hope County, with speed and handling not really being a priority unless you are engaged in aerial combat, which being awesome makes up for the lacklustre ground vehicles.
Progression – Liberation, American Style
As with most games the really fun stuff is with the main story and it is here you will be both challenged and entertained.
The game’s story progression system sees you having to take out one of the three previously mentioned commanders of the cult, which oversees a different area of the game map. In order to do this, you must ensure that the commander begins losing influence over the area which he/she controls by turning the locals against them which in turn will earn you resistance points (RP). Resistance points are earned by completing missions in a particular area.
Once you have enough resistance points you can then confront the cult commander of the area which will trigger a particular mission away from the main world map. These cult commander missions are a mixture or different play styles combing action, stealth and frenzy into one mission which will culminate in you defeating the commander and therefore liberating the residents of his/her corresponding area of the world.
While the mechanic of garnering resistance points seems a valid and appropriate method of mounting the resistance, it feels a little empty and lacks substance, and I would have liked something in the world to reflect the light of importance shed on the playable character throughout the game.
Final Thoughts – The Engagement that Lasts Forever
Far Cry 5 is an excellent and game and one that displays the very best that AAA titles of the current generation are capable of and is a game well worth paying the money for.
I found this Far Cry 5 review difficult to write as from its deeply dark yet paradoxically illuminating opening to the vast outlander wanderings and beyond, the game never loses a sense of what it is trying to convey, and that is that we live in strange times. Whether it be bubbling political tensions, seemingly random terrorist attacks or even the threat of nuclear war; and that is what cults such as Heaven’s Gate prey upon, our darkest, yet true fears and this is reflected in the game’s story with blinding clarity.
The presentation of the game through impressive visuals and well executed sound effects and music seems to immerse you in this dystopian vision of what the U.S.A and indeed the world could become, with character actualisation and voice acting being top notch for a game of this nature.
While the combat system in the game from weapons to vehicles to aerial combat aren’t anything new or enterprising, they do represent the standard of games today and the most important thing is that the game is fun to play.
I found Far Cry 5 (whether this was intended or not) to be a paradoxically contradictory interactive experience. Everything in the newest Far Cry game is familiar yet unique, fictionalised yet true and fearsome yet beautiful; glorious and dignified visions of what has been and what could be, depending on the player’s own perception of the world we live in today.
What has been mentioned in this review is only a small segment of what is possible in the newest Far Cry game. Far Cry 5 is huge in scale and what it lacks in inimitability it certainly makes up for in ambition. Make up your own mind and head to the Western United States today and save or be saved. The choice is yours.
- Truly engaging and entertaining story and characters
- Excellent use of audio and visual material
- Realistic reflections on the perception of today’s wider humanitarian issues
- Satisfying combat
- Plenty of things to do
- Beautiful and realistic open world
- True freeform and emergent gameplay
- Where FPS games are concerned, brings nothing new to the table
- Some missions can feel repetitive
- Freeform gameplay may be a turn off for some players
- Unbalanced and mismatched vehicles array
- Some of the main story segments are not engaging where they should be
Personal View – The Content of this Game is Worth a Mention
This game reflects some of the worst of humanity’s past, present and possible future. While being a very politically motivated story it is sure to divide opinion. That being said, I believe that the main points of the story are handled well and do justice to some of the tragic stories of cults in America, and indeed the world and their victims.
It is my belief that this game while being an entertainment medium should be taken seriously as a commentary on some of the worst humanity has to offer and in doing so should remain considered an entertainment medium as I am sure the developers intended and I hope this Far Cry 5 review has enlightened you as a reader and indeed a gamer concerning the newest Far Cry game.
I expect Far Cry 5 to dominate the game charts across all platforms for the next few months. You can check the CXG game charts here:
Please share your thoughts and comments in the comments section.
Michael, Editor/Owner – ChartX Games
Far Cry 5 is available now on the following platforms:
- Playstation 4 and variants
- Xbox One and variants
- PC and variants
*AN IMPORTANT NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: The Branch Davidian’s led by David Koresh are believed by some not to have been a cult, with all parties involved being at the church of their own volition.
No one person who survived the siege on the church at Waco, Texas by the FBI has publicly and officially stated that the Branch Davidians were a cult and no evidence of some of the abuses and illegal activities claimed the FBI has ever been found.
It is widely believed that the FBI and the ATF illegally attacked the compound and that the Branch Davidians exercised their legal right to defend themselves with their own weapons.
The raid was based upon the fact that church was funding themselves by selling firearms which they were legally licensed to do.
It is not for CXG to comment on this issue and we do not clam to neither believe nor disbelieve any version of events.
Please note that due to the concept of ChartX Games, any offensive comments concerning real world cults will be removed. Please remember this is a gaming site and not a political platform.
All images are copyright of their respective owner(s).
Michael is the sole writer and owner at chartxgames.com.
Many thought that his youth (and adulthood) playing video games was a waste of time but here he is writing about them for a living.
Michael has a background in IT and enjoys (apart from video games) building and repairing PC’s, digital artwork (Photoshop, 3DS Max) and has interests in too many subjects to mention.