Far Cry 5 (PS4/Xbox One) 9/10
The Far Cry series has always managed to dampen criticism levied towards its titles by toeing the line between serious and farcical.
Yes, the plot in Far Cry games - particularly the more recent titles - usually comes with a fair dose of hackneyed melodrama, but the game's self-awareness coupled with bucketloads of bombastic fun generally made the actual gameplay experience a blast.
I have to admit, the exotic locations and ham-fisted 'regional' accents of the past few Far Cry outings were starting to grow tiresome, such that Far Cry 5's Hope County, Montana felt a lot more exciting for me than its comparatively drab environment would suggest.
Still, although certainly a fictional location, Hope County certainly feels more authentic than the settings of the previous two Far Cry efforts, making for an environment that accurately conveys the more serious tone of Far Cry 5.
In this outing, you play as a sheriff's deputy, part of a force tasked with quelling the rise of a cult of zealots in Hope County.
As a voiceless protagonist, I found the lack of customisation options surprising, although it was a nice change to be able to choose between male or female character types.
The lack of variation in player customisation also extends to the cultist goons that populate Hope County, with the amount of unique faces in the game countable on a single hand.
The main antagonist in Far Cry 5 is a man named Joseph Seed. Although not the most memorable Far Cry cast member to date, his story is surprisingly serious and culminates in unforgettable fashion, making the journey to the game's climax well worth the sometimes overly repetitive mission structure.
Your arsenal of weapons in the game is superbly varied, putting a large range of firepower at your disposal. Traversing the Montana landscape couldn't be easier, with Ubisoft gifting us a variety of air, water and land vehicles.
Far Cry 5 is at its absolute peak when playing through the story cooperatively with a friend. If solo mode was bombastic fun, cooperative play is sheer Ubisoft madness at its finest.
Possibly the greatest instalment in the Far Cry series to date, Far Cry 5 is well worth a purchase.