Far Cry fans are accustomed to having their virtual passports stamped in exotic locales, from the original game’s gorgeous South Pacific setting to the fourth installment’s breathtaking Himalayan mountains. Far Cry 5, however, is bringing the beauty stateside, unleashing players in a massive sandbox beneath the stunning big sky of fictional Hope County, Montana.
We recently got some hands-on time in this modern frontier, where we were tasked with liberating a part of the map dubbed Falls End. The tiny, quaint town—complete with general store, gas station, auto shop, and local watering hole—boasted a population of 38, the majority of which were in the process of being abducted by fanatical followers of The Project at Eden’s Gate doomsday cult.
As we made our way to the street, we saw civilians being forced to their knees by pistol-packing militia members. Fearing for these kind folks facing the gun barrels of the cult’s backwoods army, we sent our canine companion Boomer in for a closer look.
With a click of the D-pad, the pup sniffed out a baddie hanging out on the fringes of the occupation; upon approaching the clueless target, Boomer tore his throat to ribbons before bringing his assault rifle back to us like a good boy. Wielding the new weapon, we downed a couple more marks from a safe distance while making our way to a large fuel truck.
This, of course, seemed like the right time to test out the dynamite in our inventory. With a well-placed toss and a big boom, things went from quiet to chaotic real fast. Switching to a punch-packing shotgun allowed us to ventilate the chests of up-close enemies, while Boomer—without being directed—continued to treat the cultists like chew toys.
Among the whizzing bullets, exploding fuel tanks, and rampaging cult members, we discovered a guarded hostage with her hands tied behind her back. Upon liberating her captor’s brain with a baseball bat and removing her restraints, she kindly thanked us and restocked our ammo. With all baddies lying in pools of their own blood and civilians freed, we’d successfully saved Falls End.
We had so much fun though, we decided to do it all over again. This time, however, we gave Boomer a break and recruited sniper Grace to our resistance. The demo played out similarly—at least once we blew up the truck—but prior to creating the explosive distraction we were able to eliminate many more threats by positioning our new friend in a water tower overlooking the town.
On our third go, we took along fly-boy Nick Rye, who delivered death from above in his weaponized biplane. He was so good at supporting our cause, in fact, we directed him to take out the tanker when it was time to heat things up. This third play-through, obviously, was a bit less stealthy than our previous two cult-crushing romps.
While we could only take one ally on each outing, the final game will allow players to kick cultist backside alongside a pair of AI companions. Of course, those who prefer thwarting religious fanatics with friends can play the full campaign in co-op when Far Cry 5 begins cleansing sinners on February 27.