The Best of ‘Far Cry 5’ Part One
Far Cry 5 is without a doubt one of our favorite games of 2018 so far. We’ve published a raving review as well as a list ranking our favorite characters, and now we bring you our list of the 15 things we love most about the game. Participating in this list is John Websell, Christopher Underwood, and Ricky D. Be sure to sound off in the comments below and let us know your thoughts as well.
Guy Marvel’s Cinematic Universe
Kidnapping, brainwashing, torture, and murder be damned, Guy Marvel has a vision – and it’s called Blood Dragon 3 (see what Ubisoft did there?)
The problem is, the cast and crew aren’t quite so willing to put their lives on the line in pursuit of artistic greatness as he is, leaving the irascible yet undeniably brilliant director in somewhat of a quandary. Fortunately for him, a surprisingly taciturn rookie cop has just arrived in Hope County who’s more than willing to step in, setting up two of Far Cry 5’s most entertaining side-quests.
Both are spectacularly violent, possessing all the hallmarks of a Quentin Tarantino wet dream, featuring objectives such as running over hordes of ‘Angels’ (Project Eden’s Gate’s zombie-like slaves) in a tractor mulcher and recording a short snuff scene for the unscrupulous auteur. The main draw here, however, is the humorous undercurrent to these missions.
Marvel complains that, if Blood Dragon 3 flops or has to be cancelled due to the seemingly endless conflict, he’ll have to go back to working on a little-known series of video games called Far Cry; and he’s not all that keen on the idea. As he explains, he’s had his fill of querulous fans and critics constantly bemoaning the quality of each iteration’s “world-building, player motivation, and believability”. A wonderfully passive-aggressive, tongue-in-cheek shot at gamers that instantly brought a slightly sheepish smile to my face.
There’s little in the way of social commentary or satire in this next entry.
I mean, yes, destroying the colossal Joseph Seed statue located at the center of the Henbane River region, along with sixteen supplementary shrines to his ego, carries a certain amount of symbolic significance. But for me, though, it was simply about blowing things up.
Methodically dismantling the 200-foot edifice whilst his adherents scramble around below, desperately trying to stop you is ridiculously satisfying. Whether you work from the bottom up with your ever-reliable rocket launcher or assault the eyesore from the air in a fully-equipped attack helicopter, there’s something indescribably cathartic about watching huge chunks of masonry slough to the ground. I guess it’s the knowledge that your actions have irrevocably changed the Hope County landscape, washing away one of, if not the most visible sign of the Peggie occupation.
Annihilating the shrines, on the other hand, isn’t quite as visually or metaphorically striking. However, given the sheer number and spread of hubristic monuments just waiting to be destroyed, it furnishes the player with the perfect opportunity to explore the gorgeous Montana wilderness at their leisure… stopping to set small, man-made parts of it on fire.
Tracing the Henbane River
Which brings me neatly on to my next destination: The Henbane River itself. Amid so much death and destruction, I think it’s important to spare a few moments, every now and then, to appreciate the visual splendor of Far Cry 5’s idyllic surroundings. And there’s arguably nowhere better suited to this in the entire game than the banks of the Henbane.
Obviously, it’d be difficult to fully appreciate these breathtaking, panoramic vistas or get a true sense of the region’s incredible scale on foot, so my personal preference, as far as transportation for these brief excursions is concerned, is the helicopter. Freelook mode allows you to relax as you slowly follow the gently meandering course of the river, admiring the views of snow-capped mountains, dense forests, and pristine lakes, without the threat of emergent confrontations playing on your mind whilst you drink in every inch of your Arcadian surroundings.
There’s a practical benefit to this particular sojourn too. Assuming you’ve yet to complete Virgil Minkler’s quest to disrupt the region’s Bliss supply when you set off, you need only take a quick break from your sightseeing tour to neutralise the enemy drug smugglers with a volley of high-calibre bullets: safeguarding the region from Faith’s mind-altering narcotics and leaving your free to enjoy the view.
Inquisitive individuals might have noticed early on that, on the ‘Utility’ half of Far Cry 5’s equipment wheel, among a number of useful ‘Homeopathics’ (drugs) that apply a range of buffs to the protagonist when consumed, are two particularly advantageous concoctions called ‘Fast’ and ‘Furious’. Increasing movement speed and damage output respectively, they can dramatically alter the course of battle should you find yourself in a tight spot.
Later on, once you’ve met local drug enthusiast/amateur chemist Tweak, you can refine the recipes, reducing the quantity of crafting components needed to make them. And it’s the process of testing the revised concoctions in the form of a pair of otherwise innocuous side-quests that qualify for this list.
Set within the confines of Tweak’s creepy, mannequin-infested ‘Playground’, the first of these two missions asks the protagonist to trial the new ‘Fast’ recipe by completing an obstacle course: running, jumping, and generally clambering through an array of derelict buildings, whilst taking out an assortment of inanimate and not-so-inanimate targets along the way.
The second, meanwhile, is the true pièce de résistance. With a jaunty tune playing in the background and a burst of fireworks greeting every successful shot – further adding to the bizarre gameshow-esque vibe that permeates the whole experience – the second mission tasks the protagonist with launching a dozen or so angels into one of three fire puts dotted around the compound using nothing but their hands and feet. Lining up attacks can be a bit tricky since the frenzied, insensate cultists don’t exactly make for the easiest of targets, but, in general, it is the perfect example of the kind of stupid, over-the-top fun you’d expect from a Far Cry side-quest.
Close Encounters of the Absurd Kind
I’m not exactly fond of real-world conspiracy theorists. In my opinion, they’re nothing more than easily led men and women whose lives are so unutterably dull they have to buy-in to every apocryphal notion, no matter how far-fetched, so they can pretend to be in possession of knowledge that regular people, like you and I, couldn’t possibly comprehend or are too short-sighted to see. People who question mankind’s greatest achievements, the Moon landings being the obvious example (of course they fucking happened; I can’t believe there are still people who question this in the year 2018) and generally try to make problems where none exist.
What was I saying? Oh, yeah. Despite my total contempt for these pillocks, I thoroughly enjoyed Larry Parker’s series of quests. He is the embodiment of this kind of the average conspiracy theorist and, as such forms a brilliant parody of their ilk. He’s an object of ridicule rather than someone to be taken seriously, spouting the usual kind of conspiratorial nonsense about big brother and advanced alien civilisations hiding under the Martian surface, delivered in the intransigent, socially awkward, and vaguely-unsettling manner of all such individuals. Indeed, if it wasn’t for the presence of a tell-tale silhouette in the inventory of every weapons vendor, you’d expect his quest-line to end in humiliating failure.
In this instance, however, Larry is proved right. An amusing twist that, rather than vindicating these charlatans, begs the question, how would they actually react if it turned out one of their incoherent ramblings contained a grain of truth, after all? Obviously, we’ll never know as that’ll never happen, but it makes for a fun climax to an enjoyable handful of missions nonetheless.
Plus, as a reward for humouring him, the player receives the ‘Magnopulser’ – a unique weapon that, as well as having unlimited ammo, reduces enemies to a pile of watery viscera. Lovely.