Far Cry 5 Impressions: Land of the Free
Ryan Bloom / Mar 26th, 2018 No Comments
Far Cry 5 takes place in a sprawling, picturesque portion of Montana, the first in the series to be set in North America. As you explore the vast woodlands and scale rock formations, literally anything can happen. At one point, I pulled over to the side of the ride to save a captured civilian from certain death at the hands of a member of the sinister Project at Eden’s Gate cult. As I was shooting the cultist, I was approached by two more who happened to pass by on their ATV. I began to fire at them when a moose suddenly came rampaging out of the forest, stomping on the enemies before continuing toward me.
These crazy moments are the ones you will remember, but all this is to say that there is just so much to experience in Far Cry 5. For this reason, we don’t have a complete review at this time, but here are our initial thoughts about the game.
Home on the Range
Perhaps because it’s set on the ranges of Hope County, Montana, Far Cry 5 gives players a lot of freedom. It also places a lot of trust in the player. The intro portion of the game somewhat holds your hand, but it feels more like it is providing context rather than teaching you how to press buttons. Although there is an RPG perk system in place, you won’t have to wait to get past certain levels in order to unlock the ability to drive, pilot helicopters, or parachute. For the most part, you’re going to figure things out as you go, and the game will briefly show you the controls when you need them.
This is refreshing. You’ll be able to immediately jump into Far Cry 5 and take on missions as you choose. In fact, jumping around the county to liberate different civilians is important because some of these characters are equipped to help you out with more difficult encounters.
Liberate and Appreciate
The freedom that Far Cry 5 gives you allows you to appreciate exploration. While on one story mission, I unlocked a nearby side quest, so I put the plot on hold to find some loot. This task led me to climb a mountain, where I became extremely familiar with my grappling hook (which is unlocked via the perk system). The level design provided me some clues on where to go, but I had no real idea that I was going the right way until I had found the stash of goods and cash. It’s probably not a good thing for the story that I was willing to pause my current mission for an exploration quest, but this is when Far Cry 5 is at its best.
Additionally, the freedom to approach missions however you choose is exciting. There are lot of tasks that involve “liberating” outposts, which often entails going into a cult stronghold and taking out all the peggies (what civilians call members of the Project at Eden’s Gate). It may be advantageous to try for a stealth attack, but this can feel repetitive. Sometimes, you’ll want to in guns blazing.
Other times, you may want to try a more creative approach. While spotting peggies at one outpost, I decided that there was no good route for a stealth takedown and there were too many enemies for an aggressive attack. As I was contemplating strategy, I noticed I had bait in my weapon wheel, so I threw equipped it and threw into the facility. Within a few seconds, a bear was mauling cultists while I sat back and enjoyed the show.
These “what the hell just happened” moments are distinctly Far Cry. The concept isn’t new in this series, although the parties involved and the setting may be. Nevertheless, these instances help mask a story that seems to be at odds with itself. I will wait for the story to play out to judge it completely, but for now, the slow, unclear cutscenes seem to get in the way of the high-octane gameplay experience.
Far Cry 5 will be available on March 27. We’ll have a full review of the game soon.
tags: far cry , Far Cry 5 , Far Cry 5 Impressions , Far Cry 5 Review , opinion