Top 5 Reasons Far Cry 5 is Amazing
After a week of a pulling all nighters and training myself not to blink to get in as much play time as possible, it’s time to face the cold hard truth: Far Cry 5 is a delight. This might be the sleep deprivation talking, but I haven’t had this much fun getting attacked by bears since the last time I tried to reenact The Revenant (it just didn’t seem realistic, so I had to be sure).
Still, there are naturally some skeptics who fear that this latest entry in the franchise is just more of the same. While not everything in the game is going to feel like a brand new experience, there are plenty of elements that make Far Cry 5 feel like a turning point in the series. For the thrifty gamer, Far Cry 5 may be a “wait till it’s on sale” or a “maybe it’ll be free on Games with Gold in 6 years” title, but allow me to take the role of the devil on your shoulder, and tell you why it’s worth a buy right now.
5. The Setting
Hope County, Montana, where dreams come true. An oasis for simple folk like you and me to settle down, have a beer, and drift asleep to the sound of bloodthirsty turkeys warding off unwanted company. While previous entries in the Far Cry series have brought us to beautiful locations like Central Africa and the pirate infested Rook Islands, Hope County is a nice fresh breath of Montana air.
The seemingly desolate farming towns that are scattered across Middle America almost all have a similar feel. They are filled with plenty of kindhearted, everyday people, but they are not places the average person would want to get lost. The vast forests are capable of hiding all sorts of unwelcome mysteries, and I have a sneaking suspicion that all those country bumpkins are only being nice to hide whatever weird rituals they’re performing on unsuspecting city folk who had only planned on passing through to get gas.
The amalgamation of quiet beauty and eerie desolation make Hope County the perfect location for a Far Cry game, and things like side quests and forgotten doomsday prepper stashes prove exploring every nook and cranny of the map to be a worthwhile pursuit. There is tons to do while you’re stranded in this little corner of Montana, and the scenery never gets old while you’re busy mowing down brainwashed baddies with projectile shovels, that much I promise.
4. The Villain
Far Cry has had its share of good and bad villains, so it’s fair to wonder if the newest series antagonist is more of a Pagan Min or a Vaas. After all, if the villain is a dud, putting in a lot of work to stop him will feel like a total waste of time. At first glance The Father may look like just another man-bun toting hipster who tries to sell you healing crystals at a music festival, but his power lies in his ability to manipulate. You don’t become a cult leader without being charismatic and subtly shady, and The Father has really got that going for him.
From the very opening of the game the affectionately titled “Father”, Joseph Seed, unleashes his villainy by enacting The Reaping, a plot to absolve Hope County of sin in preparation for the end of days, and from this we get a good taste of what we are dealing with. He’s a terrifying character, but not in an unhinged megalomaniacal kind of way. He is calm. Calculated. He is the soothing voice of reason for his flock, but with hardly even a change in tone he can toggle from tranquil to bone chilling.
The more you progress through the game, you’ll find that the rest of the Seed family are horrifying in their own way, but The Father’s influence is felt throughout. He may look like the result of throwing Matthew McConaughey in a mo-cap suit, but absolutely nothing about his presence is alright alright alright. He is one spooky spooky dude, and it does a lot to enrich the experience.
3. A Little Help From Your Friends
Far Cry 5: Electric Redneck Boogaloo is far from the first game to add companions to the mix, but I would argue that it might have made the best use of them. Is it nice to have Elizabeth by your side, chucking ammo your way in Bioshock Infinite? Sure. Is Claptrap a solid plus-one to bring to all of your Borderlands related get togethers? Absolutely. Can they hold their own against the wide swath of companions that can be found throughout Hope County? I’m not so sure.
Look, I’ve tried to love having companions, I really have. But as a born lone wolf, and a person who spent 100+ hours in Fallout 4 wondering where the hell Paladin Danse had disappeared to, it’s always seemed like more of a hassle than a benefit. Sometimes you’ve just got to run into a camp guns blazing, and it’s nice not having to worry about whoever else is trailing behind to help. Far Cry 5 on the other hand drew me in immediately with it’s loveable cast of characters, from Cheeseburger, the cuddly grizzly bear who isn’t so cuddly, to Grace, the sniper who rarely ever wastes a bullet.
Whenever I realize my dog Boomer isn’t following me around, sniffing out whatever is waiting to kill us up ahead, I find myself counting down the seconds until his cooldown has completed. Using my perk points to unlock the ability to have 2 companions in my crew is easily the best choice I’ve made in the game thus far. When cult members see my clique rolling up 3 deep with a mountain lion and a grizzly bear, the conversation pretty much ends right there. Admittedly, commanding my companions to clear out an entire outpost while I kick back and check my Twitter feed seems like a cheap move, but I’m stingy when it comes to ammo and they never seem to run out, so why not?
2. So Much To Do, So Much To See
What really makes this game so special is the depth of content and how it is divided up in the game. After passing through the opening portion of the game, the player is presented with a choice of where they’d like to go next. As you’re tearing through your first region of choice, it might be a good 20 hours before you realize that there’s still two thirds of the map that you forgot even existed.
I opted to go with John’s region first, (something about his face just made me want to punch it), and by the time I completed his arc I felt like I had played an entire game, only to realize that I had barely even started. At that point I had put over 24 hours into the game, and most of that time was spent purely going from quest to quest without much goofing off in between. Surely an hour or two can be chalked up to fishing and hunting, or seeing how high I can propel my corpse into the air with a rocket launcher, but not much more than that.
While this may seem overwhelming to some, the pace of play is really at your discretion. There are times when a quest in your backlog might start up as you enter the area where it takes place, but it doesn’t take any additional effort to just pass through and go about your business. You might get stopped by an angry bird or two while you’re rerouting, but that’s nothing your companions or your AR-C can’t handle.
1. Testy Festy
Finally, the number one reason this game deserves a spot in your library right now. Now as you either know or don’t know, we here at Game Infinite believe in tradition, and what tradition deserves more recognition than Hope County’s annual Testicle Festival? That’s right, you heard me. Nothing shines a light on the beauty of American cuisine quite like chopping off a bull’s manhood, deep-frying it, and serving it up with a little side of sauce.
Now we of course are no stranger to a good dose of humor injected into video games, as we’ve been delighted in the past by titles like Conker’s Bad Fur Day, Octodad, and Grand Theft Auto, but few moments have made me smile quite like this strange quest. After meeting up with a local chef, we discover the horrifying truth about the Testicle Festival: it might not even happen this year. I know, I freaked out too. These crazed religious zealots can take my family, and they can take my freedom, but I’ll be damned if they take my delicious delicious balls.
Without spoiling too much of the fun, it is ultimately up to you to retrieve the goods so that the festival can go an as planned. The only kicker being that Rocky Mountain Oysters are served in a number of ways, so we have to collect them in a number of ways, and oh boy let me tell ya, this is where the real fun lies. There are very few moments that have brought me as much joy as chasing horny bulls around with a tractor mulcher, and if that isn’t worth your 60 doubloons I don’t know what is.
Far Cry 5 is out now. I’m not being paid to tell you to buy it, but do it anyway and meet me at this year’s Testy Festy so we can talk about how much we don’t regret spending that sweet cash.