Content of the article: "Far Cry 5 review/thoughts as a newcomer to the series – no spoilers"
Hi all, I picked up Far Cry 5 on a whim a week ago as something to keep me entertained during lockdown and just finished it, so I thought I'd write up my thoughts as a total newcomer and leave a few tips on things that I didn't think were too obvious at first for other people that might be new to the series.
One of the main things that drew me to this game was the setting, and I think it succeeds in creating a very immersive environment and story. Yeah it requires a fair amount of suspension of disbelief, but it's a video game at the end of the day and I found the cult subject matter gripping. The overall tone is a little confused; there's a real mixture of the main story's serious, horrific subject matter and goofy, humorous moments in the side missions, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Graphically it's fantastic and the world is gorgeous, but it has to be said that there's not a tonne of variety in the environment. The world is split into three regions (technically five including two small ones) and there's not a lot to distinguish one from another so although the world is very realistic and nice to look at, there are few memorable locations that stand out from one another. Gameplay wise it mostly feels very polished, the FPS mechanics are fantastic and the guns all feel distinct and satisfying to use. I'm not a big gamer by any stretch so I played on a mixture of easy and normal difficulties and found the first third of the game pretty challenging, although towards the end I was so powerful with all the perk and weapon upgrades that it had become almost effortless. I could've increased the difficulty (a fourth level is actually unlocked after completion of the campaign) but I personally prefer games to be on the easier side rather than punishingly difficult so I stuck with it.
As far as negatives, a lot of the side missions feel repetitive and unnecessary by the end. I still have a few to hoover up before I 100% it, but it feels a bit of a grind at this point, especially when some are virtually repeats of others or just really badly designed. The AI, while decent enough definitely isn't the best, and I often found NPCs getting in the way at awkward times. The driving is also pretty awful throughout the game, although I found the flying (planes, helicopters and wingsuit) to be much more enjoyable.
A final, personal issue that I have with the game is the way it handles violence towards animals. Fortunately, the main story missions can be completed virtually free of this, but if you like to complete all the side missions too there are a small handful that honestly feel gratuitous and sadistic to an extent that I wasn't comfortable with. I understand that not everyone will feel the same way about this, but the way in which the game portrays what amounts to the brutal torture and murder of animals as a fun and humorous activity doesn't sit right with me at all, so just something to keep in mind if you generally feel similarly about such things and are considering playing this.
THINGS THAT WEREN'T OBVIOUS TO ME AND MIGHT BE HELPFUL TO OTHER NEWBIES:
- Once you pick up a gun anywhere in the world (even if you immediately drop it again), you own it and you can equip it from any store
- Once you buy or unlock a vehicle, you can spawn it at any time from any shop – you don't lose it if it gets destroyed or you abandon it somewhere
- The prestige weapons in the store are essentially just fancy skins – the generic versions have the exact same stats and are available for much cheaper
- With the exception of special ammo types, you buy (and usually find) ammo for all weapon types together. This is a little annoying at the very start of the game when you don't have much money and are forced into buying ammo for guns you don't have, but it actually becomes really convenient once you've unlocked more weapons and weapon slots
- There are a couple of side missions/prepper stashes that appear on the map to be within Jacob's region, but are actually credited to Faith's. Worth bearing in mind if you are stuck looking for the last couple to complete the region
- Filling the resistance meter triggers events in the story to happen. It's worth focusing on story missions as a priority as it's possible to fill the meter with side missions, thereby causing certain story missions to autocomplete
Overall I really enjoyed it and would highly recommend (albeit with a couple of caveats) to anyone sitting on the fence about picking it up on sale.
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