Training the locals
What Works And Why is a monthly column where Gunpoint and Heat Signature designer Tom Francis digs into the design of a game or mechanic and analyses what makes it good.
Far Cry 5 is a mixed bag, but one of the bigger, shinier objects in that bag is its companions system. It’s a crossbreed of Far Cry Primal’s pets – you can summon them and direct their attacks at will; and Far Cry 2’s buddies – they can revive you if you get taken down. Nine of the companions available are starring characters: people or creatures you meet and recruit through main story missions with backstories and (when human) dialogue. But I don’t really care about eight of those, and I only care about the ninth because he is a dog, which gives him three key advantages:
1. He is, again, a dog.
2. He never alerts enemies if I’m being stealthy.
3. He never speaks, a big plus in a world where almost everything anyone says makes you like them less. Read the rest of this entry »
The End Is Nigh-tmarishly Bad
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. Read the rest of this entry »
Listen or we'll make you listen
“I love to shoot the men!” you shout, as you pump 100 bullets into the prostrate torso of a dead soldier in Far Cry 5. “I’m so glad there are no cutscenes to–
And lo, the lord delivered unto ye a sermon of the highest tedium, and the Four Ubisoft Writers of the Apocalypse rode over the earth and reaped the souls of all humanity with pointless exposition and dull characterisation. It was a bad time. But it’s not the only strong game let down by a bad tale. The latest episode of the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show, is unable to discuss all the offenders, but we can take a punt.
Read the rest of this entry »