On May 26th, 2017, Ubisoft Montreal officially lifted the veil off of the next installment in their popular Far Cry series. With a fictional setting of Hope County, Montana and a hostile takeover by a militaristic doomsday cult referred to as the Project at Eden’s Gate, Far Cry 5 is already shaping up to be one of next year’s most talked about video games.
During PAX West 2017, I had an opportunity to play the full Far Cry 5 demo that Ubisoft briefly displayed at their memorable E3 2017 press conference. Below is a detailed overview of my experience along with some candid thoughts on how this sequel will fare with the new tone and direction.
The demonstration opened with the newly introduced Guns for Hire character selection screen that allows players to choose from one of three fellow protagonists. These NPC support characters include a long-range sniper expert in Grace Armstrong, Mechanic and Aerial Assault Pilot Nick Rye and a stealth dog companion named Boomer. Noticeably absent from the demo was the ability to create your own custom character, a feature that will definitely be in the final product but would have proven lengthy to include in this particular session given the time constraints.
While Boomer is destined to be a popular choice among players everywhere once the game hits stores early next year, I decided to switch things up and go with Grace as an ally to see if she would prove to be just as useful. It’s worth noting that both Grace and Boomer are ideal for stealth scenarios because they can easily get the drop on your adversaries without being spotted.
When launching my assault, I learned very quickly that sometimes stealth is the best approach to take rather than going in guns blazing. The AI controlled cult members can be challenging if you aren’t prepared but skilled first-person shooter fans will be able to hold their own with the right amount of patience and precision. Guns for Hire teammates can assist in certain instances, but for the majority of my playthrough, I had to do all of the heavy lifting on my own. After taking out all of the nearby enemies, I was greeted by another wave of adversaries before successfully liberating the area.
Once this brief liberation mission concluded, I drove to Nick Rye’s hangar space and helped him fend off more dangerous cult members. It was at this point that I actually had the opportunity to fly a plane and participate in a series of intense aerial dogfights. The learning curve between driving trucks and flying planes is relatively easy just so long as you don’t alter the first-person camera view perspective too frequently and throw off your coordination.
Closing out the demo, I decided to spend my final minutes trying out the fishing activities. These fun and challenging mini-games are very therapeutic in a sense because they take you away from all the gunplay and violent encounters located throughout Hope County. Interestingly enough, I discovered that many people enjoyed the fishing options just as much as I did. It will be interesting to see which other activities Ubisoft Montreal will make readily available to players once the game hits stores.
On the surface, Far Cry 5 feels exactly like other entries in the series but with greater emphasis on a much more fictional and bleak setting that only you and your allies can save. The visual presentation is nothing short of breathtaking and shows the lengths that the creative team went through to recreate Montana. The controls are very responsive and anyone who has ever played a Far Cry title will feel right at home with this one.
The only question that I have now about Far Cry 5 is just how far will the religious themes be pushed within the context of the storyline. Many have looked at the game as being controversial as it relates to current events and suggests things that can actually happen. I personally haven’t noticed those specific comparisons but I do think the focus on religious fanaticism is a topic that can be very intriguing depending on how it’s presented.
While my time with Far Cry 5 might have been brief, I pretty walked away satisfied and am very anxious to see the end result of this venture. Stay tuned for more of our coverage on Far Cry 5 over the next several months.
Far Cry 5 launches on February 27th, 2018 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Are any of you planning on trying out this game when it hits stores early next year? Please feel free to let us know in the comments section below.