The long-standing open-world FPS series, Far Cry, will be getting its next installment later this year. A new FC is usually a call for a fair bit of excitement! FC has always delivered on the big map adventure paradigm filled with activities and a meaningful story to experience. For the most part, it has been able to deliver on its promises, so there’s very little doubt that Far Cry 6 will do as well! So, you may be looking to prepare yourself for the upcoming release and wonder whether Far Cry 5 is worth picking up in 2021.
With the following detailed analysis, we hope to give you a detailed breakdown of the game to help you decide for yourself if you should pick it up.
Far Cry 5 has taken a lot of liberties when compared to predecessors. It all begins with its story and characters. The first noticeable and arguably most drastic change comes in the form of the game’s protagonist. In FC5, Ubisoft opted for the nameless character route. Past games in the series used pre-written main characters, each with their own backstory and motivations.
In Far Cry 5, however, you’re given a choice between a female or male version of a character known only as The Deputy. The background of this nameless protagonist goes only as far as to explain their affiliation to Hope County. From there on, you have to fill in the blanks yourself. The upside is that your FC5 vessel is your own. You choose his or her motivations and the way he or she interacts with the world.
If you’re a big Far Cry fan, you may find this to be a rather disappointing change. On the other hand, it’s an interesting experiment for a series that has always blended good storytelling with massive sprawling open-world gameplay.
Don’t let all of this make you feel that the game is entirely devoid of any character stories. On the contrary, Hope County residents, whether friends or foes, have quite a few tales to tell. The villains, in particular, are some of the most profound and complex characters in the game. Despite being twisted cult leaders, the Seed family is never fully portrayed as pure evil. Everything they do is motivated by a misplaced notion that they’re doing the right thing, and it’s their misguided actions that end up dictating their path as villains.
The mission structure of Far Cry 5 is a bit of a mixed bag that begins and ends with the removal of a staple FC mechanic: the radio towers. Past games in the series would always guide you from one objective to the next by leading you towards these towers. Once you repaired or opened them up, a portion of the map would unlock, granting you access to new missions and story segments. This mechanic is absent from Far Cry 5.
In its place is a more organic system that aims to get you to explore the game’s vast map. Once you discover a new mission type or NPC, you effectively open up new activities in your vicinity. Interacting with an angler, for instance, opens up more fishing markers across the Hope County map. You also have the Outpost system, which allows you to open up new missions and activities in a given region. To take over these outposts, you need to employ a variety of tactics, including stealth. The only issue with the Outpost system is that there aren’t that many of them in the game. By comparison, Far Cry New Dawn has a lot more Outposts that are also more fleshed out.
What bogs down Far Cry 5’s mission structure is the way story missions are handled. In a nutshell, they’re repetitive. The way the story mission loop plays out involves getting kidnapped, doing what you can to escape, fighting your way through enemies, and then taking on a boss. Every single story quest has the exact same structure with minimal deviation.
The central gameplay aspect of any Far Cry game is its gunplay, and we’re happy to say that FC5 delivers beautifully on this front!
For the most part, the guns of Far Cry 5 are satisfying and a lot of fun. Melee combat is incredibly well designed, which is a challenging feat to pull off. If we’re going to nitpick on something, it would be that some weapons feel unrealistic. Due to a lack of recoil, some guns feel cheap and unsatisfying to use as you can essentially run-and-gun without much consequence to your aim.
Driving, however, is incredibly janky in Far Cry 5, and unfortunately, you’ll need to do a fair bit of it in Hope County. Aside from the issue of steering a virtual car from a first-person perspective, the general handling and control of wheeled vehicles in FC5 is clunky at best. Flying helicopters, on the other hand, is a much smoother and more fun experience.
Another area where Far Cry 5 shines is stealth. As with past Far Cry games, taking on enemies in stealth is a big part of the action, and FC5 handles the mechanic superbly! Taking down unsuspecting baddies from cover is satisfying and exhilarating. You’re encouraged to use stealth as much as possible just because it’s so darn fun! The only blemish is that you can only really perform stealth kills with melee weapons. Throwing in some gun-based stealth takedowns would have sweetened the deal a bit more.
One last aspect that muddies the game’s gameplay somewhat is its perk system. The various skills you unlock in Far Cry 5 effectively boil down to stat and value changes that aren’t interesting or meaningful. It’s a shame when you factor in that Far Cry New Dawn added special skills to the mix that were a lot more engaging and added a new layer to the game’s combat.
The Far Cry series has never been known for its approach to multiplayer. Past games have usually allowed you and a friend to take on side-missions and player-created content together. Far Cry 5 goes beyond that by allowing you to team up with a buddy to do the whole story together!
From a gameplay perspective, it’s a lot of fun wandering around Hope County, taking on all missions in sight with a partner. However, there are some blemishes that muddy the waters here, too. For one, all progress you and your friend make only counts towards the host’s save file. The guest player’s story and mission progress are entirely unaffected. Furthermore, the immersion is completely broken when you encounter cutscenes because your partner is never present in them.
Overall, Far Cry 5 is a solid and entertaining game. It’s also every bit a Far Cry game as its predecessors, despite the drastic changes to the narrative style and gameplay. Playing it in 2021 is worth it for all of these reasons, but there is one more consideration. Far Cry 6 may likely include some of these changes. Preparing yourself, therefore, by playing FC5 will help set expectations for what Ubisoft has in store for its next installment in the series!
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