Collection: Far Cry 5 (PS4)
words by DrJohnGalt
The newest addition to the Collection this week is Far Cry 5. I’ve been a fan of the series since the first game (which is unique in itself; none of the later titles follow the original formula and its monstrous mutations). I enjoyed the setting and story of FC2 but never finished it because it seemed a bit unforgiving and I couldn’t get the hang of the controls. I think FC3 was the best of the series, hands down. Vaas is one of my favorite antagonists, ever. FC4 was fun but felt like more of the same. Primal, thought of by many as “filler”, was more than just a re-skinned Far Cry game for me, despite the despite the recycled map. I really enjoyed the experience; I liked the pre-historic setting, the ability to tame, ride, and hunt with the beasts, and the crafting.
I skipped over the other half dozen or so spin offs.
So here we are: Far Cry 5. Released at the end of March, 2018, developed and published by the Ubisoft team, this is one of those games that’s been hotly anticipated, not just because it’s the next in a popular franchise, but because it was supposed to tackle the issue of divisiveness in America.
Which it definitely does not do. But more on that in a minute.
The game feels like a Far Cry title; it’s familiar while exploring a new territory. And it looks like a Far Cry game. You know, beautiful environments but relatively generic characters. The open-world FPS gameplay is a nice blend of stealth and shooting. The crafting has been trimmed down, which is disappointing. But the co-op has been expanded, which is the biggest reason this was a day-one purchase for me. It’s a bummer there’s still a tether between the two characters.
And there’s now an arcade mode and level builder, which could be fun but isn’t a selling point for most people. I’ve tried out a few of the player-made maps and most are trash, at least this early on. The arcade has potential, but at the time of this writing it certainly isn’t more than a novelty.
And now let’s (briefly) talk about the politics surrounding the release.
The game has been roundly criticized by SJWs and the Big Game Media (redundant, I know) for not taking this opportunity to totally trash the half of the country that leans to the right. Yes, there really are people out there who believe that games should be used as hammers to pound propaganda into the heads of the video game playing public. The argument is that this was the perfect platform to take on the issue of religion and guns and nationalism, or at the very least to make a comparison between The Father and the Peggies to Donald Trump and the “alt-right” and even conservatives in general.
And at this point in the game (I’m only a few hours in), it doesn’t do that at all. Which is just fine with me. I’ve written in the past about politics in games, and I’m glad this one is relatively neutral. The good guys aren’t working with any specific social justice goals in mind, and the bad guys aren’t just straw-men with faces of modern politics. They couldn’t be considered simply “misunderstood”; there’s a clear good and bad line here. At the most the game pokes fun at preppers, but aside from some snarky commentary there isn’t too much moralizing. I think the closest social issue the game could have alluded to is the so-called “opioid epidemic”, but the experience is mostly what Far Cry has always been about: action, mayhem, and goofiness tied together by a string of sarcastic satire. Nothing more.
But people will see what they want to see here.
Have you played the game? Which is your favorite in the series? Let me know in the comments below!