I’ve loved Far Cry games in the past, 3 was a particular high point, but that was 6 years ago and Far Cry 4 lost me somewhere along the way. I never finished it. 5 looks to be more of the same kind of an outdoor adventure through a beautiful land that is beset upon with chaos, light RPG mechanics without the role-playing, and this time they’ve set it in Montana.
The most important difference with this game is that it once had some promise in making a statement about the current political situation. There’s a lot of things that it’d be incredible to see a game even try to talk about, but Far Cry 5 isn’t that game despite having all of the opportunity in the world to try.
Thematically, Far Cry 5 is such an inconsistent mess of ideas that there is hardly a recognizable through line at all. Instead, the game gestures towards ambiguity as if looking for a shield to save itself with.
This is a game that undeniably knows that Donald Trump is president, but cannot decide if that fact should be punchline or key plot device. When, in two different scenes, cult leaders make oblique references to “America’s leadership” or the failures of the person “who’s in charge” as proof of the American empire’s final days, the game reaches for sincere relevance. But an hour later, you’ll be recovering the notorious piss tape from a Russian spy in a pun-filled quest.
There’s probably a great story you could tell around a Christian Doomsday Prepper Cult that has you fighting them off as they prepare for the End Times by murdering everyone around them and stealing all the resources they can. That’s meat that few games even attempt to chew. But the ambitious setting doesn’t pay off in this story that seems to want to hedge every chance it gets. The end result is a story that goes nowhere, says nothing, and fails to live up to the previous settings and villains in the franchise. If you can get past that… the rest is pretty much fine if you’re up for another Far Cry game.
Far Cry 5 is up now on Steam for Windows, as well as your Xbox One or PlayStation 4. It’s also got the traditional slap in the face of $60 not being enough, and offering both Deluxe ($70) and Gold ($90) editions.
I have a stack of open-world Ubisoft games that I haven’t finished, Far Cry 5 isn’t joining them.
Ubisoft has developed XCOM: Baby Mode with a Nintendo license for the Switch called Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle. It reminds me of my favorite JRPG, Super Mario RPG, because both games were developed by third-parties using a Mario license to get a genre of games out to more people than would normally try them. With Super Mario RPG, that was the JRPG, with Mario + Rabbids, it’s the turn-based strategy from old DOS games brought to life again but this time Mario has a gun for some reason.
…the game’s still funny thanks to the character animations. From the way Rabbid Mario poses like he thinks he’s God’s gift to hares, to the way Rabbid Peach takes selfies of herself while one particular boss plummets to its doom (as Luigi looks on disturbed), the cutscenes and animations constantly had me chuckling in ways the dialogue never threatened to.
Ultimately, despite the exploration sections and the writing being slightly underwhelming, the main meat of Mario + Rabbids remains the turn-based combat sections so it’s a good job this is where the game truly shines.
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is out now on the Nintendo Switch.
That sequel to the lovely Grow Home, Grow Up, is now available. It’s on Steam for Windows at just $10. I haven’t had a chance to play it yet, but I’m expecting good things in this 3D platformer sequel. The original was such a great surprise.
Grow Home is going to be put out on the Playstation 4 soon so I thought this would be as good an excuse as any to go back and play one of my favorite games from earlier this year. You can get it right now on Steam, and I would recommend that you do so. It’s an amazing game.
South Park: The Stick of Truth is getting a sequel with superheroes instead of medieval stuff. It’s called South Park: The Fractured, but Whole. Get it?
Lots of dumb butt-hole jokes with Matt Stone and Trey Parker on-stage. Apparently it’ll be using the same formula as the first Stick of Truth game, so expect more RPG in the same engine.
So many dumb jokes about other things including “tea-bagging.”
Trailer for something called For Honor. Medieval dudes fighting. Vikings too?There’s a dude with a way too well manicured beard on stage with a cane. Two teams of four are now playing a demo. Looks like it is a cross between Chivalry and Mount & Blade.
The Crew is getting motorcycles and monster trucks in The Crew: Wild Run. November 15th.
A horse is galloping and shooting fire out of it’s nostrils with a weird cat thing that has a ray gun. It’s a new Trials game.
More Tom Clancy’s: The Division. Third-person multiplayer shooting. Sphero’s. A wilhelm scream as an NPC dies. Your team can betray other teams that you come across in the multiplayer. Or you can betray your whole team and take their loot for yourself. Betas for console and Windows early next year. The Division comes out March 8th, 2016.
Anno 2205, November 3rd. It’s Ubisoft’s city building game. They mention a beta later this year so I’m not sure if that is 2015’s November or 2016. The PC versions of these games have been pretty terrible in terms of DRM that only has a few activations before you can’t play it again.
They’re trying to make meme jokes with some dude in the audience who is wearing the most embarrassing cosplay and is not prepared for this at all.
Just Dance 2016 on all motion platforms. Xbox One, Playstation 4, Wii-U. There’s Jason Derulo singing to a completely unresponsive crowd. Even the host of the show won’t get up and dance with the singer when he attempts to pull her on stage. After the song Derulo even mentions how awkward it was. There’s a subscription streaming service called Just Dance Unlimited for Just Dance 2016.
Of course what follows up dancing and singing better than terrorism in Rainbow Six: Seige. Angela Bassett was in the trailer, now she’s on stage. Bassett is your boss in the game. Terrorist Hunt is in this, if it’s anything like Vegas’ Terrorist Hunt mode I will be psyched. There’s an on-stage demo, it looks awesome. You can break through walls with battering rams. Beta starts September 24th, 2015.
Trackmania: Turbo is up. Francois and Francois are here to show us some single player. It looks amazing. There’s a procedurally generated track mode. Francois flubs it the first time on the new track and hits a sign on a jump, flipping his car over.
Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate. Horse-drawn carriages and mutton chops mean it’s victorian England business. Not one assassination yet. Guns and wrist-blades are seen at the end. There’s some kind of in-person demo kiosks available in various locations around the world but the only United States location is in Los Angeles.
We couldn’t go through another press conference without mentioning “IP” and you bet it’s “new IP.”
The new IP is Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands. It’s some kind of open-world third-person shooter. Tom Clancy’s name is getting a real workout for so much that he isn’t involved with. I guess that counts as new IP since the gameplay is kind of new,
Far Cry 3 is a first person shooter sequel with very few similarities to its predecessors. The first Far Cry was developed by Crytek and had a more open experience than most of the first-person shooters at the time. This meant you had more freedom to decide how you would go about your objectives. Ubisoft developed Far Cry 2 internally, it was a completely open world and brought a level of almost insane detail to certain simulatory functions of it. Toss a molotov and watch the world burn as the fire spreads from one piece of vegetation to another. Or just watch the migration patterns of animals from a scenic hilltop and then take a hang-glider down for a closer look. I had mixed feelings about Far Cry 2, but it was different from other games at the time and there was much to like even if it was a little bit unfocused as a game.
The hang-gliders return in Far Cry 3, and the pacific island environment is even more beautiful this time around but the design is more gamey than before. Now you’ll use looting, selling, crafting, hunting, doing side quests, leveling, managing your skill-tree and more. These are all great additions to get the game to be more consistently fun, even if it is a little bit less of a stimulatory masterpiece as a result. The malaria medication management from Far Cry 2 has, thankfully, not returned.
Far Cry 3 actually bears a passing resemblance to the Assassin’s Creed series of games as you’ll do some first person platforming to vault to the top of decrepit radio towers dotted across the island. Each one is small puzzle in figuring out how to ascend the broken struts and reach the final ladder to the top. Shutting down a cellular spectrum radio jammer once you’ve reached the apex reveals objectives and side-quests on your map device. Instead of diving into some hay from the top you’ll usually use a zipline to get back down. Normally, I hate first person platforming, it’s one of the lamest things you can do in a game and so I’m super surprised at how well FC3 does it.
The story starts out with Jason Brody and his friends on vacation when a skydiving accident leaves them captured and held for ransom by pirates in different parts of the island. Jason is rescued by a native group called the Rakyat who help him develop his skills and get on his way to stabbing dudes and looting tigers. The story can be safely ignored because it seems confused about who Jason is and how he becomes able to do these things. Nothing about the story is linked to its predecessor. I was never quite sure if the game is supposed to be appealing to bros or trying to tell some other story.
When Jason takes a mission to retrieve dog tags from the remains of Japanese soldiers for their families who have wanted to know their fate since World War 2 Jason implores the quest-giver to lower the price he charges the families. Later on, flashbacks from eating “food” you find lying in a cave bring us to Jason’s crew partying in a dance club dancing and generally carousing. When you rescue one of Jason’s friends from a burning building, Jason remarks constantly about how they’ve owned the bad guys and what a good time that all was. Just as if he is still just on a fun carefree adventure with his pals except for the fact that their other friends have been captured and might be dead. The friend you’ve rescued reminds Jason of how stupid he sounds when they could have died seconds prior.
I can’t tell if there is a redeeming quality to the characters or not. On one hand, those flashbacks have them behaving like deplorable Jersey-shore-alikes. On the other, a few moments of the game implore us to believe that these characters are intentionally shallow to make a point. If nothing else the storyline is written and acted well enough. Though none of which are better written and acted than Vaas, the pirate bad guy you can see on the box art in this review. His personality is delightfully evil and you’ll wish he had more time on-screen before the game is done.
Looking past the despicable characters you’ll find a tremendously fun system of unlockable killing maneuvers on your skill tree which encourage stealth but at their best reward happenstance. Over the 36 hours of time I spent with Far Cry 3 nothing stood out to me more than clearing outposts. These little bastions of foes contain an alarm system you’ll want to disable for the most experience points. Once you’ve done that, stealthily killing everyone inside and around the outpost to claim it is a tiny sandbox adventure reminiscent of movie action sequences. Your options depend on the terrain around the outpost and the enemies inside it. For example, if there is a wild animal trapped in a cage you can shoot the cage with a silenced weapon from afar and watch it maul your foes to death. It’ll distract anyone who isn’t killed so you can get the drop with a well placed knife in their backs. Even when I died while attempting to clear these outposts I didn’t care because it was just as much fun to fail and try again as it was to succeed. Maybe next time I’d get frustrated and switch to the flare gun to set everyone and everything on fire, or I’d sneakily kill and drag bodies around corners to do it for the most experience points.
Far Cry 3 is full of experiences like this that you won’t find anywhere else. Unless you hate fun, stabbing dudes, and mayhem you have no reason to not join in on it. The combat and the whole experience stand tall when compared to other, much blander, shooters. Play it stealthy or loud, play it to enjoy the scenery, just don’t pass up on it if you didn’t get a chance to play it before 2013.