Whilst Far Cry is a franchise that’s universally loved, you’d not be blamed about being unsure about the future of the series after Far Cry Primal. Thankfully, all my worries were put aside as soon as I got hands-on with Far Cry 5.
As soon as Far Cry 5 was announced, I was immediately captivated by the premise and more importantly, the location of the game. I was interested to see how a Far Cry game would work in an American location, with previous games opting to go for remote, dense locations.At the beginning of the demo, you’ll be asked to choose one of three ‘guns for hire’ (we’re told there will be more in the final game). Your guns for hire will essentially act as your sidekick in taking down enemies and wildlife throughout the world. Naturally, I chose Boomer The Dog on my first play through, and I was quite surprised how able he was in taking down enemies, or keeping them still for me to deal the final blow.
I also played through the demo once more with Grace as my sidekick, and I could direct her up to high vantage points so she could pick people off with her deadly sniper weapons. The sidekicks will change up your strategy and make you feel like you’ve got support, rather than the hindrance of A.I. You can also (instead) play through the entire game with a co-op partner who will effectively act as your gun for hire, but that feature wasn’t available in this demo.
Another demo threw me straight into the action, tasking me with taking down the settlement of Fall’s End that had been taken over by Eden’s Gate AKA the bat-shit crazy religious cult. As soon as you get a gun in your hand, you’ll immediately feel like you’re playing a Far Cry game, but gun-combat does feel a little bit different this time around. I noticed that my bullets seemed to have some weight to them, to the point that aiming required a little more skill, which does make sense as the game does have a more down to earth kind of feel to it (for the most part, it’s still Far Cry).This mission was fairly standard as far as Far Cry missions go, but once I got through is when everything went up by ten-fold. Ubisoft has done a whole bunch of work to make this Far Cry crazier than ever. I was immediately able to pick up a monstrous truck, which I’m told can blow through almost anything in the town. I then made my way over to Nick Rye, who I had to rescue from a bunch of Eden’s Gate loonies. It was at this moment that the game completely changed, with Nick Rye giving me access to his plane and effectively allowing me to shoot rockets and drop bombs, causing more chaos than ever imagined. Far Cry has long needed a better way to get across the extensive map. Previously, I’ve only ever gone back to areas if I needed to progress the story, as getting from one side to the other has been tedious.
For all the of the crazy in Far Cry 5, there’s some rural inspired activities to balance out the fun. I could try out fishing in two separate lakes. Ubisoft has taken this seriously assuring me that you’re able to catch different fish in different lakes. It’s quite a complex activity too, with you having complete control over how far you cast your line and then having to reel your fish in without snapping your line. It was at this moment that I realised that Hope County is going to be an absolute time sink more than any other. Far Cry has always been a game that provides genuine, crazy fun but to actually feel like you’re playing in semi-believable world, where you can do normal person things is weirdly refreshing.It’s worth mentioning that Far Cry 5 is quite obviously a visual step up from Far Cry 4/Primal. The luscious landscapes of Montana are stunning, and the characters as well as the interiors have a sense of realism that is almost starting to exceed my imagination.
Far Cry 5 is easily one of my most anticipated titles, even more so after going hands-on. It’s obviously a little too early to reserve final judgement, but it looks like Ubisoft may have created a title that somehow manages to stay grounded place you in a believable representation of an American city, whilst also creating their most insane iteration of Far Cry yet.
Press Start is attending E3 2017 as a guest of Ubisoft. This does not prevent us from covering titles exhibited by other publishers, nor does it hinder us from providing honest impressions about Ubisoft’s show line-up.
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