Far Cry 5 is more effective - and relevant - than it knows


Yeah no kidding. Like they’re even going to read the text!


What happens in 205 days?


Great review. Been looking forward to this after reading your work on Far Cry 2. Totally agree that the game deserves a hardcore mode of some sort and a physical FC2-style map and all the other ideas you mention.

I think the prepper stashes are Ubisoft’s best new addition to the series.


Yeah, I really like the stashes. I wish they had made the story missions more like those. Less corridor shooter, more environmental puzzles and skill challenges.


Companions is a great addition to a game.
I like them in the Mass Effect games and Skyrim, I like them here.

The thing I don’t like with FC4 that seems fixed in FC5 is the size of the map. Is possible to get lost in a forest in FC5, while in FC4 it feels like theres roads everywhere.


I’m torn about the game. While I was playing the open world stuff, I’d fully agree, five stars all the way, GOTY material. I also agree with Tom that the main story stuff definitely is pushed on you rather than sitting there waiting for you to stumble on things. I’ve noted elsewhere that I find the whole game a rumination on agency, or lack there of. I think Tom is better able to separate that awareness from the moment to moment gameplay than I am, at least, better than i can now that I’ve finished the game. While playing, I felt pretty much exactly as Tom did.

I think 4 is better overall, when you take into account how all the parts fit together, but 5 is I think more ambitious, and ultimately better art, largely because of the conflicting reactions it engenders due to the weird juxtaposition of its yin and yang bits, and because the main story IMO can actually sustain some critical analysis, unlike, well, any of the other Far Cry stories.

I gotta say, though, that a lot of the banter, interplay between characters, and local color in the game, while admittedly brilliant, sure reads as a ginormous parody to me; the game is poking fun at a whole host of American tropes, not without affection in many cases. But it’s still definitely parody.



It’s really the worst Far Cry since FC1.

This means the skill “tree” is crap. I’m halfway through the game and have all the skills I’ll need. I don’t even open the skill tree tab. This is a failure of game design. See also - Far Cry Primal for an excellent skill tree where you have to agonize over where to spend those precious points because everything is so useful. I vaguely recall the skill tree in FC4 also being better, though not up to FC:P levels.

Skinning two badgers to carry more grenades was dumb, but it was fun. It made me look for badgers to kill, because I wanted, needed to carry more grenades. Or whatever it was. Now? I could not care less about killing anything I don’t need to kill. Because it’s dumb and boring.

The NPCs are annoying and get in the way and always, always give you away if you’re trying to stealth. Even “parking” them half a mile away doesn’t always work as sometimes they’ll still come running. I only use them because I’m playing on Hard and I need them to pick me up all the time because every damn cultist is a Navy Seal Sniper on Hard.

I’m right there with you. I can’t even be bothered to fire it up, but I do want to finish it just so I can reclaim that 60GB of disk space.


Ya, I agree with most of that stuff.

The world starts out cool… but after a few hours, you’ve seen pretty much all there is to see.

Agreed that the skill tree is pretty meh… It generally has very little impact on how you play the game, other than one or two skills.

I generally liked the pets. It was also amusing to have the two redneck guys together, as they’d yell at each other about stupid shit.

The ending though. Jesus. I looked online to see what the “other” ending was, and it’s apparently even worse. So lulz to that.

I enjoyed thef first few prepper stashes, because opening them actually gave me bonus stuff… but after a while, that seems to not happen anymore. The last 90% of stashes I found only gave me money and skill points.

I feel like having some sort of crafting system beyond what they had would make more stuff useful? Like,you can hunt animals and fish, but… why? You get some money for it. I guess you get some skill points the first time you do it. But I found no real motivation to do that stuff most of the time.


What bonus stuff are you thinking of beyond skill points? Collectibles? I’ve definitely found them throughout.


Like new weapons and stuff. I found a few weapons in prepper stashes early on and then didn’t need to buy them.


Yeah, the weapon system sucks. The generic weapons the enemy uses are really the only ones you ever need. Just snatch them up once to add them to your inventory, then buy bigger magazines and whatever other mods you want. All the “prestige” weapons are bullshit. I love that buying a prestige gun makes you re-buy any mods you already got for the generic version. God knows you can’t possibly use one red sight on other guns.


I loved the fact that they ditched the crafting/hunting system. It was fun for a few (several) games but it’s not fun anymore.

There are only a few ways to make money in this game, that I saw.

  1. Prepper stashes, which are all puzzles. Fuck you wingsuit aircraft hanger.
  2. Hunting and fishing
  3. Collectibles selling, like maps mostly.

I think that’s it. It gives it an economy that you can delve into, or not. Either you figure out the stashes or you hunt and fish a lot, both of which are fun. They kept it pretty lean IMO and it feels right. Hunting and fishing is very helpful but almost totally optional.

Crap, I’m gonna rent this again, aren’t I. I’m gonna do a new game and suffer through all those cut scenes in order to play the excellent sandbox.

Has anyone reset all the outposts yet? Does it reset the patrols as well?


I hated how there were like 3 guns in each category and that you unlocked almost all of them fairly early.

There are three .44 magnums. They’re all identical other than appearance. Lame. The gameplay was okay, but the game was a disappointment for someone who hasn’t really played much Far Cry since 2. The story parts were just stupid after a while and they happened non-stop. You could hit like 3 in a row in under an hour and a half. And then it was the same fucking thing each time and not fun. Awesome.

I think the game started failing for me when I unlocked the 45-70T. I was loving the 45-70 so I thought an upgrade would be awesome. Only… it was the same gun with a different skin. No upgrade at all, literally the same exact gun. Once there isn’t any progression anymore and you’re getting chain kidnapped by bad guys (it happens no less than 6 times), the game falls apart.


I was waiting for this review and Tom has convinced me that the game is worth my time and money.

Tom, do you intend to review Divinity Original Sin 2 or upcoming God of War?


Oh, right. That’s not really an issue with the stashes so much as the loot system.


Dude I did the same thing. I died a few times, missed that damned building about 4 times and finally lucked into landing on it. Then I got in and the door jammed so I couldn’t get out. At least I could fast travel elsewhere.

But as I did so it occurred to me, “Skipper, why didn’t you just land a chopper on there to get the stuff?” It was a good example of Ubi letting us try to solve the problem our way, even if I chose a particularly shitty way (wingsuit.)

@tomchick I liked the review and I agree with most all of it. Especially the followers. They really made the game for me; finding them, doing their quests, taking them along with me, and trying to strategize who I needed for things as I played. They were great.

The prepper stashes were also great, and unlike a few folks commenting here, I actually loved the combination of the challenge and perk system. I mean, you could avoid it by just getting quest and pepper stash perk points, but if you were so inclined to fish, hunt, use every weapon, kill people in crazy ways, etc, it became fun, which is the whole point of playing these open world games in the first place.


The Perk system could have been more robust. I wish I could care about carrying more special ammo but anything that involves me going into the weapon wheel is a fucking disaster so I pass. I wouldn’t have minded more “can carry X” perks (like for ammo, or upgrading how many skins I can hold).

I enjoy hunting more in this than in 3/4. The worst part of them was not “get two lynx paws to carry more grenades”. It was “well fuck, I am full on badger skins. I hope I don’t need any more of these once I craft this thing.” 5 gameplay hours later “damnit, I need more badger skins fuck all”. Here, i quite enjoy shooting and killing things especially with my bow (because, uh, country boy can survive or something?). Or a flame thrower. I’ve had a lot of good flamethrower hi-jinx when using it to hunt. But I like the pressure of not going “fuck what is that what carrying capacity upgrade will getting it’s skin net me? Oh I did not get a skin anyway”. But rather “ooh, barbeque, or whatever this animal’s equivalent is” and then selling the skin later.

As for the finale, I personally wouldn’t refer to it as “spectacular” unless I wanted to refer to it as “spectacularly awful”. The story is at least absurd but silly fun for awhile (until you start getting shot by charmed arrows or whatever). But the endings all suggest I’m supposed to be giving Coachella Jesus’ bullshit the time of day. It gives the impression that Ubi kinda wanted to say something but apparently whatever that is got drunk and passed out.

Funny thing, I think you could have Crackdown’d this game. Just have the 4 lieutenants (or disciples or whatever, I mean honestly) sitting where they are occasionally sending brutal murder squads after you. Eventually you’re going to be faffing about and look up and go “oh, it’s that one dude’s house, look at all the bad guys. And me with just my trusty flame thrower” and then you’ve done a story portion but without being forced into the silly missions. And then you could have gotten to the end and the Sheriff could have said “would have preferred you just arrest them and not blown everything up” before a bear ran by and mauled him. Fade to credits.

Also, three companions so that you can run with Bear, Cat, and Doge as your wingmen.


The cavalry arrives? Fingers crossed. As arrandek pointed out, it’s the midterm elections.

I remember an Owen Gliberman review of O Brother Where Art Thou many years ago – or maybe it was Fargo? – in which he asserted that the Coen brothers are sneering at the characters in their movie. I didn’t really see it that way, but over the years, I can kind of understand why he would say that. I can understand reading into their writing, which can be cold and incisive, a sense of looking down on the characters to ridicule them. I don’t think I agree, but Gliberman’s comment is more plausible than when I first read it.

But I never got that sense in Far Cry 5. I mean, sure, it’s clearly parody in places: Hurk’s dad, the UFO guy, the movie director. But other parts are written with a clear kindness towards and affection for the characters, without judgment. The guy giving out the pins in the prison, Nick’s feisty wife, the daughter of the fisherman who gives you the overarching fishing quest, the bar owner in the first town, the priest, and so on. I don’t remember endearing characters like this in other Ubisoft games. Is that just me? It’s entirely possible I’m forgetting some. Can you guys think of another Ubisoft cast written with this level of affection?

I screwed myself over with Divinity Original Sin 2 because of my stupid idiosyncrasy about difficulty levels in games. I was really enjoying it, but because I insisted on playing at the harder difficulty level that you can’t adjust downward, I basically got into a dead end. But I was loving the writing. It’s been a regular submission in my Patreon review requests, so I might get back to it. But the longer-term RPG I plan to dig into next is Pillars 2.

What made you mention Original Sin 2? The characters? Or just an unrelated question?

As for God of War, true story: I didn’t know there was a new God of War until last week when a friend asked me about it. She said something about Kratos’ son and I was all, like, wait, what, his son? That’s how out of the loop I am with console releases. I see it’s doing well on Metacritic, so I presume some people think it’s really good.

I didn’t really want to get into it in the review, but it reminds me of why I loved Agents of Mayhem. Vividly written characters constantly at your side, expressed with humor and affection and unique gameplay. It’s the videogame equivalent of a Joss Whedon script!

As for the ending, a lot more will be said by me and a couple of other people on Thursday evening.



Here’s what happens when you use the F word:

Seems like you’re at an impasse, gentlemen. :)