e3 2017

Far Cry 5

Taking Out Cultists In Rural Montana
by Elise Favis on Jun 13, 2017 at 08:55 PM
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Release:
Rating: Mature
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

While the Far Cry series is often known to transport players to exotic locations like the Himalayas, this newest entry hits closer to home. Set in Hope County, a fictional locale in Montana, Far Cry 5 has you go head-to-head with an extremist cult. With its overt political themes and religious imagery, Far Cry 5 is creating a lot of buzz. We got a chance to go hands-on with the game at E3 to see how it fares.

The demo I played begins with having to choose a gun-for-hire companion; an interesting recruitment system that can give you an edge when deciding how to approach hostile areas. You can select one of three characters to help you overcome enemies. These include Boomer, a dog that helps identify and pick off foes; Grace, a deadly sniper; and Nick, a pilot who uses his biplane to shoot from above. In the two sessions I played, I chose both Boomer and Gracie on separate occasions. Boomer stealthily took down enemies without unwanted attention, and when I had Grace, I ordered her to climb up a water tower so she could kill cultists from afar with her sniper rifle. 

My first objective was to liberate a small town overrun by cultists. The town itself looks like any typical, rural American small town nowadays, feeling eerily familiar but also dangerous. For example, looking closer at the homes and buildings, you see evidence that not all is well, with the words "sinner" clumsily painted on walls.

Like past Far Cry games, it's up to you whether you storm in guns blazing or take a stealthier route. One thing that's notably different is that instead of having to manually mark targets, setting your sights on them is enough to do the trick. Weapon ballistics also change up the formula a bit. For example, landing killing shots can take more effort. Liberating areas is a returning feature, though instead of freeing and taking over outposts, you're instead liberating towns. Alarms can still go off, and killing the designated alarm ringer before that can happen can save you from battling reinforcements.

My second objective had me flying a biplane and blowing up silos from above. Although the camera controls were at times wonky, especially during turns, it was still fun. Taking control of a plane is a first for the series and a welcome addition. I had numerous ways to cause havoc, such as using the firing the plane's machine gun, rockets, and dropping bombs below. This aerial sequence finished with a one-on-one battle with another plane, which took me a couple tries to get right. Because of the imprecise controls, I often had trouble facing the enemy plane, which needed to be directly in front of me in order for me to shoot it down.

My demo session ended with a side activity: fishing. Hunting has always been a part of Far Cry, but this is the first fishing minigame to be seen in the series. It's an addition that is more peaceful than the rest of the action-packed gameplay. In the full game you can use fish carcasses in crafting to help build something useful.

For more on Far Cry 5, be sure to check out the E3 gameplay trailer, along with our feature about how this installment differs from the rest of the series.