Far Cry 5 – Prelim Review

Ubisoft has taken great steps to change my mind about them. After playing the hit-or-miss game for far too long, it has now released two excellent open world games in a row. The first, Assassin’s Creed: Origins, has revitalized the AC universe. As I wrote earlier, I went into that game more than a little hesitantly. It was such a departure from the earlier games. But Ubisoft played it smart. They slowed down the release times for AC games and, while the game isn’t perfect, it is fun and there are hours upon hours of things to do. AC:O is a winner and, from what I’m seeing so far, Far Cry 5 is as well.

I have a secret to tel you. While I’ve enjoyed some of the Far Cry games, they’ve never been ones I wanted to rush right out and get the moment they dropped. I took a risk with FC5 and bought it a few days after its release. Why? Hope. I hoped they had followed the same mindset of improving the series they had with AC:O. Even so, I had concerns. Pretty big concerns about the plot and how the writers would wind up characterizing not only the playable characters but the NPCs as well.

For those of you not familiar with the basic plot of FC5, it involves religious zealots who have stockpiled guns and who knows what else. The main playable character is an unnamed deputy who had been part of the law enforcement party sent to arrest the leader of the religious cult. Nicknamed “the Father” he and his family control a large swath of territory and they aren’t above murder and kidnapping and other crimes to  prepare for what they see as the inevitable.

Watching the trailers for the game and as I started playing, I couldn’t help drawing comparisons to David Koresh and the Branch Davidians. I doubt many Texans playing the game who were alive when that debacle went down will ever forget it. That connection, as well as a few other things, had me worrying that Far Cry 5 would turn into a SJW wet dream where religion is evil, guns are evil and there are no real good guys because guns and religion.

What I’ve found so far (and I haven’t been able to play as much as I’d like. I’m only about a quarter of the way through the game right now) doesn’t support that concern. Sure, there are the evil religious nuts but there is the devoted local pastor who is willing to lay down his life to protect those who have been abused and threatened by “the piggies”. Most of the NPCs are neither good nor bad but a combination of both, just like real folks are. The characters are folks caught in a bad situation who have to decide how they will act to survive.

Another interesting — and fun — part of the game is the arcade mode. Not only does it give players the chance to create maps and challenges for other players, it gives you the chance to earn money and points you can use to better equip and upgrade your character in the main game.

It will be interesting to see where the game goes from here and what “message” might be there. So far, at least, there have been no overt politically correct messages like we got in AC:O (especially in the Discovery Tour). Fingers crossed it remains that way. If it does, then Ubisoft has remembered the primary rule of entertainment — you have to entertain your audience.

I hope that’s the case. If so, perhaps other game developers will follow this trend back to reality. The reality of sales and of customer retention. If you entertain us, if you give us a game where you aren’t preaching at us, we will buy it, play it, finish it and replay it. More importantly, we will recommend it and we will then buy more games by your studio.

This is a lesson publishers and the so-called brains in Hollyweird should learn as well.

My recommendation — so far, at least — is Far Cry 5 is an excellent new installment in the series and a must buy and play for anyone who has enjoyed the earlier games.

Now there’s editing to do and coffee to drink. Until later!

About the author

Writer, proud military mom and possessed by two crazy cats and one put-upon dog. Writes under the names of Amanda S. Green, Sam Schall and Ellie Ferguson.

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