Rampant rednecks and pillaging pirates
Kinder eggs. Orange plums. Haggis. All three have been banned in the US, yet if you want to purchase an AK-47 in Montana? No problem! You might even get a handgun thrown in for free. And so, whatever you think about America’s gun laws in the real world, they do make it the perfect location for Ubisoft’s shoot-’em-up franchise.
There’s no psychopathic pirate or flamboyantly dressed drug lord this time, though – instead, you’re treated to a sinister threat that’s all too familiar: religious extremists. Joseph Seed and his flock of siblings lead a doomsday cult, using threats of apocalypse (and a stupendous supply of guns) to rule over the fictional Hope County. It’s split into three regions, each controlled by a member of the Seed family. You have to liberate each area to trigger the final encounter with Joseph.
You’ll find plenty of distractions in this open-world setting. There’s so much to see and do, yet it never feels as if you’re being forced into an inconsequential side-quest. The enemy is everywhere: trucks, tankers, cars and quad-bikes will pull up and open fire on you. And even once you’ve destroyed them, you’re likely to encounter another instantly. It can be exhausting, but it’s always enjoyable. You have an arsenal of weaponry right from the start, yet progression is still rewarding as you unlock fire arrows and sticky bombs.
Not everything here is perfect, though. A number of glitches spoil the immersion – and while co-op is great fun, it has drawbacks. The main one: if you aren’t the host, you’re essentially just a helper. You’ll keep your perks and money, but any missions you complete only count for the host. You’re also prevented from straying too far from your buddy.
That aside, Far Cry 5 is an almost complete success. With a compelling narrative, fantastic villains and gameplay that begs to be devoured, it might just be the best entry to the series yet.