Far Cry 5 Review: welcome to Hope County
Like many gamers worldwide I was so excited to get my hands on Far Cry 5, anytime there is a new Far Cry I have to play it, it is like an impulsion I simply can’t say no and more importantly I don’t want to say no. Far Cry 5 was a fantastic experience from start to finish, many improvements have been made to the mechanics of the game, the inclusion of some decent multiplayer was a much welcomed addition, not to mention the guns for hire including the nine specialists we are able to recruit.
The gameplay stays true to the tried and tested method that Ubisoft has used since Far Cry 3, it’s a land in danger and you need to liberate it. Of course we have never had to deal with a fanatical religious cult before so a new and enjoyable experience was laid out before us. There are many ways in which Far Cry 5 has gone one step or maybe two further than its predecessors, Far Cry 4 was near identical to Far Cry 3 just in a new setting with a new cast of characters but Far Cry 5 has brought more to the table. As always we were introduced to a charismatic, deadly and formidable antagonist, in Far Cry 5 that title belonged to the Father Joseph Seed, if you would like to learn a bit more about him specifically then take a look at my post about him here…. He is a ruthless leader, a trait we learn very early on and as you can tell from the sins marked all over his flesh his cult is all about atoning for your sins, they believe the end is coming and Hope County needs to be cleansed of its sins thus setting up the events of the game.
We are a rookie deputy who has the unfortunate task of heading to josephs compound to arrest him alongside the Sheriff, your fellow deputies and a US marshal. There is of course the secret option of refusing to cuff The father, this will lead the game to its premature end where we simply walk away, we refuse to become entangled in the horrors that this cult is ready to inflict upon us and our allies, the Marshal will protest this decision heavily, something I don’t think he would do should he have been aware of his imminent fate at the hands of one of Joesphs heralds. To really set the game off however you must cuff Joseph, from there we fail to leave his compound with him, our allies are taken and we are rescued by Dutch, now the real Far Cry 5 begins.
We learn that there are three main regions to Hope County, Holland Valley which is run by John Seed the younger brother of Joseph, then there is Henbane River watched over by Faith Seed and finally we have the Whitetail Mountains which are controlled by the oldest Seed brother Jacob. Each Region is unique offering different characters, missions and there are very unique enemies to the regions of faith and Jacob. Completing the various side missions and story missions available in each region will earn you Resistance points, there are three sections to each regions resistance bar with each checkpoint hit the herald is going to take action against you, they not only send “the chosen” after you but they themselves will pay you a visit. Once the bar is completely full you know it’s time to go and kill the herald. As is tradition with Far Cry there are numerous outposts just waiting to be liberated, those were always one of my favourite things to do and Far Cry 5 was no different.
Each herald has a different personality, John is easily the most sadistic of the Seed family with a fearsome reputation that shows throughout your stay in his region, the people are terrified of this self-proclaimed Baptist, the man literally marks your sin onto you, a sin he deems you to have but in order to atone it he will literally cut it from you. Not difficult to see why he has to be the most despised herald joseph has, that feeling I had when shooting him down total bliss, I actually felt a bit sorry for Faith, and Jacob I found myself actually liking but John it was time for him to atone for his sins. Moving onto Faith, she is in charge of the production and distribution of a drug known as the bliss and my god did that stuff kick the US Marshals ass! She comes across as a free spirit of sorts, certainly not sharing the sadistic nature of her adoptive brother. As I mentioned earlier there is a type of enemy unique to faiths region alone, they are known as angels but are essentially zombies and this is thanks to the bliss, I’ll be honest it did seem like people in the bliss were happy, I mean the Marshal was as high as a kite. The final herald Jacob is a war veteran, a true soldier, he only has time for the strong. In his world there is no place for the weak, the herd must be culled and he has no problem with doing just that, survival of the fittest rings true in those mountains.
Another thing I loved was the environments, I thought the surroundings that this game had were stunning, heading to the mountains was great, it was different to driving around through the countryside in Holland Valley, visually the game was stunning, very pretty on the eye. This was also true for areas in which the boss fights take place, the bliss is a beautiful place for sure, I think that has the title of my favourite area in Far Cry 5 but Faiths boss fight was easily the most trying for me, I found the other three to be a walk in the park to be honest.
Something which is newly introduced in this game is the guns for hire system, there are many folk throughout Hope County that fight for the resistance and they are willing to lend you a hand should you need it. you have three slots for the standard guns for hire, you may drop them from your roster at any time and replace them with someone else, you can have a single gun for hire help you unless you have the perk which gives you the option of a second gun for hire should you be playing solo. Alongside the standard gun for hire there are 9 specialists throughout the county, there are three in each region, you help them and they will be there whenever you call upon them. The 9 specialists are just that, special, each one of them has abilities unique to them with a unique array of weapons with two of them even being air support, which comes in handy at the best of times. The banter that the specialists have between one another when you take two of them is also great to listen to, you may just learn a thing or two about them that you never knew.
The improvement upon the co-op is fantastic, you can have a friend in your game with you to not only do outposts but actual missions, even the story missions of the campaign, a much welcomed feature I’m sure for many, I for one have already done several hours of co-operative gameplay and I’ve absolutely loved it, the amount of fun that I have had fighting the cult along side my friend is immense. The arcade is also quite enjoyable although a lot of the player made maps I have played have been god awful, some of them were even unplayable and overs couldn’t be completed, not the best of starts to the arcade but there were some other maps which I enjoyed, namely the ones made by Ubisoft themselves.
The combat was as brilliant as ever, the vast array of weapons means you can cater to your play style beautifully, do you like to play your FPS stealthy or guns blazing? Well which ever it is you will have no problem doing it with all different types of weapons and their mods. I’m usually a all guns blazing kind of girl but I have a strong love for the bow making stealth gameplay rather appealing too. There are challenges set in the game to earn yourself perk points to unlock the various perks that may help you with your fight against the cult, completing the challenges was a lot of fun it got me to use the various types of weapons giving me a good indication as to what my ultimate loadout would be. As with previous Far Cry titles the perks vary from ammo type, inventory capacity, take downs, weapon handling, vehicle sabotage and more, each time I went to spend my perk points I had to stop and thing about what I would benefit from next. Oh and before I forget the arcade also rewards you with money and perk points, brilliant!
One thing I did have a problem with was that there was no reward for beating the game, defeating John earned you a plane, offing Jacob got you a nice sniper rifle and killing Faith got you a great sawed off shotgun, but what did beating the entire game get you? Nothing, not even money or a single perk point, honestly I was a little disappointed, a unique gun would have been great or even a new vehicle, at the very least 10 perk points or $10,000 might have been nice but if that is my main complaint then Ubisoft have done a fine job with their newest title, if they could add a new game plus option I would be ecstatic, the chance to redo the campaign with my perks and guns is something I would love. I was also a little gutted by the ending, I did initially take the walk away ending because you know what enough was enough, me and Joseph had both done some questionable things by this point. I like that ending quite a lot especially with the twist at the end of it. but the main ending where you choose to resist him was truly gutting, it was a great ending don’t get me wrong, who would have thought the mad prophet would have been right about it being the end!? But I really wanted the option of having an ending where I could save my friends, an ending where we actually won. I helped deliver a baby for it to end up DEAD, I HARVESTED 3 DIFFERENT TYPES OF BULL BALLS FOR NOTHING! In all seriousness I did like the endings but a good ending would have been welcomed. Then again how often is it that the bad guy truly wins? No other antagonist survives the events of the game no matter what except for Joseph across the entire series.
Overall this is one of the best games I have played for a long time, I loved the gameplay, enjoyed the story a lot, I think going with the doomsday cult was a great idea, it felt refreshing, we weren’t treading over old ground it was step forward, it was a new story that made for an enjoyable experience. Exploring Hope County was a better experience than exploring Kyrat from Far Cry 4, there are countless side missions to keep you occupied, plenty of characters all of which are great and unique. Truly Ubisoft have done themselves proud here, I for one cannot wait to play the DLC as each one is released. Thank you Ubisoft it has been pleasure though I am sorry to say my sins have not be atoned and no I will not be cleansed!