Far Cry 5 is turning heads for its interesting story hooks. Fighting a religious cult in a realistic facsimile of the heartland of America is something that definitely hasn't been seen in games before. This fits in with the legacy of the franchise since Far Cry 3, and it seems like the developers at Ubisoft Montreal aren't looking to fix what isn't broken. Gameplay-wise, this is the same Far Cry experience that you've played before with some smart improvements to keep you guessing.
Considering the setting of the new game, it's only fitting that you can wield some distinctly American weapons. As I loaded into the same stronghold shown on the E3 stage, my first equipped tool of destruction was a baseball bat wrapped in the red, white, and blue. Humorously, I was actually carrying four of them, and a developer helpfully pointed out that this was because the bat was a projectile weapon in addition to a melee stick. I don't know how useful throwing a baseball bat at someone with a gun is going to be, but the speed with which our hero equips a second bat after hurling one at his foe was distinctly Far Cry in its goofiness.
The other big change here is helper characters, who are all members of the Hope County resistance. In the demo I played, I had the option of playing with the three partners shown on stage. Grace Armstrong is a sniper who picks off your called targets, Boomer is a helpful canine who can grab guns out of enemies hands, and Nick Rye is a pilot who provides bullets and bombs from above. I wanted to sample the game as I would if I were sitting down to play at home, so I chose Nick and set off to liberate a town square.
The firefight that followed was typical Far Cry in the best way. Nick's cooldown seemed to be pretty short, so I took full advantage and called him in as a distraction as I flanked the horde of cultists. I moved in and out of houses, picking off stragglers with a semiautomatic rifle and even having a baseball bat duel with one shirtless so and so. I was able to move swiftly, vaulting over fences and overturned car wrecks that were created by my aerial companion.
Other than a slight hiccup when trying to use a zip line where the game froze and then sent me hurdling towards the ground, the game felt like something I could pick up on Steam today. Alas, we'll all have to wait until next year for the full experience, but I can safely say that Far Cry veterans will be able to experience this uniquely American vision without skipping a beat.
Far Cry 5 was demoed at Sony's press conference mixer at E3 2017. The game is coming to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC via Steam and UPlay in February 2018.
If you want to know more about this and other announcements happening at E3 then be sure to check out our E3 2017 Coverage Hub.