After a few missteps and some serious cases of franchise fatigue, it seems Ubisoft is back on track in 2017/18. After an elongated break between games, Assassin’s Creed Origins has gone on to be wildly successful both critically and commercially, and this has no doubt contributed somewhat to the company’s decision to delay the release of their next flagship title by around a month, into March next year.
I got to go hands-on demo of with Far Cry 5 at Ubisoft’s Sydney office this week and I’ve come away feeling confident that the final game is going to be an absolute must-play.
Right from the start it’s clear that Far Cry 5’s setting is a radical departure from previous games. Eschewing the more ‘tropical’ feeling of most other series entries, everything this time takes place in the fictional Hope County, Montana. Hope County initially looks and feels significantly more flat than the likes of Far Cry 3’s Rook Island setting, or Kyrat in Far Cry 4, but after a couple of hours of exploration it’s safe to say that it makes for one of the more engaging backdrops in the franchise.The demo I played took place in the full region of Holland Valley, which seems to make up roughly 1/3 of the final game’s open world. Holland Valley is one of three major areas run by the siblings of the game’s primary antagonist, Joseph Seed, and is (at least initially) quite overrun with the unhinged and violent members of his cult, ‘Eden’s Gate’. While much of the overall story is obviously still shrouded in mystery and will remain so until the game is out in the wild, it’s clear that having a maniacal, self-loving and wordy villain is a series establishment at this point, and it works. Accompanying the rolling country and peaceful-looking estates in Hope County is an overbearing sense of dread and unease as Joseph’s influence on every corner is almost palpable.