Friday is here and with it, the Far Cry 5 announcement trailer. Ubisoft’s other, other open-world game is going to pit us up against a doomsday cult in rural Montana. Let’s take a look at the “trailer made from game engine footage.”
A quick note on “game engine footage.” This isn’t necessarily how Far Cry 5 will look when it comes out in February 2018. It’s close to what we’ll see, but there are probably a few extra graphical bells and whistles added in. The folks at Creative Assembly (Total War fame) explain what in-engine means to them, and it’s a good starting place when you see something similar from other devs.
The video uses Development in Progress in-game assets and code as a basis for a video shot with cinematic camera techniques to create movie-like footage. This is representative of the themes and general look and feel of the game, but it is not the direct in-game experience you will get when you are physically playing the final game.
Alright, let’s dig into what we learned about Far Cry 5 today.
The map editor returns
I love this feature. Consoles are almost always ignored when it comes to map editing. Besides Halo and Far Cry, I’m struggling to think of another big game that includes one.
It’s been a staple of the franchise since Far Cry 2, and it’s coming back in Far Cry 5. With Ubisoft’s focus on extending the life of their games (see Rainbow Six Siege, The Division, pretty much every Ubisoft game), I hope Far Cry 5’s multiplayer can grab us like the open-world gameplay of the story does.
Few console games get a fully customizable map editor. It’s a shame this one gets buried by the campaign/co-op. Let’s see if Ubisoft can make it a selling point and turn Far Cry 5 into one of the top multiplayer games on Xbox One/PS4.
The devs teased new features are coming to the map editor, but won’t reveal them until later.
Co-op, as expected
After Ghost Recon: Wildlands incredible success (despite the lack of PvP so far), it would be weird seeing a Ubisoft game that doesn’t include you playing with friends in some fashion. Outlets who have seen the game describe more of the same Far Cry experience, but the devs did make it a point that you can play the entire game in two-player co-op.
One big change for the franchise is you have more control over the protagonist. Options for gender and race are included. The main story beat plays out the same, though. You’re a deputy on the local police force facing up against a well-armed doomsday cult itching for a fight. I guess many of these folks will get to see the end of their world. One way or another.
Nick Rye’s character trailer shows him slapping a minigun onto his plane. Yup, you can fly planes and have dogfights in the skies above Hope County. It looks like the small town deputy has a few video game tricks up his sleeves.
It also makes me wonder just how big this open-world is. Sure, all Far Cry games are big – but when you start tossing planes in them, the world needs to be a bit bigger. You don’t want to be flying across the entire game area in just a couple of minutes. That’s also assuming planes are readily available and not just for certain parts of the game.
Far Cry 5 looks solid
Nothing here, outside the setting, really stood out from previous Far Cry games. But Ubisoft knows what works. Plus, we can’t really say the game won’t offer more new stuff based on a two-minute announcement trailer. E3’s gameplay demo will tell us if Far Cry 5 is more of the same or not.
What we can count in is a solid open-world game that’ll be a good time with a friend. Ubisoft’s open-world formula might be growing stale for some, but it’s been ported into franchises (The Division, Ghost Recon) to great effect.
I’m crossing my fingers the multiplayer will deliver just so other devs will look into adding map editors to their games.
Far Cry 5 is coming to PC, Xbox One (Scorpio) and PS4 (Pro) in February 2018. If Red Dead Redemption 2 manages to hit its new release date, open-world fans will have two huge worlds to get lost in the first half of 2018.