Far Cry 5 is a game that’s selling itself on a serious narrative and a weird open world, and while reviews have generally agreed on the fact that it completely beefed the former, it does seem to be pretty successful at the latter. This is a game that is theoretically about cults, but you spend a lot of time fighting against wild animals that are high on drugs, planes that are diving at you, and humans with rocket launchers driving around in sweet trucks. However you feel about the narrative elements of the game, the open world really does make for some events that would never happen in most videogames. So here are my top five moments of open world experience so far, each ranked appropriately.
It is a well-known fact in the world that turkeys are one of several creatures on this planet that will “bow up” on a human. They’re ready to fight, always, and they’ll slaughter a human without a second thought. It’s the turkey way. Far Cry 5 often puts humans in contest with animals in a general way, so I was not all that surprised when a person-enemy I was fighting with turned into a turkey in a green puff of smoke. There is like legit magic in Far Cry 5, by the way, and I don’t even think this turkey is the most wondrous part of it. In any case, this person turned into a turkey, and then they proceeded to attack everything in sight. More than that, it was on fire. How did it catch on fire? I have no idea. There was no fire around. It’s a mystical turkey lit by the fire of a thousand souls? In any case, the turkey ran away from me and immediately began attacking a civilian. That civilian contracted a fatal case of “being on fire” from the turkey. The open world delivers once again.
I have video for this one. For some reason, once I developed enough “resistance” to one of the big bosses in the game she sent planes after me. I could be wandering around the world and I would suddenly hear “I’m taking shots” and I would be getting attacked by a plane. It ruins a lot about the game, honestly, but gosh if it doesn’t deliver sometimes. I had just finished a fire fight with some cultist enemies, and I was speaking to an ally about some side quest or whatever that he wanted me to do. Suddenly, a plane was near me, and I turned around just in time to see it make a tactical dive directly toward the ground. As you can see in the video, I literally did a double take because I could not believe that this was happening. It was, in fact, happening, and the plane exploded on impact.
I also have video for this one. This was maybe the third or fourth time that I had flown a plane in the game, and I had just gotten the parachute unlocked after realizing that bailing out of a plane without a parachute is a true bummer. I was making my way to yet another map marker that the game wanted me to travel to, so I figured that I would attempt the true glory of hopping out and gliding my way to the ground in my nimble ‘chute. Cue my plane wonderfully and gracefully hurtling toward the ground and smashing into a vehicle that had just spawned in. It’s so perfectly timed that I wonder if the game did that on purpose.
Far Cry 5 is a game that really wants you to embrace the zany action that happens when NPCs, enemy troops, attacking animals, explosives, and a range of weapons run into each other. (Cue up “Yakety Sax.”) However, I have found that the sprint, jump, and punch buttons are all robust enough that I can get a lot of entertainment out of them. I’ve solved a lot of encounters by driving a vehicle into an encampment at full speed, rolling out at the last moment, and them running and jumping around so fast that my enemies cannot react. Just imagine it: A lone human straight up Mario-ing in an Ubisoft open world game. The mind reels at the possibilities, and what’s even better is that the enemy AI doesn’t seem to know what to do about it other than get punched.
There’s a quest in the game that asks you to head to the top of a mountaintop to see what happened to some resistance fighters who went up the mountain to store some supplies. The mission itself has you using the grappling hook, your puzzle solving skills, and the jump button to navigate the rocky cliffs. As you near the top, you start seeing signs of struggle. There’s some ammo here, a pack there, and eventually human bones in the nests of the birds that live near the peak. When I finally hit the top of the mountain, I met two women who were wildly firing shotguns into the air at what must have been a dozen violent birds that were flying around in the sky. They were vicious birds. However, when I reached the top I got immediate credit for the quest. I expected to be told that I needed to help them, but that wasn’t the case. Instead, I was free to leave. After all, I had found out what happened to them. They were up there locked in eternal battle with some birds. So as the birds were slaughtering them, I collected my quest reward and jumped off the mountain, eager to use my parachute some more. What an excellent gameplay experience.
Cameron Kunzelman tweets at @ckunzelman and writes about games at thiscageisworms.com. His latest game, Epanalepsis, is available on Steam.