23
Apr
18

Game Review: Far Cry 5

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My time in Hope Country has come to an end. Last month’s Far Cry 5 was an interesting diversion, but is it really worth $60 right now?

My short answer? No.

That’s probably going to be a somewhat unpopular opinion. I want to clarify that by noting that the game itself is gorgeous, the characters are amazing and interesting, and the weapons, vehicles, and pet bears are fun to play around with. The problem is that it ultimately just feels like more of the same. If you’ve played “the Ubisoft open world game,” you know how it works. Removing signal towers and a scattering of icons does not make things any more fresh and new; it frequently just makes it more annoying to find the next objective.

The story – crazy cult takes over a remote location and proceeds to kill or enslave everyone – is basic. It’s reasonably well executed for what it is – and as long as you’re willing to completely ignore logic – but its not really anything groundbreaking. A lot of people seem to think it’s commentary on the current sociopolitical situation, but I think that’s giving Far Cry 5 too much credit. The ultimate blandness of the plot doesn’t seem to have any legitimate things to say. As interesting as Joseph Seed may potentially be, he and his kin ultimately seem wasted in the story here, and end up being both less charasmatic than Vass from Far Cry 3 or as shades of gray (and potentially right) as Pagan Min in the series’ fourth installment.

The problem is there’s only really one mission type. Go here, blow that up, kill those people. There’s never a mission that deviates from that in any meaningful way. When combined with the significantly less helpful HUD/mapping system and the near-constant assaults from trash mobs and dealing with broken companion AI, it just becomes kind of a tedious slog. Once you can get ahold of attack helicopters, it becomes “fast travel to helipad, spawn helicopter, fly to location, get out, blow up, fly to next” which speeds up the process, but still bores me to tears.

I suspect my problems may be due to my dislike of the whole “emergent gameplay” thing, which in a lot of cases seems to be secret code for “the developers couldn’t be bothered to come up with an actual plot or some interesting set pieces, so we’ll just make the player try to find the amusement and claim it’s artsy.”

Beyond that, Far Cry 5 is also completely illogical from an in-world perspective. You can jack helicopters, jets, big rigs, and heavily armored and armed SUVs. There’s no realistic lockdown in effect. The Deputy plows through thousands of mooks in the game without much effort. Please explain why I can’t just hop into a helicopter, fly south straight out of Hope County and come back with the National Guard and FBI? Previous games had beliveable reasons as to why the protagonists are stuck dealing with the problem, but the Deputy is not trapped in a culturally and technologically backwards remote area that has no law and order other than the enemy. Also, I kept wondering why nobody seems to have a cell phone, a satellite phone or a damned CB. Yes, there is a mission discussing how the cult has scrambler towers messing up signals, but very early on you tear them down and start a pirate radio station, so… yeah.

It may be kind of silly to hate on the game so much for story logic flaws, but they kept breaking the immersion for me. Sure, there’s moments where I was laughing and having fun – the “Disco Inferno” mission comes to mind, as well as anything to do with Hurk or Larry – but for the most part I was bored, leaving me plenty of time to contemplate the story flaws and in the end that ruined the experience for me.

Your milage may vary here, but my honest opinion is that you’ll have more fun with Far Cry 3 or 4, and I would recommend waiting for a steep sale to pick this one up.

What about you out there? Have an opinion on Hope County and its crazy inhabitants? Let us know down below!

 

KA Spiral no signature

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