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


#21

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


#22

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


#23

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.


#24

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?


#25

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.


#26

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?


#27

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


#28

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.


#29

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.


#30

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.

-Tom


#31

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

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

-Tom


#32

Oh, yeah, that’s why I noted the affection. I still think it’s a parody of broad themes in American culture, but not a mean-spirited one. Things are exaggerated but not to the point you lose the essential humanity at the core of how these folks are making do.


#33

I’d definitely agree that the problem with hunting for crafting is that you often don’t know whether down the road you’ll need X. If they just made the damn progression visible, then, you could sell those goresnout tusks.


#34

It’s a shame there wasn’t any meaningful commentary or writing regarding the cult stuff. I recently watched the Waco miniseries, there’s that documentary on Netflix about the ashram in Oregon, and I’m fascinated by movies like Martha Marcy May Marlene, The Sacrament, and The Invitation. There’s a lot of opportunity Ubisoft missed, probably intentionally.

I like how Far Cry 5 just says “aw, screw it” and lets you dump everything with a single button press. At first, I was sure I was missing something. “You mean I only ever get money for these things? I don’t need to save them up later to make a hat or a bandolier?”

-Tom


#35

I see what you mean; there isn’t any overt commentary, it’s just put out there. But that, in itself, is commentary. They are giving you what I think is a fairly accurate version of how these groups think and justify themselves, without editorializing. It’s up to the player to decide what they think. To me, it ties in with the ending pretty well.


#36

The biggest issue with the cult for me is how the bliss stuff is kind of a drug, but it’s also just magic. It leads to a bunch of situations that end up being bullshit.


#37

In videogames and movies, mind control is magic.


#38

Wonderful review, Tom! I loved the way you unpacked the appeal of sandbox-based gameplay in such a concise, descriptive manner:

Some people want their open worlds as smooth as ice cream, as consistent as a Slurpee, as familiar as a Happy Meal. They want sandboxes with less sand and more playground furniture.


#39

Yeah, this was a bit much. Especially one of the endings…


#40

That’s one way to look at it, but I think you’re being charitable. The cult stuff in Far Cry 5 is so kooky and over-the-top that I don’t think it has any real insight. Which, to be fair, might be difficult to do in a videogame where the requirement is just a bunch of guys to shoot at and a couple of boss fights.

But there are, I believe, right ways and wrong ways to represent the damage cults do to people, their families, their friends. The Waco miniseries is the absolute wrong way. It’s a reprehensible attempt to shift blame from the Davidians to the FBI that would have you think the Davidians were basically a Bible study group. Then there are basic horror movie approaches. Jackals is kind of interesting for what it does with the protagonist’s struggle, but it’s ultimately a pretty dumb horror movie. Leland Orser and Mary Elizabeth Winstead are in Faults, a strangely intimate look at a cult member and her family and the deprogrammer trying to help them. But it’s mainly going for a “gotcha” instead of meaningful commmentary.

I really like the parts of The Invitation that present the social tension and the different mindsets between people in a cult, and people who know them. But my favorite example of how to represent the damage cults do is, of course, Martha Marcy May Marlene, which manages to both show the allure of a cult and the lasting damage it causes.

-Tom