“Chris, why haven’t you learned yet, mate?”
I sound angrier in text form, but I’m not angry, I’m laughing. Chris has just been, well, he’s been exploded, quite honestly, and I have to go and pick his sorry ass up because he hasn’t learned what Adam P Cook is all about yet: explosives.
Far Cry 5’s Hope County is a busy place. You can barely catch your breath from the last fight before another comes along. The peggies (cultists) are mobilised, and they will roam the roads, mountains, rivers, and points of interest to hunt you, and everyone who isn’t part of Joseph Seed’s cult down.
In this particular situation, I’ve successfully fended them off with what I feel to be the ultimate technique. See, there are plenty of throwable explosives on offer, but the remote explosive is the quickest. You launch it with R1, then you can hit R1 again very quickly to blow it up. Those poor stupid bastards don’t even get to jump out of the car and give me some attitude before they’re doing an impression of Marvel’s Human Torch.
But Chris hasn’t learned that I do this every single time yet, so he’s on the floor, laughing at the situation. I pick him up, and another truck appears, so I do it again.
Far Cry 5’s co-op is amazing. It’s rewarding, fun, and you are absolutely joining your friend’s instance, and being their wing-man. I quickly became the designated driver, and I would often purposefully try to run over animals, or jump off ramps to see if I could. We laughed. We laughed a lot.
If anything, I’ve wanted Far Cry to go full co-op for years. There have been hints at it, but the open nature of how you tackle the campaign brings about both positives and negatives. Firstly, because the map is so huge and divided in to three areas (for each Seed sibling), you can join another world and help out where you’ve already liberated. The negative here is that, once you return, you’ll have to repeat any story missions you haven’t done yet. I can’t quite understand the reasoning, because this is clearly designed to be a world you can tackle in your own way, at your own pace, so to not allow progress to track is a strange one.
But it’s not a deal breaker. There is so much open-world “emergent gameplay” mayhem to be had here, that you soon forget that minor annoyance when you’re hanging from a helicopter by a grapple hook as your pal flies you both into the beautiful sunlit valleys, the peaks and depths just inviting you to explore them. Then your pal jumps out and goes wingsuiting and forgets to tell you. Cool.
The only issue I’d have is that if you weren’t already aware that you are the “helper” for your friend’s world (or vice-versa, depending on who the host is), this is painfully reinforced with the message “You are too far from your partner”. Stray too far, then, and you’ll be warped back to their general vicinity. Likewise, some story cut-scenes aren’t supposed to have two plaid-shirted beardy men with undercuts, so you will watch the scene from the host’s perspective, before suddenly coming back into play. Again, not a deal breaker, just worth saying.
For some reason, though, it never stops being exciting. We played some of the co-op live and I managed to shoot a rocket under a truck, then ride a van, then set fire to a field. That’s before you even talk about the hideouts we took back, or the caches we investigated, the moose we hunted, or the fish we caught. Far Cry 5 is a delight that continually evolves and challenges you. You can’t look away, and why should you? Far Cry 5’s co-op is nearly flawless, bar the few limitations it has. The feeling of you and a pal against the world is terrific, hilarious, and just hugely inviting.
The remote explosives may have evolved into sticky remote explosives, and many more japes were had, but Chris will never learn. This game might be alright, you know…