The game I was most anxious to play at this year’s EB Expo was definitely Far Cry 5. After a long line up, several in-queue surveys, and a chat with a fellow JRPG fanatic, I finally got my hands on the PS4-Pro controller and got to sink my teeth into Ubisoft’s upcoming shooter. What I experienced was, unfortunately, less than anticipated and has left me unsure of whether this will be a day-one purchase for me. Details to follow.
I am going to preface this by saying I have a feeling there was something wrong with the PS4 Pro I was using. My load times were much longer than the players either side of me, and I encountered a lot of frame-rate issues that others didn’t. I can only judge on what I played though, so here we go.
What greeted me when I hit the options button was a selection screen of three different companions: male and female mercenary-looking individuals, and a dog. Obviously, I went for the dog, and then faced a long (2 minute) loading screen before getting into the game proper. I was placed into a simple ‘take over the outpost’ sequence where I was to kill all the enemies present and win over the small town to my side. This is where the first of the issues arose. Every time I looked down my weapon’s sights, the frame-rate slowed to a crawl and made aiming nearly impossible. Initially, I just thought I was bad at the game, but after speaking with several others who played the demo I learned that this seemed to be an issue only I faced at the time.
This made taking over the outpost extremely difficult; relying on from-the-hip fire and explosives to do the deed. After several deaths (and long load-times), I finally succeeded in conquering the run-down outpost.
I still had a few minutes left in the demo, so I decided to spend my time testing out the vehicles and driving mechanics. I am pleased to say that the driving in Far Cry 5 felt much better than the shooting, and moving between different vehicles and over different terrain felt true-to-life (as much as a game can) and responsive. I drove a buggy, an old muscle car, and a truck across barren dirt, luscious farms, and urban roads and everything was a joy to engage with. Performing drive-by shootings on groups of cult-members is a blast, and running them down felt disturbingly satisfying.
Unfortunately due to time, that was all I was able to experience with Far Cry 5. Whatever bugs or issues caused the frame-rate dips and long load times will hopefully be ironed out come February 2018 when the full game drops, but until then I will be tossing up whether to commit to a immediate purchase of the game. I have a strong love for the Far Cry series, and would hate for one ill-fated demo to sour the next game for me.