Far Cry 5’s interrupting story ruins everything

I have very much enjoyed the Far Cry series, most often despite itself. Far Cries 3, 4 and Primal (why is everyone forgetting poor old Primal?) have all occupied me for countless hours, provided enormous amounts of entertainment in their kleptomania-inducing maps, and always done so despite everything it thinks is so compelling about itself. Far Cry’s self-belief in its own abysmal stories is always so grossly apparent, like a strutting buffoon bursting into the bar and looking around, confused, when every man, woman and animal doesn’t immediately throw themselves at his feet. So then he starts loudly demanding people throw themselves at his feet. And when they don’t, runs around putting his feet as near to people as he can and declares to the room that this counts. Oh Far Cry.

Unfortunately, this time out things have gotten a lot worse. Far Cry 5 – to run with the previous analogy – barges up to you, grabs you by the collar, and throws you down onto the ground by its shoes, screaming “MY FEET! WORSHIP MY BLOODY FEET!” Which is to say, engaging with its godawful cutscenes has become less optional. Far Cry 5 has the most egregiously bad imposition of its story.

There’s an awful lot wrong with Far Cry 5. It is by far the most unpolished entry in the series (I count this series as starting with 3, since that feels right). The bugs are many and hilarious, with NPCs teleporting, running endlessly into walls, and in my experience, just spontaneously dropping dead when looked at. Then there’s the completely awful new crafting nonsense that feels like a least of all possible worlds, the ridiculously underpowered bow (after Primal’s glory), repopulating enemies in previously cleared locations for no discernible reason, and an NPC system that probably felt like a good idea right up until they realised no one in the office knew how to start programming NPC AI. But all of that would normally be ignorable (or at least upputtable) when you devote your energies to just dicking around in the enormous maps, mopping up sidequests, and searching for hidden loot stashes. This time it isn’t, because the game will force its story upon you no matter what you might be doing at any given moment.

At first I thought these astonishingly ill-advised interruptions were the game’s passive-aggressive way of responding to my not immediately pursuing the core story missions. Because I was just farting about fishing (why always rainbow trout?! WHY?!), or just having car chases, perhaps it felt I was missing out on its true greatness so would suddenly have me kidnapped by John’s goons and forced to watch its godforsaken cutscenes. But it turns out that, no, this is in fact a notion so poorly conceived that its impositions will even interrupt you when in the middle of one of its actual core-story missions!

There I was, in Faith’s county, trying experiments for the veterinary doctor in one of the section’s Story Missions. (Aside: Oh my goodness, never have I longed for World Of Warcraft’s banal but mercifully short quest text boxes as when sitting through a four-minute monologue from a drunk man rambling nothingness before finally getting around to saying he wants me to find his missing hat or whatever the ungodly fuck it might be). I was about to pick up the pelts of the skunks he needed that I’d gathered via a scripted battle, when out of absolutely bloody nowhere Faith appeared and blew Bliss in my face, and suddenly I’m teleported to her drug-fuelled delusionland. What?! But I WAS ALREADY PLAYING THE BITS YOU SO DESPERATELY WANT ME TO PLAY!

The scene it was so idiotically desperate to show me featured the game’s main baddies offering the most incompetently constructed argument to try to convince me that, hey, you know what, maybe these so-called bad guys aren’t so bad after all! I mean, look at the state of the world, look at the horrors into which our children are being raised, and we’re supposed to accept that their desire to not be a part of that makes them on the side of wrong?! Which, in another game, in an other timeline, in an other world, might have had some sort of interesting satirical notion behind it. In another game with a different script in another dimension, it might have given the player pause for thought. But I’m not exactly the first person to point out that Far Cry 5 tries to pull off this gambit in a game where the same cult leaders string up mutilated corpses outside their bases and run around twirling moustaches on their moustaches. It’s bad on a level that implies years-long institutional ineptitude. A development that echoes with the ignored cries of a hundred begging voices of sense.

So anyway, this most misjudged and poorly handled of enforced cutscenes over, where am I? I’m back at the region’s main base, being helped out of my drug-induced stupor by the melting-wax faces of my NPC companions, and told, “Woah, we thought we lost you there,” as if saying that line is required by the constitution. And the main story mission I was midway through when it seemingly randomly interrupted? Ruined. Removed from my map as a mission, my marker gone, and when I got back there the necessary skunk and bear skins the challenge would have provided all removed. Along with the unlooted enemy corpses, and anything else I’d have gained. All I’m left with is the ghost of the mission, being told to gather a bunch of skunk and bear skins from somewhere, who knows where, which at this point doesn’t make a lick of sense – the whole point of the scripted mission was that these particular skins were infected with specific chemicals the doctor needed.

How is this a thing? How did no one at any point, even in a game made by hundreds of people across multiple sites, say, “Uh, maybe let’s not do this?”

Our story is SO IMPORTANT that these weak-minded might not focus on it properly, so we’ll have it be screamed in their unwilling faces no matter how much it breaks absolutely everything else in the game to do so.

It’s as if Ubisoft management had a meeting, in which the matter was raised, “What is it that people like about the Far Cry games, no matter how badly we write them, how ineptly we attempt to handle series issues, no matter how crass and tone-deaf and how sheer bloody incompetent we are?” And after lots of mumbling someone piped, “Well, people do seem to say that despite absolutely all of that, they do appreciate that it can mostly be ignored and the vast playground of fun can still be enjoyed.” At which point a cigar-clutching fist was slammed down against a desk, rattling the room, with a cry of “STAMP THIS OUT IMMEDIATELY!”

Far Cry 5 is certainly still a vast playground of fun, and its abysmal clown-car AI makes for some berserk and entertaining emergent silliness, but what’s so crucially different this time out is you can’t trust it for a moment. You can’t know when, or where, the game will ruin whatever you’re enjoying by cack-handedly pinning your eyelids open and pressing your face against unwanted, semi-playable (and thus not easily skippable) cutscenes.

That one redeeming feature of Far Cry games, that was so redeeming as to make them pretty essential, has seemingly deliberately been sabotaged. And that made me annoyed enough to write this.

105 Comments

  1. Kamestos says:

    What’s baffling is that these interruptions make no sense mechanically AND narratively. You have a deputy who is killing hundreds of your cultists, destroying pretty much everything you throw at him/her singlehandedly, and you can kidnap him without breaking a sweat not one, not twice but 9 bloddy times and you fail to kill him/her every time ?
    It is Bond-villain level of stupid.
    Apart of that I do enjoy the emergent chaos and the silliness of the action. Also it is a really really beautiful game.

    • ohminus says:

      Well, at least in compensation, the bad guy gets as much plot armor – not that that makes it better, quite the contrary.

    • BobbyDylan says:

      Agreed. By the 3rd time I got kidnapped and escaped, I thought these villains are retarded. Little did I know I had 7 more “escapes” to endure. FFS, Far Cry 5, you have the worst baddies in any game I’ve ever played.

  2. Someoldguy says:

    Phew, that was quite something. Who needs expensive therapy when they can let it all out in digital print? I hope you feel better now that is off your chest.

    I’ve not touched FC5 but I can heartily sympathise from the times when other games have done similar things. I’d much rather get my story updates by discovering diaries or tapes that I can fire up and play when I’m good and ready, or at least only cutscene when you’ve reached a natural pause point.

    • klops says:

      Aaargh! Fuck audio logs! Of course they’re a thousand times better solution than this but seriously:
      Fuck audio logs!!11gghhhkkhr

      • Premium User Badge

        Risingson says:

        Maybe System Shock was the first game to use them right, and maybe it still is one of the few that does it.

        Things can get worse, though. Remember journals. Remember the amount of text one had to read in Snatches or Dark Fall.

  3. BeardyHat says:

    I reckon the order comes down from on high, “CUSTOMERS WANT A CINEMATIC EXPERIENCE! MAKE THE GAME CINEMATIC!” the executives say.

    I’ve been playing Far Cry 4 just recently, as it’s the latest one I own and I’ve just been alt-tabbing out of the unskippable story “content”. I’m glad they at least had the kindness to not pause the game when I alt-tab, so I can at least ignore the ridiculous story.

  4. crazyd says:

    How’s the bow underpowered? A shot to the arm will kill anyone that’s not a boss or wearing armor, and those are rare. Might take a few shots when hunting some of the bigger game, but that makes sense to me.

    Definitely agree about the constant interruptions to hear rambling junior theater level monologues that mean absolutely nothing told straight at the camera, though.

    • John Walker says:

      I mean literally underpowered. It feels so slow and floppy and weak. And barely goes any distance for a cartoon nonsense fantasy world.

      • Werthead says:

        I dunno, I sniped a guy on a lookout tower about 40 feet up from a good distance, once I allowed for drop-off.

        It’s not great as bows go, but it’s reasonably decent. I had more of an issue with it being presented to you as a stealth weapon, but then you kill one dude on the outskirts of an outpost with it and it’s 50/50 if it will go unnoticed or some bad guy hundreds of yards away will magically detect his comrade’s death and raise the alarm. After a while I stopped trying stealth and went for the more enjoyably overpowered diabetic bear/attack aircraft combo.

      • mr.kock says:

        Frankly the games handles distance really bad.
        The challenge to snipe 10 people from 150 meters away?
        Even with high power scope the experience is like shooting at 1500meters in other games. The bullet speed is stupidly slow, feels like 50m/s.

        I remember in FC3 where I repetedly would have to go closer, since the engine wouldn’t let the bullet fly as far as I was able to aim with the rifle.

  5. jroger says:

    This game feels like it was made by two teams that pulled in very different directions and had to reconcile those somehow. There is the team that made the great open world part, which includes the world, the side and “open world story” missions, the AI comrades (that everyone except John seems to enjoy), the enjoyable open world NPCs, the emergent gameplay etc. And there is the team that made the 10 “villain” missions, which includes boring, non-sensical monologues, removing all agency from the player (both by interrupting, but also during the missions – sorry, I didn’t want to shoot that guy), linear, badly executed corridor shooter segments, and a diabolus ex machina ending that is a slap to the player’s face.

    This reeks of a game tarnished by inter-office politics.

  6. ResonanceCascade says:

    Yeah, the campaign is really holding this game back. The core mechanics are the best yet, but unlike Far Cry 3, which had several really memorable story missions, pretty much all of the fun here is in the free roaming and outpost liberation.

    It’s a good game, but it’s a shame it’s not a great one.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Earl-Grey says:

    The last Far Cry I played was 3.
    And the worst, the utter fucking worst parts of that game were the hallucinations.
    Holy mother of hell how much I despised those hallucination sections, every sodding second of them.
    And don’t even get me started on the insufferable “friends” you had to rescue.
    I could’t wait to slaughter those cursed twats.

    What. A. Piece. Of. Shit. That story was, and it was jammed down your throat throughout.

    Good to see they’re keeping the tradition alive.

  8. ZephaniahGrey says:

    I always find the insistence on narrative in games baffling. It seems the devs get distracted by a vocal minority (of seemingly young gamers) who will complain of a “lack of story” in just about anything. Seriously, anything. I’ve seen that complaint lobbed at Minecraft and it’s kin. It’s so bad that even mobile games do it, as if anyone plays mobile games for a deep narrative and lore. I only wonder if it’s the devs themselves making this error about their audience, or some exec in their ivory tower declaring that they now gamers better that the gamers themselves.

    • Someoldguy says:

      To be fair, I do like structure in my games. Quests, a la Fallout etc, that you might want to get around to doing sometime. Actual economics or structure of some sort in sims so you have to build with purpose rather than just whatever you want, consequence free. I’m not good at entertaining myself if there’s just a tool set and a rules-free open space to go play in.

      That’s why I’m happy with what I’ve seen of the Battletech campaign so far. There’s a plot story you’ll want to do at least partway to unlock key tools, then you can run as many missions as you like and the story’s there to be picked up again of and when you want to. Plus the skirmish mode for people who don’t want to do plot at all.

    • Zenicetus says:

      When it’s done well, a narrative solves some inherent problems in an action/RPG, like gating players off from areas with higher level enemies, and providing motivation for actions — “Why do I want to kill this guy? Oh yeah, he murdered my family”. It’s tricky to balance urgency with a vast number of side missions though.

      This is about the only thing Witcher 3 doesn’t handle well. Ciri is in danger, but Geralt manages to find a hundred side things to do on the way to finding her. AC Origins was better in that respect. It was a “revenge best served cold” plot, so Bayek could take his time.

      FC5 is much worse, because the game doesn’t only block the player character from saving his fellow cops, but teases with cut scenes showing how much danger they’re in. And nothing can be done until a scripted mission triggers when enough side missions and open world points have been scored.

      • Kamestos says:

        Also, having a silent protagonist pretty much ensures your story won’t really work. Your hero doesn’t have an agenda, can’t have an arc and is always on the receiving end of events.
        The fact you can choose the Deputy to be male or female reinforces that fact. It is really a baffling design choice.

        • cqdemal says:

          I think the gender selection is only for customization in multiplayer. Doesn’t mesh with the rest of the game’s core content at all.

      • woodsey says:

        I actually think The Witcher 3 circumvents the problem by making it clear from the get-go that Ciri is nigh impossible to track, while also assuring us that she can fend for herself.

        That said, I suppose it does become a bit of a problem later when you’re preparing to face the Hunt. But then what kind of soulless void would choose to go off and do other stuff instead of spending as much time as possible with Ciri and Friends?

    • Werthead says:

      This is why Just Cause 3 is the best Far Cry game. It has a story, it’s stupid and forgettable but the story missions are fun and the rest of the game is fun and the whole thing prioritises having fun over ramming a silly narrative down your throat every five seconds. Seeing the last few Far Cry games stealing Just Cause’s ideas (like the havoc-o-metere in FC5) is a little sad really.

      • jroger says:

        Well, Just Cause is the older series, with Just Cause being released in 2006, and Far Cry 2 in 2008.

        • Werthead says:

          Far Cry 1 came out in 2004 and the X-Box versions (which apparently canonically replace it in the story stakes) in 2005 and 2006, so it’s the older series, although FC1 (and to some extent 2) were rather different games to the 3-5/Blood Dragon/Primal sequence. I was also surprised to see that Far Cry had the wingsuit first, but it may have been “inspired” by a mod for Just Cause 2.

          • jroger says:

            Well, Far Cry 1 has nothing in common with the rest of the series, except the name and broad genre, so you can’t really count it as part of it. It’s actually the first part of the Crysis series.

          • Werthead says:

            Far Cry did introduce a fair few ideas that are still part of the series, like the magic binoculars which somehow tag every enemy and friendly in sight and the staple array of weapons (not to mention the protagonist who is probably the antagonist of the second game and maybe still around in the background of the other games). And the extrapolation from FC1 to FC2 – set the whole game on one massive map (divided into several discrete zones) rather than lots of, well, still massive maps but with not as much to do on them – was fairly logical.

    • juan_h says:

      Narrative in games is like seasoning in cooking. Most dishes taste better with a little salt. Most games are better with a little narrative. You don’t need much. If 80s arcade games are any indication then for some games all you really need is a premise (and maybe some eye-catching cabinet art). A little goes a long way.

      • Premium User Badge

        Risingson says:

        What? Are we demonising narrative in games now? The 90s games introduced narrative as an improvement, as an evolution, damn.

        Don’t blame in narrative that some people don’t know how to write. This is like some guy I knew that blamed the quality of sci fi books on character exploration, not the quality of it, to the point that he says that “I like sci fi books without real characters”.

        • Xelos says:

          Yeah, this is pretty baffling. Excluding arcade games, narrative only improve games, adding emotional stakes, context and so on. It’s intrusive, non-interactive and badly written stories that are the problem.

    • Masky says:

      Just to note that bad storytelling =/= narrative. People asking for more story in games for most part probably don’t mean “There should be more cutscenes and other non interactive segments during the gameplay”, as interactive medium good storytelling in game tells the story without interrupting the gameplay.

  9. Daniv says:

    And don’t get me started on the ending. I tolerated the plotline, went for the final confrontation to “get it out of the way” before going off to do more uninterupted hijinks.
    .
    .
    After the the final cutscene and credits rolled, I uninstalled it. I think I understand what they were trying to do, but I now have precisely zero motivation to return to Hope County, shoot any more Pegis or buy any DLC in the future.

    • onodera says:

      > I think I understand what they were trying to do

      Do you mind sharing that with us? I’m genuinely curious, because I can’t think of any reasonable explanation.

  10. tenochtitlan says:

    I played Faith’s region last and actually thought for a second that the thing where she just shows up as a “questgiver” in the middle of the world and only if you talk to her the story cutscene triggers (and if you shoot her illusion it just disappears and you can carry on with more interesting emergent things) was finally at least a decent way to handle this. But then I ignored her for the second story bit for a while and was just magically teleported into her cutscene anyway.

  11. Zenicetus says:

    I don’t mind the captured player cutscenes because I expected the story to be awful, and it’s actually in the “so bad it’s funny” category. It’s like that scene in the Austin Powers movie where Scott Evil tells his Dad “I’ve got a gun in my room, I’ll come down here and blow their brains out.” And Dr. Evil insists on an elaborate and easily defeated trap instead. Also I haven’t had a scripted story mission interrupted yet, so maybe I’ve just been lucky.

    It’s the godawful scripted missions I dislike. The ones with arbitrary timers. The ones that force keyboard and mouse players to use a terrible UI for driving or flying planes. The ones forcing the player to “go here, do that, do that again, kill these guys, then go over there and repeat.” I don’t enjoy being led by the nose like that. The open world ALMOST makes it worthwhile, but not quite. AC Origins handled the balance of open world and player agency so much better.

    • Premium User Badge

      laiwm says:

      Dear god I just got the mission that’s kicked off by getting in a seaplane after liberating a base. The owner of the plane radios in to accuse you of theft, then asks you – a total stranger – to “check it still works” by flying low over a river and attacking a bunch of enemies. So far, so fun. Then you return it, and the game instantly forgets that what just happened was deeply silly and gives you a long, schmaltzy scene about how much this guy loves his plane and how he’d never let anything happen to it, and also his wife is pregnant and they’re going to stay put and somehow defend their home against thousands of crazed cultists.

      The script feels like the result of a game of exquisite corpse sometimes.

      • Zenicetus says:

        Yeah, that’s a companion quest (retrieving the plane). It could have been gated off better, so the plane wouldn’t spawn, or wouldn’t start up, if you were just clearing that outpost before getting that companion mission first (finding and talking to the guy at his hangar). I knew about it ahead time from researching how to get the pilot guy, so I knew not to touch the plane first.

        To be fair, I haven’t seen too many broken plot triggers like that yet. What I’ve seen are story missions that are 75% fine and fun to do, and 25% that are a masochistic push through some terrible mission designs.

        Luckily, most if not all of those can be abandoned and ignored, unless you’re a 100% completionist. I don’t think I’ll ever finish pilot guy’s mission to get his pregnant wife’s baby delivered because I’m terrible at driving fast with WASD keyboard control. But he’ll still fly for me as a companion.

  12. DefinitelyNotHans says:

    You’d post one of these about a sudden gust of wind if the editors would allow it though, wouldn’t you?

    • John Walker says:

      I’m sorry you’re feeling so cross, but perhaps try to deal with what’s wrong rather than making unintelligible insults on a website at a man you don’t know.

      • Imadoctornotadoctor says:

        Huh, my earlier comment seems to have mysteriously disappeared. I’ll just precis it, then: this still looks to me like a bizarrely and unnecessarily cross response to a bit of light piss-taking.

        Hopefully this comment won’t fall prey to whatever internet hiccup ate the last one after it’d been posted.

    • Stromko says:

      Far Cry 5’s story is legitimately infuriatingly bad though. It gives the player zero agency or control of any kind and then forces you to sit there and either be gloated to about that fact, or blamed for everything.

      If you weren’t literally kidnapped and forced to take part in the story multiple times, but instead had the choice to engage as you chose, the losses of control would be more tolerable and the hollow attempts at making you feel guilty about how it is progressing would be slightly less hollow.

      Honestly I found the article pretty cathartic. I want a refund for Far Cry 5 and I’ve only seen people stream it.

      • BobbyDylan says:

        After completing the game, I was left with overwhelming buyers remorse. To me, this game isn’t worth the £50 i spent on it. Sure, I got about 25 hours out of it, but I’m not totally convinced I enjoyed it. The shooting was (IMHO) weak, the story frustrating and the villains were idiotic. Only things I did like were the visuals and the side activities really.

        • Werthead says:

          It has problems but I don’t think it’s refund-worthy (mileage may vary, obviously), if only for the absolutely outstanding bits where you’re walking through a mist-shrouded forest at dawn and the sun rises. The environment is amazing and the freeform bits are good but the messy story keeps getting in the way.

          In addition, the arcade creator mode has tremendous promise.

          I suspect it is all worthwhile if it gives us more “nature documentaries” like this one:

    • DudeshootMankill says:

      You made me laugh, you despicable person.

  13. hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

    To answer the question in the opening, everyone forgets FC Primal because it came out so soon after FC4, probably due to how its map was a copy and paste of FC4’s map with a new facade. link to forbes.com

    That seems to have been about the level of effort that went into the whole game, really.

    • jonahcutter says:

      Not completely accurate.

      While they did badically CnP the map, new regions were added along with all sorts of specific detail. It’s the farthest afield in environment and it shows in the attention to detail. They created a entirely new language for the game. Primal introduced the pet mechanic. It also eventually included a survival mode lowering the wacky busy-ness of the games and increasing its sense of place and atmosphere.

      Primal is, along with 1 and the flawed but fascinating 2, the better of the Far Crys. 3, 4 and 5 May have different maps. But at their core they are the same basic modern setup with modern vehicles to fight over with modern weapons. Each with scenery-chewing villains who arent really as interesting as the hype would have us believe. 3,4 and 5 are essentially reskins of each other.

      1, 2 and Primal successfully create actually distinct locations, atmosphere, tone and gameplay.

    • basilisk says:

      You know, this thing does look super obvious if you lay one map over the other in Photoshop, but there is absolutely no way anyone would have noticed this in the actual game.

      Yes, the heightmap in most of the map is virtually the same, but the look and feel of the landscape is completely different. Different vegetation. Different biomes. Landmarks are in different places, too. It’s a cost-cutting measure, sure, but it’s really not a copy-paste job.

  14. doodler says:

    Stories like this really make me appreciate how well Subnautica did their narrative. Drip fed to you and can be ignored for basically as much or as little as you want with each tidbit guiding you deeper and deeper both into the story and the ocean itself. Between the various escape pods and then the Degasi it allows you to seamlessly and organically go through almost every biome without your hand being held.

  15. caff says:

    I found it utterly confusing when it first happened. I was also in the middle of a quest – my first thought was, I’ll have to reload to fix whatever’s happened.

  16. ThePuzzler says:

    And why does everyone forget Far Cry: Blood Dragon?

    • John Walker says:

      I wish people would. It was so bloody awful.

      • Stevostin says:

        What ? It was funny, original, a solid gameplay (well fc3 really) and seen that way on release. Surely you can separate what you think about the game (which is irrelevant here) and what was its actual reception (which is) ?

        • Premium User Badge

          Risingson says:

          The game was plain and boring as fuck, cmon. I don’t care about the enthusiastic reception of some audience that at the time masturbated at the notion of 80s neon lights.

          • Stevostin says:

            What is the bit about separating irrelevant personnal opinion on the game from how it was actually received (aka the actual argument) you didn’t get ? You may not care about it but it’s relevant. OTOH what you thought of it isn’t. And non one care about it BTW.

          • Someoldguy says:

            It wasn’t received with universal acclaim then and it still isn’t now. You seem to be pretending it was. You only have to search out a few reviews and compare to John’s of the time to see he wasn’t the only person to think that the joke wore off fast.

    • Werthead says:

      It was a bit of a one-note joke and it’s a very short game, so I’m not surprised it gets forgotten about, no matter how much Michael Biehn it contains.

  17. KvP says:

    I suppose it’s kind of ironic that FC5 features perhaps the most ludonarratively dissonant mechanics to ever be dropped into a game, when the director of Far Cry 2 was the dude who essentially put the concept of ludonarrative dissonance on the map when he blogged about his beef with Ken Levine.

    I’m reminded vaguely of how, in the developer commentary for Pillars of Eternity, it was mentioned how much fretting was put into the plot critical moments of the game. It was absolutely vital that every such sequence have a single point of entry on the map, because doing so would avoid weird immersion-breaking situations. FC5 is the diametric opposite of that design – there are about a hundred different things you could be doing when the plot drops itself on you.

    • Imadoctornotadoctor says:

      It did occur to me that maybe Far Cry’s increasingly bloody stupid writing is the work of someone in the office taking the piss out of the attempt to defend FC3 as satire, but I worry that saying that will just give them ideas.

  18. Neuronomad says:

    100% agree with most of the article, however disagree about the bow. The bow is the best weapon for most of the Peggie mobs aside the heavy armoured ones.

    However as far as the f’ing stupid interrupted fun goes, 1000% agree. And the horrid unskippable cut scenes are the worst.

  19. Harmodios says:

    Great post!

    I am someone who very much plays games for the story, I really like the walking simulators with minimal game play such as Takoma, and Edith Finch. But Far Cry 5? Worst writing I have seen in ages. I think my low point so far was the corrupt CIA officer looking for Trump’s pee tape. They ripped off the (already bad) Rockstar cynical writing, but made it worse somehow! Only good thing was that at the end of the mission I could shoot the guy in the face and steal his truck. (he didn’t die, but he did fall down when shot, very satisfying)

    Not only that, the NPC’s talk very slowly, and take forever to get to the point. And you can’t even continue exploring the room they are in while listening, without getting an annoyed comment after which they stop talking. And up until now I think pretty much every side quest has been the same: “My daddy used to have this truck he loved so much he used to make love to it every day after which he prayed to Jesus and cried in a the flag, but the peggies stole it!”

    Gameplay-wise the game has been great. I like how the crafting has been streamlined and micromanagement has been reduced. Also, shooting NPCs in the face is very satisfying.

    • PancreaticDefect says:

      To be fair, agent Huntley has become a running joke in the series as an insufferable bootlick that will do anything to advance his career and who fucks over the player every time. So the mission in FC5 with him fits his character perfectly.

  20. WMain00 says:

    Totally agree – the story and ending are terrible and it’s frustrating to be pulled out of what is a very fun sandbox experience, into a poorly written joke of a story. I’m sorry to say the ending is a very frustrating damp squib.

  21. tslog says:

    It’s amazing how no lessons were learned by Ubisoft and they keep failing in major different ways regarding Far Cry.

    Far Cry 3 and 4 were good sandbox games with terribly generic worlds. They had good main characters that were severely under used – also with horrendously “acted” NPC’s.

    Primal has a better looking world but with boring gameplay.

    Now with FC 5 the world looks really good, more time was spent on a larger story but is bloody awful, but now due to the underdeveloped enemy AI and crappy animation, the series highlight of outposts – and the combat sort of sucks now.

    I’ve nearly finished Faith’s region and I’ve done nearly 100% on the first two regions, but when you’re exploring the world there’s barely anything to do with random combat encounters ( apart from roads ), which is a big change from 3 and 4. Fighting animals are boring now, shrines and convoys are the same nothingness over and over…..combat wise the exploreable world is mostly empty, boring and When engagement is there it’s severely underwhelminly repetaive from very early on.

    When will Ubisoft allow for a Far Cry game do most of its major aspects well at the same friggin time in the one Far Cry game ?

  22. josborn says:

    And I’d still read the fuck out of it. Even when I disagree (which is not the case here – Far Cry’s stories are bad and they should feel bad), John’s rants are exactly the kind of thing I come to RPS for.

  23. Sin Vega says:

    “Knock Knock”
    “Who’s there?”
    “The interrupting story”
    “The interrupting st-”
    “JASON U MUST KIL THE BADMEN BUT WAIT U R A BADMEN NOW 2 OMG”

    • trashbat says:

      Knock, knock
      Who’s the-
      Welcome to the blisssssss
      Umm, this isn’t how jokes work, is it?
      Knock, knock
      Who’s there?

      Is there anyone there?

      Nobody?

      Right, well, I’ll be going the-
      WELCOME TO THE BLISSSSSS

  24. Mojomaca says:

    I do play a game like this to be told a story as well as to shoot things. I enjoy the story, and love the cinematics. The voice acting and motion capture is great. Unfortunately, the way you’re unrealistically pulled out and forced to experience it is ridiculous. How hard would it have been to wait until a player makes a mistake to have the capture party grab you … until you actually take a bullet, or walk into a bliss contaminated area. Or, just have the option to play a No-story mode if you want a simple shoot-em-up (I never do), where you can take the Heralds on after you decimate their area, then take on the Father after the three Heralds are dead.

    Another thing that bugs me. I really wish the PC had a voice. PC silence is so last-gen.

    • Stevostin says:

      Voiced PC actually ruins immersion for me. I am so mad it’s not a standard option in Fallout 4 to remove it. Mute character is an absolute must for me in fpv.

      • amcathlan says:

        I agree so much (on the subject of voiced PC) it’s almost a little creepy, but I’d have to say it depends on both the type of game and some mechanical aspects.
        In Fallout 4, probably my primary love-to-hate game of all time, the choice of an IP with traditionally open RPG structure, that then has to be painfully and unforgivingly sawed-off to make room for the player having the voice of an annoying 22-year-old-pretending to be a middle-aged dad (only got around to the male), not only destroys the possibility for having any real choice in conversations (limiting it to a Mass Effect knock off) but also makes ANY character that isn’t that specific age and ethnicity (or just not a boring piece of crap) unplayable in an RPG-immersive sense.
        It’s a crime.

        However, if the game is some form of linear plot experience, or a very interesting, specific personal story about the PC, that wouldn’t bother me in the slightest.

        In this case…eh. First the Deputy would have to have some damn role in the story for him to have anything interesting to say, yes?

      • Mojomaca says:

        Fallout 4’s voice acting is uniformly horrible, so it ruins immersion for me there too. These high budget games all should be using professional voice acting. Like Witcher 3.

  25. Kirudub says:

    Ye gads, the goddamn storyline. Why you can skip some cutscenes and not others makes no sense.

    I was TWICE pulled out of my frikken attack chopper into the 3rd siblings lair. Here I am, 300 feet up, laying absolute waste to all of his minions; I get a “YOU’RE WANTED” notification, and soon afterward, my vision goes red, and there I am, a captive of the villain.

    Happened twice, for gods sake; luckily I was just goofing off, and wasn’t in the middle of a quest like the author.

    PS: When did top knots become macho? If you can’t grow your hair out to make a proper pony tail, then cut it off, FFS.

    • Kinsky says:

      I think man-buns are one of those things that got posted on Instagram/Tumblr enough times that they became an outsized cultural phenomenon and now they’re trendy.

  26. penultimatejawa says:

    For what it’s worth, the kidnappy story missions are triggered when you level up your Resist-o-meter. So, if you level up and aren’t given an explicit task (i.e. go to the church and listen to that close-talking hipster with the knife again), rest assured that a barrage of magic teleporting bullets are headed your way.

    While there’s still no way to prevent the cut-scenes from happening, knowing that they’re coming at least helps mitigate the chance of losing progress/bugging out a quest/what have you. Just know that post-level up time is for random mayhem and not for questing, at least until you’re stolen away for yet another episode of Over-Dramatic Man-Bun Meets World.

  27. Siimon says:

    The first time I was confused, because I was already in the middle of a mission, but thought maybe -even though they can’t trigger anything else- my coop partner had triggered the story mission somehow?

    The second time I was utterly confused, because they kidnapped me… WHILE I WAS FLYING A PLANE in the middle of a story mission. That made absolutely no sense.

    This crap, added to having a completely silent protagonist and the endless NPC monologues that keep getting interrupted by the endless enemies, made FC5 the worst of the series yet as far as story goes.

  28. West44 says:

    I’m having a blast playing through the game, especially coop, but I 100% agree. Every time it forces you into a cut scene and mission we always have a big sigh of disappointment.

    Also it seems everyone hated the hallucination sections in the previous games and yet for some reason they’ve been added back in 5.

  29. Deviija says:

    The game god-awful writing for what they are passing as a story and both sides-ism nonsensical garbage is the worst travesty on a game with decent sandbox-ness. I’d still rather play Saints Row 2 or 4.

  30. Werthead says:

    The one thing story-wise I wanted them to expand on is when the testicle-obsessed chef admits he used to be in the military and confirms he knows what happened to the Jackal after the end of Far Cry 2. Which of course he then refuses to divulge (leading to the possibility he is the Jackal/Jack Carver from FC1). I wouldn’t mind them making more of the connections between the game rather than constantly hinting at things just for fun.

  31. regnid says:

    I registered to let you, John Walker, know that you’re just a salty crybaby bitch. Nobody wants to hear your stupid sob story. You sound like you’d want to bitch about anything in any game. You started off this article talking about why people forgot about Primal… idk, maybe because it’s Far Cry with literally none of the awesome shit?? I returned my preorder after finding out how bad that game is. FC5 is nothing short of incredible, and your nitpicking shows you’re just the wrong type of person for these types of games. Keep your horse shit out of the internet.

    • Kinsky says:

      lol, any time you disparage something popular somebody always comes out of the woodwork to tell you what an unbelievable piece a shit you are for personally coming directly to their house and taking a big stinky dump on their fun. Don’t worry dude, a few months from now you’ll forget you ever played this game, much less read this article, much less posted this comment.

    • Slazer says:

      I registered to let you know that everybody in the world except you loves John’s rant and we all agree with him.

      Damn, I went to the kitchen on the 3rd capture and came back seeing that I was supposed to press a button or something to save the female officer. No motivation to care about that shit, from the intro on everybody acted like a unlikable retard.

  32. Neuronomad says:

    Meant to ask earlier if others are getting tons of CTD. I don’t have a beast machine, but it’s not a total slouch either. Latest gen i5, 16GB RAM, 1060GTX and latest NVIDIA drivers and I crash about once every 30 minutes regardless of what I am doing. I have ran the gambit of playing with level settings, disabling VSYNC, yada yada. Still same results. I don’t have the same issue running most any other game at high or even ultra. ACO at almost full ultra, Witcher 3 on ultra, etc and never any CTD. Come FC5 and it’s like CTD city.

    • Kamestos says:

      No, hadn’t got any problem here. The bug I had were the ‘fun’ variety: flying trucks, npc dancing forth and back…
      Technically it seems to run very well for most players.

    • Werthead says:

      That’s weird. Your specs are the same as mine and I haven’t had single crash (at 15 hours in).

    • Masterlitchuk says:

      Hi, Mate it’s a well know bug I had to check the forums if you downgrade to the last video driver I belie it was the one released last month on the 20th do that and magically no more crashes. it was driving me nuts until I found that one out then I can now play for as long as I like crash free… good luck!

  33. Sin Vega says:

    Sigh. Looks like the baby boards have linked to this article. Scroll up, viewers! Below here lies only folly.

  34. jontaro says:

    I keep wondering if constantly being forced in cutscenes or scenes with illusion of freedom is some meta thing about cults and loss of self control or loss of freedom…
    Or just annoying storytelling.

  35. benappo says:

    I don’t really mind it at all. It’s only 9 times in the game, and doesn’t take up much time (compared to all that lovely open world exploration.

    I’ve also been lucky in that for three of the hunting squad captures I’d just liberated a Peggie outpost and levelled up resistance, and so it seemed quite natural that the hunting squads would appear.

  36. Yachmenev says:

    “Far Cry 5 is certainly still a vast playground of fun, and its abysmal clown-car AI makes for some berserk and entertaining emergent silliness, but what’s so crucially different this time out is you can’t trust it for a moment. ”

    I felt like that already in FC3, when the game, sandbox game, wouldn’t let me save my state as I wanted, in multiple slots. Haven’t been back to the series since. Have they fixed that yet?

    • caff says:

      Nope its still checkpoint saves, i.e. travel somewhere or complete a mission and it’ll save. There is a manual save but it doesnt prompt for a save slot.

      It’s still a huge bundle of messy fun though.

    • Zenicetus says:

      It’s checkpoint saves, which I don’t like, but during story missions the saves are fairly close together. Story missions involving driving, flying, or climbing will re-start you partway through if you die, so you don’t lose too much time. I’d rather have save-on-demand, but it’s not the worst checkpoint system I’ve seen.

  37. haldolium says:

    “You can’t know when, or where,”

    I thought it was tied to that dumb XP bar.

    Otherwise yeah its stupid. But so is FarCry 5 in general and this is just the pinnacle that asks players: WHY THE FUCK DO YOU STILL BUY THIS CRAP?!
    I mean during the entire time of FC5 I basically wanted to reinstall other games that did things better.

    Not even coop is particular interesting or fun. It’s just.. there.

  38. 2late2die says:

    I don’t know peeps, I’ve been enjoying the game so far, much more so than 4. About third way through (cleared one of the three areas), I’ve encountered only two instances of poor/buggy pathing and no other kind of bugginess. What’s more, so far the companion AI has been actually pretty solid – they do a good job of staying out of the way, pretty decent at not alerting the enemies when we’re trying to sneak in and while they could be better at quickly reacting to escalations, as long as the action doesn’t get too chaotic they do a good job of helping out in a fight.

    As for the forced cutscenes, once I realized there was no way to avoid them (and that was mostly about them cheating with the enemies’ suddenly superhuman abilities so they can capture me, rather my disdain for the cutscenes themselves), they stopped bothering me. I enjoy for the most part the cutscenes themselves because they tell me more about the world and the characters.
    Certainly an argument can be made that they shouldn’t be forced and/or the writing in this game is poor, but I mostly disagree with the latter (not that this is some genius work of fiction, just that it’s not bad, it’s fine), and I guess I don’t mind the former.

    I think a better way to handle the forced cutscenes would’ve been by setting up those encounters with escalating waves of enemies that at least for the first 2 waves were not suddenly superhuman. So that if you’re good you could avoid capture the first time they try, if you’re really good you could avoid capture the second time, and even on the third time they would start with regular enemies attacking (just overall stronger, with better weapons to give you a really tough challenge) and only if they see they’re about to lose for the 3rd time would one appear out of nowhere and shoot a bullet/arrow that cannot be avoid it to put you to sleep. And then perhaps based on how many waves you survived you’d get something a bit different during the post cutscenes sequence – whether it’d be more or less weapons lying around for you to use to get out of there (if that’s relevant) or a slightly different dialogue or even actions.

  39. Premium User Badge

    Qazinsky says:

    What I didn’t like about the resistance meter and how it pushed new cut scenes on the player, is that everything you do pretty much give resistance points. It feels like a really bad idea in a sandbox game that just going around and collecting stuff, breaking stuff, saving civilians, doing anything not story missiony still pushes you forward in the story. Eventually, you must kill the the areas boss and after that, the area is now calm, no enemies randomly travelling around. Which is great if that is what you want, but what if you prefer to have enemies to fight when out doing stuff? Feels kinda like a GTA game without the police.

    My suggestion is that they should let you choose when you start a new game, Resistance mode, like it is now, where everything gives resistance points, or Story Mode, where you only advance through the cut scenes and towards the boss by doing story missions.

  40. Krakim says:

    This article reallly doesn’t seem accurate. But hey, everyone gets an opinion.

  41. nightclub19 says:

    This is a highly inaccurate “review,” if it can even be called a review. This is a hatred riddled opinion about a great game, one of the best Ubisoft has made to date and one of the best Far Cry games so far. Do not consider anything said in this review before purchase. Far Cry 5 has so many great new additions and has everything youd want from a first person pov action/adventure game. They did a great job with the story and characters, the combat and exploration, and with self upgrades as you progress. The weapons are diverse and fun to use, same with vehicles.

    Basically rock, paper, shotgun has hired an ignorant, angry, jerk to review a game he was never meant to play (by the sounds of it). Please disregard everything John Walker has mentioned and enjoy this game.

    PS: cant find anyone else having these so called “bugs” john mentioned, but I did find out that most of the very insignificant bugs are known by ubisoft and will be hotfixed or are easily fixed by yourself if you just use google to figure out your problem.

    • Premium User Badge

      Qazinsky says:

      Yeah, this new John Walker guy knows nothing about games, you should ask someone in charge to fire him, maybe even one of the founders if you can get a hold of one.

  42. vinsta76 says:

    I agree with the intrusive cut scenes but I disagree with lots of the other stuff. The most unpolished of the series?? I think the opposite, it’s the best optimized least buggy of all of them in my experience. 25 hours and only 2 or 3 very minor bugs encountered, no crashes or lock ups and no game breaking bugs. Once I died landing a very slow/safe parachute jump/landing and once when I jumped in a vehicle and drove to an outpost my companion (the cougar -actual cat not older woman with a taste for young men) suddenly teleported from where we were to the outpost but was laying injured on the floor.
    Then you say the bow is underpowered???? It’s silent, and one shot kills almost all humans? Seems pretty powerful to me. If anything the weapons are overpowered, although in actual fact they’re pretty realistic in that one head shot kills or 1 or 2 to the chest does the trick. Just a shame the AI don’t seem to acknowledge how easily you’re about to kill them and run at you without a care in the world, sure they take cover a bit but they don’t try to flank you at all from what I can tell.
    All in all though it’s a great game. I loved FC3, but FC4 got stale very quickly as gameplay-wise it’s almost identical, doubt I even got 25% through. I’ve easily played FC5 more than FC4 and I’ve only owned it for 5 days.

  43. Fitzmogwai says:

    Can’t say I’m surprised: Frankly it’s all been downhill since the last third of Far Cry anyway.

  44. Middy says:

    You’re overthinking it. They’re a cult. You get kidnapped. Ta-daa. It’s somewhat annoying, but still less annoying than desperate articles like this one.

  45. MrXfox says:

    ruins everything is a little bit hard hum ? …. and then they should add a stop progress Buttom

  46. mumblesh says:

    The story is bloody awful, but the game is fun once you look past that, just about. But there seems to be this theme of adding in drug induced nonsense into their games for no reason whatsoever, as if it is suggesting that the game is too bland otherwise, and to add some variety they need to step into the surreal or fantasy world and this is the way you have to do it in a game set in the real world. Like why do we have zombies? Sorry, I mean drug addicts who act just like zombies?

    It’s annoying, but none more so that the persistent bugs and glitches from game to game. Never have I seen in the history of FC, so many characters getting their bodies stuck into the ground or walls. Plus, AI has always been wonky and while it’s clear they do certain things better, the AI is still as strange as ever at times. Do they ever play their own games??

    I wish they (the devs) would take themselves more seriously. The game still seems less like a triple A title and more like a game made with a FPS DIY kit, by pretty good modders. And I could forgive much more easily, were that the case.

Comment on this story

HTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>