Far Cry 5: The terror of freedom (review)

The Far Cry series has always been about freedom. And while some of the new entries in the series focused on choices, that same underlying freedom is there. But in Far Cry 5, that same freedom has taken a turn. The fifth game in the series chooses to parallel the freedom the player has against the freedom of Eden’s Gate. This juxtaposition isn’t accidental. Far Cry 5 is pushing a story of caution where unchecked freedom has disastrous consequences.

The Project At Eden’s Gate

The story is just as straightforward as the previous games. You play as a rookie officer in Hope County, Montana in the sheriff’s office. Your job is simple –  arrest Joseph Seed, the leader of Eden’s Gate. Naturally everything goes wrong and Seed escapes, leaving you to track him down and recapture him. You wake up on an island in the center of the map and are given the lowdown on the current situation. The island serves as a small tutorial which explains the ways that you can liberate the county. With the completion of the island, you are now tasked with freeing all of Hope County from the grasp of the Seed family.

Now the story itself has some nuance to it and there’s an Amazon Prime show that ties into the story. The show fills in some backstory that is missing from the game, but it’s not necessary to the experience of the game. The story itself is interesting with Joseph Seed as a charismatic megalomaniac with hundreds of followers at his disposal. While the game portrays him and his family as crazy people, it never undermines their influence. This doesn’t mean it’s making them out to be gods, but more like prophets who are flawed humans.

The Cost of Freedom

The theme largely driving Far Cry 5 is freedom. The map is large and allows for exploration, but freedom doesn’t take away from the urgency of the story though. In fact, I feel that it helps to strengthen it. As I said before, the freedom of Far Cry 5 parallels the antagonists desire for freedom. While Joseph Seed represents an extreme side of the spectrum, it’s unsettling how strongly he comes across as a villain. As your battles with Eden’s Gate become more and more intense, their motivations seem to fade. It becomes less about protecting this sovereign state that they’ve desired and more about preserving power. This could be the message that Far Cry is trying to convey: absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Taking Back Hope County

The same Far Cry gameplay that many have come to know and love is still here. The over-the-top explosions, intense gunfights and violence have not gone anywhere, but there are some minor tweaks. The addition of Guns-For-Hire allows you to add NPCs to your ranks and give you a bit of extra firepower. The leveling system allows you to tailor perks to your own playstyle, whether you’re being stealthy or causing a ruckus.

Final Reaction

Far Cry 5 is fun. The story has enough on its bones to satisfy anyone looking for a decent story in a shooter. While I’m sure most people will be playing the game for co-op, I can’t really comment on it. During my time with it, the co-op had bots in place of actual players since the game hasn’t released yet. The bots AI is a little off sometimes and you’re somewhat limited in the orders you can give to them, but it doesn’t ruin the experience. Ultimately the game manages to blend its message and gameplay very well, and if you’re a fan of the series, you will not be disappointed.

Final Rating 4/5 Atoms

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