While working on the Best of 2018 list, I came to the realization that there were several games that I forgot to review. One of those games was Far Cry 5. This is was one of my favorite games of 2018 but I didn’t get the chance to review it because I was backed up with several other projects.
Far Cry 5 is a radical redesign compared to its predecessors as players take on the role of a Deputy who must help free Hope County, Montana from the Eden’s Gate cult. Despite some of its shortcomings and some controversial choices, this may be one of the best entries in the series.
Welcome to Hope County
Far Cry 5 trades an exotic location for world closer to home in the form of Hope County, Montana. When the game was first announced, it garnered controversy as some saw it an attack on conservative values since the villains were right-wing religious fanatics. That was not the case after playing it for over 100 hours as I felt that Far Cry 5 may be one of the most conservative themed games developed.
The game shares many of the same themes as Red Dawn, most notably glorifying the militia movement as the last line of defense for the American way of life. However, the game takes it one step further by also depicting the Constitutional Sheriff movement in a positive manner. How? Through out the game the only members of Hope County’s government that are active is the Sheriff’s Department while anyone of a higher government office is depicted as being corrupt or incompetent (in the form of Hurk Drubman Sr. and Marshall Burke).
As for the Eden’s Gate cult, they are just basically a stand in for Al-Qaeda and nothing more (Y’all Qaeda).
If the writers wanted to tell a story that was a critic of American conservative politics, they failed at that. Is the story any good? Yes, since the original Red Dawn is one of my favorite movies and it’s always interesting to engage in a story that challenges ones political views.
The only issue with the story is the presence of a silent protagonist and how often Bliss (an in-game hallucinogen) is unclearly used as a plot point. The silent protagonist is an irreverent character for game like Far Cry and the excuse given for the choice made can only be described as laziness. Had gamers been given dialogue options then it could have been forgivable. Bliss is a hallucinogen that seem to be the games stand in for “nano-machines” (Metal Gear Solid fans know what I’m talking about). Besides unnecessary drug trip moments, Bliss has the power to turn people into loyal cultists, deranged killer or brainwash them into a Manchurian Candidate-like assassin.
A New Experience
Players are given free reign create their own character and fight the PEGGY’s however they want, be it using stealth or guns blazing. As with previous games, an RPG progression system allows players to build up their characters skill sets based on their preferred style. Personally, I put on the Rainbow Six armor and get the MG42 just to embrace my inner Panzer Cop (I just watched Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade).
From the start: Far Cry 5 wants players to start exploring, hence there is no part of the map that is closed off nor are there any annoying tower climbing missions. Hope County is world that has plenty to offer and ,after several post-launch updates, more has been added. The game also includes one of the largest collection of vehicles in the series which adds to the games diversity but also creates some major plot issues.
Most notably is the inclusion of aircraft’s (which is awesome from a gameplay perspective) but adds a major issue with the plot. Like why doesn’t the Deputy (or Nick Rye) just fly off to closes city and contact the National Guard to come save the town? Sorry these plot points and dumb choices makes me question a lot of things!
I Was Lost But Now I’m Found
Far Cry 5 is a good game but it has the short comings listed along with one major issue I can’t over look, microtransactions in a single player game. The inclusion of microtransactions in a single player game was the ultimate deciding factor in my score. While it’s not forced on the player, the fact it’s there has set a dangerous precedent.
Despite these shortcomings; this was overall a really good game and one of the best shooters I’ve played all year. It avoids being the same game like its predecessor and the competition while also taking players on an unforgettable adventure.
Far Cry 5 is the first radical redesign of the series since the third game and it works to its advantage. It has a good story and a gameplay setup that is one of the best in the series. However it has several minor issues along with one major problem that keeps it from being perfect.
Final Score: 8/10
Disclaimer: I bought this game on the PlayStation Store.
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