Far Cry 5 for PlayStation 4: Should you buy it?

So you're looking for something new to play on your PlayStation 4. There are plenty of options out there to choose from but in case you weren't aware, Far Cry 5 just came out. If you are as interested in this title as I was, then you probably want to read on.

I found myself incredibly enticed by the premise of Far Cry 5. The new release from Ubisoft takes place in the Hope County Montana. A radical religious leader has grown in power through violence and drug distribution. The people of Hope County who have not joined with the religious cult have lost control of their lives and land as leader John Seed and his family have grown in power. As a new sheriffs deputy, it is your charge to put a stop to the dangerous cult and save Hope County in the process.

What's great

There's a lot to enjoy about Far Cry 5. First of all the world is visually stunning. The beauty and detail present in the settings make immersion quick, powerful, and satisfying. You can find quiet moments between the chaos that are downright serine. However, you are going to have to put down that fishing pole and get back to blowing stuff up sooner or later.

In addition, that big beautiful world is truly open to you. From the moment the game starts in earnest, You can go anywhere you want and get into any sort of trouble that tickles your fancy. The openness of Far Cry 5 gives you a sense of freedom that is missing or stilted in so many open world games. The ability to hop in a helicopter or truck and blast across the entire map is something that was not lost on me.

The Seed family are the ones now in charge of Hope County. They have managed to wrest control from the population through intimidation and fear. When you interact with any of the four family members you can see why. Each of them has a unique personality and is portrayed brilliantly. I found the acting of each of the four main characters to be equal parts engrossing and terrifying.

A fantastic addition to this installment of the franchise is the use of Guns for Hire. As you progress through the game you will meet certain characters (human an otherwise) whom you can enlist to be a part of your team.

Each one of these characters comes with their own distinct weapons, attitude, and combat perks. Having a wild animal or some trailer park weirdo on your team can be a lot of fun. When you're assaulting a cult stronghold it never hurts to have a bear on your side.

Finally, we are all media savvy consumers so it is incredibly rare when a game can actually elicit genuine surprise. Ubisoft did just that with the ending of Far Cry 5. I did not see that coming. Kudos for that.

What's not so great

Despite all of the fun and beauty to be experienced in Far Cry 5, it does have a handful of drawbacks which pulled me out of the game at times. On occasion, it feels as if the game is struggling with an identity crisis. The main storyline is socially and psychologically dark as night. However, there are bits of dialog and side missions that are so decidedly goofy or juvenile in tone that it would on occasion strip all the gravitas out of what it was I involved with in this world.

Don't get me wrong, the goofy moments are well done in their own right. It just seemed as if it was at odds with the feel the main storyline was trying to create. Also, if you've played any of the other FarCry games, some of these criticisms will feel right at home with the other titles in the franchise. If this is your first trip into the franchise, however, don't show up for any deep dives into the emotional state of your character.

Another issue that I found at times distracting or frustrating was the AI. All the baddies in the game were fine as my contact with them was relegated to making sure that they were turned into pink mist. The characters on my team, however, could often be found doing inexplicable actions while I was in the middle of an incredibly intense firefight.

And aside from bizarre physical actions, there were moments where I found myself wishing I could get them to shut up. Each of the Guns for Hire characters has a limited number of canned dialog lines which seems to repeat ad nauseam. When I was trying to hear another bit of dialog which was important to the storyline, one of my sidekicks would start yammering on about where they were or some other bit of character color.

But should you buy it?

For whatever faults I found in Far Cry 5, it is still a really fun game. When I was engrossed in the core storyline and engaging with a member of the Seed family it felt urgent, scary. and immensely satisfying to blow them to smithereens. If you are a stalwart fan of quiet, clever, and groundbreaking games then you probably already know that this isn't going to be the love of your life.

However, if you are an existing fan of the Far Cry franchise there is no doubt that you are going to love this game. Similarly, if you are one of the few people left who hasn't taken a dip into the Far Cry world and you love big blockbuster titles, I am sure you will love it as well. The bottom line is that while Far Cry 5 may not reinvent the wheel, it's still a pretty fun ride.

Are you playing?

Are you getting yourself into some trouble in the world of FarCry 5? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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Jaz Brown