This review is for the campaign of Far Cry 5 played on an XBOX ONE X. It should also be pointed out that Mega Dads is a Ubistars Official Blogger however this is not a paid advertisement or endorsed review by Ubisoft. Our opinions are our own.
Lasting impressions matter. Far Cry 5 is a complicated game to review in the fact that my opinion on the game changed radically once I reached the credit roll. There will be no spoilers in this review but in order to understand my score I must allude to the tone of how Ubisoft brings this game to a close and how it made me feel. It is controversial, complicated and it fits with the bipolar nature of your time in Hope County, for better or for worse.
Welcome to the promised land
One thing to be said about Far Cry 5 is that this game knows how to make an entrance. From the moment you start your journey it is evident that it is going to be a dark trip through the country. The opening moments have your deputy avatar accompanying a team of law enforcement officials on their way to serve a warrant for the arrest of cult leader Joseph Seed. The scene slowly carries you through the cult’s massive community as worshippers surround you at every turn and stare you down with dark eyes and assault rifles. The scene is unnerving, quiet and menacing which builds such incredible tension, and once the first inevitable shot rings out the game slams the pedal to the floor and launches you headfirst into chaos and mania.
This feeling stays with you throughout the campaign as the narrative careens wildly from psychological horror, to lampoon comedy, to white knuckle action. Far Cry is at home in the unexpected and makes most of it work in this world of absurd mania. So if you’re looking for something with thematic range, you can’t go wrong with a game that can pivot from scenes of blood curdling torture to zip-lining through the trees with a mullet-wearing hillbilly who marvels at the feeling of the wind on his “taint”.
The Right to Bear Arms… and Bears
Above and beyond the crazy story Ubisoft is trying to tell, the gameplay itself is the star of Far Cry 5. Being a virgin to the series I had heard of the open-ended nature of this game but had yet to experience it and boy was I impressed. The shooting mechanics are tight with excellent weapon selection from bows to flamethrowers, and while the nature of your missions never vary greatly from “kill every motherfucker you see”, the world you do it in is so unpredictable and your options so vast, you don’t often feel like you’re treading the same ground twice.
Much of this is due to the awesome support characters you recruit for the resistance. With the click of a button you can switch between Nick the pilot who air-bombs targets, or Cheeseburger the Bear who barrels through enemies like a tank. The support characters were my favorite part of the single player campaign. But this game doesn’t have to be single-player…
Far Cry 5 allows you to experience the entirety of your campaign with a friend and John and I took full advantage of this feature. Overtaking outposts is so much fun when you can coordinate the effort with a friend. John and I would strategize our approach, launching pincer attacks on unsuspecting cultists and it was a blast. We played much of the game this way and it greatly heightened the experience for me. In fact we even finished the final boss together.
The End is Nigh
Which brings me to the end. Again there will be no spoilers here, but it is necessary for me to vaguely discuss how this game closes, so be forewarned.
Far Cry 5 builds throughout the entire game towards a singular moment. From the moment you set out into Hope County you have a purpose and a clear objective. It is because of this that I truly hate the ending of Far Cry 5. The game in its final scene gives such a middle finger to everything you’ve done to get to that moment that as I thought back on it over the last couple of days I honestly felt disrespected. Ubisoft has managed to create an ending to a game that made me feel like I had wasted my time playing. It’s a strange feeling to have given that everything I’ve written about to this point has been glowing praise, but the closing moments of this game clearly communicate “we don’t give a fuck what you were working for”. And that, my friends, is a mouthful of shit to finish a gourmet meal. I understand what Ubisoft is trying to do with the ending, and in a way I respect it, but it doesn’t work for me.
Far Cry 5 is a great experience and a crazy fun time to have alone or with friends. Unfortunately the game kicks you in the nuts and pushes you off a cliff in its closing moments. As I said at the beginning, lasting impressions matter, and as I think back on my time with Far Cry 5 I find myself thinking just as much about how much I hated the ending as I do how much fun I had leading up to it. It undoubtedly colored my experience, and the feelings I have about the game afterwards are a Far Cry from where they were during it.