For over a decade, the Far Cry series has been known for sending players to exotic locations such as the savannah, the tropics, the Himalayas. This time, the game takes us to the beautiful landscape of the northwestern US state of Montana.
The player starts off in the role of a junior deputy, dispatched on a mission to capture Joseph Seed, the self-styled prophet who leads the Project of Eden’s Gate, a cult is forcibly recruiting members to join their quasi-religious ranks. After all your fellow marshals are killed in the opening sequence, it’s your job to stop him.
If you’ve played any of the previous Far Cry games, the overall structure of the new one will appear deeply familiar. It’s another scenic land populated by wild animals that’s full of man-made violence orchestrated by fanatics who try to pull you into their madness. Their efforts lead to a number of trippy scenes the likes of which are a signature of the series.
Assisting Joseph in his task of preparing his flock for a new order are his older brother Jacob, his younger brother John, and their adopted sister Faith. All of the Seed siblings are deranged in their own ways. While Joseph believes that God chats with him, John extols the virtues of strength, aggression and resilience.
John’s pathology on the other hand, stems from a twisted form of positive-thinking. Like a motivational speaker, John is all about getting people to say, “Yes!” For him, pain is an instrument to be used in the service of enticing people to zealously embrace the doctrines of Eden’s Gate.
As for Faith, a former drug addict, she pushes a better-living-through-chemistry agenda by overseeing the sect’s massive drugging operation that pumps people full of a proprietary substance called Bliss, which basically turns them into zombies. Walk through the flowers used to cultivate the drug and you’ll notice things get a little blurry and colourful.
There is an option for co-op in the game, though only the host receives credit for story missions (both players can still earn experience points and trophies.) Alas, I didn’t realise that when I played the game one afternoon with another writer so I had to do a few missions over.
I still enjoy Far Cry’s particular blend of lush environments, even though this is my fifth time doing it. Fluid combat and crazy happenings - like hunting a wolverine, then stumbling into a firefight full of exploding vehicles, or crashing a helicopter into an aeroplane, are still very silly fun, and worth the cost of admission.