This cult classic-literally and figuratively-is even cooler in its latest avatar
FAR CRY XV-
-Rating: 9/10 Price: ₹3,999/₹3,499
-Developer & Publisher: Ubisoft
-Platforms: Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC
Just like Cecilia Giménez’s legendary 2012 botched restoration of a century old fresco of Jesus, Far Cry 5’s Hope County is going through something similar. A beautiful slice of rocky mountain paradise that looks like the muse of a thousand country songs is now being smeared and smudged under the holy thumb of a doomsday cult. The latest Far Cry game has moved away from the Himalayan setting of Far Cry 4 and the prehistoric murder simulator that was Far Cry Primal into the heartland of America – where things are looking quite like the end of days. Project at Eden’s Gate is a cult led by a mad religious zealot known as Joseph Seed, also known as The Father. A self-appointed godman along with his charismatic and bloodthirsty brother Jacob and his half-sister Faith who entrances and bewitches her followers. Using a special drug known as Bliss, which they pour into the water system and the soil, has enslaved the minds of the peaceful, freedom loving people of Hope County to stockpile arms, ammunition and food to ride out the world getting flushed down to hell. In a country full of self-styled godmen with their armies of followers, Far Cry 5 feels all too real and all too familiar. While Joseph Seed does not hold “rock concerts” or make bad movies for his followers, he does put a gun in each of their hands. Far Cry 5 walks on the thin fine line between satire and controversy, mirroring the American love for guns and the rise of supremacists.
You play an unwilling deputy that’s sent to arrest The Father. Except you end up triggering the entire wrath of the cult. Leading to the death of the Sheriff and you hiding out in the wilderness First Blood style. In fact Hope County looks a lot like the first Rambo movie. Thankfully, you’re not alone. You band up with some colourful local yokels to form a ragtag resistance. Though most of the time you’ll be going solo, taking out cultists, blowing up their assets, infiltrating and taking over their camps. Though you can hire a sidekick to help you out, the best part of the For Hire system is the animals you can recruit to watch your back. From Peaches the mountain lion to Cheeseburger the bear to everyone’s favourite Boomer the wonder dog. He fetches bullets, he bites mad cultists, he draws out their fire, and he’s amazing. By far, Far Cry 5 has the best animals in video game history. The story itself quickly veers away from offending Americans into more predictable Far Cry territory.
However, the cinematography and the music is brilliant. With sunkissed, baptismal visuals that look like they were made on a fever with a synth soundtrack that’s part industrial and part country, pushing that quasi-religious messiah narrative forward. The gameplay itself is like every other Far Cry you’ve played before. From the missions you undertake to the multiple ways where you can infiltrate bases. Though everything has been refined, from the superb graphics to the underlying physics engine. There is way too much fun to be had, especially watching how things explode and react. For example, you can sneak into an enemy base, order your buddy to attack cultists from the shadows, disable the alarms so they can’t hail reinforcements, and kill everyone with a bow and arrow. You can also capture a car with a big gun on the back and go full Rambo 4 on everyone, including the reinforcements. Then walk in like you own the place. There’s another way, if you look around hard enough you can sometimes find a mortar lying around. All you need to do is target the outpost and just keep sending in mortar shells, watching enemies ragdoll out of the craters in glee. These are just a few ways you can take over outposts and piss off the Seeds.
Drawing them out slowly. When you’re not plucking out Seeds, there’s a lot to do in Hope County. One of them is to hunt wild animals, many of them driven insane by Bliss. You can also explore, find hidden caches and hideouts, meet more people and take part in several side quests. When that gets boring you can go online and have some fun in Far Cry Arcade’s multiplayer games. You can even co-op with a friend on missions. You won’t be tiring of Hope County anytime soon. Far Cry 5 is a fantastic game with a tried and tested gameplay formula featuring some excellent characters, including a truly scary bad guy. While its carefully marketed political satire sort of drops off to make way for less controversial storylines, its still a well told story with excellent gameplay and a beautiful world you will love to explore.