Far Cry 5 hands-on first impressions

You’re a deputy marshal in a helicopter with your superior and the local sheriff en route to find a man named Joseph Seed. He’s the leader of a fanatical religious cult called Eden’s Gate, and you’re there to arrest him. Despite warnings from the sheriff, your boss still decides to continue on with the mission. You land at what seems be a compound nestled within Hope County, Montana. As your group makes their way to the church where Joseph is, you get a sense of unrest the closer you get.

As you enter the church, Joseph is giving a sermon and despite your arrival, continues as if nothing ever happened. He willingly agrees to be taken into custody, but does remark multiple times that God has a plan and will save him. From here, the fanatics surround your group as you make your way back to the helicopter. Tensions escalate and a shot rings out; you’re pushing to the chopper as fast as you can with Joseph in tow.

As the helicopter lifts off, fanatics swarm the aircraft, clawing at any and everything to ensure you don’t take their savior away. Even though you manage to fight off most while the craft is in the air, one manages to hurl themselves into the propeller blades. Chaos ensues all around as you descend rapidly towards the ground. At this point, Joseph is the only calm person, which seems scarier than crashing. Everything blacks out.

You wake up still strapped to the burning wreckage. As you reach for the radio to call for help, Joseph eerily slides in staring at you singing “He’s got the whole world in his hands,” and takes the radio. He looks you in the face and boldly says “No one is coming for you.” Welcome to Hope County, and the world of Far Cry 5.

Recently, Ubisoft invited us to spend a few hours exploring the ins and outs of what Hope County has to offer. I was antsy to get my hands dirty in taking down Joseph and his band of fanatics. Even though your character is a bit of a mute, it was nice to see that there was a great amount of customization available. It’s the first time in a Far Cry game that you’re able to do that. I’m talking RPG-esque with physical features and such, not just cosmetics. Once you got that completed, it was time to jump in.

Right from the beginning, you can see the amazing job that Ubisoft has done in creating such a lush and gorgeous landscape that is Montana. From the ice-capped mountains, to the crystal clear lakes, and even the bears and wolverines that maul the hell out of you, it’s all just beautiful to look at. In all honesty, there couldn’t be a more perfect setting to house a cult.

Here’s what lead writer Drew Holmes had to say about it:

“There’s dangerous wildlife, there’s a sense of isolation so big and so vast, so many different biomes, mountains, forests…And digging into the history of this place and seeing the different types of people that are attracted to it, like who generally is here. Again and again, these fringe movements, cult movements are drawn to that place because it’s so isolated, because people tend to leave each other alone.”

Whilst traversing Hope County, you do run into many Eden’s Gate members and various outposts that they control. What’s nice is that aside from some story-driven moments, the entire game is non-linear, and lets you take control of how you want to complete the game. If you fancy balls-to-the-wall, then you can take the cult on head first, guns blazing. Or if you enjoy tactics, speak to the locals (the ones that aren’t trying to kill you) to gather more information, build a large resistance team and covertly take over outposts. That’s just a few of the many options at your fingertips.

Aside from the main missions and side missions, there’s a plethora of activities you can do to keep you more than occupied. Just to name a few, there’s fishing, hunting, ATV racing, and even flying around in a wing-suit! I found myself just running around with the Bow and seeing just how many people and/or animals I could take out. Now when I say animals, I don’t mean I was shooting everything I possibly could (which I did test a little bit). I went big game hunting for bears, wolves and wolverines. Let’s just say I was mauled to death a few times by the bear and wolverine.

Even though I was having a ton of fun, I felt like it would have been even better with a friend. And behold, my prayers were answered! Far Cry 5 boasts a full co-op experience. I’m talking main story missions, side missions, activities, and just all out mayhem. The little bit that I got to play co-op was definitely enjoyable. The only drawback I saw was that the host had full control of mission selection, so the person joining as at the mercy of where the host was in the story. Other than that, it was more than great reigning hell on Eden’s Gate with a buddy.

Even though my play time was limited, the first thing that continuously came to the forefront of my mind as I played was that this is just flat out fun. Whether it was playing some of the main missions, dabbling in the co-op, running around causing mayhem, or just sitting there trying to fish, it was a lot of fun. I found myself grinning and smiling to myself like an idiot because of something ridiculous I just did or a really cool kill I made. Besides having an enthralling and immersive story, Far Cry 5 looks to have something many games don’t have these days, and that’s the fun factor. Needless to say, I can’t wait to play through the entire game and get lost in Hope County.

Remember how I said that Ubisoft invited us out? Check out the video below for not just gameplay, but a glimpse of some of the fun we had in our very own Hope County as well. We were even treated with an appearance from The Father himself, Joseph Seed!

Far Cry 5 hits stores on March 27th for Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC.

You can also check out more of our interview with lead writer Drew Holmes here.

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