Thankfully the core run-and-gun shooting feels better than ever here, and it has a sense of flow that few games come close to. Riding into a camp on an ATV, mowing down a few guards before jumping off and melee killing another before gunning down the rest of them is chaotic fun that never attempts to block player-made creativity or choice.
The game is never shy to throw tricky situations that evolve organically at you either, demanding you start laying down proximity mines to deal with flanking enemies, or whip out an RPG to take out an attack chopper, or just blindsiding you with a black bear – it all makes for emergent situations that demand quick thinking from the player, and everyone’s going to come away from these moments with different stories. It’s exactly this set up that keeps me coming back for “just one more base”, and honestly I’m itching to get back to it after writing all that. It’s addictive, holistic fun that never tires (though the instant deaths from accidentally driving into a barrel or flamethrower tank is annoying thanks to frustratingly long load times).
There’s truly an overabundance of stuff to get up to in Far Cry 5, and a lot of these activities are more polished, streamlined and fun than they’ve ever been, but it’s all threatening to lose its identity. The game has a tendency to blend into itself, with hours of gameplay feeling indistinct (but never unenjoyable, I should stress). Far Cry has been losing its edge since the wonderful (but troubled) Far Cry 2, and whilst I had a blast taking out farms full of bad guys for hours on end here, I did feel it was all a little homogenous.
The season pass content looks especially interesting (and far more unique, with space-spiders, zombies and guerrilla jungle warfare promised in bright, Blood-Dragon-esque visuals) and I’m hoping that this will make up for the lack of identity here.
Besides this, the presentation is superb. Graphically the game is an absolute treat (especially if you’re running it on a PS4 Pro, Xbox One X or a beefy PC rig) with crisp, detailed visuals and a truly spectacular draw distance.
Explosions are always a blast (!) – unless you’re caught in the middle of one – and the engine seems to spit it all out at a rocksteady framerate. It really is something to behold, and whilst the music never reaches the highs these moments often deserve, it puts up a good effort of pulse-pounding beats.
The voice acting is a little patchy when it comes to periphery characters, but luckily the comically-evil Seed family are all pretty killer.
“Far Cry 5” is a safe evolution of a winning formula. By trimming the fat and loosening the reigns Ubisoft have delivered one of the most pure action videogames I’ve played in years, and whilst this lack of direction can sometimes hurt the title it more often than not knocks it out of the park. Mad, ever-evolving situations of adrenaline-soaked gameplay make up the beating heart of Far Cry 5, and whilst it’s often a little too unrelenting for its own good (just once I’d like to be able to drive down the road without some rednecks shooting at me) it’s all worth it in the end.
If you want some good, clean, highly destructive fun, look no further than Far Cry 5.
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