I’m currently having a blast playing Far Cry 5 (FC5), However, bits of FC5 are in my bad books, and therefore I’m going to complain about them.
The complaints I have aren’t really unique to FC5, or even the Far Cry series. They’re a problem that can arise in an ‘open’ game that also tries to keep a tight rein on its main story. If done well, you don’t even notice you’re being corralled exactly where the developers want you. Done poorly, you take all of the traits your character has shown in gameplay, and throw them out the window until they’ve stopped showing you this bit of the story.
It’s no surprise that I favour stealth in FC5 (since I favour it in any game that allows it). I use cover to watch, wait, and then pounce quickly. I keep out of sight of patrols, wandering bad guys and often the wild animals that think I’m tasty. I know what signals the game gives when someone is in danger of spotting me; and often how to avoid that entirely. The game has laid down rules for how encounters can go. They’ve given you the tools to help you guide those encounters your way. Even if you fail, you can’t say the game was unfair about it.
Which makes the so called ‘elite’ forces they sent out after you at times, completely ridiculous.
As best I can tell, there is no escape. You get little to no in-game warning that they’re close, and they’re one hit ‘captures’.
Funnily enough, when you finally get to the bad guy who sent these out, there’s none of these elite troops left. Instead you just get the same types of enemies you’ve already been dealing with.
In other words, these elite forces are just a way to force you into the next part of the story. It’s a pity, because even in an open world, there are so many other options
Just as bad (to me) is when you’re taken to a cut-scene where your character does something stupid that you were trying to avoid.
The story took us to a building where (supposedly) people I knew were being held hostage. I knew the building well, and knew all the ways in. All but one had been blocked. Fair enough; the bad guy isn’t supposed to be stupid.
Since there’s only one entrance left, then clearly, we want to be super-cautious as you’re likely to get shot/drugged/otherwise incapacitated the moment you open it. They’re waiting for you, after all.
I sneak up to the door, crouched down. The cut-scene begins as my character opens the door, while standing, and gets a face full of rifle butt for their trouble.
That really annoys me. You need my character captured for the story? Send out those magic elite troops again (they still annoy me, but they’re well established by now), or hem my character in somewhere that there is no escape. There are so many freakin’ options, but they go for the “we’ll just have them knocked out now” one, which only happened because my character did something blindingly stupid.
On a lighter note, this adherence to “the story wins” did make for some amusement.
One of the final encounters is a dog-fight (the plane type). This takes you over a large chunk of land, and when you finally bring your opponent down, you could be pretty much anywhere.
Mine came down in a river. I swam across the river and shot him in the head, with a shotgun, all but removing his head.
Cue the cut-scene.
Said bad guy is mortally wounded, but still has a head, eyes and working mouth. He does the dying words thing, and finally dies.
Once you can pull the camera back from his strangely unventilated visage, you notice you’re no longer at the river, but at a compound half way across the map!
Coincidentally, this is where the next battle takes place. Funny, that.
Really, developers. By having the dog-fight you immediately lost the advantage of him dying where you wanted. Unless you scripted him to come down in the compound, the chances of him dying there were close to zero.
And the whole ‘my face is whole, even though I had a discussion with your shotgun’ thing means you didn’t think this out properly. Far Cry is about choice. You can sneak or go in guns blasting, you can snap necks in silence or beat them with a baseball bat, you can go in the front door or sneak in from behind.
The fact that they assume the bad guy will have any bits left at all by the end of it is ludicrous. Imagine if I’d used a rocket launcher … 1
Of course, that didn’t annoy me, that just amused me.
My character being stupid for the sake of the story? Now that really annoys me.