Far Cry 5, from the developers at Ubisoft, isn’t quite the breath of fresh air some have been wanting since the days of Far Cry 3. It is, however, a game of deep interaction and exploration filled with activities and challenges abroad. Overall, Far Cry 5 is more of a slight renovation than a complete evolution that many have asked for of the franchise.

Far Cry 5 is as innovative as many triple-A franchises without taking much risk or any massive leaps. It’s a game buried knee-high in its own lore, forcing the player to discover what they want and how they want. So will Far Cry 5 be a success? From a gameplay perspective, yes. From a revolution in innovation, no.

When diving into the land of Far Cry 5, my eyes instantly went for searching the mini map to gather my barrings; maybe even a few hidden items. To my surprise it was no longer in the corner of the screen nestled away. I was forced to go out on my own and discover…on my own. By today’s standards that sounds like a new concept. A new way of gaming.. This is an unusual and very welcome step in this series where most of us rely on reading the mini map to not discover what to do, but for the map to tell us what to do.

So I brought my eyes up from the comforting corner that was once filled with that precious mini map; and I saw. I saw the rich atmosphere that was not just ‘somewhere’. I saw Hope County, Montana with my eyes off of the map. I was free to do what I wanted and how I wanted without having the false limits of the map. I was able to explore the vast open prairies and wilderness that Montana breathes to life, all on my own.

“As I was introduced to the enemies of the game, I didn’t find much of a change in AI and enemy development. “

One of the major changes that’s immediately apparent within this fictional world of Far Cry 5 is the comparison to Far Cry 3/4. This game is no longer focused on a lush jungle teeming with rhinos, eagles, deadly fish, alligators, elephants and so much more. It’s more of what modern civilization sees in their own backyard. From dry, gray prairie brush to tall pine trees, a lot of flat land and a few steep hills, and a few calmly flowing rivers along the way.

Following through with the idea of  eliminating boxed-in-exploration, Ubisoft have went ahead and cleared the entire experience of towers. Remember the towers? A lot of games have them; they’re the the map-clearing towers that reveal a clouded map upon climbing each of the game’s towers. They have been totally removed to keep the access to the entire map free from the start. So what lies beyond that next mountain or river can be explored without having to climb the tower before hand.

One thing that is coming back from Far Cry Primal is the ability to choose a companion to accompany you during missions. There are a few different companions to choose from, and each one has his or her own abilities in battle and recon. I’m an animal lover, so I skipped the human companions and went right for the dog. The dog was handy to have around. It can covertly sneak into enemy territory, take down enemies, and bring back their weapons to you. Oh, and you can also pet it. At this point I’m not sure what effects petting will have in the long run.

As I was introduced to the enemies of the game, I didn’t find much of a change in AI and enemy development. If I got spotted, for example, some of the enemies would run toward me and won’t react naturally. It’s an archaic design that many games (Destiny being a big one) are still implementing at this time. Some of the enemies would hide behind a truck, or the side of a building, but the ones coming at me were annoying. How will these enemy AI fit into the story is yet to be told. A bigger question is will the story hold the course of the game? With the idea of this tantalizing main bad guy controlling all the cards; inviting his followers into a future only he has had visions of; can the story hold up as well as past Ubisoft experiences? We’ll have to wait to find out, of course.

“Overall, Far Cry 5 is shaping up to be an intriguing game. With the main focus being on the villain who has visions of the future, it’s sure to bring some eerie moments throughout the experience.”

I didn’t have a lot of time with the weapons in the game, but from what I saw and what was available, they were standard first-person rifles and sidearms. The feel of the standard rifle I was equipped with in the preview version was powerful with little recoil, and it mowed the enemies down fast and efficiently. Now I may not be the best FPS player in the world, but the controls for Far Cry 5 had me perplexed from time to time. With the weapon wheel being the original focus in the game, clicking buttons will switch your weapons automatically. For me, however, I was often faced with clicking a series of buttons (in a shameful panic) and most of the time came up with the game’s fishing pole. I don’t normally have these issues in games such as Call of Duty, but there is definitely a need to work on the confusing customization with that.

Another additive about the story mode within the game is that it’s not as restrictive as before. You no longer have to decide which quests to do [story or side]. The game has a flow about it that allows you to sink yourself into any mission you choose, without having to stray away from the story. Its smooth interactions will allow you to really define how you play the game.

Overall, Far Cry 5 is shaping up to be an intriguing game. With the main focus being on the villain who has visions of the future, it’s sure to bring some eerie moments throughout the experience.

This game was previewed on the PlayStation 4.

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