Far Cry 5 | When Christian Values Meet AR-15s
Welcome To Far Cry 5. Religious extremists have taken over a small county. Their strict adherence to dogma alienates them from the local community. Their fanaticism knows no bounds, and all who they deem sinful are fair game for persecution, forced conversion, and cold-blooded murder. Few dare criticise them or their fundamentalist interpretations of their holy book, and fewer still dare take up arms against them. Lead by a charismatic, bearded extremist, they crucify and execute those who oppose them, and the lands they conquer are strewn with the bodies of dissidents and apostates. I’m talking of course about Eden’s Gate. If you thought otherwise, that would be extremely Islamophobic of you.
Far Cry 5 is quite unlike any other game in the series. It’s not set in some foreign backwater like Nepal or Sub-Saharan Africa, but somewhere far closer to so-called Western Civilisation, a backwater named Montana. As a deputy US Marshal, you the player with zero personality, must arrest the death-cult’s leader Joseph Seed. Things predictably get out of hand, and the simple task of taking him into custody ends up with the two of you becoming bunker buddies as nuclear missiles eradicate all life on Earth. Needless to say, no matter how well you play, the ending remains the same, which is not exactly thrilling when you’ve just invested 120 hours of your life into the game.
What it lacks in a half-decent story however, Far Cry 5 more than makes up for with its absolutely brilliant gameplay. Call it a cheap thrill all you like, any game that allows me to slaughter waves of cultists with a star-spangled baseball bat alongside a diabetic grizzly bear named Cheeseburger, while a fat, stupid redneck with a guided missile launcher yells about Obama, still makes for an enlightening cultural experience. Unlike, the other, more frustratingly linear Far Cry games that always involve you climbing up progressively more difficult towers to proceed with the game, Far Cry 5 has a far more open-world approach to its game-play. You can land anywhere on the map, do your business, and retreat into the mountains. This makes the whole premise of you waging a one-man war against a cultist invasion far more realistic; or at least as far as having a middle-aged divorcee for a helicopter pilot talk to you about her lady parts while firing rockets at religious fanatics allows it to be.
Far Cry 5 also lets you recruit companions, who, once you overlook how pathetically they tend to die when you need them most, actually have some useful skills. You can call upon air support, snipers, beasts, and heavies to help you in your fight for freedom, and if you’re really lucky, they may not even stroll directly into your crosshairs when you’re shooting a bad guy. The vehicle mechanics are extremely refined for cars and helicopters, but sub-par for airplanes, which are about as easy to manoeuvre as the Indian bureaucracy. This only makes the crazy obstacle courses in the game all the more frustrating. Capturing cult outposts, which are essential to liberating regions controlled by the Seed Family, tend to get extremely repetitive, but at least the game offers you a little flexibility on how to go about attacking them; my personal favourite being parachuting into the base then killing everyone with Forgiveness, which is what I named my vintage, gold-plated hunting rifle.
As much as I love Far Cry 5’s spectacular visuals, I can’t help but lose my immersion in the game from all the unnecessary kidnapping, which happens to you no less than six times over the course of your play-through. Ubisoft somehow expects you to believe that a cult hell-bent on taking you out after all the damage you’ve done to their operations will just let you walk right out the front door once they finally manage to capture you; six different times. The crafting and skill systems are in my opinion, a dumbed-down version of the older games, which really take away any incentive you may have to explore the entire map and prevent you from creating specialist play-styles.
But what I hate most about Far Cry 5 isn’t really the mechanics or story, but rather the developer; Ubisoft. The only way to even start to play the base game you shelled out upwards of 3,000 bucks for, is to sign up to their crappy service called UPLAY, which isn’t made clear before your purchase. UPLAY provides absolutely no value to you as a customer, and is just an additional password for you to forget so you get permanently locked out of your own game. The game is filled with micro transactions, and you have to pay real money to be able to unlock certain vehicles and costumes with so called “Silver Bars.” This would have been perfectly understandable if the game was free to play, but it most certainly isn’t, and despite being close to two years old, will still cost you a pretty penny. Of course they never mention the fact that Far Cry 5 contains micro transactions before you buy it on Steam. If those weren’t enough, UPLAY also brings an “always online DRM” which essentially means you can’t play the game unless you’re always connected to Ubisoft’s servers. So you’ll always need an active internet connection to play what is primarily a single-player game, for no other reason than Ubisoft being paranoid that pirates will crack Far Cry 5; which for the record, already happened back in 2018.
As a game, I think Far Cry 5 is a solid. It’s by no mean’s perfect, but will definitely show you a good time with its breath-taking graphics and tongue-in-cheek humour. I give it a 6.5 on 10, but I still wouldn’t recommend you ever buy it because it will only encourage Ubisoft’s sick, anti-consumer practices. As a metaphor for America however, Far Cry 5 does exactly what it sets out to do, as what could possibly be more American than a multi-billion dollar company misleading its consumers, charging them an exorbitant amount of money for a mediocre, unfinished product, and suffering no legal or reputational consequences?
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