Monday, April 9, 2018

No so Far Cry

Ok, Far Cry 5 is in the books and I am of two minds regarding its quality.

I stand by what I said in last week's podcast: the game has tremendous bones. It is streamlined Far Cry, all the shooting with none of the crafting. The new perks system rewards exploration instead of farming kills for XP and is paced well. I did not have all of the upgrades when the game was done. I had all of the upgrades that I wanted but there was still room to grow and a reason to finish all of the prepper caches I could find.

It is the best looking Far Cry in terms of fidelity. Photo realistic textures at 4K are what I want from this generation and that is what I got. Artistically it is a little boring, almost too familiar, but that is because I could drive north or west for an hour or two and find places that look exactly like Hope County, minus the mountains. Not necessarily minus the weird cultists.

But there are significant problems. The tone is all over the place. One minute you are killing a bull while it is fucking to get blue balls for the annual testicle festival and the next one of the guns for hire is telling an awful story about being fed her parent's toes by 'the cook'. There is a bear named Cheeseburger and a quest about presidential fetish tapes and Hurk makes an appearance (because of course he does), all of which are fine, but then Joseph Seed tells a story about killing his newborn daughter by pinching a breathing tube closed and the game delivers tonal whiplash to any players who aren't skipping the long, boring, compulsory cut scenes.

The Seeds and their followers do terrible things but the Seeds themselves are not intimidating. Or interesting. They are boring, flat characters and that is without comparing them to the utterly fabulous Pagan Min or the bizarre locals on Primal. Having a quality villain gives direction to an open world game beyond pick a heading and cool things will happen. Playing that way does work in Far Cry 5 but without a character, or hell, a story, to anchor the cool things to I am going to forget all of it in a matter of weeks.

And the ending? No spoilers today, but seriously, fuck that ending. And the other ending. Both are equally stupid.

Far Cry 5 is the best forgettable game I have played in a while, equally brilliant and pedestrian. It was a lot of fun in the moment but it had nothing no say and no one to say it so none of what it did well is going to stick.

1 comment: