Far Cry 5: Review

Far Cry 5 from Ubisoft Montreal and Toronto is probably my favorite game that I’ve played so far this year. That bar isn’t very high because I’ve only finished three other games. But still, my point stands. I really enjoyed this game and I’m glad I picked it up when it went on sale a couple weeks ago on PSN. I haven’t really played a Far Cry game since 3 last generation but I’m glad I played this one. And the fact that it takes place in my home state is cool. I liked seeing Montana come to life in a video game.

TL,DR: At the end, as per usual.

And definitely no spoilers.

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Graphics:

I’ve lived in Montana for more than 20 years at this point, so it is a safe bet that I know what the state looks like on the whole. I am impressed with how similar the game looks compared to the real thing. Of course, they had to condense everything cool about the state into a very small space, but I think they captured the essence fairly well.

Everything in your immediate view looked great while the backgrounds rendered this great sense of space. The game takes place in a larger valley isolated from the outside world and the developers used that to their advantage. There were not huge mountains to climb in the middle of everything but they loomed in the background of everything that you were doing in the game. There were creeks, fields, and roads littered throughout.

I loved the wildlife included in the game from the fish to the grizzly bears and the moose. Each of them looked very much like their real life counterparts. I do think some of the animals sizes were a bit off from reality, but that can be forgiven. I think I could a paddlefish in the game that weighed 110lbs-ish, and the thing was barely the size of my gun in the game. A 110lb fish is HUGE and should have been better reflected but that is a minor issue.

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Again, the people didn’t really inspire either. The faces were not very detailed and the enemies rarely varied in look. I just don’t like looking at the same person over and over for 25 hours. I tend to get bored. I understand why devs do this but I still find it to be a detractor.

There is a park in the game that basically combines Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park. I loved that area of the game because of how well they captured the essence of those real places.

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Sound:

When I wasn’t using headphones the sound was great. I found the world to feel alive and could hear developments happen around me as if I wasn’t there. I love that feeling in games when you feel like a part of something and not always the focal point.

Although I found the music to be obnoxious while riding in vehicles, the music was excellent overall. Music and sound played and happened in pivotal moments that improved my experience.

I think the voice work was a bit of a mixed bag. Some of the main characters did an excellent job while others sounded like carbon copies of the random bad guy I just fought. The animals sounded fairly real with few exceptions, like all hooved animals sounding like elk. Elk and deer sound very different in the real world.

The guns and cars all varied in sound. I could tell what I was driving or what I was firing based on sound alone. I always appreciate when minor sound differences that can really help the world come alive.

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Technical:

I had a single issue with a cutscene and a couple issues with headphone sound. Not much else got in the way technically.

I am overall impressed with the technicality of the game overall. Besides the previously listed issues, the game didn’t slow down or drop frames that I can recall. While I expected AAA games to run well, I know that open world games can be difficult. In this case, I can say the quality represents the scale of the developers.

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Gameplay:

Shooters just don’t play that well on consoles compared to PC. Far Cry 5 is no exception. I liked playing the game, but I felt like I was fighting the programming trying to get the guns to shoot where I pointed them. I think this is an issue with aim-assist, but I’m not entirely sure. The gunplay didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the game, I was just mildly annoyed at times.

First, sometimes the guns would aim exactly where I intended or it would land on a target without hesitation. And those times were great. The recoil controlled predictably and for the most part I didn’t have issues. There were instances where I had to aim down sight multiple times to get the gun to aim where I wanted it to. It was like the mechanics got confused and didn’t know which target I was looking at.

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At the same time, I found that the aim was stuck at the exact point in which I aimed down sight. I couldn’t move the sight and fire at the same time. I had to stop firing. Aim. And then fire again on the target. Sure, recoil is a thing and you can’t always fight it depending on the gun. The ADS just felt sticky and unintuitive sometimes.

The other gameplay elements, like driving cars, flying planes, gliding and parachuting, fishing, or doing puzzles felt awesome. I liked being in the world and didn’t feel bothered by partaking in all the it had to offer. It was just fun pretty much all the time.

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Story:

The Far Cry series has developed a bit of a specific type of storytelling ever since Far Cry 3. I didn’t play the first two so I can’t speak to them. If you’ve played 3 or 4 you know what to expect.

I will say that I enjoyed the story in this game due to its setting more than anything. You can kind of see how this would happen based on real historical events. Ubisoft just takes those events and makes them a little bit, okay alot more crazy and creates this unique blend of intrigue and disgust. You do some pretty messed up things in the game. You never really know what side you’re own or how you should feel about whats happening.

The story plays with your expectations and forces you to think about what you’re doing. I like that the developers just told a story they wanted to and didn’t give me any choice. Sometimes you just want to experience something as it would unfold regardless of your input. Other times you want to interact with the world and impact what’s happening. In this case, I enjoyed the story for what it was and can appreciate the story itself.

There is no room for interpretation at the end, you know what happened at the end, for better or for worse.

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Overall:

I really enjoyed Far Cry 5. I loved doing all the little things in the game and enjoyed the story from start to finish.

I think they introduce the game in such a way that feels great for the story and for the gameplay. I was actually intrigued from the beginning and I didn’t have time to get bored before gameplay mechanics were introduced. I think this speaks to an understanding of how gameplay and story can work together to create a dynamic experience without overdoing either.

I only have good memories of Far Cry 5. I was appreciative enough of the game that I thought about playing Far Cry New Dawn immediately after. But, I realized that I would probably get tired of that game fairly quickly so I’ll just have it to look forward too while I playing something else.

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TL,DR: 

Great game with a believable, fun world to explore and an enjoyable story to experience.

What are your thoughts on Far Cry 5? One of the better games in the series or does it not do enough different to stand out?

Thanks for reading.

 

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