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Looking Back to 2018 and the All-American Dream of Far Cry 5


It seems hard to believe that Far Cry 5 released way back in 2018, as in my mind it feels like it was all of about twenty minutes ago. However, the timescale is correct, and to mark the occasion, Ubisoft have released an update to the game for the Xbox Series X|S consoles, alongside the PS5, that introduces 60FPs mode across all the game modes. 

This admittedly unexpected move from Ubisoft (I mean, when was the last time they gave anything away for free, eh?) made me cast my mind back to when I was playing through the game for the first time. In fact, the new upgrade prompted me to return to the game again. So, let’s go back in time and see what I can remember, shall we? (Insert wibbly-wobbly time travel effect here)

far cry 5 keyart

The first thing to look at in regards Far Cry 5 is the narrative, as I like to know why I am shooting various bad guys in the face. And here the story is pretty cool, as this is a Far Cry game set in the good ol’ US of A. It is set in Montana, to be precise, in an imaginary place called Hope County – but this place has a bit of a problem. You see, a preacher by the name of Joseph Seed believes that he has been told to prepare for the Collapse, a global catastrophe that will doom all of humanity, and he is the only one who can save the people. Not all the people, of course – only the ones who happen to belong to his particular cult, the Project at Eden’s Gate. 

He can’t do this alone, and in making it a family affair, he has drafted in his brothers to help, along with a woman by the name of Faith, ordaining these people as his Heralds. Joseph uses his charisma to take control of the county, and then makes the most of fear and violence to keep people from trying to contact the outside world for help. 

We are a rookie Deputy, sent on a mission to capture Joseph, and while at first it seems to be going swimmingly, the helicopter we are on is forced to crash by Joseph’s followers. We barely escape. From then on, it is very much being behind enemy lines for the rest of the game, as we have to attempt to survive and dislodge Joseph. Far Cry 5 had a very believable setting, to be fair, and seeing what was on the news every day in those days somehow made it more real. However, I’m not going to get too embroiled in the debate about the story, except to say that it was interesting

far cry 5 screen 1

Onto the presentation side of things and all was gravy too. Far Cry 5 plays a lot like the previous Far Cry games, with the ability to commandeer vehicles and drive around, but this time we could take to the skies too, in armed aeroplanes to do a little light strafing. The world – as a whole – looked extremely impressive, and the draw distances were very good as well. On the ground, the difference between the towns and the countryside was stark, with thick forests and rivers to explore. One of the best things though came in the form of the number of side missions to take in, so wandering about, getting better gear and then coming back to the main storyline was a perfectly valid tactic. 

The sound was great as well, with the characters all being very well voiced, whilst the sound of engines, explosions and excitement all ringing true. This style obviously struck a chord, as at the time of release, Far Cry 5 was the second fastest selling game that Ubisoft had made, lagging only behind The Division. Even Montana’s tourism board jumped on the bandwagon, using images from the game to promote tourism to the state. 

Of course, playing through the madness was never going to be easy, and so we would have to recruit people in the locality to help us. While it is nice having a regular human helping us out (assuming it isn’t scripted in the game that they are going to be hypnotised and betray us, of course), the best companions of all are under the category known as “Fangs for Hire”. Once you find and fulfil the requirements to get these guys on your side (and no, I’m not going to tell you how) then going into battle with a Cougar (the big cat, minds out of the gutter please!) or a massive bear as your backup is very cool indeed. In fact, rocking up to an outpost you want to reclaim and sending in the bear is a nice easy way to do it! Of course, Cheeseburger the bear has a lot of good traits, but sadly stealth isn’t one of them…

Once you had completed the main storyline (and chosen your ending, but again, no spoilers here) the next thing to do was look at the other modes that were available. As is traditional, there was an option to play the entire campaign in two player co-op, and this was a good way to play, either locally or over the internet. There was also the seemingly obligatory multiplayer PvP mode shoehorned in, but since I try to avoid game modes that don’t make sense, I avoided it. Arcade mode was of more interest, as it allowed us to essentially create our own maps, either single player, co-op or multiplayer focused, using elements from many games from Ubisoft, not only in the Far Cry franchise but also games like Watch Dogs. This mode was pretty cool, to be fair, and while my maps were nothing to write home about, some of the creations were pretty stunning. 

far cry 5 bear

Of course, with the success of the base game, DLC for Far Cry 5 was never going to be far away. Three packs were released – Hours of Darkness, set in Vietnam; Lost on Mars, which surprisingly sees us teleported to Mars; and Dead Living Zombies, the most ‘out there’ of DLC packs as it focuses on a director called Guy Marvel, and his career so far trying to make a zombie film. These all offer something new in the Far Cry universe, and are well worth a play through. 

The best part of Far Cry 5, it should come as no surprise, is of course the fishing mini game. Walking up to a river and trying to catch fish is the most exciting part, for me at least, and dragging great big salmon and trout from their watery homes is a lot of fun. It is unlikely to make it onto my list of best fishing games, but at least Ubisoft put it in there, for which I am eternally grateful. 

So, these are my memories of playing Far Cry 5 from way back in 2018 – both long ago and more recently. How about you guys out there? Did the new Xbox Series X|S update tempt you back? Did I miss anything by shying away from the PvP? What is your biggest fish? Let us know in the comments!

Far Cry 5 is available on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and PC. You’d do well to hit up the Xbox Store to grab a download, especially as at time of writing, it’s on Game Pass. 

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