What’s up guys, Rogue-9 here! As those of you who caught my recent live streams know, I have been having a ton fun playing Far Cry 5 and in this video, I want to share my thoughts on some of the upgrades to the franchise that, in my eyes, make this game the best Far Cry title yet! So let’s get started! Since Far Cry Primal took a significant step away from the rest of the series in terms of the style of the game and Far Cry 1 and 2 are by now so old that any comparison would be unfair, I will be comparing Far Cry 5 mainly to number 3 and 4.
And right out of the gate, there is a massive improvement in Far Cry 5 that for me personally is quite simply game changing. If you had asked me some years ago “What would be the number one thing you would like to see improved in the Far Cry 3 or even Far Cry 4?” I would have answered: “The shooting!” Previous Far Cry titles always used to detect hits using the “hit scan” method. So your bullets instantly hit whatever you’re aiming at, as soon as you hit the fire button.
And while this method can work for games that play out at extremely short ranges, like for instance Rainbow Six Siege, I really didn’t like it in an open world game. Add to this the fact that combat distances were artificially limited by having bullet simply disappear in mid-air if you were too far away from your target and you ended up with gunplay that was so limited that it became kind of immersion breaking. But “Good news everyone!”, with Far Cry 5, Ubisoft have finally implemented ballistic modelling and now every gun will shoot simulated bullets that come with a certain muzzle velocity and experience air resistance and gravitational drop. For the first time, it is possible to have longer range gunfights and the added challenge of having to lead a moving target at range and compensate for bullet drop makes every hit infinitely more satisfying. I am kind of surprised that not more people are applauding this subtle, yet hugely significant update. If this was the only change compared to previous games, I would already be satisfied, but it doesn’t stop there! One of the concerns that many people raised during my live streams was around the performance problems that specifically Far Cry 4 had had, especially on PC.
Now keep in mind that I have a relatively beefy PC but I can say that for me, Far Cry 5 runs like an absolute dream. I have all the settings ramped up to the highest possible setting at a resolution of 1440p and I am still getting between 93-and 96 FPS while in game. For a predominantly single player game that is all I could ask for and more and while I am speaking of graphics performance, I have to add that the game looks absolutely gorgeous.
Simply trekking through the Montana countryside, hunting & fishing is an absolute joy for me and I can play this game for hours at a time without doing a single story mission. Over to my next point: Far Cry 4 had specific missions where you fought alongside NPC companions and maybe Far Cry 3 had something like that in a limited form as well (I don’t even remember at this stage) but Far Cry 5 again takes what came before and ramps it up another notch. You can unlock a total of 9 hero companions plus 3 generic civilian NPCs to fight alongside you and each one comes with two specific skills that can help you in your quests. A simple, yet effective, command system allows you to control these companions and one of the best features of having some support is that when you mess up and get downed (whether it is through enemy fire or from opening your parachute a little bit too late) your companions will do their best to come and revive you. Far Cry 4 set a precedent by allowing two player co-op for side quests and number 5 again takes this one step further by allowing you to also play the main missions with a friend.
Whether you end up coordinating with your friend to execute bad-ass synchronised shots or melee takedowns or you go in all guns blazing, playing with two players makes this game easily twice as fun. The only downside here is that while the second player can still earn cash and perk points to progress their character, any progress in the main or even the side missions will count only for the host. The previous “skill tree” style progression system has been replaced with an extensive perk point system and you can gain these points by completing story missions, side quests, finding them in world or by completing challenges. The excellent hand-to-hand combat, climbing, parachuting and wing-suit mechanics are all still present as unlockable perks and allow you to take your character from regular, fragile, squishy person to over-the-top super hero as you progress through the game.
And beyond these major changes, the game comes with a whole host of subtle little upgrades that I personally really appreciate. Firstly, everything you find in the game: from main missions and side quests, to prepper staches, hunting regions, fish habitats, garages, boat yards, heli pads or plane hangars, all of these things are added to your map and journal by speaking to local residents, finding maps & magazines or reading street signs, I mean look at this here! I’ve found a magazine on the natural plants of northern America and that has actually updated my map with certain regions where I can find those plants and the same goes for hunting magazines.
This organic way of gaining knowledge of the area you’re in, the people you can meet and the quests you can go on may only be a small little detail but I absolutely love it. Then you have the hunting and fishing activities in and of itself. Of course, Far Cry is not a dedicated hunting or fishing sim but I do appreciate the thought that has gone into refining the hunting mechanics and adding the fishing into the game. Something that many players may not even notice is that in previous games, shooting animals was very arcady in that they simply took varying levels of damage depending on head or body shots but once you did enough damage, they would simply fall over. Now, animals will react completely differently to clean heart and lung shots. As you can see, deer for instance will exhibit a very characteristic jump and kick reaction when shot through the heart and if you follow them up, you will find relatively realistic blood trails and eventually the animal will run out of steam and go unconscious. Those of you who have played dedicated hunting sims or even hunt in real life will recognise and appreciate these little behaviours and I have to say that I am overall impressed with the level of care that was taken over portraying the natural behaviours of the wildlife.
Maybe in future we can see these mechanics progress even more. I would absolutely love it if Far Cry would include truly refined hunting and fishing mechanics, on par with dedicated sims, but until then I am very happy with the progress that has been made so far. Another set of details that is truly commendable is the way that the guns are modelled. Not only do the guns looks stunning, with beautiful fire and reload animations but care was even taken over making sure that for instance open bolt weapons are actually shown to work correctly. Something that maybe should be standard by now but many other games from recent times did not bother getting right.
Vehicles are of course still present in the game and are very similar to previous entries in the series. Helicopters are a dream to fly and instead of the simply having access to ultra-light buzzers, you can now pick from a selection of armed or unarmed choppers. Armed and unarmed land and water based vehicles are also included and handle just about as well as they always used to. I know that some people don’t particularly like the driving in Far Cry games but I don’t mind it (maybe because I am used to it by now) and driving a jeep, while a friend operates a mounted M2 .50 cal is just as awesome as ever. Another subtle upgrade that can be easily overlooked is that when playing in co-op, your partner can now ride on any part of your vehicle without the normal jittering and sliding off we are so used to seeing. Providing several seats in vehicles, that multiple players can occupy, is quite common in many games nowadays but being able to ride in the front of a boat or in the bed of a truck without sliding and juddering off, is an awesome update.
Is it realistic? Absolutely not! You can ride on the roof of a car while your buddy slams into oncoming traffic at full speed and you will still be safe and unharmed. But given the choice between glitching around and falling off and being glued on in an unrealistic manner, I would definitely choose the second option. Beside this, the only significant change in the vehicle department is the addition of planes. I don’t mind that they have been added and flying them, even with mouse and keyboard, works just about well enough but I would have been just as happy without planes in the game. For me, they are a bit too arcady and given the lack of suitable runways, I think that people will bail out rather than landing most of the time. Helicopters are just far more practical and I don’t really think that planes work for a game like this. Adding joystick compatibility for PCs may sway my mind slightly but overall, I still don’t think that planes will ever play a big part for me in this game. I guess the story is also worth mentioning but I have only played through part of it so far.
What I can say until now is that I am satisfied with the setting and the split between three different main regions. I’ve seen some journalists complain that the game doesn’t do enough to provide a commentary on current social issues in America but I personally don’t get that argument. I believe that the game is quite vague about the fictional cult that you are fighting on purpose in order to avoid causing offence and I don’t mind that.
It’s almost a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” case where people were pre-emptively offended pre-launch but now that the game is out, game critics seem disappointed that it’s not offensive enough. I guess you can’t please everyone but for me, as far as I have played for now, the story is providing a perfectly suitable backdrop and counterpoint to the silly, over-the-top fun that lies at the core of the game. So the bottom line for me is that as a big fan of the Far Cry series, Far Cry 5 is the best one yet. I really appreciate all of the little details, like natural animal behaviours, beautiful scenery and neat world discovery mechanics but most importantly of all: switching from a limited “hit scan” shooting mechanic to ballistics modelling and increased range for all of the different types of weapons has in my eyes, made this game a pure joy to experience.
Have you had a chance to dive into Hope County yet? What are your thoughts on the game so far and are there any improvements I forgot to list? Let me know in the comments section below! And with that, thanks for watching, I hope you enjoyed the video and I will see you in the next episode!.
As found on Youtube