Far Cry 5: Solo & Co-op Campaign Hands-on

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by Rob Williams on March 2, 2018 in Gaming

We recently spent a few hours tearing up Far Cry 5’s Hope County, and now, we get to share what we experienced in both the solo and co-op shared campaign. Join us as we head to Montana’s fictional Hope County, where sanity has become a scarce resource as a doomsday cult has taken over. Freaked out? Let’s proceed…

Far Cry 5 takes a detour from the standard fare tropical shootouts to introduce a seemingly calm Montana, and in particular, its fictional Hope County area. As you’ll quickly find out after starting your FC5 adventure, Hope County isn’t an appropriate name, unless you’re merely hoping to escape it as quickly as possible.

You see, all of Hope County has been taken over by a cult, and since not all cults are built alike, I can assure you that this one of the worst. In the video below, I likened it to Rob Zombie’s horror flick House of 1,000 Corpses, which also features a truly deranged family not adverse to complete destruction, chaos, and of course, cold-blooded murder.

Ultimately, these warped followers have become part of a doomsday cult called Eden’s Gate, and as you play, you’ll likely (hopefully) find yourself at odds with Seed really quickly. If not right away, it won’t take long, as you begin to learn of how he’s treated some of his previous followers. He’s not a mild man, and if you have a sick and twisted impression of him already, you can assume he’s even worse than what you currently envision.

This is one of the great things about Far Cry 5, in my opinion. I’m not usually a big story guy, per se; I always pay attention, but it’s not often I get truly hooked. Because Seed and his recruits are as sick and twisted as they are, I can only imagine that taking Seed out once and for all will feel mighty satisfying.

A couple of weeks ago, Corsair and Ubisoft invited me out to California in order to partake in some real-life ranch activities, and also play the superior version of the game, on PC. Earlier in the day, I shot crossbows and rode in ATVs for real, and later, I did the exact same thing in FC5. I admit that the two events complemented each other really well, and made the entire experience that much cooler (kudos to Corsair and Ubisoft for the hospitality).

Far Cry 5 Test PCs At Corsair HQ

Recently, Corsair created an official game room at its HQ, and it’s really sweet. It’s painted in dark colors, and littered with familiar video game characters. At least on this day, the company had 12 PCs lined up, all with a very obvious theme: white chassis, and red, white, and blue LEDs. Also inside was AMD’s Radeon RX Vega 64, which ran the game at a smooth 60 FPS (or close to it), at 4K resolution (all screenshots and the video above were captured on this configuration). Corsair was showing off its “Sync” capabilities, which work with Far Cry 5 to change the color of your entire rig based on context in the game; you may see blue when all is well, but see flickering red when you’re being shot at.

As cool as that sounds, I’d have to contest that the lights are for everyone but the player. It may depend on your actual position, but usually when the LEDs do anything interesting, you can’t take your eyes off of the game. At some points I sat back during lulls, just to see what other people’s rigs were doing, and overall, it is quite sharp. But again, as the player, you’ll have a hard time enjoying it, unless you want hints of LED lights around you (the effect may be better in a smaller room.)

Nonetheless, in total, I played the game for close to 4 hours, although some of what I played can’t be talked about quite yet. For this article, my opinions are going to be influenced by the entire game, but I am only talking about the campaign explicitly here.

To me, Far Cry 5 is a lot like Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands, although when I mentioned that to one of FC5‘s developers, I am not sure they saw it the same way I do. Both are published by Ubisoft, have co-op (and AI) up to 4 players total, have an open-world map to explore separated by areas and independent rulers, and while this is very generic, there are also a ton of little things to do around the map – you’re going to have a lot to do, especially if you’re a completionist (like I tend to be).

Far Cry 5 - Map Screen

That’s not to say that FC5 doesn’t stand out on its own; it’s really an appreciation that a game as good as Wildlands has come out so quickly (I cleared through Wildlands twice, and only stopped because I formatted and lost my save… doh). Wildlands is a third-person shooter, as well, whereas Far Cry 5 is a first-person shooter, but both have many vehicles – including helicopters – to drive or fly.

Because the game is truly open-world, you can explore anywhere you want before you actually “need” to be there. Of course, some areas are going to be harder than others, but fortunately, quick travel points do eventually pop-up, so you won’t have to worry about making the trek all the way back if you do get into a bad situation (which can happen a lot in a game where enemies are all over).

In the short period of time I played, with everything taking place near the start of the game, I experienced a lot that made me grin, or even laugh. I won’t talk too much about that here, but I can say that FC5 offers enough to break up the campaign if you want a refresher. Ubisoft takes great advantage of the landmass provided, and that even includes with races, so that you can really become one with the earth. You just make sure you keep an eye out for wildlife.

One thing I can’t talk about in this article is Arcade mode, which is a pity, because it’s something I feel like I’ll personally spend quite a bit of time on after release. It’s effectively the all-encompassing online mode (campaign aside) that lets you get your deathmatch fix on, or complete various challenges. This isn’t just a tacked-on mode, but one that is hopefully going to grab the community, because if you’ve always wanted to create your own map to kill people in, this game will allow you to get those creative juices flowing.

Ultimately, there’s a lot to keep you busy in Far Cry 5, and I feel like even I don’t realize the full extent of what’s on offer yet. Fortunately, that will be rectified at the end of the month when the game becomes available, and probably not surprisingly, I plan to dig in and post a full review afterwards.

Far Cry 5 - Joseph Seed's Cult

If you want an even better impression of the game than screenshots can provide, I’d recommend checking out the video above. After the 4 minute mark, the video is pure gameplay, and all of it is 4K/60. You’ll see me torch people, ride ATVs, pet a dog, take out helis with rockets, and even get some racing done.

Far Cry 5 is due out on March 27. As we covered the other day, AMD is currently offering a bundle where if you purchase a new Radeon RX 580 (or higher) prebuilt PC, you’ll be gifted a free copy of the game. That’s because the game utilizes some cool AMD RX Vega features, including rapid-packed math, shader intrinsics, and FreeSync 2. AMD’s chosen a great game to partner with, and after my four-hour game session, I can attest that the Vega 64 handles the game just fine at 4K, with the High profile (it can go higher, but I didn’t fiddle with it).

More later!

Rob Williams

Rob founded Techgage in 2005 to be an 'Advocate of the consumer', focusing on fair reviews and keeping people apprised of news in the tech world. Catering to both enthusiasts and businesses alike; from desktop gaming to professional workstations, and all the supporting software.

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