The Far Cry 5 hype machine has started up and zoomed into full throttle with the game’s reveal trailer emerging last week alongside a slew of promising previews. The latest in Ubisoft’s controversy-courting, expansive sandbox FPS series looks like it’s going to be an utterly barnstorming addition to the roster. I’ve already made my early opinion pretty clear on Twitter, but here are five specific reasons why I’m very excited for Far Cry 5.
Far Cry 5 looks inward
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Far Cry 5 is that its setting bucks the trend of travelling to some exotic locale and then methodically butchering a bunch of locals with slightly different skin tones. Let’s be perfectly honest, it would have been all too easy to do that as well when tackling the issue of religious extremism. I’m glad Far Cry 5 isn’t doing that. Instead, in this Trumpian world of confusion and mistrust, we have a white group of religious zealots at the villainous core of the game. The main image in Far Cry 5’s promotional material is a corrupted recreation of The Last Supper, the table strewn with violent religious and political motifs: the bastardised flag, the hunting equipment, the cross that looks part-Nazi, part-Scientology.
Ubisoft don’t have the best pedigree when it comes to deft handling of bold and controversial themes (see Ghost Recon: Wildlands) but Far Cry as a series has frequently provided opportunity for interesting discussions. With white supremacy, the Second Amendment, and religious freedom literally and figuratively on the table here, it is to be hoped that Far Cry 5 can do the same.
Create your own character
I had to look up the names Ajay Ghale and Jason Brody because I couldn’t remember who the hell the protagonists in the last two numbered Far Cry games actually were. They’re not important. We remember Vaas and Pagan Min because when it comes to the Far Cry series, the central characters are really just ciphers for us as players, and lenses through whom we can come to view the games’ explorations of their villains. It makes perfect sense to allow players to create their own characters. The backstory won’t change, but it gives us a little more ownership in a series that has offered plenty of player freedom in the past.
Hope County looks fantastic
Far Cry games always look good. The first in the series was something of a benchmark title on PC at the time, and its successors have all dazzled the eyes with sumptuous settings. Hope County looks to be no different. The trailer proudly proclaimed that the footage all came from the in-game engine, and the team have made that Western idyllic countryside look just as inviting as a tropical island or the mountains of Nepal.
It makes sense as a setting in practical terms as well. There is a still a shadow of the frontier spirit in states such as Montana, a stronger connection to the idea of the sovereign citizen, and historical groups such as the Montana Freemen undoubtedly contributing something ins terms of inspiration to the Seed family of this game.
The entire game can be played with a friend
Previous Far Cry games only let you play certain parts with a friend. Far Cry 3 had a dedicated 4-player campaign, and Far Cry 4 allowed you to take on side missions with your chums. But Far Cry 5 looks set to let you play the whole thing in co-op. The implementation of that will be interesting, as well as how that ties into the story. I only hope that the singleplayer experience doesn’t suffer as a result. Ghost Recon: Wildlands was clearly a game made for multiplayer that just happened to allow for solo play. I sort of hope that the opposite is true of Far Cry 5. I think it’s possible to suspend your disbelief a little more when your friends are in tow. But I am looking forward to romping around Hope County with a mate.
Finally, we’d better be able to drive the tractor I clocked in that reveal trailer. The first thing I’m going to do after the game’s inevitable tutorial lets me off my leash, is I’m finding a tractor, jumping in the driver’s seat, and sticking on The Wurzels at full volume. The seeds can try to stop me, but anyone who does will be getting hit with a gurt big stick.
It’s so on.
Are you excited for Far Cry 5? What did you think of the reveal trailer and info? Hit me up in the comments with a braindump or two! You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and don’t forget to subscribe to the YouTube channel for videotastic awesomeness. Streaming coming soon to Twitch too!