The missions themselves are the biggest step forward. They're varied throughout and ask you to do things you've never done before. Each one felt exciting to do. Sure, there are still outposts to clear, fetch quests and towers to destroy, but there are dog fights, puzzle rooms, races and base-defending missions that always seem to add things to make them interesting.
At around the 20 hour mark I was still going strong with side missions. I'm the sort of person who likes to b-line through a main game. Only stopping to do the optional stuff along the way if I feel I need to. Here, though, I was so impressed with how unique each mission felt that I couldn't shy away from a marker nearby on my map.
Then there're the systems in place to make things go wrong often resulting in laughter. I once stupidly tried to do a stealth mission with my NPC ally offering support in her helicopter only to see her get shot down immediately and found in a bush. I mean who tries to sneak into a base with a chopper buzzing over their head? This guy, obviously.
There the was a time where I was approaching an outpost in a hope that I could take everyone down once by one without setting off any alarms. I watched an armed guard's movement for ten minutes before spotting my chance to sprint to a nearby bush, only to hear a rattle snake inside. It's safe to say I was spotted as I ran away for my life.
These moments are why I love these games. They're unpredictable and you can stumble across the unexpected at any given moment. Not only does this stuff offer humorous stories to tell they keep you on your toes while you're playing.
One of the things that was always overwhelming with Far Cry
games was the map itself. Soon after being let off into the wild you'd open you map and see the amount of icons on screen and each symbol would become completely uninteresting due to the sheer volume. Here you unlock things a little slower than that.
In order to find activities you need to find maps within bases or along story missions. Rather than the game pointing you to where you should head, a character might tell you of a nearby activity slowly adding more icons as you go. Because of this you're more likely to go and see what each mission is rather than see how many the game has to offer and not bother because the amount of them devalues each individual task.
Having said that I'm not as fond of the perk unlocking as I have been in the previous games. Crafting from hunting is gone and in its place is a sort of achievement system in which challenges are rewarded with points that can be spent on a perk grid. Whereas before I'd find a perk that I wanted and go off to do what I needed to do to earn it, here you'll see how many points you'll need and unlock it and due to these points being spat at you throughout for doing anything, simply unlock it when you have enough to spend.
In all honesty this has been a hard review to write. As much fun as I'm having playing Far Cry 5
, it's hard not to be a tad disappointed. This was supposed to be the game that took a series I love and evolve it into something bigger.
Instead I've got another game in the series I love with a slightly less memorable tale to tell behind it. The gameplay, visuals, shooting, driving and flying are as good as anything Far Cry
has ever had to offer, but it fails to improve on the one side of things that these games have always been slightly under par with and I'd even consider it to be a slight step back in that department.
I just hope the next in the series manages to hold its nerve and tell us a story that has something to say. Until then I'm more than happy to carry on blowing up cult members.
+ Varied Missions
- Poor story
- Awful characters
SPOnG Score: 8/10