fourthline's Far Cry 5 (Xbox One) review

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The Power of saying ‘Yes’ to Ubisoft games.

Say ‘Yes,’ brothers and sisters. When Ubisoft calls on you to play The Division, Stick of Truth, Assassins Creed, and Trials of the Blood Dragon. Say ‘Yes,’ to an audio language track that is not your native tongue or ‘Yes,’ to a 2D spin-off in Assassins Creed: China. Say ‘Yes,’ to Child of Light and the Fractured But Whole. Redeem your Ubisoft points and enable online play for Watch Dog and say ‘Yes,’ to Zombi (U). And people wonder if the the May 7th Inside Xbox reveal of Assassins Creed: Valhalla was a sufficient gameplay reveal I say ‘Yes!’ Were you expecting some sort of gameplay revolution? Games need to evolve.

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Some readers enjoy knowing about all geopolitical events. A game that deals with cults or other real life things are juvenile to them, by default. They must live a tortured life. My Chrome browser can only handle a couple of dozen tabs. Bless us with your knowledge of all world events. Far Cry 6 seems to be about an area like Cuba. I don't know much about Cuba other than Elian Gonzalez and we apparently can fly there now when we couldn't before. Also i’d be remiss if i didn't mention that there was a scene in The Fast and the Furious where a classic car (much like the one in the Far Cry 6 trailer) was featured. Maybe i’ll do all this research about Cuba or go back and get my doctorate in Latin American studios or I’ll play a game where I trust the creator’s of this game to do their due diligence and do adequate location scouting, hire consultants, historically research, and hire a horticulturist to tell me what plants grow well in that climate. I remember talking to some friends in England that could point out their residence in AC: Syndicate. We come to Ubisoft games because they are meticulously crafted. The only time i can think of that i was let down by an Ubisoft game was when the AC:Origins game did not include a native language track. They made up for it by crafting an educational tool for exploration of Egypt.

Full disclosure. I read the Far Cry: Absolution prequel novel and loaned it to a friend his views may be tainted by receipt of free promotion material. My opinion is my own. I had never pre-hyped for a game in that manner. All of my hype mechanisms are the traditional tried and true regurgitation of the internet zeitgeist at the hour. Dark Souls this Dark Souls that. Greatest Mario game of all time this. Pikmin came to him in a garden. A delayed game is shame on me. Anyway, i bought this game in the manner that so frequently happens. The industry turns up its hype machine and promises games in the near future. I figured out their trick and thanks to my thin wallet I find that the announced game had a previous iteration for a discount at that moment. So rather than spend $60 i can spend $5.99 and buy the previous game. If it lives up to my expectations then i am permitted to buy the next game at full price. Ubisoft games are particularly good about having an older game that you can get for a bargain. Ubisoft is oftentimes a great supporter of new consoles like the Wii-U or they seed Games with Gold (redeem your free games folks). So without looking too hard you can find an older cheaper game in the series.

I started playing Far Cry 5 because i had purchased Far Cry 4 at a reasonable price and finished the game. I read up on Far Cry: Primal but after hearing it was the same map and because of the fact that i like to change the audio language i didn’t see the point in that title. What really got me was the pre-order bonus for Far Cry 5 was Far Cry 3 remastered, a title i had never played before. The nice thing with this (and they seem to be doing it again for Far Cry 6) was the remaster would release 1 week before Far Cry 5. I was able to finish Far Cry 3 remastered and pick up my copy of Far Cry 5 a week later. I had finished the prequel book long ago and I thought was ready for John Seed. The only problem with Far Cry games is they are kind of all the same. My efforts to hype myself had the opposite effect. I was bored of the game after a couple of hours with it. I traded it in when the realization that Ubisoft games should not be played so close to each other while my trade-in value was still high. Thanks to Xbox’s free cloud saves I was able to pick up right where I left off.

This game occupies a very unique space in the FPS genre where you character isn't just running through corridors.
This game occupies a very unique space in the FPS genre where you character isn't just running through corridors.

First person shooters are a-dime-a-dozen. Single player campaigns toe the line between being an aim assist autopilot dark ride at Disney World where the disconnect between environments, theming, and story is truly apparent. Games like Call of Duty or Titanfall 2 occupy the buildings at Disney World with their elaborate entrances and queues, yet plain exterior. The inner working of the rides, though elaborate, are all occupied in that plain warehouse in the distance. Games like Far Cry 5 are the cast members in costume that occupy the park. They occupy our lived in world and share a space with us. You will never see them take a sip of water or take a bathroom break. They embody the true illusion of another world. The Pirates Ride, is clearly just a cardboard cutout that doesn’t engage with me. The queue is super long so it must be worth my time. Frankly, i would rather pantomime a ride down a ski slope with Minnie Mouse in front of a popcorn kiosk or watch the parade. That’s visceral. 6 hours into a shift in July as Pluto that gritty. But for me the guest it’s all in service of me. I can go to Disney World every day for year and have a different experience with the costume castmembers each time. That is Far Cry 5. That is Far Cry 6. And that will be Far Cry 7. Ubisoft games rule!

When you listen to something long enough you start to internalize it. The radio station in this game will haunt you or inspire.. Who's to say?
When you listen to something long enough you start to internalize it. The radio station in this game will haunt you or inspire.. Who's to say?

I really appreciate ambient music in games. Music that plays when you are idling as your write reviews in your notebook. The fearful thing with Far Cry 5 and their lack or total saturation they have cultish type religious music with all the trappings of indoctrination on the radio. It is quiet chilling how effective that stuff can be. It’s very much in service of the world they are trying to build. I highly recommend that you complete one of the earlier sidequests wth Jacob where you pick up a bunch of vinyl records otherwise you have no choice with car radio stations. I might have logged into some dark regions of reddit had i played my 20+ hours without normal music.

The dialogue is troubling and disturbing and really embodies what I think is happening in various factions and alcoves around the world during our COVID-19 moment. The circular arguments and specious reasoning for behaviors that i see in my daily life is, in the tradition of my pandemic playthroughs, comical in videogames yet so troubling in real life.I challenge you to just let this game idle. There is some frightening dialogue here.This is religious propaganda in all it’s forms Even Jim Jones had to get them to drink the kool-aid to sell his beliefs, or truths?

Just hear him out.
Just hear him out.

The Kool Aid in this game is bliss. Everything in this game is in service of making the player feel as if they are on the verge of losing their mind. The bliss, the physical catalyst to inspiring belief in followers, flows in rivers and barrels throughout the game. You can’t get away from it and you are constantly aware of it. You are pulled out of gameplay in a visually euphoric manner frequently if you walk through the bliss flowers for too long. The effect is pretty cool and leads to missions that occupy an other worldly plane that breaks up some of the monotony of playing another realistic shooter. Auto-pilot on rails shooting here is pretty great and on demand whenever you want.

This is not a bad thing. Lots of gameplay here and nary a quicktime event. Except all gameplay is quicktime. I cant rembmer what i think.
This is not a bad thing. Lots of gameplay here and nary a quicktime event. Except all gameplay is quicktime. I cant rembmer what i think.

Once you get companions there is an option to have them drive your vehicle for you. If you can get a truck with a turret on it you can just roll to your waypoint and man the turret. You can also auto-drive the vehicles solo and use LB to shoot your side arm. That feature is heavily auto aimed but it’s still very fun to roll up on a bunch of Peggies (the cultists) and just mow them down and free their captives.The signposts are very well done and i hold them up to be the gold standard. I remember the first time i had to climb a tower in Far Cry 4 it seemed impossible. After realizing what my cues were it made climbing very enjoyable.

There is a wingsuit that you can unlock that makes the game really fun. Some of the challenges required to unlock new skills offer reasonable thresholds that if you pay attention to early should have you totally kitted out by the end of the game.The game mechanics remain static throughout the game and if you want to spend time racing planes or hunting you can absolutely do that. This is not the walled gardens of Red Dead 2 or Last of Us 2. A game like this where the game is crafted to be played the same way throughout the level. If i made a game i’d have my proportions all over the place with doorknobs the size of basketballs. But I absolutely recognize good craftsmanship and leave it to the experts.

Far Cry’s absence of quicktime events feels great after the quicktime for everything that is Last of Us 2. When i want to open doors i use my melee button. When it comes time to climb or dive into the water Ii just jump.

In the early 20th century this object might have been the largest man-made object some would ever see in their lifetime. Messages are like seeds. Jacob Seeds.
In the early 20th century this object might have been the largest man-made object some would ever see in their lifetime. Messages are like seeds. Jacob Seeds.

There is a very powerful moment when you have to destroy a stories tall tower of the cult leader. Monuments and artifices of leaders are the best way to command awe and respect. A tower generates questions as well as answers. This person must have been revered. They must have been someone that society valued. When statues are taller than the trees that surround them and citizens will know nothing larger or prominent besides a mountain or sun you understand the intent. The statue was well lit with flames and spotlights and beams and gave what is truly nothing but quarried stone a meaning that the man himself could never embody. Tear them all down.

Far Cry 5 could be seen as just another socio political take. The cult of personality, drugs, and media is very much real. It takes little effort to imagine what the worlds that seem so foreign and so far away is actually among us all. Far Cry 5 dares to put words to that imagination. It has well authored audiologs and found collectibles that speaks to a moment, a time, and a place. Would something ripped from the headlines about someone not wearing a mask to a yard sale, advertised as requiring a mask, confronting an entire family for their chance to give a sermon or to share another link be so far fetched. I try not to imagine but what’s here is very much a guide.

Some gripes. The game does not prominently feature a compass. In a game that prides itself on animating all manners of physical feats you are doomed to squint at a very faint compass at the top of the screen when maybe having a slot dedicated to pulling out your compass would fit the style of this game bettter. Also, some of your mammal companions don’t join you in the car, on planes, or in boats. Truth be told i tend to be a little demanding of my games and when Fido didnt hop right through the window of the passenger door i just felt like the developers clearly lived in apartments with a ban on pets. Little things like that will have me write off a game for good.

I never saw this movie but I hear the main character is very charismatic.
I never saw this movie but I hear the main character is very charismatic.

Requiring sidequests to finish a game as well as an itemized list of things that are not main quests is a huge pet peeve for me in games. I understand AC: Valhalla will only have main story quests. But i still feel like that will be problematic because there is no way that the game will be less than 30 hours. Maybe i dont know what i want but the next time Ubisoft presents me with i game i can’t help but say ‘Yes!’

TLDR: Great game. A game for our times. In the Ubisoft model and as expected, they get it right. Try to find all the Vinyls as soon as you can, or prepare for your indoctrination. 4 out 5 stars. 9 out of 10 game.

Currently playing Uncharted 2. I have this pesky problem of misremembering games. I thought i quit Uncharted 2 back in the day because it sucked. Turns out i think i only played a demo since i don't recognize any of the gameplay so i'm pretty pumped for it. Pre-Last of Us 2. Very much Crashbandicoot levels with a human. That review to follow.

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