Crazy? He’s [bleepin] crazy.
That’s how I felt for the biggest part of Far Cry 5. Something lingers in the air in Hope County, Montana. People are acting a bit strange. There is one they turn to. He has seen the future. He knows the end times are near. He can lead them. He offers his help and guidance, he can help them see the light and guide them toward salvation. Towards Eden’s Gate. Joseph Seed is his name, but he is known as The Father. It seems as if most of the town has chosen to follow The Father, so naturally, this cult has become big enough to warrant the authorities getting called after people go missing. Crazy? Oh yes. And what unfolds here isn’t unlike what you have heard of in the United States, but then goes beyond the scope to tell this open world tale. Interested? Well, move on towards Eden’s Gate my friend…..
Far Cry 5 looks flat out breathtaking for an open world game. For the most part, the town feels alive, and each of the three distinct areas are fun to traverse. If you have played Far Cry 3 or 4, this will be familiar in many ways. Missions to do, enemy strongholds to capture, animals to hunt, you know, the usual. The Father has had some help from the rest of the Seed family, Jacob, Faith, and John. Each with their own area that you have to overcome. After a quick tutorial, and a tongue in cheek moment about climbing a tower to tell you there are no towers in the game, you are left to your own devices.
As this is one giant open world map, who you take down first is up to you. Want to take down Jacob first? Head north, and help the few fighting back to regain their town. One thing I will note here is how personal most of these characters feel. They have their own beliefs, and have the tools to help The Father prepare and gain more followers. Pretty much the same with the resistance, they have seen what the Seed family can do, and anger and terror drive them onward. This is where you step in to help these people, Deputy. Only you can get the jobs done. What do you have to say for yourself? Any opinion on all this going on? You just escaped Jacob Seed promising that he will use you as a means to an end. He seems like a nightmare. Tell us what happened Deputy. Huh? Speak up.
In 2018, a tragedy hits. Sadly, your character can’t convey feelings or speak, and probably should have been named Link. I’m sure you have solved this puzzle, your create a character is an empty shell. Which is one of the biggest disappointments of the entire game. Why doesn’t he or she talk? You see all these cutscenes filled with all sorts of emotions, but none of them coming from you, even though everyone interacts with you! I can’t stress this enough- you kill off any chance of this game being immersive by having a silent character. Why even take the time to have all this great motion cap and dialogue if it is being directed towards nothing? Now I know, it is supposed to be as if you are that character, and you are actually- blah, blah, blah. I’m sorry, but this is always a letdown for me. When you have games like Mass Effect that can pull off a main character with fully spoken dialogue, then so can Far Cry. Wait a minute, they did! Far Cry 3, which would also happen to be the best in the series. I may have strayed off a bit, but you get the point, which is no interaction equals wasted potential. Moving on.
After throwing my tantrum there, I can say the gameplay is solid, and is what you have come to expect here. Moving, shooting, driving, flying, it all has been fine tuned to so that you have hours of fun while destroying everything in your path here in Hope County. Want to slow things down and grab a bow for some silent kills? Go for it. Maybe buy that sniper rifle and add a silencer, and just go for an overall stealth approach for most of the game. That is what I did. You can also go in guns blazing, complete with machine guns, grenades, and rocket launchers if you wish. That is something that Far Cry 5 excels at, is being able to approach most of the game to whatever suits you. The stealth is good, and you are able to perform takedowns on top of that gun or bow. The enemy A.I. has gotten a bit of an overhaul, and will try to take up positions, and even look for an opening to flank during a battle. Sure, you still get the mindless bots filing one after another right into the barrel of your gun, but it happens less this time around. Yes there are glitches, but nothing major, just some moments that I laughed at and even recorded a few.
A newer system here is the Guns for Hire, where you can hire npcs to join you for the fight. There are even specialized people you can get after unlocking them via a specific mission. Want stealth? Unlock Jess, who has this whole Green Arrow thing going on combined with a mouth that would make most sailors blush. She has issues, but gets the job done silently. Well, her arrows are silent anyway. I also like Cheeseburger, a local celebrity bear that you save, and after feeding him, he is your buddy for life. And he is no pushover, almost always coming out on top of an exchange. After doing some missions or challenges, you unlock perk points to spend which is your normal stuff here. More health, more ammo, etc. But you can also level up your special guns for hire, allowing them to be summoned faster after they are taken out, and even get the ability to summon two at a time. Playing with A.I. partners is nice and all, but what about some online co-op action? That is there too, allowing you to invite a friend to play through the entire campaign together for the first time in the series. But there is a catch. Whomever gets invited into the game makes no progress. Well, you get experience to level up and items, but everything else is a no go, making co-op a slight letdown here. Yes, it is incredibly fun to play online, I have played with a few friends so far, but all of us hate the fact that there is no progression. Now, I can understand for the main story, but side missions could have counted at least. There is also arcade mode, where you and some friends can take on missions and areas people have made with the map editor. Yes, the map editor is back!
I mentioned Eden’s Gate earlier, have you discovered it yet? Each Seed family member has their own way of doing things. Faith uses the drug called Bliss to brainwash everyone into believing they are in paradise, causing hallucinations and even producing zombie like soldiers that take another bullet or two to put down. Once you start seeing things, it gets really trippy. Each area has a meter that you have to fill by doing story missions, side missions, destroying cult bases and property, and so on. After a certain point, you will catch the attention of whichever Seed is over that area. The story progresses, and you escape or you are let go for some reason. Rinse and repeat until the meter is full, and then it is time to take out a Seed family member. I would have no problem here except that is it. Every single time, for all three family members. Build up the meter, get caught, said member does something crazy, and somehow you escape. Then caught again. And escape again. Then finally have a fight to kill off the boss. When you kill one off, a cutscene plays with The Father telling everyone about the death, and how a seal has been opened. On to the next area. I will say there are tons of Easter eggs, and hints of other games, which make for small bits of relief. Including a legend. This legend is Clutch Nixon.
Clutch Nixon, the greatest man to ever live on two wheels. Possibly, the greatest man to ever live. A stuntman with no fear and full of whiskey, you take on these missions to recreate these stunts, leading to a crazy fun time filled with a song that will explode you ear hole due to it being so awesome. I truly had a lot of fun with these, and wished there were more. I would gladly pay for a Clutch Nixon expansion, similar to Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon. There are three expansions being worked on right now, one with zombies, one in Vietnam, and one about aliens. All have that similar Blood Dragon feel to them, which I’m sure will be a fun time. But right now you are in present day America(a first for the series being in America), dealing with some serious issues that are being discussed today.