Far Cry 5 Preview: AntiSe
Kalvin Martinez / Sep 18th, 2017 No Comments
Video games rarely get to be reactive. It takes years to develop games, so it’s nearly impossible for a game to be ripped from the headlines. However, Ubisoft Montreal is starting to develop a solid track record for producing games that are immediate reflections of current affairs.
Watch Dogs 2 was a cathartic experience. It let you play as Marcus Holloway getting a karmic retribution against a crooked system. Far Cry 5 is continuing this trend of relevant storytelling.
Related: Watch Dogs 2 Review: Sprinkle Me
Far Cry 5 was born out of creative director Dan Hay’s childhood fears of the Cold War. His sense of impending dread is at the center of the game. This fear was rekindled by the subprime mortgage crisis of 2008. The fear of instability in our institutions is echoed darkly and more viscerally in our current sociopolitical climate.
When Fary Cry 5 was announced, it caused a lot of controversy. Many (mostly white people) claimed it was racist. It isn’t racist. It is, however, a game that lets you fight oppression and fanatical thinking, which is exactly what we need right now.
Fear and Faith
Hope County, Montana was a peaceful land with good American values and idyllic countryside. People had their problems, but they took care of their own. That changed when Joseph Seed and his kin decided to lock down the county.
Seed is known as the Father, a preacher turned leader of his own cult, the Project at Eden’s Gate. The cult preys upon the weak and hopeless. By targeting those who have fallen on hard times, Seed has turned many of the Hope County residents into Project at Eden’s Gate members.
A cult is nothing without belief. The Project at Eden’s Gate believe The Collapse is fixing to happen. What can save this flock? Naturally Joseph Seed, the Father is here to keep them safe.
Seed is a family man. As such, his kin are his Heralds in exerting his will. Faith Seed, his sister, acts as the angelic voice of the Project at Eden’s Gate keeping the congregation blissful.
Jacob Seed, Joseph’s big brother, acts as the recruiter and trainer of the armed members of The Project at Eden’s Gate. Finally, John Seed, the little brother, ensures those who resist meet a terrible end or serve to meet the cult’s needs.
While Salvation is what is fed to the members of The Project at Eden’s Gate, that isn’t the cult’s true aim. It believes the end is coming and it wants to bring it about.
As a sheriff’s deputy, it is up to you to arrest Joseph Seed and stop his militaristic cult. Luckily, you won’t be doing it alone. You’ll be able to recruit the townsfolk to your cause and use their unique skills to your advantage in stopping Seed.
Any War You Want
When you arrive in Hope County, you find the town is already starting to rebel against the Project at Eden’s Gate. Your immediate goal is to help liberate a small area from the Peggies, a nickname given to members of the Project at Eden’s Gate.
Grace Armstrong’s got your six as you figure out the best way to infiltrate and take out the Peggies. She worked at her family’s shooting range in Holland Valley until the Peggies took it over and the law refused to help.
Armstrong is an expert sniper and former military. She is able to provide devastating cover fire. In your goal to liberate the Peggie ridden swath of Hope County, she is a fantastic ally.
Liberating this area from the Peggies is a good introduction, or in many people’s case a re-introduction, to Far Cry’s mechanics. Anyone familiar with the previous main numbered games will be able to pick up the fast-paced, chaotic action.
Whether you choose to sneak around and take out Peggies with a baseball bat or wreak havoc by picking up weapons and emptying its ammo out on them is entirely your choice. Either one is immediately satisfying.
Once you’ve freed the area, you’ll gain more support in your fight against the Project at Eden’s Gate. However, support and actual help are two different things.
Both are important, but one gives you good feels and the other gives you a plane that can drop bombs on Peggies.
To help you rain death from above is Nick Rye. He never wanted to be a man of war, preferring to forgo the Air Force to stay near his wife and start his own cropdusting business. However, the Peggies wronged him by trying to buy him out. Now, he is a powerful ally in taking them down.
Rye’s first task for you is to stick it to the Peggies by going on a bombing run. The Peggies have been amassing nitroglycerin in silos around Hope County, and well, you know where this is going. Your job is to take to the skies and bomb these silos. Before long, the Project at Eden’s Gate gets wise to your game and moves the nitro.
The good thing about a plane is that you can easily adjust to a new target. Going from a stationary target to a moving caravan won’t stop you from blowing that nitro to holy hell.
Apparently the Project at Eden’s Gate doesn’t take too kindly to you bombing them, so they send The Chosen out. The Chosen was an ace pilot in his day, and now he has his eyes on you. This leads to an intense dogfight.
The intensity is aided by an excellent presentation of The Chosen, who enters with a killer musical sting that carries through the fight. The preview version of the game had strict limitations. If Rye ventured too far, it would send him back to the middle of the map. It didn’t allow me to get a great feel of how dogfights in the full version of the game will feel.
Flight controls also didn’t help. The inverted controls make flying the plane feel more realistic, but as you’re trying to chase down The Chosen, you will be fighting against yourself and the inversion to get some shots in.
A Fishing Break
One major aspect of this demo build was the fishing side activity. Despite the battle brewing in Hope County, there will be time for side missions.
Fishing itself isn’t that novel. The controls are easy to pick up with a slight learning curve to master. The mechanics are sound, but nothing revolutionary. What makes fishing in Far Cry 5 compelling is what it represents.
On either end of the demo was balls-to-the-wall action, either killing Peggies with a baseball bat or dogfighting with a fighter pilot. By contrast, fishing was peaceful. There was a soothing aspect to pausing from the chaos to fish in the serene countryside. It’s therapeutic to take a break and just wait for a fish to bite at the line.
But it’s still Far Cry, so you can always shoot the guy trying to fish near you in order to secure the biggest fish for yourself. Still soothing and therapeutic, that one act of violence notwithstanding.
Stand Up and Fight
Far Cry 5 is the largest Far Cry game to date, which is obvious as flying around in the demo only gave a taste of Hope County’s scale. It’ll be exciting to see how vast Hope County is and what else is in store come release.
While the Holland Valley is gorgeous and quaint, there is a sinister undertone to it all. Picturesque fishing could be interrupted at any moment by members of the Project at Eden’s Gate. Never forget oppression is lurking around every corner, so be prepared to stand up and resist.
Luckily, you got plenty of weaponry, including baseball bats, explosives, bows and powerful automatic weapons. The playing field is even with such a fierce arsenal and your trusty guns-for-hire allies. Taking out the Project at Eden’s Gate will not doubt be very fun and chaotic.
Far Cry 5 releases Feb. 27 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
tags: Far Cry 5 , Far Cry 5 preview , preview , ubisoft , Ubisoft Montreal