Controversy and Far Cry are no strangers to each other. We’ve seen the backlash received in the past since Far Cry 2 dared to put African enemies in an African setting (the humanity!) but Far Cry 5 is an entirely different beast in itself. While most people may have enjoyed mercilessly killing enemies on foreign grounds in the past four games, Far Cry 5 brings it all home to America, particularly Hope County, Montana. What can we expect from Ubisoft’s ambitious upcoming open world shooter that dares to go against the current?
Far Cry 5 is drumming up heated debates surrounding the portrayal of religion in the game. The story places players in the shoes of an unnamed citizen who is caught in the middle of Hope County’s downfall to a doomsday religious cult, and must somehow find a way to get to the enigmatic leader of the cult and take down the entire system before it turns Hope County into a dictatorship. The controversy, while pretty much on the nose, isn’t entirely surprising given Ubisoft’s daring traditions of going out of the way to anger irrational people with the Far Cry games. So Far Cry 5 marks a step sideways for the series while accidentally going forward. Kind of like a confused crab.
From the gameplay trailer revealed at E3 2017, Far Cry 5 seems to retain plenty of what makes the other games so entertaining (and sometimes repetitive) to play. The footage showed off a hostage situation going on near a church. Like hostage situations in Far Cry 3 and 4, the player must use stealth tactics to save the hostages while taking down the cult members. I’ve had a ton of fun liberating outposts and tackling hostage situations in Far Cry 4 as it really made you feel empowered when you execute a near perfect stealth strategy. Far Cry 5 gratefully looks no different and I applaud it for sticking to its guns, but I do hope there’s more under the surface besides familiar territory.
Far Cry 5 looks to also change the landscape of its open world. Sure, it may have a more rural American setting now, but the dense forests, lakes, rivers, sparse homes, and barnyards all contribute to creating a striking vision of the county and the impending feeling of its cult taking presence there. Ubisoft are driving in the nail that this is unlike any Far Cry game in terms of setting, but what really draws people into the Far Cry games (since the third) is the setting and central villain. Vaas and Pagan Min set really high bars for iconic villains in video games, so the stage is set for Joseph Seed, the cult leader and new resident villain, to steal the show again.
Far Cry 5 is one of my most anticipated games. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Far Cry 3 and 4 despite their flaws, and I hope Ubisoft has taken down some notes regarding the feedback to craft Far Cry 5 into the ideal open-world, chaotic first-person shooter we’re all craving. You may have noticed how I’ve avoided mentioning Primal in the article too. I think that speaks for itself.
Far Cry 5 will be out on February 28, 2018 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. Watch the E3 2017 gameplay trailer below: