Far Cry 5: PS4 Review
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
The Far Cry series returns - this time, with a modern day setting and a timeliness that feels a tad too realistic.
With an initially engaging baddie continuing the franchise's desire to set enigmatic leaders against you, this sets the action in the fictional (but feels real) Hope County. You get to play a rookie cop, helping to take down a cult leader (The Father) as the game begins.
Entering the Edensgate compound, with followers all round, it's clear that what lies ahead is fraught with danger, and while you arrest The Father, the journey out is anything but simple, and soon, you're back to basics, scrabbling around for survival and doing the usual Far Cry thing.
But it's here that Far Cry 5 really sets the bar above the rest.
With a world that feels much deeper, the game almost begs you to spend time doing anything but its main story missions.
Set free in Hope County, my character did little but explore early on, taking on cult members as more of a pasttime than a story necessity and just exploring the rich world which has been created.
From checking out doomsday preppers underground holes to liberating outposts and building up colleagues (of all species), Far Cry 5 gives the widest case yet for a game to be lost in for the year.
It's got rid of things like crafting and the endless time you have to spend hunting in previous games to ensure you can get on with what's necessary. But it's also freed up your time to actually do other things than just the main story mission.
There's never a dull moment in Far Cry 5 and while the main story sees you liberating provinces from the the cult's acolytes and their followers before getting to the ultimate big guy, there's more than enough to do.
Multiplayer, online maps, the possibility of some out there material from the Season Pass (Far Cry Mars??) means there's more than enough to do in Ubisoft's latest - and while the bad guys may lack the charisma of the franchise's previous baddies, there's simply something which has to give during this game.
Ultimately, Far Cry 5 makes a major swing for a Game of The Year title - from a deeply open world to a feeling you're never wasting time, it's really what gaming should be about - pure unadulterated immersion and fun.