During PAX Australia 2017 I was given the opportunity to go hand’s on with the upcoming Far Cry 5 at the Ubisoft booth. It was a timed demo that allowed attendees to play for 15-20 minutes or so before it reset, at which point a new wave of players would come in to demo it themselves.
I came away fairly impressed overall with what’s on offer in Far Cry 5, but for the most part it’s really just more Far Cry. If you’ve played any of the previous titles you’ll have no issues jumping in as many of it’s systems and gameplay mechanics have been used in prior Far Cry games.
The demo at the show was the same one that has been shown to the public at E3 and Gamescom this year but it was a whole different experience being able to play it for myself first hand.
The demo begins with you on top of a hill, giving you your first look at the new setting for this title, Hope County, Montana. It’s quite the changeup from the tropical island landscapes of the previous numbered Far Cry games but as mentioned above although the setting is completely new it still feels like more Far Cry.
From the hill you can see an enemy stronghold below, filled with enemy mercenaries that aren’t being too friendly with their captured hostages. The main objective for this demo is to liberate this enemy stronghold.
Although in Far Cry 5 you aren’t just working alone. With the Guns for hire, Fur for hire and friends for hire system you’re able to use companions in battle in various ways. You can assign Grace, your gun for hire to keep watch from the top of the hill or higher vantage point, keeping an eye on things from above while you go down and try to take out the enemy camp.
I began the mission quite stealthily, creeping down the hill and scouting out the locations of the enemies, waiting for the right moment to pounce. This is where the Fur for hire mechanic came to good use. I could send my companion dog Boomer out to pounce on an enemy, taking them out and he even returned to me with the mercenary’s weapon, which I would put to good use.
I continued to carefully work my way around, trying to silently take out as many enemies as I could. I knew this was a timed demo so I would need to try and work faster. I used Grace, my sniper in the watch tower to take out a nearby foe. Although this alerted the rest of them that something was up and it’s at that point all hell broke loose. The scene quickly turned into Far Cry chaos. There were enemies coming from every direction. It seemed everywhere I turned there was someone waiting to be lined up in the cross-hairs of my weapon.
This quickly became overwhelming and I decided I needed to get some distance between me and the horde of cultist bandits so I jumped in a nearby vehicle and took off down the road before quite comically loosing control of the car, hitting the side of a rock and rolling my vehicle onto it’s roof.
Almost instantly after this my demo ended, so it was a very Far Cry-esque comedy ending to a very hectic situation.
My main takeaways from the demo were that ultimately, this is more Far Cry. I pretty much expected it would be. The new setting is interesting and vibrant in a very different way compared to the island settings we’re used to seeing in these titles. Both the gunplay and vehicle driving seems to have a real sense of weight to them. It doesn’t feel as easy to manoeuvre or control them compared to other Far Cry games. I liked how heavy the guns felt as the recoil gave it a feeling of power (it may have just been the assault riffle I was using) but the driving will take some getting used to.
I’m looking forward to experiencing the full game when it launches on February 27 2018.