High-per­for­mance play­time

APC Australia - - Contents - PC, PS4, XO | $99.95 | FAR-CRY.UBISOFT.COM

On a bridge over a river in Mon­tana, we are in a fierce bat­tle with a road­block set up by dooms­day cultists. Civil­ians are run­ning scared, their cars bla­zoned with the word ‘SINNER’. The cult are ex­tremely well-armed and or­gan­ised, led by the enig­matic John Seed, a self-pro­claimed prophet who’s brain­washed his flock through fear and a po­tent drug. He’s in hid­ing, hav­ing re­sisted ar­rest for tak­ing peo­ple against their will, and his three lieu­tenants are now lead­ing on his be­half.

It’s a tense scene, but this be­ing Far Cry, it’s also not com­pletely steeped in se­ri­ous­ness and tragedy. We’re mop­ping two uteloads of goons when a third comes skit­tling onto the scene, along with a bear that had been chas­ing who knows what, and an­other ter­ri­fied civil­ian. Our gun- for-hire (re­turn­ing red­neck Hurk Drub­man, last seen in FC4) neatly lines up the cen­tre ve­hi­cle with his RPG and sets off a chain re­ac­tion that to­tals ev­ery­thing from cultists to civil­ians, and re­ally up­sets the bear which is now on fire. We de­cide to em­brace the fi­asco, neck­ing a home­made home­o­pathic for ex­tra strength, punch the bear to death for its skin, then jump off the bridge us­ing a wing­suit and glide into the near­est town to sell the skin for $100.

Far Cry 5 is, with­out a doubt, the most pol­ished Far Cry ever. Hope County is enor­mous, a moun­tain­ous play­ground lit­tered with ve­hi­cles to com­man­deer, planes and he­li­copters to fly, and the im­proved graph­ics en­gine gives ev­ery­thing weight and, be­lieve it or not, a sense of real­ism. The freeform na­ture of it all per­haps of­fers too much free­dom to get side-tracked from the story, but then again it’s the bits be­tween the mis­sions that have al­ways been the most fun.

This time around, you no longer need to skin five an­i­mals to fash­ion a big­ger wal­let or bet­ter ammo pouch, nor go through tor­tur­ous 3D plat­form­ing and climb tow­ers to re­veal new lo­ca­tions. Perk points, earned by com­plet­ing mis­sions or find­ing col­lectibles, are your new cur­rency. Char­ac­ters will al­lude to bread­crumbs that point you in the right di­rec­tion to get more of these, but there’s the right amount of hand-hold­ing and dis­cov­ery.

How­ever, like a lot of Ubisoft ti­tles, your screen will be over­run with icons and way­points, a dis­tract­ing swarm of what you haven’t yet done, and af­ter a while, it feels a lot like what came be­fore. Or you can sink all your time into Far Cry Ar­cade, a map ed­i­tor that also tosses in as­sets from As­sas­sin’s Creed and Watch Dogs to play with. The com­mu­nity has al­ready made some re­mark­able maps, and it’s this that will give the game life be­yond its 30 hour run time.

Paul Tay­lor

The wing­suit makes a glo­ri­ous re­turn and is cou­pled with a para­chute for finer con­trol.

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