'Far Cry 5' Tries to Do It All, But Fails To Be Much of Anything

I had been on the fence, and it was probably going to be a pass, but the last part of the review (the singular quiet campfire moment) may have convinced me otherwise. To paraphrase words commonly heard on the podcast… that’s extremely my shit. I’m always down for exploration and discovery.

Ironically, while I’m on board with criticism of how tepid and timid the politics of the game ended up being… anything that commited whole-heartedly to gamifying the political climate in the US and right wing relgious extemism is soooooo not something I want to immerse myself in right now. Not in an angry “keep politics out of my vidya games” shakes fist, kind of way. Quite the opposite, more of that please. It’s just not a world I want to be a part of right now, be it as protagonist, antagonist or centrist observer. But to be honest I’d rather a game like that, that I didn’t want to play, existed over a game like this, that I might have a look at at some point.

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Luckily there’s YouTube, after watching some gameplay, cutscenes and the “endings” I’m extremely good on this. There’s better exploration other places, and better shooting other places. This looks like a messy cash in on more of the same old Farcry.

Maybe it would be better if they really flipped the script and lean into the sandbox. Ditch any idea of a main campaign and give the writers a chance to explore some smaller stories. At least an open world romp that can be played multiplayer or single would end this larger than life villain crutch.

You cold blooded murder thousands but you keep giving these Disney baddies time to sing you an evil song and spring another plot extending trap. If it’s gonna be brutal and grim then go all the way, if it’s gonna be a summer action flick then go all the way but don’t straddle the middle.

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It’s weird, I’ve been watching a few streams of it today, and it’s almost as bad as Wildlands - just in the US not some narco state. Gameplay is as expected, story is almost terrified of having anything to say, characters are generic as all hell, but hey, if you enjoyed FC3 and 4 this has that same action.

And it is that same action. It’s “take that guy out from cover, get his gun, and find the next guy”. I’m also hugely uncomfortable with the return of the special named guns, but now purchasable for real money. Got cash? Well, then fuck progressing slowly, get you some amazing guns right here right now and go killing.

But I loved FC 3 and 4, and the allure is strong to jump back into playing The Gameplay Loop. It’s just a shame that, well, they cowarded out of actually saying anything about anything.

I am not going to play this game but I am curious about its weak and confused ideas, After seeing allusions to the ending I decided to look it up and watch it and, oh boy is it a thing. I won’t spoil anything obviously, but it somehow manages to make the game seem at best even more confused and at worst actively gross in what it is trying to say.

If you are also curious and don’t plan on playing the game I recommend giving it a watch.

To be honest, this almost makes me want to play the game. The Far Cry 3 ending is my current gold standard for bad endings (even thinking back know, it’s incredible that something could make the first 95% of Far Cry 3 even worse, thematically). The idea that something might have finally topped it, from the same series no less, fills me with more than a little morbid curiosity.

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I’m starting to think that I’m the only person on Waypoint who legitimately liked Far Cry 3 more than 4.


So… like… it’s an Iron Cross. The symbol is a fucking Iron Cross. It’s an Iron Cross with like two little extra arrows… and they’re acting like that’s not a White Supremacist group analog?


I don’t think that 4 was as much of a redemption or correction for the series as I’ve seen some other people argue here. But for me, 4 was merely forgettable and bland, the same boring chosen-one arc that many video games follow with some of the more troubling and tone-deaf parts of 3 stripped out. Three was that but with the bad parts left in.

To be clear, I’m only talking about the story. At the time, I thought both 3 and 4 were both fun to play on their own terms, but don’t really remember either of them well enough to do any compare or contrast of their mechanics/systems.

Trust me I love a schlocky good/bad time more than most people. My partner could attest to my unreasonable love of Batman and Robin. But, honestly I don’t think this is good-bad. Just bad. (And deeply cynical, tone deaf, and possibly alluding to worse things, depending on how you read it).

Maybe it comes across better with the context that comes with playing the game through, but I doubt it.

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I feel like maybe that’s why I prefer 3, because as much as 3’s story is just riddled with shitty tropes and awful characters and an absolutely dreadful ending, I can still at least remember that story and why and how you moved from one point to another. 4’s story is just a complete blur to me, I barely remember anything that happened in the game outside of the intro, and even less of why any of it happened. As a game I think 4 does a lot of stuff well, especially in terms of verticality, but I have only one memory about playing it that sticks out to me. Maybe it’s diminishing returns on a trite formula, but man… It really felt like a nothing game to me.

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I’m in the complete opposite situation.

As soon as I figured out what 3 was all about I just tuned out. I finished that game but I couldn’t tell you anything about it other than there was that one time I took out that Outpost or something, and that the ending was a trashfire.

Far Cry 4 is far from a perfect game, but the story of two political factions within a resistance struggling to find out what to do after all of it is over is so much more appealing and memorable personally. I have specific reasons why I support one character over another, I could tell you about why I liked engaging with the game on a deeper level than “it felt good to shoot people”.

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I agree that the idea of internal struggle within a resistance movement is very appealing, but I just couldn’t get invested in the struggle on any level. The game never managed to make the fight for Kyrat feel meaningful to me in any way to me, the only thing that fed into my decision making was that Sabal suuuuuucked.

I, and Ajay who is a complete non character to begin with, was expected to make decisions about a resistance because… why, exactly? The game never gives you a specific reason for doing anything, you just do it. Like, Jason Brody is a human trash pile who did garbage shit, but he was a trash pile whose garbage shit you understood why he did. It’s still garbage shit but at least there was a reasoning behind it, and I felt like that was completely gone from 4.

This is probably going too far off topic by now, so I’ll end it here by saying that I do completely understand why anyone would like Far Cry 4 more than 3.

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It’s the Scientology logo with a shortened cross.

3 was the better game, 4 had a more cohesive narrative.

“The game never gives you a specific reason for doing anything”
I don’t think that’s entirely fair. The narrative does give Ajay a reason (fulfilling his parent’s legacy) even if it doesn’t necessarily sell it well enough for any given player to be convinced.

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I’m starting to wonder if that’s the actual intent of Farcry Arcade – a stealth way to separate the mechanics from any resemblance of story. I’m pretty OK with that. A lot of the best moments in Farcry games happen because of weird, glitchy interactions within its systems – like a much smaller version of Ultimate Epic Battle Simulator. Leaning into that absurdity is the only decent play left, now that they’ve proven they don’t have the ability or spine to do serious themes right.

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I don’t know if this is the place for this, but I’ve been really disappointed with some outlets, particular IGN’s coverage of this game, basically offering no criticism of the game’s politics. IGN’s review in progress dismisses any notion of the game being political, while some of their tweets about in-depth coverage of the game (such as interviews with the creative director (?) ) call the game politically inspired. I am even more glad the Waypoint is around than usual to point out the game’s faults on this front, though I know other reviews have mentioned the game’s narrative and political stuff, like Giant Bomb for example.

After playing with it I completely disagree. The cult they are portraying is the Jonestown variety and I think they capture it really well. I don’t think they ever were pursuing the things you seem upset about. I’m about 8 hours in and I actually really like their approach to the story.

I have the same recollection. I dont remember annnything about 4 (or 2 for that matter). All my memories were co op shenanigans. I remember the guy sucked but the girl also had me blow up monuments.

3 actually had colorful character that were memorable even if over the top or “problematic.” Although I admit, as a white dudebro who was one year out of college and is very close to his little brother I really connected with that story at the time. I get that it’s exclusionary white savior stuff, but I literally had the trust fund stoner friend, the wannabe wall street friend, etc.

I enjoyed 4 but like you said it’s all just a blur to me.