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FAR CRY 5
A playground of chaos that keeps your head on a swivel.

REVIEW
By JAY TEE
10/04/18

There aren’t many games that let you tear up occupied farmland, dodge enraged wild bears, and face off against drugged up religious fanatics. But that’s an average ten minutes in Far Cry 5, an audacious, thoroughly engaging open world shooter.

The story of a junior deputy, sent in to arrest the monologue spouting leader of Project at Eden’s Gate, has been largely dismissed by mainstream press as a thinly veiled attempt at political commentary. There is an argument to be made for Ubisoft potentially courting controversy to increase sales, but there be no denying the quality of the writing and performances throughout the campaign.

There is a sense of controlled chaos at play here. Overlapping systems collide for unpredictable and entertaining emergent moments. You can be stealthily approaching an enemy camp, only to be stalked by a pack of Wolves, who in turn can be distracted by other local wildlife, or even A.I. controlled human characters. As always, we’ve divided up our more detailed thoughts into the sections below.

THE BASICS - An open world shooter, set in the present day. Fight back against a heavily armed radical cult as you attempt to retake Montana.

PLATFORMS - PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

PLAYERS - Offline - 1, Online - 1 - 12

CO-OP? MULTIPLAYER? - You can invite a friend to play co-op campaign, but their mission progress isn’t retained. Competitive multiplayer and a map editor are also both available.

DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT - A season pass with three themed single player expansions, along with free updates.

TARPS? - At the bottom of all our reviews, you’ll see a series of absurd looking images (with equally stupid, in joke laden names). These are the TARP badges, which represent our ‘Totally Accurate Rating Platform’. They allow us to identify specific things, recognise positive or negative aspects of a games design, and generally indulge our consistent silliness with some visual tomfoolery.

REVIEWS KEY:

The Look - Art style, graphics, and overall presentation.
The Feel - Mechanics, controls, and learning curve.
The Sound - Music, sound effects, and dialogue.
The Experience - Anecdotes and random thoughts.

Hunting is a fun aspect of Far Cry 5, but there have been far too many occasions where I’ve been forced to shoot a dog that is attacking me. And I’m not cool with that.  

LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS ARTICLE!
LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW, TWEET US @JAYTEE_GA, OR E-MAIL: EDITOR@JTGA.CO.UK.

The BEST WITH FRIENDS badge is earned if a game is significantly more fun playing with people you know, either in campaign or online.

The PICK UP AND PLAY badge is for when a game is better suited to brief, impromptu sessions that give a quick blast of escapism.

The LONE WOLF badge tells you that a particular game can only be played, or is more enjoyable, when
you’re flying solo.

The DEEP DIVE badge is a heads up that what you’re about to play is a huge undertaking, and best enjoyed in extended periods.

The KITCHEN SINK badge is an indication of a game that is
bursting at the seams with content (either on disc or DLC).

The BAM! DONE! badge lets you know that within minutes of picking up the controller, you can play this like a pro.

The HOT POTATO badge makes a really clear statement: this
game is making waves, and it’s
definitely worth a  look.

The LEARNING CURVE badge is awarded if you’ll need to allow a fair bit of time in
order to fully
grasp the controls.

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FINAL SCORE:

TARP BADGES:

The SCEPTICAL FACE badge is for when a game doesn’t leave a strong first impression. Perhaps more
time is needed to decide?

The LEFT FIELD badge is awarded when a game surprises us by being really good and it hadn’t previously been on our radar.

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The SMALL FRY badge is for a title from a smaller development team that is absolutely worth your time and should not be ignored.

The LOBBY LAG badge is for when the multiplayer side of things is lacking features, and/or runs very poorly.

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The YOSHI’S EYELIDS badge is for a game where the facial animation leaves much to be desired…

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Jay Tee.

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… MORE TARPS WILL BE ADDED SOON!

KRISPE KREME - We’re playing the game on a PS4 Pro, and there is clearly some magical wizardry being conducted to get the game running in such a stable state at this resolution. It’s an impressive technical feat, as the open world feel dense and detailed. Character faces are much more hit and miss though.

STORY HOARDER - There is a persistent feeling that areas of interest on the map don’t exist because of you, but in spite of you. A lot of care and attention has been placed on environmental detail, particularly in the various ‘prepper stashes’. They contain lots of optional storytelling, and do a great job of making Far Cry 5 feel like an organic, living space to be explored.

HE’S A GOOD BOY - Although human character models don’t always escape the uncanny valley, your dog Boomer looks incredible.

Easily the best Far Cry to date. The lack of persistence in co-op is a massive shame, but this is a satisfyingly complex shooter with a well written story.

DEATH BECOMES YOU - You will find yourself dying on average a lot more than you’d expect, particularly as your best laid plans can so often turn sideways. It doesn’t feel cheap or pre determined, but the A.I. can be relentless. Plus, you have to consider the threat of indigenous wildlife. It’s a densely packed play space, with a lot of optional activities that all tie back into the story.

NAILED THE BASICS - The shooting mechanics feel good. That might seem like an oversimplification, but I think it often gets knocked aside in favour of some crazy gameplay mechanic or back of the box feature. There is a hefty weight to most weapons, and the varied tools of destruction at your disposal provide plenty of opportunities to mix up stealth with a full frontal assault.

NATURAL SELECTION - You reveal the map through exploration and character interaction. No towers to climb! Yay!

MARLON BRANDO - The player character isn’t voiced, which at times feels odd because there is lot of character interaction, and a large amount of monologue heavy cut scenes. The motion captured performances of the main antagonists are not over the top like the cartoonish Vaas from Far Cry 3, but lack the showmanship of Troy Baker’s Pagan Min from Far Cry 4.

BLEEDING EARS - As much as hardcore rock and country fits the setting, the preset radio playlists won’t be to everyone’s liking. I found myself muting it during extended journeys. Music is used sparsely throughout the campaign, and is reserved for the more dramatic or intense sequences.  

BELLY LAUGH - The noise of an enraged grizzly is both terrifying and hilarious. As are the reactions of nearby human A.I…

SAVE MY BACON - Your ‘guns/fangs for hire’ are sensitive to your playstyle, and won’t break your stealth even if you direct them to attack a nearby enemy. I cleared out an entire outpost by positioning Grace Armstrong up high with a sniper, without ever having to fire a shot myself. Later, I recruited a random NPC as an impromptu ally, and we cleared a checkpoint without raising the alarm.

DIP A TOE - Some of my favourite parts of the game involve the aforementioned ‘prepper stashes’, which each offer a unique challenge or obstacle to overcome. Zip lining down a hillside into a converted silo was a highlight, along with breaking into a flooded basement by solving a series of environmental puzzles.

HE’S A REALLY GOOD BOY - Boomer has repeatedly saved my life, barking to identify enemies and covering blindspots.