Far Cry 5 is the upcoming open world FPS from Ubisoft that sees you, a new sheriff in the fictional Montana county of Hope, taking on a crazed doomsday cult. Despite the official line, there are strong parallels with the current political situation. The “Father” in charge of this cult is taking advantage of uneducated, unemployed, angry, rural white suckers.
It’s Charles Manson with an army. It’s Red State on steroids. I’d say they were armed to the teeth, but… What teeth?
The cult obviously has no recruitment problems though, as during my play session they just kept on coming. Leave some truck wreckage by the side of the road for a while and sure enough, another one would be along shortly.
To help you take on these infinite waves of backwards bumpkins, Far Cry 5 is offering you a choice of companion. Whatever your choice, you can give orders to your companion at any time. It’s a separate individual under your control, and an extension of your preferred playstyle.
Who wouldn’t want their own sniper on the hill at any point in time?
This option seems to suit a more stealthy style of play. Either you’re infiltrating a town or stronghold and want to call in the killshots while others aren’t looking, or maybe you choose an ideal moment to “go loud.”
It’s not clear if Grace Armstrong can ever be caught out in close-quarters combat, or how she’d deal with it. From my quick time with Far Cry 5, enemies would spawn often and spread out all over the map. They’d go for little walks and drive all over the place. Even moreso if the alarm was raised.
As such, the sniper might need protecting at times. Perhaps she’d take out anyone silly enough to engage her in some good ol’ Montana wrastlin’. But it’s doubtful she’d be able to provide sniper support while caught up in a fistfight.
Aside from undeniably being the cutest option, having a dog follow you around could be quite useful. Boomer seems exceptionally skilled and downing enemies (and they stay down), and I can’t see Ubisoft ever allowing a canine companion to die.
It looks like the Fangs for Hire angle might suit a more run & gun style of play. An automatic, in-the-frey option to disable someone who’s got crosshairs on you. If you’re in a firefight with five people, immediately reducing that to four people can be very valuable.
When he’s not in combat, he’ll scout areas and tag enemies for you. He’ll even bring you the guns of enemies he takes down. Good boy!
I went with the final choice: Nick Rye, A mechanic/pilot who basically follows you around everywhere without running out of fuel, always available for a strafing run.
When the pilot does a pass by, it’s a typical machine gun blast in a line, which I actually didn’t find as helpful as you’d think. The most I ever killed in a strafing run was two people, and if they’re inside some kind of truck, they’re protected.
After the run, he has to loop around again and is unavailable for a small period, so I’d rather use that time on a problem I can’t already solve with my rifle.
Far better to use the pilot for bombing runs, which take care of both people and the vehicles they might be hiding in.
As in Far Cry Primal, you’ll be able to tame or befriend other animals in Far Cry 5 and use the various combat skills of these beasts to your own ends.
Cougars and bears have been mentioned, though it’s not clear yet exactly what animals you’ll be able to charm. One would expect, however, it’ll be within the realms of the American midwest.
No sabretooth tigers here, folks.
The Bartender and The Priest
In my time with the game, I came across Mary May Fairgrave, a bartender with a serious grudge against the Project at Eden’s Gate. She’s seen lighting a molotov cocktail in promotional material, though in my quick play session her role was limited to doling out quests and exposition.
We also see a pastor named Jerome Jeffries in the trailers, who had his congregation stolen by The Father and was beaten and left for dead. This led him to join The Resistance, and vow to protect the citizens of Hope County. He’s also seen with a gun in his hand.
While we haven’t explicitly seen it yet, the motivations and capabilities of these two are reason believe there’s a good chance they’ll help you out in more practical ways.
There were others I came across who could turn into allies at some point. But we’ll have to play more to know for sure.
Your RL Friends
There is of course the option to bring in one of your real life friends as a co-op partner throughout the whole game. Depending on your friends, it’s probably the most effective help you can get — but if they’re of the troll variety, friendly fire is turned off by default.
For the most part, this is unlimited. The only time you can’t call in a friend is during the intro and closing cutscenes, or after you’ve started very specific missions.
The one thing to keep in mind here is that the only world progression that’ll take place is that of the host’s world. You’re very much a friend-for-hire, as the game says, and you’d want to make sure your friend is cool with the fact that they might have to do everything again in their own story.