Though settings change, new villians challenge your mortality, and Ubisoft continues to introduce new innovations, over the past several entries Ubisoft Montreal has settled into a predictable (and fun) rhthym with the main Far Cry entries. You climb a radio tower to reveal locations, take down a series of enemy outposts, and hunt animals to gather raw materials for crafting in between story missions. With Far Cry 5, the developers hope to shake up the foundation of this game loop by making some fundamental changes. Here are five alterations we noticed during our hands-on sessions with the game at E3.
No More Fictional Locations (Kind Of)
Outside of the mutant-filled first entry, the Far Cry series has genrally clung closely to realism, yet never taken the plunge with a real setting. Far Cry 2 introduced a fictional failed African state, Far Cry 3’s Southeast Asian Rook Islands aren’t real, and Far Cry 4 introduced the Napalese fascimile Kryat. With the fifth entry, Ubisoft decided it was time to abandon that approach and embrace the real U.S. state of Montana. Ubisoft is still taking liberties by creating its own region of the state (called Hope County), but writer Drew Holmes says “I think if you say you’re going to go to America and then you make up your own state, it sort of pulls back on that believability.”
You Can Play The Entire Campaign Cooperatively
You could team up with a buddy online in Far Cry 4, but your only option for wreaking havoc on Kryat was to sample the side activites like capturing enemy bases. This time around the full game is compatible with cooperative play, meaning you can tackle the entire campaign with a friend. Whether you are playing with a friend or not, you can call in one of your resistance recruits to help as a gun for fire (or bring along your trusty dog, who can retreive guns for you). We asked if cooperative players are tethered, making them stay within a certain distance between one another, but Ubisoft said this ties into something they plan to discuss at a later date.
Say Goodbye To Radio Towers
Previous Far Cry games fell into the familar rhythm of having to climb a radio tower to reveal locations in the open world. Not Far Cry 5. Writer Drew Holmes (BioShock Infinite, Saints Row: The Third) says that the way you find stuff in the world this time around is the way you would do it in real life (excluding Google since the entire region is under a data blanket thanks to downed cell phone towers). If you want to find new places to hunt or enemy encampments, you’ll have to chat with locals or explore the region yourself.
Weapon Ballistics Change Up The Shooting
When I climbed up to the top of a building, trained my sniper rifle’s sights on an enemy in the distance, and pulled the trigger, it didn’t have the intended result I expected having played every previous Far Cry title. The shot fell far short of the intended target because this time around Ubisoft Montreal is introducing weapon ballistics like bullet drop. I retrained my sights above the enemy’s head, and after a few more adjustments finally landed the killing shot. This new wrinkle in combat should make it a little harder to sit on a ridge from a distance and rip through an entire encampment.
Planes Join The Vehicle Roster
Far Cry has toyed with flight in the past, introducing the mini-copter buzzer and wingsuit in Far Cry 4. The next entry fully embraces flight with the introduction of planes. We got to hop into the cockpit of one of these planes when helping gun for hire character Nick Rye, and found the controls to be bizarre. Only your left analog stick steers the plane, which feels very unnatural. I constantly tried to use the right analog stick to reorient the plane but instead found my character staring at the floor or side of the cockpit. I may eventually get the hang of the unconventional controls but hope that Ubisoft considers offering alternative schemes.