Far Cry 5 has the worst endings in all of gaming history

Far Cry 5 has a bad story in the same way that the bubonic plague has a bad bacterium. It is, by a considerable stretch, the most abysmally written narrative in AAA gaming. Not just in how it so idiotically interrupts you in the middle of other scripted missions to force you to play through hideously badly written enforced semi-playable cutscenes, but in every word uttered by every character from start to finish. And wow, does it reach its subterranean nadir when it comes to the finish. It is time to drape yourself in spoiler warnings and embrace the volcano of awful that is Far Cry 5’s ending.

Just in case, let me reiterate, this is an article that contains spoilers to the very end of the game. Although believe me, if you’ve not finished it and read this anyway, you’ll only feel more compelled to play it to see if I’m exaggerating.

I didn’t expect Far Cry 5’s story to be good. Because I’ve played Far Cries 3 and 4. I’d assumed, before the game came out, that they’d serve up a god-awful confusion of half-baked ideas about cults and American militias, and prevaricate and ultimately chicken out of trying to make any form of statement of any nature. And I’m not claiming that with hindsight – I wrote it all down last May. I got it all right. But what I didn’t – couldn’t – predict, was that it would be so actively nonsensical, so far from meaningful as to rip holes in the known universe.

Let’s nutshell. A family of loonies – the Seeds – have taken over a large stretch of rural Montana, a sort of county-wide cult. They’ve somehow established some sort of invisible borders to the whole area, despite being replete with aeroplanes and helicopters, and you are tasked with helping a team of about five from the county sheriff’s department and US Marshals with trying to bring about an end to this heavily armed militia of hundreds, if not thousands. So, absolutely not a single tiny speck of even the broadest overview of its concept makes a lick of sense. The madness is palpable no matter how far out you zoom.

Zoom in on any aspect and it only gets more woefully ludicrous. For instance, how have they convinced this entire army of men (it’s alllll men) to take up arms and fight absolutely anyone who doesn’t adhere to the Seeds’ religious proclivities? Is it an exploration of the terrifying power of charismatic cult leaders? Have they looked at how major religious texts can be used to convince the vulnerable of twisted notions? Do they explore the politics of poverty, picking up on the issues of the ignored poor white rural Americans raised by the election of Trump? Good grief, no. It’s a magic drug!

The further you get in the game, the more heavily and awkwardly it leans on this lunatic crutch, where people are literally zombified by Bliss, a flower-based drug that causes, er, whatever the game fancies its causing in the moment. It’s a hallucinogenic, but also causes euphoria, but also causes brainwashing, but also causes zombification. And best of all, just to make sure it’s as awful as possible, when someone’s under its control this is shown to the player by their head being surrounded by a perpetual green fog, like in a cartoon.

Along the way through this nonsensical trudge, one of the main bads is, apparently, brainwashing you. You are, by the end, programmed to turn into a Bliss-faced zombie cult-worshipping brainwashed acolyte by hearing the song Only You, by the popular beat combo The Platters. How? By enforced cutscenes and a complete abandoning of logic.

We’ve already discussed at length how atrocious is Far Cry 5’s petulant way of literally forcing the player to play its core story beats, and it’s within these non-optional poorly timed interruptions to the game that all this supposed brainwashing occurs. Except, it just doesn’t. It’s just not justified at any point. Instead the game opts to just declare that it’s happened, and then once more force you to play through sections where you’re shooting at imagined colleagues who disappear in puffs of green Bliss smoke. And apparently this is the conditioning required to justify one of the game’s two endings. (There are technically three, but the third is the game’s easter egg false ending at the very start.) So let’s finally discuss them.

This Is The End

The game culminates with your pursuing the mission to take down Jacob Seed, the pivotal member of the Seed family, and the only one left by this point as you’ve taken out his siblings. You arrive at his church, just as you did at the beginning of the game, to find that he has somehow once more re-captured absolutely every main NPC in the game and has them under his power, their fog-faces making a laughing stock of the very notion of cults and their hideous cruelty. How he’s re-captured them, when you’ve just spent the last twenty hours meticulously freeing each of them and ensuring their bases are safely under the control of goodies, is apparently not in the least bit important. They just are.

Seed gives you a choice. You can walk away, or you can attempt to arrest him. This is the moment that decides the two endings, rather than anything that’s happened previously. Now, normally I’d be one to jump in here and launch a volley of “actually”s, because I’ve passionately argued before that seemingly binary choices at the end of games are no such thing – they’re influenced by all that’s come before them. All the story, all the experiences, all the characters – they’ve had an influence on you, the person playing, and these all influence the rationale behind the choice you make. Except here, nope, that argument doesn’t even get a look. Because all that’s come before has been such a contradictory mess of gibberish that the choice at this point makes absolutely no sense. Walk away from the lunatic serial killer for no given reason at the point of his complete defeat, or carry on doing the only thing you’ve been tasked with doing the entire time. That’s the choice.

Ending 1 – The Nothing Ending

This is where you choose, for absolutely no narratively justified reason whatsoever, to walk away from the utterly defeated Seed. He says he’ll set you free, if you’ll only leave him to enjoy Hope County and his cruel, maniac cult that has tortured and murdered hundreds of people, stringing them up around the small towns, grotesquely arranging their mutilated corpses into genuinely distressing mangled forms… A cult that has, by now, been pretty much wiped out anyway. It makes sense on no given level. But hey, why not?!

So you do. And your companions express horror that you are, because, well, it makes no sense to do so. So into a car you get with the original tiny team of three, and you start driving away. Except, says the Sheriff, he has no plans to give up, and he’s going to get the National Guard and come back and wipe out Seed for good. Just like you already had, but sure. Except he then puts on the radio, and wouldn’t you know, Only You comes on! And through your first-person view, a red mist begins to creep in, and then it cuts to credits.

Oh no! Your brainwashing! You’re going to kill them all probably! What a twist! A twist reliant on the Sheriff doing something as damned weird as thinking, “I know, let’s listen to some nice local radio,” in that least likely of moments. Presumably if he hadn’t you’d have just gone, Seed would have been taken down, and then one day when you were in the shopping mall food court and the song came over the speakers you’d go insane and start bashing everyone around you with a plastic tray?

But there’s been no good given reason why this should even work, previously. All the so-called brainwashing has taken place in cutscenes that contradicted whatever you were actually doing in the game when they forced you to sit through (or skip) them. But who cares?! Ubisoft didn’t!

It’s clearly meant to be this oooooooh! moment, but it’s reliant on the player making an entirely irrational choice, followed by an extremely unlikely confluence of events, making it just look farcical and very, very stupid.

Ending 2 – The End Of The World Ending

Right, so, the other choice. Or as I like to think of it, just carrying on with what the entire game had been about. You arrest Seed. He starts blathering more of his miserably bland blather, quoting Revelation or whatever, which isn’t interrupted by anyone for no reason, and then… some nuclear bombs go off.

No really.

Are they set off by Seed? No! Of course not, because it’s obviously impossible that Seed has access to an arsenal of nuclear bombs. Are they related to anything that’s happened in the game? No! They are just the biggest, dumbest, most irrelevant deus ex machina in all of terrible writing history!

(Edit: Some are saying in the comments that in-game radios talk of an escalating conflict with N Korea. I, at no point in the dozens of hours I’ve played, heard a word or this. Nor have many others. And if that’s it, if the only justification is in some passing radio reports that most players don’t even seem able to hear, then good grief. And that doesn’t even begin to explain how, should it be the case, the other ending doesn’t have any bombs go off!)

Now, someone might want to argue, “Ahhh but ahhhhhh! Didn’t the Seeds predict such a cataclysmic event?” No. No they didn’t. They just talked shite for interminable stretches, with no sense of insight or depth or complexity or intelligence. They just talked and talked and talked, with absolutely nothing to say. You could pick and choose some of the garbage they forced us to listen to and say, “Oh, maybe they psychically knew,” but you’d be stretching to breaking point.

Others will contend that the game makes subtle hints at this wider issue, and that perhaps the Seeds are responding to an issue you’ve been too blind to see. Except, of course, none of their actions actually make a blind bit of sense in that context, and none of it even comes close to justifying why they’re such disturbed serial killers.

No, instead, this version of the game’s ending just randomly drops nuclear bombs on everything, because that’s how stupendously astoundingly awful is Far Cry 5’s story.

(And if you still want to argue that Seed pre-empts this at some point within the endless hours of his tedious dirge, then why doesn’t it happen in the other ending?)

Oh, or maybe I’m being unfair! Maybe this is a statement! Maybe this is Ubisoft acknowledging that they’ve just created the worst written game in mainstream gaming history, and dropping nuclear bombs on it is the only appropriate response!

Except, again, no. Because it doesn’t stop there. The attempt to flee the now on-fire county ends, inevitably, in a car crash. And you watch as, miraculously, Seed is fine. This is the SECOND TIME THEY DO THIS IN THE GAME. The first time, at the start, Seed has seemingly planned for his minions to shoot down a helicopter he’s inside, with the apparent intention to magically be the one who’s fine so he can capture you. This time it’s harder to argue that it was his intention, but once again he’s mysteriously impervious to crashes, and re-captures you and you alone, and takes you to a bunker. And then he talks and talks and talks at you until mercifully the credits start.

The End Of The End

There is certainly a strong argument to be made surrounding the central thesis of “Who cares?” Game endings are inevitably rubbish, and no one was expecting a Far Cry game to go out on a high. But I would like to present the antithesis here constructed around the idea of, “FOR FUCKS SAKE.”

It almost hurts when you start to think about what you might have done with this high concept. The idea that the game could have – within all the entertaining nonsense that is a Far Cry island – intelligently explored the horror of cults, have attempted to be harrowing not for its revoltingly gross depictions of mutilated corpses, but rather by commenting on the possible innocence of those taken in. It could have remained as studiously non-partisan as it is (And good! Goodness me, Far Cry games have sadly proven they are no place for a commentary on Trump, or questions over the Second Amendment, or whatever), but still explored the realities of poverty, the suffering of the forgotten.

I can hear the counter arguments, the perhaps reasonable suggestions that such topics are still too weighty for such a trivial game. But my response is to point out that this IS a game about a lunatic cult taking over a portion of rural Montana, that it takes place in America, and to be non-partisan in those circumstances is to be extremely political. And to ignore topics on which your game’s whole conceit is reliant is to make a strong statement.

Hell, forget the meatier notions and just think about a better light-hearted approach. Have the cult be right! Have the player realise they are working for a corrupt government, and end by joining the cult to fight back! That’d be stupid, but it’d at least be interesting.

Or if you really want to have a blow-shit-up ending, good grief, it was obvious: the Seeds have spent their time placing charges under everywhere and everything in Hope County, and in the moment of his arrest, he triggers it. Everything goes boom, all is lost, terrible damage is done – maybe it even causes Bliss to enter the wider water supplies of North America – and it at least makes a tiny drip of sense!

I’d love to know how a game ended up being this badly written. How every single NPC’s pre-mission spiel is so astronomically dreadful, how the enemies were given not a glimmer of nuance, how every hint of subtlety or smarts was prevented from getting anywhere near. It’s only fitting that the game’s endings would up the ante on this cavalcade of cack, I suppose. But bloody hell, how.

206 Comments

  1. anHorse says:

    Did you ever finish 4? Because the endings there were pretty much exactly the same level of rubbish but with an even more on the nose everyone is bad message.

    • Stevostin says:

      I did play the 4th and disliked the writing but actually changed my mind with the end, which I thought was actually interesting.

      • anHorse says:

        The Pagan side of it is interesting but everything involving the golden path is so so dumb.

        Although I see 5 as a continuation of their bad writing that started with far cry 3 it’s definitely a step above the rest in terms of how bad it is written.

        • Werthead says:

          I’d say that Far Cry 4 is probably the best, story-wise, of the series since it came back fully Ubisoft-ised. Far Cry 3 had pretty good gameplay but the story was hysterically awful. FC5 has great gameplay when it actually, y’know, lets you play it but the story is execrable.

        • Stevostin says:

          Yeah but you actually had options. True player options. Once you had pick a side, you could also kill the other leader and the game handled it properly. The exact opposite from fc5 or 3 from what I see.

    • John Walker says:

      Do you know what, now you ask I remember I didn’t. I very deliberately didn’t finish it because I became neurotically obsessed with collecting every last poster etc, until I died of old age.

    • onodera says:

      At least Far Cry 4 actually telegraphs both aspects of the ending to you. You see the two leaders bicker and fight, highlighting each other’s faults to you. Pagan Min actually asks you to stop a second time and listen to him so he can explain who Lakshmana was.

      Of course, he inexplicably spends the game making phone calls to grill you instead of spending a minute to say something like, “Your dad was a dick, you know? Your mother and I grew close, had a daughter and your father killed her in a fit of jealousy, poor little Lakshmana. Why are you trying to follow in his footsteps?”

  2. Crimsoneer says:

    I so have to play this now.

  3. zitosilva says:

    I think it’s even worse that Ubi had to actually contact Polygon to explain that if you listen to the radio you can hear news about tension between the US and North Korea, which leads to the atomic bomb in the end.

    Maybe I’m alone here, but I barely ever driven anything in this game, specially when you can so easily get the squirrel suit and an ability that let you drop in from the sky. After that I just flew everywhere, never getting near a radio.

    • John Walker says:

      I drove plenty of cars and never heard a single one of them even offer speech, just banal songs. I listened to all the stupid phone messages which offered nothing. So, so poor.

      • tenochtitlan says:

        I don’t really have any real evidence for this, but a few days after I completed the game and read the Polygon article I went back to the game (because they then had patched the bug that prevented continuing playing after the credits) and suddenly (that’s still true right now) I always get a super, super, super on-the-nose radio announcement about tensions with North Korea when spawning at the outposts.

        • Werthead says:

          I downloaded the patch tonight, then deliberately drove around for ages listening out for news reports. Absolutely none appeared. I then went and finished the game, got the BS ending (the bossfight with Faith is also ridiculously awful). I clocked out of the game having finished it in 23 hours, not having once heard a news report about anything to do with tensions in the outside world.

    • Zenicetus says:

      So North Korea wastes one of its very few nuclear weapons bombing rural Montana? Yeah, that makes perfect sense.

      • John Walker says:

        At least two of them, in fact!

      • Someoldguy says:

        Because naturally having proven they can just about reach Japan, they’ve secretly mastered ICBM technology too. Then again, not having had a chance to test them may explain why they land on rural Montana and not Washington DC.

        • aepervius says:

          Actually they did indeed target Washington DC , but hey the tech was not ripe, and only that corner of Montana get bombed ;).

        • ThornEel says:

          The do have ICBMs capable of hitting almost any US city, and small enough bombs to put on them. They should have the re-entry problem solved in a few month, a few years at best.

          But they seem to have chronic reliability problems, which would explain why the bomb aimed at New York, the one aimed at Chicago and the one aimed at Okinawa all hit rural Montana instead.
          (No, of course failure would mean losing the warhead, or it not detonating, or maybe hitting a few dozen km off the target)

      • thetruegentleman says:

        1. Washington has lots of nuclear silos, so its absolutely a reasonable target.

        2. Even so, Ubisoft probably intended for Joseph Seed to have stolen the bombs and detonated them himself, but then wimped out because they have no fucking spine. Three siblings, three bunkers, three nukes, but it was fucking North Korea? Really? REALLY?

        3. While I’m at it, It’s easier to think of the ending as “Seed and the player are both in hell”: you can’t kill each other, but you can hurt each other again and again, and if you try to leave, the whole thing starts all over again.

        • Superkroot says:

          A nuclear weapon would do just about nothing to a nuclear missle silo unless it went off inside it, so they are indeed a useless thing to target, as is the rest of Montana.

          • usafmtl says:

            That’s incorrect, the missile fields are highly vulnerable to nuclear attack. They are prime targets but we aren’t going to sit there and let them hit us either. Our birds will be out of the holes about 2 mins after someone launches their own. USAF MMT 1991-1994

        • usafmtl says:

          No there are none in Washington. Just Montana.

        • DrunkenForester says:

          I’ve done a little bit of academic research on nuclear weapons, and their potential for use, and while I agree with the author that Far Cry’s endings were moronic, I forced myself to consider a few possibilities that were more plausible than the idea that Joseph really did hear a message from God foretelling the end-times.

          1. Using the Magic Mystery Drug (TM), or MMD (TM), Joseph infiltrated a nearby missile silo, brainwashing enough Airmen to overcome the two man rule (which is sometimes not actually enforced anyway) and launch a missile at Moscow. The Russians have what is called a “Dead Hand” system, where any detection of radioactive and seismic activity in Moscow will automatically launch their missiles, with out the need for human input and precluding the ability for humans to abort, at pre-determined locations, including missile silos. Joseph, knowing the player was coming and the jig was up, radioed his mind-controlled people in the silo to initiate launch, and then stalled for time until the Russians retaliated to the strike on Moscow.

          2). It is a little-known fact that the ability to launch U.S. nuclear weapons is not, in fact, a power reserved solely for the President; it has actually been delegated to at least theater commanders, and possibly even further. Perhaps it is the same scenario as above, but Joseph only used the MMD (TM) to brainwash someone with authorization to launch.

          3). The cult stole a nuclear weapon; I know what you’re thinking, and, yes, of course they used the MMD (TM). They then smuggled it to either Washington, D.C. or Moscow, with Washington being more plausible, and detonated it. Retaliatory strikes account for the mushroom clouds.

          Regardless of this, I think the ending is crap; In addition to the author’s points, they heavily imitated the ending to Dr. Strangelove, even including using We’ll Meet Again as credits role. If your game’s ending has to copy the ending of a truly great movie, you are doing it wrong.

          As an aside, the events of Dr. Strangelove were so accurate when it came out that actual U.S. nuclear war planners were convinced that someone had leaked classified information to Kubrick, and the movie helped influence the decision to add Permissive Action Links to nuclear weapons.

          • Xelias says:

            HURURGH That makes me hurt inside that they used “We’ll meet again” I had no idea about that and you just made me die inside a bit. Stealing parts of one of the greatest movie (if not the greatest) in history about nuclear war to tack on your stupid Magic Drug story is seriously terrible.

        • Apologised says:

          Let’s be honest. We were all lucky that they didn’t just do Fight Clubs twist as the ending.

          “But that wouldn’t make an even cursory lick of sense!”

          Yes? And?

    • Noble One says:

      from what i gathered its only in the beginning of the game from once youre on the run and in the car with the marshall that you will hear some of this. after you do one blip in any area it stops. people have also stated newspapers say that “war is coming!” on them.

      i myself can say i ONCE heard a person talking about the US but ignored it as i was running after a animal for skins lol.

    • Faxmachinen says:

      Seems to me like the South Korea thing is just a red herring. If you look at the ending from a supernatural/religious perspective, it makes a lot more sense. The nukes are not “Deus ex Machina”, but actually just “Deus”; your choice decides whether god rains hellfire or not.

      Anyway, the ending is still terrible thanks to the godawful music playing during said hellfire.

  4. Symce says:

    I still believe both endings are just a by-product of the Bliss/Brainwashing/whatever else bad shit went on. And you just shot the dude instead of trying to capture him again, then just started wandering around.

    Probably still a better ending than the game’s. I thought ME3’s was bad, but this really takes the cake. It feels really self-defeatist to know nothing you do in the game has any impact.

    Mostly I’m ignoring the storyline and have fun elsewhere. But good grief, they really need to learn how to write a compelling story for the far cry series.

  5. Antongranis says:

    Actually, there are female enemies. Im sure of it.

    • Archonsod says:

      There are. The companion quest for Adelaide also mentions that all of the cult’s helicopter pilots are female (apart from one, but the entire point of the quest is to kill him).

    • LTK says:

      I’ve seen no more than two videos of Far Cry 5 and I’ve seen female enemies.

    • Noble One says:

      the very VERY beginning when youre on the run before you meet the marshall has women shouting for you to come out so they can take you lol. the first mission from dutch had women as enemies for me. also in faiths area all the high leader bliss gaurds (one with crowns oover their heads) are mostly female.

      • Werthead says:

        There’s also the mission where you have to kill one of Faith’s priestesses. There’s quite a few female enemies in the game, although for some reason the only ones that spawn in attacks on compounds and reinforcements are men. I only encountered female enemies in roadside and random encounters and around the Bliss shrines.

  6. Mogglewump says:

    Game endings are inevitably rubbish…

    On the contrary John, I think the end of Beyond Eyes was really rather good and quite affecting.

  7. Sardonic says:

    Ok, wow, I was about to be all “well that sounds bad, but it doesn’t sound ME3/Bioshock Infinite Burial at Sea 2 bad.”, but then the nuclear bombs dropped. Everything about this sounds terrible, in a way that makes it seem like it was deliberately designed to be terrible, incorporating everything that makes game endings terrible.

    -Taking control away from the player in a way that dis-empowers them
    -Effectively nullifying gameplay/story progression in cutscenes
    -Attempting to show the irredeemable bad guys as essentially correct the whole time
    Just yikes, you have my condolences. I gave FC5 as a skip and this just reinforces that decision.

    • Premium User Badge

      Grizzly says:

      I’d like to point out that Drew Holmes, who is credited as “Co-lead writer” for Burial at Sea (but for some reason, no other lead writer is credited), is also the lead writer for Far Cry 5.

      You may decide whether “lead writer” in this case refers to a position of leadership or to the poisonous metal.

    • Archonsod says:

      It doesn’t rip control away from the player. There’s a capture sequence every time you increase the resistance level in a region (three times per region) which is only unavoidable in the sense that if you kill the team sent to capture you it’ll spawn another one next time you’re spotted, but since they announce themselves via radio chatter complete with the means they intend to use to capture you it’s pretty easy to deal with them should you wish (although there’s no real reason you’d want to).
      The only real issue is the last abduction in each region which is unavoidable and happens pretty much as soon as you max out the resistance level (which can be a bit hard to gauge; you know beforehand which missions or activities will move the bar, but not by how much). It doesn’t usually give you time to go back to base and adjust your equipment loadout so if you’re not careful you can end up trying to take out one of the Harbingers with a toy pistol and a length of pipe.
      It also doesn’t really try to show the bad guys as being correct the whole time. They do give you a ‘just as I predicted’ schtick, but it’s unclear whether they’re referring to your actions specifically as a player or simply how the non-Cult population have responded to them (which essentially amounts to “If we take over the county and attempt to force our religious creed onto people, some of them might fight back”, so it’s not exactly next week’s lottery numbers level of prescience).

      • John Walker says:

        You’re simply incorrect. Multiple times in the game there is no team sent to capture you (this only happens in the first section), but rather the screen goes swirly no matter where you are or what you’re doing, and you’re teleported into contradictory circumstances. I had it happen in the middle of a scripted mission, while at the top of a radio tower, etc.

        • potatolicious says:

          I think you might both be right – after killing a number of capture teams, I decided I was sick and tired of being pointlessly kidnapped and took to the skies, where the capture teams can’t seem to touch you.

          After a few minutes of flying around the game decided to force the issue – the screen went red and I was magically kidnapped.

          This really has to be one of the worst game mechanics ever invented.

          • penultimatejawa says:

            I’ve been kidnapped from helicopters and planes multiple times. It’s incredibly jarring and ruins any chance at immersion. It seems like the further I progress in the game, the more likely it is to just warp me with no warning or chance at escape. The first few cut scenes involved guys on ATVs swarming around me, and I managed to fight them off for a bit. But the further I get, the less that happens and the more it’s just a sudden unannounced swirly screen and immediately to The Man Bun Monologues.

            Though, perhaps that explains the magic borders. If they can literally rip people out of the sky by waving flowers around, getting out of Montana might actually be harder than we think.

            (sigh)

          • BooleanBob says:

            Well, even if no other good came out of this mess, ‘The Man Bun Monologues’ made me smile.

        • wannabeuk says:

          Actually each of the family members has a different mechanic for this, John seed sends capture parties after you with “Bliss bullets” which one shot takes you out (Quite why they are not used other than this is beyond me). Faith simply uses her magic bliss powers to teleport you to her, and jacob plays some music. Hell just writing this makes me realise just how bad the story is, I’m pretty sure it was bring your child to work day when the final story was put together and someones 5 year old managed to heavily edit it

        • Noble One says:

          actually jacob DOES send people after you and you CAN avoid them for a bit. he sends 2 archers after you but they are harder to find as they shoot you from a great distance. you can see them plainly if in a helicopter (as i did when i was looking for the wolf sirens).

          the only person that doesnt send anyone after you is faith as you just get wraped in bliss and taken automatically. the only way to prolong er is to be in a vehicle as it wont take you until you exit the vehicle (be it ground or air).

          my whole take on the capturing, esp with johns and jacobs, is im normally with 2 helpers sooooo the game is telling me they just “allowed” them to take me? im with you on the whole “autoplay story” was poorly done.

        • Archonsod says:

          They can still hit you on top of a radio tower (or indeed in aircraft). I’m not sure if there’s some kind of time limit on how long you can fend them off for before it forces it – longest I went was probably five or ten minutes (I figured it was pointless after the first time, so only bothered with it if I needed to get back to a store and re-equip or the like).

  8. geldonyetich says:

    But bloody hell, how.

    Because a constant string of distressing events are hack shorthand for getting their viewers to pay attention, it’s all over entertainment everywhere in the nation, and logic and nuance has long since been quashed beneath the treads of this dreadful conflict for maximum drama and maximum viewer saturation.

    So somebody given license to work on Far Cry 5’s storyline, desperate to be heard over this shouting match, wracked their brains to come up with the most distressing possible event so as not to be ignored, and this is what they came up with.

    I don’t watch a lot of television these days.

  9. Kamestos says:

    Thank you for this. Approaching the end, I honestly thought we would get an ending where the Deputy, after slaughtering hundreds of cultists, would finally become the embodiment of Wrath (foreshadowed by the John Seed segment), kill Jacob and all the former allies and pretty much take over the cult by himself/herself. Alas, with a silent protagonist that would have been difficult to pull off.
    Oh and there are definitely a couple of female cultists that spawn sometimes.

  10. Bobzenub says:

    I can barely name any stories from French writers that I enjoyed when it comes to speculative fiction. For some reason the majority of them put style first over substance and their worldbuilding is often times incoherent. I read an essay from Tolkien regarding the reasons behind this over a decade ago, unfortunately I cannot remember the title, but the gist of it was that in French cultural tradition the fantastical equals nonsense compared to the rational, real world.

    • Stevostin says:

      Read Gagner La Guerre if you can. Made me switch from your view (as a french!) to feeling sorry for the entirety of anglo writers. This so ridiculously better than just any other fantasy book it’s a shocker. Definitely needs an anglo translation. You’ll loose a wonderful writing but everything else is also brilliant: characters, stories, world, scenes…

    • Kamestos says:

      Just wanted to point out that Far Cry 5 was developped by Ubi Montreal and Toronto, so I’m pretty sure it was written by Canadians (maybe French Canadians).

      • durrbluh says:

        Whoa, whoa, whoa. Whoa. Don’t pin that evil on Canadians, remember the Ubisoft diversity statement:

        “Inspired by historical events and characters, this work of fiction was designed, developed, and produced by a multicultural team of various beliefs, sexual orientations and gender identities.”

        Could be ANYONE was shitting into that typewriter.

    • iainl says:

      Boulle’s original novel of Planet of the Apes. Or get into a fight about whether Verne created the SF genre in the first place.

    • FreshBulletTime says:

      Game was written by Drew Holmes (an anglo if you wanted to know) you francophobic piece of sh*t.

  11. Kolbex says:

    John, this is absolutely the content I crave and more or less (along with Flare Path) the only reason I still come to this site.

    • Raoul Duke says:

      Me too.

      More of this, fewer reviews of headphones for competitive gaming, articles about Overwatch, articles about minor patches to old fighting games, and articles about 5 year old JRPGs please.

  12. Silvermarch says:

    Uhhhhh. There are female cultists in the game.

    • Zorgulon says:

      Oh thank heavens, the story is redeemed!

      • Zelos says:

        The whole article reads like a hit piece by someone with an angle to push. The bizarre claim that there aren’t female cultists, when in fact a sizable portion of them are, speaks to that. It’s complete nonsense that doesn’t accurately reflect on the game at all.

        I’m not suggesting that Far Cry 5’s story doesn’t have problems; it certainly does. Many of them, even. But it seems like the writer here is letting their biases get the better of them and isn’t viewing the game through a clear lens.

        • Zorgulon says:

          The “allll men” point, even if it is a mistake, is such a minor part of the article, that I think it’s very hard to argue that it has somehow clouded John’s judgment of the wider plot.

          I suppose you could claim it’s a “hit piece” targeting the story of a popular video game showing a clear “bias” in preference of consistent, believable writing. Or y’know, maybe it’s just an opinion piece.

  13. Zorgulon says:

    I don’t have a huge interest in playing this game, but the ire surrounding the dreadful story (and the hilarity surrounding some of the glitches, as per Christopher Livingstone’s excellent compendium on PC Gamer) drew me to watching more mindless minutes of this game than I’d care to admit on YouTube.

    The nuclear ending really is jaw-dropping. Even the tepid “but the radio said…” attempt at an explanation doesn’t explain why, in a global nuclear war, the North Koreans or the Russians or Dr Evil would choose to squander numerous of their nuclear arsenal bombing Hope County. Not just a underpopulated rural backwater, but a region that is in open rebellion, and if not already a useful fifth-column against the US, certainly a pain in its neck. They didn’t even bother to simulate the nuclear blasts in a vaguely convincing way, with flaming trees and moose tumbling into the road while the player and Seed can drive to the bunker with nary a sunburn.

    It really does seem like someone on the team just said “ah fuck it no-one cares anyway”.

    • Archonsod says:

      It’s not really in open rebellion, in fact you don’t even make the news in the US, let alone Russia :P

      I wonder if it’s some kind of set up to take on Bethesda’s Fallout series with the next Far Cry.

      • Tam-Lin says:

        But they would definitely make the news in Russia. My wife is Russian, and when she talks to her friends/family still there, they’re convinced that there’s some sort of huge crime wave/open rebellion happening in the USA, based on what the Russian news, which is all state-controlled, shows them. They’re like Fox News, but even less subtle.

  14. Symce says:

    You know there’s plenty of games with bleak endings, but at least they write a compelling story.

    Reading over your description of the ending(s) made me think that FC has neither a compelling story/journey nor a satisfying ending. The fact the game also takes everything out of your hands all the time and nothing you do has any impact on the game’s ending, is just…bad storytelling?

  15. foszae says:

    Isn’t terrible writing exactly what one expects from Ubi at this point? Over-the-top caricatures, ludicrous plots, douche-bro’s galore? Guns and mayhem strung together with a thin veneer of character conflict, that’s the formula that pays the bills

    • Werthead says:

      Indeed, and Far Cry 4 (followed by the original) was probably the best example of them doing that but the gameplay being fun. It was dumb, but knew it and went along with it. Far Cry 2 tried to be serious and arty, which could have worked if the gameplay hadn’t been pretty medicore (with the regenerating checkpoints being unbearable). Spec Ops: The Line nailed what they were going for in FC2 much more successfully.

      FC3 and FC5 both tried to be silly and dumb with good gameplay but also tacked on this edgy, “dark” storyline about the corruption of the soul that is 1) incongruous and 2) badly-written. But Far Cry 5 managed to significantly out-dumb FC3, which is seriously impressive.

      • Dewal says:

        I liked the FC3 ending. The whole “white saving everyone” story was stupid but the fact that the main character is getting more and more stupid (he goes from nicely dumb to righteously assholish) as he grows into his savior role kinda imply that it is voluntary. And the ending where you get killed for believing too much in your supremacy is a nice conclusion to the thing.
        The story goes from the first reading of “a rich stranger save poor tribes too stupid to saves themselves” to “a stupid guy put his finger in stuffs he doesn’t understand and goes too far”. He was used all along and just didn’t understand that he wasn’t a hero but a tool.

        The writer took a shitstorm when he tried to explain that it was what he meant but I actually had this reading on the story before reading about it on the net. So it must mean that it was at least partially there.

        • Zelos says:

          Far Cry 3 has one of the best stories in the FPS genre tbh.

          It feels strange to say this, but the games might actually be too deep for someone like John to understand.

          Maybe it’s the french/canadian writing. Assuming their writers are french and/or canadian.

  16. automatic says:

    Your reaction reminds how I left the cinema after watching Prometheus.

    • Raoul Duke says:

      Now, just wait quietly until some insufferable person with extremely poor taste comes along to explain how Prometheus is actually really great…

      (God I hated that movie, even moreso because it was so beautifully filmed. It simultaneously made no internal sense and undermined many of the great things about Alien and Aliens. And then Covenant somehow sank to new depths.)

  17. latedave says:

    I really thought it wasn’t that bad for a video game ending, most of them suffer badly between what your actions are VS what takes place along the ‘storyline’. There’s a only a handful of games I would genuinely view as having a storyline that kept me engaged anyway although I have to say the stupid kidnap missions were particularly awful here.

  18. Premium User Badge

    Grizzly says:

    There is certainly a strong argument to be made surrounding the central thesis of “Who cares?” Game endings are inevitably rubbish, and no one was expecting a Far Cry game to go out on a high. But I would like to present the antithesis here constructed around the idea of, “FOR FUCKS SAKE.”

    <3

  19. Archonsod says:

    “Are they set off by Seed? No! Of course not, because it’s obviously impossible that Seed has access to an arsenal of nuclear bombs. Are they related to anything that’s happened in the game? No! ”

    Well, apart from the radio news which constantly repeats the story regarding the bombing of Moscow and war being inevitable (they actually hint towards this as being the reason nobody has shown up to find out what the hell is happening in Montana a few times).
    The story tends to make more sense if you pay attention :P (although it’s still not particularly brilliant. I would complain it’s far too predictable, but I wonder how much of that is because it follows similar beats to it’s predecessors versus simple clumsy writing).

    • John Walker says:

      I never heard a single radio announcement at any point. And good grief, what shoddy storytelling since in the other ending *it doesn’t happen*!

      • Archonsod says:

        I’m not surprised. I’m not sure if they’ve hidden any other clues around the place but if not then it’s restricted to a message on a single radio channel you can only hear in certain vehicles, which seems like a bit of a weird choice given the series isn’t exactly known for having you spend a lot of time driving around the place.

      • dazrael says:

        It doesn’t happen because you walk away. Faith tells you to listen to Joseph: “It was always going to happen this way. You’ll walk the path. You’ll rescue your Sheriff. You’ll be the hero. And then… you’ll choose. And if you don’t listen to him, he’ll be right.” As in, he’ll be right about the nuclear destruction. It strongly hints that God starts a nuclear war cos you don’t leave Joseph alone, which I found amusing.

        • automatic says:

          There is no good outcome. It’s almost like the game wants you to be on the cultists side. I’m not saying that a good outcome is necessary for a good story but there’s no meaning behind this other than to point that the cultists are right.

      • jbanks says:

        Is there a possibility that it just hasn’t happened yet in the “walk away” ending? From what i’ve seen it seems to be nighttime in that ending but the other just immediately becomes daylight once you’ve refused his offer.

        • Werthead says:

          Presumably yes. The build-up to the nuclear strike is there (if barely) regardless of the ending you choose. Since you can’t physically do anything to change whether North Korea decides to nuke the USA in the game, it has to happen either way.

          The only other explanation is that the two bliss canisters Seed exposes you to and results in the hallucination about your friends all showing up keeps on going and results in you tripping out and seeing nukes going off. But then what’s the point of that? The 3 DLCs are all alternate-universe stuff like Blood Dragon, so unless it’s retconned in Far Cry 6 further down the line, there seems to be little reason for it.

          • automatic says:

            Ha, you just pictured an even worse deus ex machina ending for that plot. AND NONE OF THAT WAS REAL, IT WAS AN HALLUCINATION ALL ALONG…

          • Werthead says:

            Ha. The other possibility is that everyone present when the nukes go off are people who’ve all spent hours or days as prisoners of the cult and two of them have been mentally programmed by the cult previously. Maybe it’s a group hallucination?

            We just need a snappy name for this theory of indoctrination.

  20. tenochtitlan says:

    I think there’s tremendous value in big-budget games that are so fundamentally broken in certain aspects. That value being the inevitable series of John Walker rants.

  21. Uncertain says:

    I actually quite liked the nuclear ending; I’d grown to loathe the game, finding the civilians even more irritating than the cult, and skipped or wandered off during as much of the story as I could. I was glad to see the entire game nuked in the coolest (if somewhat impossible) ground-zero nuke sequence I’ve seen in any media. Maybe my having music turned off helped the immersion or whatever; when I rewatched it on YouTube it seemed to have upbeat rock music playing throughout as if to carefully ruin the whole sequence.

    There’s also the slight consolation that the bare-backed antagonist who just sat next to three nuclear explosions is bound to come down with radiation sickness or something despite his multiple crash-proof backup spines.

    And I believe the main antagonist was called Joseph, not Jacob, although I could entirely understand mixing those “characters” up.

    • Rominvictus says:

      I thought the nuclear ending was pretty cool too. You know, in that way that a nuclear apocalypse can be lighthearted and fun, bringing a much needed levity to both opposing teams that take themselves way too seriously. I found the good guys to be just as irritating and stupid as the bad guys. Both are generic stereotypes, but not without real-life counterparts, reminiscent of the incident when Rajneeshees set up in the Oregon wilderness. On the one side you have these blissed-out ninnys blindly adherent to fantasy and led by a few people with genuinely malicious intent, and on the other side you have the back-water locals who are largely under-educated, xenophobic gun-nuts. It’s this latter group, in their parochial jingoism, kitschy shirts, and steady flow of mentally challenged garble (“Thank God for the second amendment!” is just so dumb on so many levels) that has a far larger representation in reality and that you are forced to side with in the game, rendering them all the more intolerable. So yes, I laughed out loud that this ending (the “good” ending in my opinion) saw their complete destruction. Sure, it seemed like a bait and switch, the very reason so many are spewing hatred for it, when the good guys seemed all along to be reinforcing some popularly held notions. Many players (obviously prior to completion) prematurely reviewed essentially how wonderful it was that finally a game “got” them and seemed to be on “my side”. Then Blamo!, whole lot of good all your sacred second amendment rights did you in the face of that warhead. And herein lies the point in my mind; The good guys are obsessed with their rights and their guns and their property and their freedom, to the point of having a solidified bifurcated local view, a real “Us Vs. Them” mentality focused on fellow countrymen (instead of any invading army, you know, the whole reason for the second amendment in the first place) and, like the player, completely ignorant of their own impending doom. To me, the whole game is a set-up for the punchline ending, and yes, it was hilarious, over-the-top kookiness. It felt to me like a jab at all the polarizing political nonsense currently afoot. It was entertaining (kind of what I look for in games). But best of all, it was completely unexpected, a real bombshell.

  22. shitflap says:

    I’m more interested in playing this now, with the knowledge that there is some foreshadowing going on in the background. Maybe it’s because I’ve only been reading about it and watching streamers, and I feel like I’m the only one not wanting to get on the hate bandwagon, but I can see what they were going for and what they wanted to say.

    • penultimatejawa says:

      I read about the foreshadowing and the ending and everything before I was even a third of the way through the game. Knowing it’s there, and knowing to listen for it, I’ve now made it to about 90% through without hearing a single mention of global war or even the slightest bit of foreshadowing. I also had zero clue there was a brainwashing plot. I have been ACTIVELY trying to find the story and its context and I just can’t.

      So, yeah, that foreshadowing and world building *might* be there, but it’s certainly not done in such a way that actually contributes or changes anything. If someone published a book, but left out the first two chapters only to bury them in the middle of the Mojave desert without telling anyone where, it wouldn’t be unreasonable for people to say the book makes no sense. “BUT I LEFT CLUES!” wouldn’t really cut it there and it doesn’t really here either.

      It’s a confounding game for sure. Inexplicably fun and inexplicably terrible at the same time. Its popcorn entertainment at best. Fun in the moment, but I doubt it will have much longevity.

      Of course, it really doesn’t help that the game I played just before Far Cry 5 was Divinity Original Sin 2. Perhaps one of the most nuanced, well written, and cohesive games I’ve ever played. One in which player choice and agency are front and center. Very much the opposite of FC5.

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      I’m interested in playing it too, but mainly because now I know I can freely ignore all of the story and just have fun running around in the woods shooting people/animals/stuff.

  23. svge says:

    You’re right of course but I did at least enjoy the spectacle of the nuclear holocaust.

  24. Gordon Shock says:

    Just watched Yahtzee’s review and if he can find it somewhat ok then it mustn’t be all that bad.

    • Archonsod says:

      The game itself is pretty good – mechanically it’s probably the best Far Cry yet. Although it’s the usual Ubi approach to franchises – if you’ve played any of the modern Far Cry’s just iterate it through a couple of versions making some tweaks and mechanical improvements, then chuck in one or two new sub-games (in this case fishing).
      In terms of the story John isn’t wrong in his criticism, I think the only counter I’d point to is that you could level exactly the same complaints on every Far Cry game since 3. They’re valid points, but by this point I don’t think anyone really expected anything different from the franchise (including I suspect the developers themselves, which may well be one of the main factors).

  25. RED says:

    “Are they related to anything that’s happened in the game? No! They are just the biggest, dumbest, most irrelevant deus ex machina in all of terrible writing history!”

    You should play Mass Effect 3 then. Far Cry 5’s ending ain’t something spectacular but it definitely is not bad and the whole story is more of an excuse to have fun shooter anyway. Safe for Far Cry 2 all of games in the series were on the crazier side of the galaxy and expect something different is to expect something else than FC.

    • John Walker says:

      No, it definitely *is* bad, as I outline in 1500 words above.

      Re. Mass Effect 3, as linked above: link to rockpapershotgun.com

    • Zenicetus says:

      Mass Effect 3 had a jarring ending, the worst being the sudden appearance of Star Child with zero foreshadowing.

      But at least it had a break point for a perfect headcanon ending, with Shep and Anderson bleeding out and watching the Earth being saved. The final bit was just Shep’s dying hallucination right at the end. That’s my personal ending for the series.

      • Chaoslord AJ says:

        It wasn’t just the starchild. The story was doomed before that and I guess we can spoil it —
        by the silly “reapers prevent technical singularity by wiping everyone out” -plot. I’d rather had the great old ones from space of ME1.
        I heard they had planned a better story along the way but somehow they went with this pile of unredeemable bull.

        • Premium User Badge

          The Almighty Moo says:

          Supposedly the original concept was that the Reapers were created by an ancient race to determine a solution to entropy and the heat death of the universe, but need more unique races’ perspectives and so kept harvesting them. This was leaked after two so they changed it in three to the ‘inevitable war between organic and inorganic life’ stuff in three.

          • Tossed Banana says:

            I know, right? That was so creepy and alien – and awesome. They had parts of it in ME2 (the oddity with that one sun) but then ditched it completely. Probably because by then none of the original authors still worked for them. And when they started working on ME3 they didn’t even have an ending until a few month before release. No wonder it made no sense.

  26. MushyWaffle says:

    odd how different people get different things out of the ending. For me, I was like, oh, maybe this is a setup for FarCry 6: Fallout. FarCry in a post apocalyptic world. I’m fine with that

    • Werthead says:

      Well, it could be competent but if you want a first-person shooter in a post-apocalyptic world, you can just play Fallout 4, which (despite some clunky storytelling) at least tries to pay lip service to your in-game choices and doesn’t wrestle control away from you for awful cut scenes anywhere near as often.

  27. Dragev says:

    Geez, my friend and I have invented better cults while drunk at 5am! When your writers reach such godawful levels, you really need to start asking questions…

  28. cpt_freakout says:

    I remember the whole “it’s parody that only the nuanced French understand!” debacle with Far Cry 3, and ever since then I prefer the offshoots. The main games are unbelievably stupid and obtuse, but they try so hard at passing off as smart (and edgy, which makes it worse) that I just can’t play them anymore. But hey, like tenochtitlan above said, it’s not all bad when we get the sharp John Walker critiques to flow!

  29. The Regulator Guy says:

    The headline has a typo. It says “worst” instead of “best”.

  30. bee says:

    I’m sorry but ME3 had a much worse ending IMO.

  31. waltC says:

    These games, since FC1 (fun because of the novelty) have always seemed much like id games to me–game engines in search of stories. Glorified engine demos, etc. Most of the development is spent on the engine, possibly–with very little done with the “story” itself, which is often entirely a secondary consideration. It’s like the devs say, “‘Kay, engine’s done–now, what to do with it?”

  32. nimbulan says:

    That sounds like it might actually be worse than the writing in Modern Warfare 2. Impressive, Ubisoft.

  33. Werthead says:

    What will be interesting is seeing how they go with Far Cry 6. All of the Far Cry games take place in the same world (even if the links are a bit thin sometimes, but they’re there), so assuming the nukes drop whatever happens – I just assume they happen after you flip out in the “bad” ending, because nothing you do in the game can affect the nukes dropping or not – that means that FC6 will be set in a post-nuke world.

    Or they’ll completely ignore it and it will feature you taking on another dictatorial warlord in some part of the world with pretty scenery and no sense of logic.

  34. Talahar says:

    Let’s take off and nuke the site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

  35. ZephaniahGrey says:

    The American Cult setup was what originally caught my interest in this game. The fact that it was botched and wasted so badly makes me glad I never bought it. There were a million interesting things that could have been done with this setting. Ubisoft screws the pooch again, I guess. I really shouldn’t have expected more from them.

  36. DatonKallandor says:

    Did you expect a good story from Ubisoft, the company that made a game in which you literally play an Ubisoft employee bugtesting their games after they ran Assassins Creed into the ground?

    • Zenicetus says:

      To be fair, it’s not the publisher but the studio at fault. The best example of that is the recent AC origins, which didn’t have a bad story.

      It wasn’t especially original, but the revenge motive let the story and the game action proceed at the player’s pace. There was only one cutscene that took agency away from the player when he was about to kill the bad guy, in order to extend the game length. Or as a teaser, I guess. But it wasn’t the worst I’ve seen.

      Overall, I think the writing in AC Origins for the main plot and side quests was okay. It didn’t get in the way of enjoying the setting, which was the main strength of the game.

  37. Daniv says:

    I was expecting a downer ending after FC4, but not quite this bad.

    I tolerated the previous enforced cutscenes. The brainwashing pissed me off, especially as they gave control to the player. If they’d pulled a “death of Ryan” from Bioshock, it would have been a massive improvement on giving me the option of either killing a target it was bloody obvious I shouldn’t, or just replaying the entire sequence until I did. Bloody stupid.

    So, I ran the rest of the plot as fast as possible so I could get all that trash out of the way and just enjoy blowing stuff up. But then we randomly nuked the place and I no longer had any shred of motivation to go back there and liberate people who are doomed to be chargrilled. Uninstalled it straight away.

    Oh yes, how did we nuke stuff? No, I didn’t get any radio broadcasts about things going to hell (except for one (ONE) about crop yeilds being low). So, what conclusion was left to draw? a) The PEGIs have members in Strategic Command, staged an armed takeover of launch sites and set it off themselves (WTF?) or b) This was all going to happen anyway, Seed actually was the prophet of the end times and ergo God has picked this psycho a$$hat as His chosen emmissary (WTF?)

    Still, having a puma eat people’s faces was fun OH MY GOD THE KITTY GOT NUKED AS WELL.

    • Werthead says:

      The idea that Seed himself set off the nukes actually makes a lot more sense. That the cult built those three massive bunkers themselves seems ridiculous, but taking over already-existing nuclear silos makes much more sense. Faith’s bunker also looks like a nuclear silo after someone took out the launch silo in the middle and just dropped a concrete texture over the top late in the day.

      If they did change it, I wonder why? It might be they decided that the US Army suddenly losing contact with three nuclear missile silos and not doing anything about it didn’t make any sense (although in a game with teleporting bliss visions, I’m not sure why that would have been an issue).

      • Daniv says:

        Hmm, that’s a point. The bunkers are definately missile silos, I had just assumed they were decommissioned.
        Taking over several active launch sites unnoticed, dismantling the missiles to transport the warheads around the country and then setting them off….
        Nope, that is not only highly implausible, it still makes a mockery of the proceding game. Liberate Hope Country from the nasty cult people! It just makes no difference as their operations are nationwide and this small corner is of no consequence.
        Dammit.

  38. dazrael says:

    I quite liked the endings, but then again, I really didn’t invest too much in expecting anything from them. I certainly wasn’t hoping for anything profound, gritty, or realistic. Throughout my play, I wanted popcorn fun and I got it. All sorts of very deliberately silly side-quests clearly sign-posted the whole game as not being at all serious and weighty.

    Taking one early example from a huge selection: I think if you find yourself collecting alien samples from crop-circles for someone who wants to teleport themselves off to fight aliens, and then they actually DO teleport away, then you should adjust your expectations of it being a clear-sighted and grounded indictment of man’s inhumanity to man.

    It’s not just the side quests either – those random encounters, eh? I mean, I’ve got some pretty ridiculous screenshots of the chaos that can happen just from a simple decision to stop and help someone by the side of the road. And YouTube is crammed with videos demonstrating the madness that can burst forth from this lunatic game at any moment.

    So after all that gleeful chaos and farce, I wasn’t expecting a subtle and powerful statement on the human condition. And when I finally saw that Nuclear ending, I thought ‘nice twist, it was all about a Doomsday cult who were actually right about Doomsday all along’ And that’s about as profound as it got, or I wanted it to be. I didn’t want something weighty. I wanted something as cool, spectacular, and silly as the preceding 30 hours had been. I won’t pay £50 for a painfully worthy political narrative, for the same reasons I don’t flog myself with a knotted whip in my spare time (I only do that for professional reasons). I play games for fun.

    I just don’t get the invective in this article. “Far Cry 5 has the worst endings in all of gaming history”. Is that clickbait? I fell for it. Have you not heard of “No Man’s Sky”? Or maybe you were just expecting a different game and haven’t got over it?

    Some notes:
    * “The game culminates with your pursuing the mission to take down Jacob Seed” – Joseph is the Father, not Jacob. Oops. Joseph, Jacob, John, easy mistake to make if you’re filled with rage?
    * “entire army of men (it’s alllll men)” – nope, there are certainly fighting women in the cult. Definitely more men, but not 100% male – there’s a whole side quest where you hunt female Peggy chopper pilots. Anyway, what’s the root of the complaint – not enough strong women? My top two companions throughout were Jess and Grace, cos they were so capable and not morons like Hurk, Sharky, or Nick. Sharky had a better line in repetitious banter, though.
    * “Walk away from the lunatic serial killer for no given reason at the point of his complete defeat” – there’s plenty of reasons. Faith talks about how you should listen to Joseph before she Ophelias out, and predicts other things that happen by the end. Also John asks you “what if Joseph is right?” and talks about how they were trying to save people from the Doomsday that really is coming. Then as Jacob dies, he talks about how you’re doing everything Joseph said you would – another big hint that Joseph really does know what’s going to happen. After putting all that together, the first choice I made at the end was to walk away. Joseph really can see the future – think about that. He’s a complete bastard, but this loony really does know the future. In fact he’s known a long time – I think that’s maybe what they were hinting at when he tells you his sick story about killing his new-born daughter. He did it because he saw the future and couldn’t face being a father instead of The Father.
    * Maybe you do go ‘Manchurian’ on your mates if you drive away, but you know what – the nukes don’t go off either. Hmm.
    * You’re right about the pre-mission briefings, they were dull. But I did like how I could walk away and collect some bull testicles or shoot down a helicopter, and the quest-giver would smoothly pick up from where they left off when I came back.

    • dazrael says:

      Could you do an article about the “Most Terrible Game Starts in the History of GAMING!”, please? I would nominate the Half-Life series. Not only does it force you to bounce off the walls of a slow train for several minutes at the start of the first one, IT DOES THE SAME DAMN THING AT THE START OF HALF-LIFE 2. GAH! IT MAKES MY BLOOD BOIL! AND ALLLLLLL THE MEN ON THE TRAIN ARE MEN! :D

  39. tslog says:

    Almost Every single aspect of this mostly garbage game was under developed and clearly released too early.
    From horrendous story and writing, to frequent terrible AI, early gameplay repetition, the worst outpost set ups since every FC that’s used them, chronic balancing issues where AI companions make game too easy on hard, shocking lack of variety of different weapons in each category, no “random” combat encounters with human enemies while exploring the world past major roads like in FC 3 + 4…….and so much more.

    Once again we have a high profile developer contemptuously exploiting the fan base of popular and established game X, by releasing the “AAA” game way too early.
    But it’s not AAA anymore, if it ever was. PR con game.

  40. jangus says:

    Two things: (1) there are definitely female cult members (2) The N Korea thing was indeed mentioned on the radio.

  41. Baines says:

    The first ending sounds pure Hollywood movie. You can easily imagine it being the end to some big budget film about taking down an armed American cult.

    The second sounds more made-for-TV movie, though you could go for “tries to be smarter than it is” theatrical release if you go with what dazrael said.

  42. Cvnk says:

    Isn’t this game selling a boatload more than previous ones? Sending the clear message to Ubisoft: proceed as you will.

    I guess it doesn’t really bother me when big companies continue to put out shit games that make them tons of money since there are more good games available than I have time to play. And at least I get to enjoy the excoriating reviews and the hilarious videos demonstrating how terrible they are.

  43. sh9683 says:

    “I’d love to know how a game ended up being this badly written.” I will tell you why its so bad: one name; Drew Holmes he is why the story is so bad, if you played bioshock infinte, you would realize dre holmes is a bad writter, uncreative at best.

    if a game has Drew Holmes as the story writter avoid the game like the plague, the story will be bad.

  44. zgtc says:

    Are they set off by Seed? No! Of course not, because it’s obviously impossible that Seed has access to an arsenal of nuclear bombs.

    Each of the three regional Seeds had their headquarters in bunkers with underground silos and Cold War era computers.

    Three mysteriously empty nuclear bunkers and three mysterious nuclear explosions, combined with the last actions of a madman obsessed with the world ending, seem to add up to a fairy logical (if Ubisoft-y) conclusion.

    That said, I legitimately don’t understand why Ubisoft is pushing the NK angle, given that those broadcasts went out after the game had specifically said that outside communications were blocked. Just say “remember, not everything you’re seeing in the game is always completely real.”

  45. Phantom_Renegade says:

    Still makes more sense then ME3.

  46. Matt620 says:

    Well, first off, I’m not sure about worse ending ever. Just ask Mass Effect 3…

    Second, while I do agree the ending is bad (actually, I think I hate it more than the author), I think this review just falls into the same “It wasn’t anti-Trump/2nd Amendment enough!” screeds we’re getting from Polygon. This reflexive hate that journalists espouse is really tiresome. Not helping is the fact that the article has a number of falsehoods (there are plenty of female cultists. Mooks and the VIPs.)

    Games are an escape from this partisan nonsense. And the fact that so many on the left are demanding everything be anti-Trump now is really disturbing. I doubt the reader of the article will notice or care about this, but it’s really disappointing the level of whining I hear.

    • John Walker says:

      Are you fucking kidding me? This article literally contains the words:

      “It could have remained as studiously non-partisan as it is (And good! Goodness me, Far Cry games have sadly proven they are no place for a commentary on Trump, or questions over the Second Amendment, or whatever)”

      I weep for the Earth.

    • Xelias says:

      I don’t think that Far Cry games should be political. But when you put your story in rural Montana, about a crazy personality cult, revolving around weapons and HEAVILY using your marketing to play on the political climate… And then the game chicken out of making any statement, it feels a lot like having your cake and eating it too.

      • ErraticGamer says:

        On top of which, they absolutely deliberately capitalized on the politicization of cults and militias in marketing their game. That was their intentional choice, and they deserve to be called out on what bullshit it was. For fuck’s sake they even publicized their using cult experts for reference who were all “now, you have to understand, cults don’t just drug people, that’s not how it works”, and then had literal drug zombies make up a huge portion of the plot of the game.

  47. mitrovarr says:

    Honestly I’m surprised they didn’t go for a more realistic Lord of the Flies style ending. Have the police and military roll in, with the realization that yes, the real world is still out there. And despite how shocking the situation was, the main character might need to account for how he’d handled things and what he’d done during the course of the game.

    You could have two endings, one for a more heroic sort of protagonist who gets to finish optimistically knowing what he did was right, and a more pessimistic ending for a more psychotic protagonist who has to live with the realization that even if he’s not pursued legally, he’ll always be monster in the eyes of at least some of the public and he’ll always have to live with what he’s done.

  48. Rack says:

    Bad? Sure. But worst ever? Worse than Mass Effect 2 or 3, worse than Fable 2, Fallout 3 or Fahrenheit? Noticeably worse than any game picked basically at random?

    To coin a phrase “of all the terrible stories in games this one ranks somewhere in the middle”.

    • Werthead says:

      I would say this is comfortably worse, by a huge margin, than Mass Effect 3 and pre-Broken Steel Fallout 3 (and we knew on release that FO3 was going to be retconned as they’d already announced the expansions).

      Although one interpretation of the ending is that this is it, the Far Cry series is now over, which I somehow suspect is not the case.

      • Tossed Banana says:

        Worse than ME3? Hardly, not if you spend time playing the trilogy, caring for at least some of the characters (over years) and then had this troll emerge from nowhere an nullify it all with its off-coloured traffic light, space-magic ending. Or Haltenning, more like it. Two guys in an office making crap up at the last moment and not letting anyone else give feedback makes for an utterly dumb idea for an ending.

        FC5 was bad, though, really bad. I think they perhaps wanted to beat ME3 to be features in the Hall of Bad Endings or something. You can pick from Really Bad Ending, Even Worse Ending or – after having bought it – Not Play ending. I suppose they did offer us that out. Maybe they are telling us to never play their games again?

  49. biggergun says:

    Videogames, on average, are poorly written. For some reason we have great visual artists in this industry and zero good writers. Standards and expectations in this area are also very low. We’re left programmer art behind long ago, but still live in the era of programmer storytelling. Any company that hires a decent (TV-level) screenwriter from outside the industry will win big.

  50. DripJJ says:

    This article is a nice repeat of a bunch of other articles written about this same subject. But is has been outdone by a fan and with good research and evidence to back this story line up.
    link to reddit.com

    • biggergun says:

      So you’re saying that cultural references can go beyond Marx and\or Harry Potter? There’s *other* books? Collective mind of the gaming press = blown.

      • RabbitIslandHermit says:

        I know, I’ve had it up to here with the endless Das Kapital quotes. Stop forcing them into every article RPS! I get that the RPS editorial vanguard disagrees with the Maoist contention that industrial development is not a prerequisite for revolutionary socialism, but I hardly understand how that’s relevant to Overwatch.

    • Zorgulon says:

      I mean it’s a nice summary of the biblical allusions in the game, but are we supposed to be surprised that there are Revelations references in a story about a Doomsday Cult?

      “You are Jesus” is hardly an explanation for the endings, or the overall shabbiness of the writing.

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