Far Cry 5 releases in a few weeks and I haven't been this excited to play a Far Cry game since someone asked me if I knew the definition of insanity. That's your main reason for playing Far Cry 5 right there; a villain more insane than Vaas.
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1. The Father Is Calling
In total, there have been eleven Far Cry games (five main titles), but only very few characters, (whether that's as protagonist or antagonist), that left their mark in gaming history. For me, only Vaas managed to claw his way into the hierarchy of memorable gaming villains, but with Far Cry 5, we might have an antagonist that far exceeds anything 'ole Vaas could get up to.
Father Joseph Seed is not a simple man, nor is he the traditional gaming antagonist. He is a religious man who doesn't shy away from using violence or even murder to further his cause. He is an absolute master of manipulation with a strong sense of responsibility to care for those in his flock. He believes in the power of family but will rip yours apart in a heartbeat. He will show you the way, care for you as if you're one of his own, and he will kill you if you dare disobey him. Father Joseph is kind to repentant sinners and unforgiving to those who transgress. He is a sinner, and to some, he is a saint. He once was lost, but claims he is now “found”. By whom I wonder, has he been found?
Seed's parents played a major role in forming the twisted man we meet in Far Cry 5. They abused him and taught him to embrace pain. You cannot label him as fully evil or good because at times he is both of those things. One thing we do know about him is that his power over people cannot be underestimated. He might be the most diabolical character we've ever seen in a video game.
The Far Cry 5 live-action trailer below shows just one such instance. Steed baptizes the daughter of Pastor Jeffries (Seed was once a member of Jeffries' congregation), but it's not a baptism at all, it's a murder. And the people of faith bear witness.
And walk away.
2. The Controversy
Which brings us to the second reason you should play Far Cry 5. As I've stated before, it promises a blend of religion, violence, and politics – a concoction that screams controversy, and I so love it when video games take on holy cows. Gaming is, after all, a form of art, and art is at its best when it is a mirror of the human psyche.
Playing a video game is interactive art, which makes it all the more immersive. Far Cry 5 will probably offend us, ridicule our believes, mock us, and trample on all we call sacred. I want to play the game just to see if Ubisoft managed to pull this off while still delivering an entertaining gaming experience. The developer is taking a leap of faith that might prove to be too much to handle.
Religious issues aside, Far Cry 5 will also have us hunt down people who might as well have been former friends or acquaintances as Eden Gate's congregation is from the same town as the protagonist and his crew. How do you feel about killing people who are not inherently evil, but misguided souls, deceived by a charismatic cult leader, and victims themselves? Who can find his or her way through this nightmare, when even the good shepherd has to turn into a wolf to save his flock?
At least we'll have someone to share this supposedly difficult road with.
3. The Co-Op Experience
Call a friend! Far Cry 5's co-op experience will probably be the biggest drawing card for most gamers. You'll be able to play all the missions together, and there will be a lot of those scattered throughout the massive open world. The feature is called “Friend for Hire” and allows players to hang out together in Hope County.
Want to fly a plane while your buddy sows havoc on the ground? Done. Want to hunt or fish together? Done. Maybe just speed across the open grasslands or take the scenic route on a bike? Go for it. The electronic playground of Far Cry 5 is yours to share if you so choose. The system uses your friends' list, so all you have to do is invite your bestie from your Steam, Xbox Live or PSN platform. Once you're in the game, you send the invite, as simple as that. There is no matchmaking system to complicate things. Once your friend accepts the invite, they'll appear in your session.
The important question then is – how to save the co-op progress? The person who hosts the game gets the saved game narrative and all progress made (includes XP and inventory). So, for the host, it works exactly as it would in single-player. The friend who joined, however, only keeps his own progression and not the world progression. You can also play the whole game in co-op; just invite your friend after you've played the tutorial, and you're set.
The more, the merrier, right? So let's add some people and fangs to the party
4. The Crew
According to Far Cry 5 Creative Director, Dan Hay, previous instalments had about 18-20 AI characters that could directly interact with the player. In Far Cry 5, that number is almost four times bigger, and the story changes depending on the player's current crew. He describes the banter between squad members as “amazing,” and that communication also changes when a new member enters the conversation.
I know of at least six crew members you can add from the “Gun for Hire” feature, and that's excluding four-legged teamies from “Fangs for Hire.” There's the stupid crazy Hulk that enjoys nothing more than blowing things up. Preferably from a distance with an RPG. Then there's Boomer, the cutest K9 next to Fallout's Dogmeat. Boomer is also very useful as everyone is so charmed by his cuteness that they don't consider him a threat. He can slip into enemy territory, tag targets, and even bring you guns of a dead enemy. Never enter an enemy lair without a good sniper, and for that Grace is your girl. Nick Rye rains death from above, and Jess is the Hunter you never knew you needed (wild animals see her as one of their own).
Each member adds unique skills, and different strategies to your game, making Far Cry 5's action a very diverse and entertaining experience.
5. The Extras
Wild villains and controversy aside; you can also play Far Cry 5 just for fun.
For once, a season
There's also the open-world map with a magnitude of fun activities to do, challenges to complete, and secrets to discover. It's like a game within a game, and you'll get lost for hours just wandering through the different sections. According to Ubiblog, “Far Cry 5 is the biggest, most open Far Cry to date.” You can explore almost the whole map from the get-go, and as you convince more of the AI to join the resistance, more of the occupied areas become safe
The last thing I want to mention is the diversity of Far Cry 5's vehicles and weapons – it's another “biggest” in the franchise and will no doubt provide hours of fun. Did I mention you can hunt, fish, craft, and explore Hope County in a wingsuit?
Far Cry 5 releases on March 27 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
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