Opening with the attempted arrest of Joseph Seed, Far Cry 5 puts players in the shoes of a new deputy that was assisting the US Marshals. After the failure of the arrest and subsequent capture by the US Marshals because of the cult, the deputy is left with one option to help the local resistance and take the fight directly to Eden’s Gate. Along the way meeting a colorful cast of characters like Sharky the pyromaniac and Cheeseburger, a brown bear with diabetes. As the story progresses the deputy will come into direct contact with Faith, Jacob and John, the three lieutenants of Joseph.
A narrative like this is only as good as the villains, here they are excellent. The key thing is that they have depth, they’re not one-note evil. Jacob for example after barely surviving a harsh environment believed that was God testing him and that it has become his duty to cull the weak and mold the strong. Parts of the story are also found as the world is explored, with there being notes in some locations or messages left on answering machines in others. The well-written characters and lack of an exposition dump work together to create an immersive experience.
The gameplay formula from Far Cry 5 makes a return with one core exception which the game points out in a form of self-referential humor, there is only one radio tower that you need to climb. You’ll be clearing outposts, destroying convoys and doing missions for the various people as you build up the resistance and take on the lieutenant of that area. As players progress they’ll find hidden prepper’s stashes which give three perk points which are used to develop your character. Perks will grant things like the ability to have up to two more weapon slots, being better at stealth takedowns or being able to carry more stuff. There is also a simplified crafting system allowing the creation of things like The Fast which makes you run faster or The Furious which makes you one hit kill things and send them flying.
The core gameplay loop itself is satisfying, whether taking out a convoy from the air in a helicopter or silently clearing an outpost with a bow or silenced rifle. Ubisoft has built an excellent sandbox in which gamers can play. Though a question could be raised as to how long some mechanics will hold up. While everyone including this game joked about how radio towers have become the standard of the ‘Ubisoft game’, now the standard is convoys, outposts and pseudo RPG system with perk trees and simplified crafting. Honestly, the crafting system is the weakest part of gameplay with craftable throwables like dynamite being so easy to find that it never needed to be crafted.