Far Cry 5 Review
It's been two years since the last installation of the Far Cry series, and the ominous preview to the latest game left players confused and eager to learn more. Far Cry's history is one of goof and mockery, but is this shallow storyline doing enough to support the all-too-real state of affairs in Hope County, Montana?
At the center of the story is The Project at Eden's Gate, a radical religious cult hell-bent on claiming land to freely practice their religion, wield guns, and torture non-believers. Led by Joseph Seed, the man-bun wearing, bearded "father" of this new-wave religion, the "peggies" are on a mission against the local government to clear out large geographic areas for their practice. You are the deputy sheriff, with no dialogue or backstory.
The story heavily relies on the idea that this midwest hellscape is far out of reach and free of cell service, making it impossible for you to call in government support. So you might find yourself screaming into the screen, “how did all these people in Montana get access to large amounts of military grade weapons?” Spoiler alert - Far Cry is in no hurry to provide you with answers.
The worst of Far Cry 5's problems is the lack of context. The entire game seems to be mocking the current state of affairs within the US without ever attempting to make a statement. The dystopian alternate universe could be a glimpse into the future of our country, but the game makes an incredible effort to debunk any connection to real life - while the cult seems vaguely Christian, everything the Seeds say is just a mix of random religious words with little to no meaning. Sure, this cult is on a mission to convert, but what is their backstory? How did they become so radicalized?
You’ll run into many characters drugged out on bliss, a hallucinogenic drug that takes away free will and turns resistant residents of the town into willing servants of the cult. A green cloud hovers over their heads and zombie-like behavior ensues, intended to justify your need to shoot citizens of the county you govern directly in the head, regardless of whether or not they are a member of the cult in question.
Missed opportunities in the narrative aren't enough to completely ruin the gameplay. Ubisoft's open world playbook leaves plenty of room for creativity, despite the predictable storyline. Side missions within missions allow for layered gaming while you regain control of geographic areas. Unlock a variety of impressive vehicles, including a bomber plane, and raid abandoned bunkers filled with doomsday prepping supplies to gain perk upgrades.
Expect your actions within the game to jump from extreme to extremely chill. While you might be overwhelmed to find that torturing citizens for information is standard procedure within the sheriff’s office, you could be calmly fishing and swimming in a pond minutes later. A sheriff deputy’s life in Hope County is apparently all about balance.
TL;DR: Open world unpredictability makes for a fun game, but the huge tonal disconnect between the horrific tale and Far Cry's goofiness might leave a bad taste in your mouth.
Edited by Wolf