STAFF REVIEW of Far Cry 5 (Xbox One)

Friday, March 30, 2018.
by Royce Dean

Far Cry 5 Box art Despite their greatest efforts, I didn’t turn out to be the good god fearing man that my parents wanted me to be. I was raised in a Christian home and every Sunday morning was Church day. When you spend five of your seven days waking up and getting ready for school, having to spend one of my two days off getting up early again to sit in a stuffy room listening to messages of goodness and singing songs of “thou shalt not burn down your neighbor’s house” wasn’t on my top ten list of best moments spent. Didn’t people already know not to hurt others and steal things? Why did we all need to sit in a pointy building once a week and have somebody tell us not to do that stuff? I was eight and I already knew that slapping Mickey across the street was what bad people did. Why didn’t grown-ups know that? Grown-ups were dumb. Of course now that I’m a grown-up I know that church goers do what they do for more than just a daily reminder that leaving your sword at home in the morning is probably a good idea. Church is about community and kinsmanship. It’s about collective faith that will see them through the darkest of times and help them find the light on the other side. It’s still not for me though, but I can respect it. Besides, I’m pretty sure that if I were to walk into a church in this day and age, a collective of guardian angels would swoop down to reveal my true form and cause me to ignite in holy flame because I liked saying the word "fart" too much.

Far Cry 5 hits home in a not so accurate way. The story revolves around a religious group, but they’re the crazy kind of religious that don’t realize they’re crazy, which is the scariest kind. This review is for you folks that are more interested in the gameplay and elements that make up its whole rather than the story because let’s face it; you could turn on the news at eleven and get a pretty similar experience. In Hope County, Montana, a fanatical group that call themselves "The Project at Eden’s Gate" gather around a figure head that calls himself "The Father". He, one Joseph Seed, and his three children; Jacob, John, and Faith Seed have taken complete and total control over this little farm valley and rule it with fear, guns, and of course hallucinogenic gas known as “The Bliss”.

I owe you readers a bit of a disclaimer. This is my first Far Cry title, so things that may be series staples or common place elements are being looked at by the greenest of eyes. I also don’t play too many shooters, so feel free to laugh at my noob ass all you want. The opening salvo of the game left a sour taste in my mouth. Far Cry, like many other Ubisoft titles (like Assassins Creed of which I’m much more familiar), does an incredibly poor job of telling you how to play before dropping you into a high stakes action sequence that has you running, jump, diving, leaping over, firing and driving around much in the same way a newborn baby would do fresh out of the womb. After no less than 7 opening sequence deaths the game actually begun and it got much, much, much better.

Learning how to play, as I played, was the most difficult boss that the game threw at me. Even hours in I found myself fumbling to remember which combinations of buttons and joystick directions to push in order to swap weapons mid fight. Things got better for me, but it never reached the point of feeling natural. These things may feel better for first-person shooter veterans, but a weapon swapping system that paused while you held it open would have been welcome. The weapon wheel menu was my number one reason for dumb deaths hands down. Weapon types like your explosives and melee weapons have three separate tabs as well just to add to the fun. Swapping these weapons involves holding open the weapon wheel, selecting that weapon slot and then scrolling using the D-Pad. The options menu was my best friend and has control settings in droves to really help you customize the way you feel comfortable playing. This includes heads-up display options for a variety of UI components. Surprisingly the game lacks a minimap which leads to getting turned around more often than would have been preferred. While not the biggest deal, navigations meant opening up the main menu map repeatedly which slowed down the pace of the game. This may sound all overly negative so far, but don’t worry, we’re getting to the good stuff.

Far Cry 5 is absolutely beautiful. Immediately after walking out of that first bunker I was greeted by one of the most breath taking game worlds I’ve seen in a long time. I’m a sucker for lush green forest-y biomes in games, especially ones that replicate pine forests. They remind me of the cold north that I call home. Ubisoft consistently surprises me with the scope of their game worlds and how large, but filled with content they are. Rarely have I played one of their titles and found open areas of nothing to look at or do. Each place you wander into seems to have purpose whether it’s just visually or for the gameplay. Furthermore, the skybox overhead is one of the best and most convincing skyboxes I’ve ever seen. Looking up into the skies of Hope County makes you feel just how small you are compared to the world around you.

The spine that holds all of Far Cry 5 together is its menu. From this place of vital information you’ll navigate with your map, track your quests, upgrade your abilities and check pertinent information about your allies. The map of Far Cry 5 is, of course, an Ubisoft map. What I mean by this is that it’s not only huge, but it’s littered with important icons for objectives and points of note. The map as a whole will be greyed over with a fog until you visit that area. Finding or buying maps will help you fill out the map with the objects or quests you’ve missed in an area as it’s pretty damned easy to walk right past something without realizing it. It’s hard to see through trees, yo. As you would expect, you can set markers and target objects you want to focus on which will appear on your directional bar overhead. This map can also be zoomed in and out when needed.

Quests that you pick up are kept track of by the next tab in your menu, and these are broken up into several categories. The top section is full of the big boys. The main story objectives. Just under that are your side missions, and even further under that are other objectives such as prepper hideouts. Missions of all types reward you with reputation which is integral for earning the trust of the people in Hope County and taking down Eden’s Gate.

Making yourself more powerful is a central part of every game out there, and Far Cry 5 is no different. By completing various in game challenges such as getting a specified number of kills with a certain weapon, or skinning X number of animals, you unlock perk points. Perk points are a currency to be spent on character improvements in one of five categories. These categories are Survivalist, Renegade, Assassin, Prepper and Leader. Placing points into Assassin will give you the grappling hook tool to reach higher places faster, or let you pick locks rather than blasting them open with explosives. The Prepper category has talents to help you carry more ammo or weapons. The Leader Category improves your allies and increases benefits you get out of them. Each will change the way you play and tackle further challenges.

When taking down zealous cults you’ll need allies at your side. As you wander the fields and forests of Montana you’ll no doubt happen across suspicious and violent cult activity. Many times hostages will be involved. Killing the cultists present will free the hostage, and in some cases make a quest available to you, but always you’ll have the option to hire their gun for your side. Good folks litter the country side and are willing to pick up and help you take the crazies that have overrun their home. Each civilian has different helpful traits that will make your life easier when combating Eden’s Gate. The traits become active after these unsung heroes score enough kills. Traits are many and varied, so it’ll be up to you to pick and choose who you’ll keep by your side. Guns for hire can be commanded to wait in watch in any place you tell them to, and then attack the chosen target with the same command prompt. There are also 9 specialist guns for hire out in the world for you to find with even more powerful traits and abilities.

Any good open world game has an engaging world to play around in, which means things to find. As you wander you’ll come across the native plant life. Plants in their differing varieties can be combined with a substance you’ll find on the fanatics called “Bliss Oil”. The outcomes are homeopathic medicines that will temporarily boost your stats. Attacking power and speed are among the stats you can boost. Along with these medicines you’ll be able to craft explosives from materials you’ll find in prepper stashes and cultist outposts. These goods can be crafted from the weapons wheel menu.

If online modes are your jam then Far Cry 5 has some treats for you in Co-op, Far Cry Arcade, and Live Events. Co-op is as it sounds where you and a friend can tackle any of Far Cry 5’s missions as a duo. Invite any friend from your friends list on your device of choice and get shooting! Voice chat is also available to you if you don’t already hate the sounds of each other’s voices. For added difficulty you can even turn on friendly fire. On second thought, don’t do that. I’ve never had a friend that won’t try to shoot me in games for the “lulz” if given the chance. Live events, while not active yet are exclusive run opportunities for players to earn special limited edition customization options for their character, cars, or weapons.

The most in depth of the online features is Far Cry Arcade. Arcade mode gives the power of creation (and destruction) to you the player in a near infinite number of ways. Assets from numerous games in Ubisofts catalogue including previous Far Cry titles, Assassin Creed, and Watch Dogs are unloaded in a fully unhinged map editor that you can use to ether create with, or play in. Dive into solo mission, or play some with your friends. Create the wackiest... or scariest maps that your warped mind can dredge up from that place in your head marked off with caution tape. Four game modes are available as either solo or co-op; Outpost, Assault, Bounty Hunt and Journey, while two are strictly multiplayer; Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch.

Before you strut your stuff online be sure to pimp out everything about what it is that makes you a bad ass Far Cry cultist killer. Throughout your adventure you pick up funds by doing missions, looting corpses and selling the goods you come across in the wilds of Hope County. You can spend this hard earned dough in shops across the valley to trick out your look, your guns and your cars. Fresh shirts, pants, hats and hairstyles are ready for you to try, where as your guns and weapons can get special paint jobs or modifying equipment like scopes to change the way a weapon handles and aims. For car customization you’ll have to venture out a little bit farther and find a garage to use.

Even though my first stretch of time with the game was bitter at best, Far Cry 5 opened up in a fantastic way that kept me wanting to wander further and further into the countryside. I wanted to liberate each settlement I came across not just because it was fun, but it felt like I was doing genuine good for the world I was in. The world itself felt so alive, to the point it was almost the end of me a few times. Stalking the outskirts of an Eden’s Gate camp without looking both ways sent me face to face with a cougar. Even the Turkeys are out to get you in Montana. So, should you decide to go hunting for some skins and meat to sell for money to get some sick new digs, or spend some quiet time away from it all fishing, Far Cry 5 has got it.

Should you find yourself wanting to plow straight through to the center of cult activity and really stick it to the Seeds, or slow down your pace assisting every Tom and Nancy you come across, Far Cry 5 has got you covered. Whether you want to play online with a friend and have a laugh or two in a goofy custom map, or get down and dirty with the local country folks, the choice is up to you. After all, this is Far Cry, and this is Hope County, Montana. You’re about to have a hell of a time.

Overall: 8.5 / 10
Gameplay: 8.0 / 10
Visuals: 9.0 / 10
Sound: 9.0 / 10


Site Statistics

Registered Members: 50,272
Forum Posts: 725,924
Xbox One Titles: 3,095
Xbox 360 Titles: 1,086
Xbox 360 Kinect Titles: 95
Xbox 360 Arcade Titles: 586
Original Xbox Titles: 987
Staff Reviews: 2,080
Member Reviews: 10,339
News Articles: 15,745
Screenshots: 34,457
Xbox 360 Achievements: 45,112
Xbox 360 Faceplates: 2,016
Cheat Codes: 1,706

Latest News

Curse of the Dead Gods Launches Today

Curse of the Dead Gods Launches TodayCurse of the Dead Gods, the indie action roguelite launches today. A divine wealth of temples, traps, enemies, weapons, riches, and the final confrontation with the God of Death himself are all ready for players everywhere to dive in.

See News Archives

Community Forum Activity

2021: XBA is still here
Post by shrew king
1 Replies, 2148 Views

Watch Dogs: Legion
Post by Nato King
0 Replies, 18133 Views

Xbox Series X or S
Post by Nato King
5 Replies, 21110 Views

Spellbreak Grand Magus Pack (3) and Starter Pack (7) Giveaway!
Post by Variation-XBA
0 Replies, 17043 Views

I pay $ 1000! I search the Element 54 Canadian launch Team signaturen Faceplate
Post by Smill
0 Replies, 14963 Views

Xbox one no signal
Post by debrartin
0 Replies, 41097 Views

do you remember?
Post by SnoochyBoochy
3 Replies, 42881 Views

i haz xbox
Post by SnoochyBoochy
0 Replies, 37883 Views

Claiming the first thread of 2020
Post by Kraft
7 Replies, 65238 Views

Important! I pay $ 1000! I search the Sweden launch and the Element 54 Faceplate
Post by Smill
3 Replies, 25733 Views

Squad Up
Post by samslophead
0 Replies, 64742 Views

TERA Skinned Xbox One X Giveaway!
Post by Variation-XBA
0 Replies, 55194 Views

Starfield Release expectations?
Post by DJ tx
4 Replies, 103835 Views

Issue with Xbox live on Xbox home
Post by rcmpayne
0 Replies, 74240 Views

Happy Birthday, Me.
Post by SnoochyBoochy
4 Replies, 90067 Views

© 2000-2021 - All rights reserved. All trademarks are properties of their respective owners.
Xbox is a registered trademark of Microsoft. is not affiliated with Microsoft.

Made in Canada
Site Design by Cameron Graphics