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Game Spotlight: Far Cry 5

After being revealed in May of last year, we’re finally nearing the release of the latest Far Cry instalment; Far Cry 5.

As one of Ubisoft’s largest properties, Far Cry has amassed an audience of dedicated fans, helping the series sell over 20 million units in its history. As for myself, I jumped on board at the same time that many others likely did; with the release of Far Cry 3. After finding Far Cry 2 to be an unenjoyable experience, Far Cry 3 changed my mind instantly, mainly thanks to its tropical location and an interesting villain in the form of Vaas.

Since then, I’ve played every other Far Cry that has been released, and while not much has changed over the years, each release is still worth taking the time to explore the world, hunt, craft and take on whatever’s thrown your way. From what we’ve seen of Far Cry 5, it looks like this trend is going to continue.

What’s it about?

This time around, Far Cry 5 drops players into Hope County, a fictional location within Montana. Hope County has erupted into chaos, largely due to a maniacal preacher by the name of Joseph Seed. Seed has created a cult known as Eden’s Gate to coerce the people of Hope County into joining Joseph, while also utilising force to prevent them from seeking help.

Players are put in control of the sheriff’s deputy, who goes up against Seed and Eden’s Gate after an attempted prosecution results in the death of several lawmen. He is soon dragged into a civil war between Seed’s men and the remaining residents of Hope County, who have rallied a resistance movement.

What can players do? 

From what we’ve seen, Far Cry 5 will feel familiar to anyone that has played the previous entries. You’ll still be placed in a world full of wildlife that could attack you at a moment’s notice, and you’ll still be tasked with clearing outposts located around the map – but that doesn’t mean Far Cry 5 isn’t bringing anything new to the series.

Kicking things off with a significant change, Ubisoft Montreal have ditched towers this time around. Instead of requiring players to climb towers to reveal locations and information on the map, a new intel system allows players to seek out items of interest while playing (such as signs) which provide players with a location, animal spawns, and more. Towers did get tiring in the previous Far Cry games, so I think this change will ensure that gameplay doesn’t stray towards becoming repetitive.

The approach of letting players do what they want, when they want, seems to have bled into the narrative as well. Far Cry 5 features a non-linear storyline. Hope County is split into 3 regions, each controlled by one of Joseph Seed’s most faithful, and players can tackle them in whatever order they choose.

That’s not all though, with the addition of melee weaponry, additional ways to travel around the world and new mechanics (such as fishing), it’s clear that the team at Ubisoft Montreal are doing their best to provide long-time Far Cry fans with a fresh experience.

What’s on the horizon?

Ubisoft have already revealed what’s to come for Far Cry 5 post-launch. With the season pass, players will receive access to three new stories developed by the same team that brought you Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, as well as early access to a remastered edition of Far Cry 3. As a fan of Blood Dragon, I’m excited to see how they handle these new stories, and how much new content we’ll be given.

What’s even more interesting is the recently revealed Far Cry Arcade, an enormous evolution of Far Cry’s multiplayer and creation portion of the series. Far Cry Arcade brings a wealth of options to creators, allowing them to create their own levels that can be enjoyed by their friends, and people around the world.

Players will be able to utilise objects from past Far Cry games, as well as those from the Assassin’s Creed and Watch Dogs series. Implementing other games is sure to diversify the themes and aesthetic available to players, and I’m excited to see what they can come up with. Ubisoft Montreal have at least six updates planned for this portion of the game post-launch, which will provide additional objects for players to take advantage of.

It’s good to see the team at Ubisoft Montreal making a greater effort to expand the Far Cry series. While Far Cry 4 was an enjoyable experience, it didn’t quite add anything that felt substantial. The changes we’ve seen with Far Cry 5 look interesting, and I get the feeling they’ll pay off.

Far Cry 5 releases on March 27. Check back often to see what I think of it.

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