I haven’t played a Farcry game in years. In fact, I really only played the first one, back in the day when Crysis and Farcry were the ‘cutting edge’ games, competing for technological superiority. And to be honest, I didn’t expect too much reading the reviews for Farcry 3 and 4 when they came out.
I love open world games. I still play The Witcher and GTA 5 every so often. The amount of fun you can have with an open world game is endless (obviously). But it can also be very painful if the game is done badly.
Farcry 5 sets the scene with a cult taking over the fictional Hope County, Montana. The lead character, Joseph Seed, is recruiting what looks to be an army, to set up a new world once the collapse happens.
The first act opens up with a small team, including the local sheriff, a special agent and yourself trying to arrest the cult leader. When things don’t go quite to plan, you have to escape the cult.
When the escape doesn’t quite go to plan, you find yourself in a bunker with Dutch, someone who you will hear throughout the game going forward.
From here, your plan is to take down all 3 siblings of the Cult’s leader, Joseph. The first one is John.
This was my favorite act of the game. The reason being is the world is very new. You have very little in the way of guns, ammo or money. No ‘sidekicks’ to help you, so you’re pretty much alone. The first couple of missions are quite difficult. You find yourself with low-end guns, without enough money to customize them, or any perks to unlock additional features of weapons or personal traits.
I enjoy a hard game, so having very little early on was very appealing to me. Driving around the countryside was nice, and most missions were not too far away, so the driving was not a chore, which really can be in these open-world games.
As you increase your experience by doing missions, which generally consist of helping someone escape the cult, or blowing up some cult base, or killing a cult member, you gain RP to increase your level, and you find money in houses, buildings and on dead bodies.
I think I spent around 12 hours on the first act alone, generally looking around, as the story was quite interesting. I found the second and third acts a bit underwhelming. It’s almost as if the writers got a bit bored, and/or rushed the rest of the story.
Once you get a few perks, and sidekicks, the game becomes very easy. As an example, once you can buy a helicopter with guns and rockets, you can pretty much pound the shit out of everything. If you have the perk to auto-repair your vehicle, then you will likely never die.
The sidekicks or companions are pretty good. I really only used a couple throughout the game, there was no real reason to use anyone else, mainly because of stupid pathing AI. Boomer and Grace. Boomer spots anyone, and Grace is a decent sniper. But there are 7 others which can make for some interesting gameplay. My favorite has to be Cheeseburger, just for the name… and the fact he has diabetes for eating too many cheeseburgers.
You can also pick up many other companions along the way. These companions sit in the 3 slots below your permanent ones. Each one will have unique perks when unlocked, such as allowing you to carry more ammo. So in some instances, it pays to use these more than the permanent ones.
You can choose a variety of guns. From sidearms to assault, to some very special weapons, including the Magnopulser, which pretty much vaporizes anything with one shot. Many weapons have attachments which can be purchased, such as silencers, scopes and additional mags.
You will also have access to explosives and throwing knives, which consist of proximity mines, timed explosives, grenades dynamite and plenty more, including upgraded types such as sticky grenades. These become essential later in the game.
The great thing about the explosives is that you can craft many of them from components found on the map. This becomes very useful at the beginning of the game when you don’t have much cash to buy anything.
However, this is also a lacking part of the game. I feel that crafting could have been made into a real part of the game, and expanded into guns and other items. I think it’s a missed opportunity.
In saying that, the vehicle gameplay in Farcry is outstanding. I haven’t had this much fun driving since GTA5. I haven’t had this much fun flying since Battlefield 3. Farcry 5 really nails the vehicles, including the sound. The sound in all vehicles is top notch. From being inside a helicopter to riding the quad bike. It sounds and feels very natural. This is no driving/flying simulator by any means, and I’m glad it’s not.
On top of this, once you start getting sidekicks, who you can bring along with you, such as Boomer, the dog, who can spot any enemies for you, the game goes beyond easy. Jump in your helicopter, tell Boomer to scout, a compound, and the rest is history.
Story missions generally block you from bringing a sidekick with you, instead relying on your own skill, which makes for some very good fights. I was quite impressed with the story missions in the game. The story, which many other reviewers have looked on unfavorably, I actually found very good. It was very well explained, with quite a bit of backstory from both the story missions and NPCs within the game.
The end levels for each ACT, which normally consist of leaving some sort of bunker, are quite difficult on the hard setting. The AI is a little shitty at times, as you might expect, but the gunplay is very satisfying.
The cutscenes, which are all in-game, are very well done, and pull the story along at a good pace. There is one issue here, however. To progress the game, you will have to level your character. This triggers a scene where you are pulled into a cutscene with the current ACTs leader. I found this very unnatural. As an example, if you are flying in a helicopter, gain a level and get pulled into a cutscene (eventually), or as soon as you land on the ground. This really pulls you out of the atmosphere.
Farcry also includes an arcade mode. This mode allows you to play custom levels designed in with the map editor by other players and yourself. The map editor is basically a cut down version of the unreal editor. It’s very easy to use.
I played a couple of maps and found it kinda ‘meh’. It does allow multiplayer, but I haven’t tested that. I’m sure it will become more interesting once people have had a good play with it, but at the moment, there’s not a lot to see here.
In saying that, it was pretty much my only complaint about the game. Everything else is very well done, including the soundtrack, which I have not seen mentioned anywhere. It’s quite a beautiful soundtrack, which has been very nicely tied to the right scenes.
Overall, I fell this game is a must play for the open-world gamer. It provides a different kind of GTA like experience with a beautiful open-world. Great voice actors, dialogue, and gameplay.