I was first introduced to the Far Cry series of games with Far Cry 3. I had not played many video games in quite a while at that point in my life and Far Cry 3 was my attempt to get back into it. What I found was a great game with a story that kept me interested and gameplay that was challenging enough to keep me coming back but not so hard that I wanted to smash my computer. The open world aspect of the game drew me in and even when I was doing a fetch quest it never felt overly tedious. The large selection of weapon options also kept me trying new things. Even once I had found my preferred load out, I always wanted to give other weapon combinations a try. Long story short, Far Cry 3 drew me in like a game had not done since Skyrim 3 years before that.
Keeping It Interesting
Some will argue that Far Cry is just the same game over and over again with a different skin on it. This is absolutely true, but what I think the developers get right is that they seem to have a desire to improve the gameplay with each new iteration which keeps the games from getting stale. Grand Theft Auto follows a similar trajectory, you could argue that those are the same game over and over again and they don’t even really have a different skin on them. We all love the Grand Theft Auto series though because they keep things interesting. My next foray into the Far Cry series was with Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. These smaller games that come out between the numbered titles are often times more fun because the developers seem to use them as opportunities to explore new gameplay elements along with zany story elements and crazy color schemes. Blood Dragon had everything you were looking for, stupid 80’s movie catch phrases, neon colors, and giant fluorescent lizards that shot laser beams from their mouths. What more could you ask for?
I didn’t pick up another Far Cry game until Far Cry 5 came out, being someone who doesn’t like to pay full price for games I was intending on picking up Far Cry 4 on sale now that the new title was out. Well it turned out that Far Cry 5 was the one on sale so I went ahead and skipped over 4. Now I can say that Far Cry 5 is one of my favorite games of all time. I played through the game multiple times and on all the difficulty levels. Clearing outposts in new and unique ways, catching story parts that I missed the first time, and most importantly trying desperately to get 100% completion in all 3 regions. The random encounters are some of my favorite parts of the far cry games, at any moment a bear could bum rush you out of the woods when you are not ready for it. I can’t tell you the number of times I have been in the middle of a fire fight just to hear the roar of a bear behind me. It really throws a wrench in things, and as frustrating as it can be it really keeps you on your toes and makes each playthrough unique. The fact that you can begin story missions accidentally is fun too. The first time I got in a helicopter and flew around I remember seeing the statue of Joseph Seed and thinking “I wonder if you can blow that up?”. Well it turns out that you can! I started blowing it up and found myself starting a new story arc in a new region where my task was to blow up the statue, something that I had not even done in my first play through. There was such a huge jump going from Far Cry 3 to Far Cry 5 that I felt compelled to go back and play Far Cry 4. So once it did go on sale I picked it up and it was at this point that I truly began to appreciate this game series and it’s developers. Even though going backwards meant that the game was less polished I still had fun playing it. I noticed elements from Far Cry 3 that I had forgotten about while playing 5 and noticed what you might call precursors to elements in 5 that I had very much enjoyed. This really showed me that even though the core elements stay the same, person trapped in some area of the globe who has to fight against some armed group to survive, the developers seem to really want to improve on the gameplay ideas.
This brings me to Far Cry: New Dawn, I recently started playing this in preparation for the upcoming Far Cry 6. So far I am extremely happy with this sequel to Far Cry 5, they added new elements like a level system for enemies and outposts. They added the ability to give up outposts to the enemy and thus allow you to retake them and gain more resources, though the outpost will have added defenses each time! In essence they added some RPG elements to Far Cry and this has made me love the game even more. Crafting weapons is slightly more difficult and requires more game progression than it did in previous titles which makes things slightly more challenging at times. This game being an actual sequel means that there are actually characters and elements of Far Cry 5 that make an appearance in the game and it keeps you looking for hidden easter eggs. It is interesting to finally have a continuation of a Far Cry game and find out what happened to some of your favorite characters. So that is why I truly love the Far Cry series. The developers seem dedicated to making each game better than the last, and not just better graphics or random changes that don’t really matter. Real updates that make each title more fun than the last. So with Far Cry 6 set to come out some time in late 2021 hopefully I can say that this time I will be first on the list to pay full price for a game that I am confident will be better than all that came before it.