Spoilers for Far Cry 5 follow.
Just like with Ubisoft’s other big franchise, Assassin’s Creed, part of the fun of each new Far Cry game is playing the now well-worn gameplay mechanics in a new setting. Far Cry 5 took the action stateside where we were tasked with taking on a homegrown religious cult in rural Montana. I enjoyed the game with the gameplay being refined and found the setting interesting, even if the story and lead character (an unwelcome return of the silent protagonist) were dull. I’d probably rank the fifth installment lower than the fourth (which took place in the fictional Himalayan region of Kyrat) which in turn is lower than the third (a descent into darkness on a tropical island) which remains the franchise’s best. So where does the franchise go from here? The arcade mode of Far Cry 5 and its DLC are playing with some kooky settings including other planets so should Far Cry embrace the weird or should it stay a more grounded franchise? Below are my four choices on where I’d like to see Far Cry go next.
If you’ve completed Far Cry 5 then you know it has quite the dramatic ending. The Father was correct the whole time and the end has well and truly come. Nuclear blasts occur around the world leaving the future uncertain, not just for the characters we have come to know but for the entire planet. While Far Cry is an anthology series there is a certain amount of continuity linking the games, such as characters like Hurk and Willis Huntley appearing briefly in every game since the third. If Far Cry is indeed an established canon then Far Cry 6 will have to take place in the devastated world post-Far Cry 5, unless Ubisoft decides to go the sci-fi route and take us off Earth. The post-apocalypse could be a cool setting for Far Cry with the lead helping different tribes of survivors against a tyrannical new overlord. While the gameplay is key, steps will have to be taken to make the story different enough from other post-apocalyptic media such as Fallout, Metro, Mad Max and the multitude of others. As a big fan of the controversial Far Cry 2, I’d love to see the return of weapons degrading over time and guns getting jammed which make sense in this setting.
Cold War Europe
One way to get around the huge events of Far Cry 5’s ending is to go back in time. Not necessarily as far back as Far Cry Primal but to Cold War Europe. As I previously stated, I love Far Cry 2 and I want to see the franchise head back in the direction of having a more serious plot and tone while still keeping the gameplay fun. Just imagine a Far Cry set in Germany or a fictional Eastern Bloc country during the height of the Cold War. The protagonist is a spy working for one side before encountering different groups from every faction while on their mission, probably the assassination of a politician, and ultimately making their loyalty come under fire with the player deciding who they should help. The location would have classic Far Cry rural areas but also some more urban environments with areas still heavily damaged from WW2 and some newly rejuvenated areas. I like the idea of more complex villains and I’d love for the player to be able to choose who becomes a villain and who becomes an ally with foot soldiers strewn across the map from multiple sides and your standing with them changes depending on if you kill them or not and what missions you choose to undertake.
Blood Dragon 2: Electric Boogaloo
After completing Far Cry 5 I just had to go back and replay Blood Dragon. Going from the most recent game to a game released 5 years ago highlights the big changes the franchise has seen gameplay-wise (Blood Dragon is so clunky and cumbersome!) but for sheer entertainment it’s pretty hard to beat Blood Dragon. A spoof of just about every 80’s action movie, the game offers a fourth-wall-breaking pastiche of every cliché you can think of. Visually and tonally unique in the franchise, I’m worried about going back for more and yet I can’t stop the urge of wanting it. I’m unsure whether another Blood Dragon could sustain being a full-sized game so maybe it could be just another short standalone story before we get a proper Far Cry 6. Since Blood Dragon was released, the nostalgia of revisiting the eighties is higher than ever so Blood Dragon 2 would need to find a way to stand out from the noise. Maybe the game could poke fun at this modern obsession with 80’s homage with some meta-meta-jokes. Either way I’d love to take control of Rex Power Colt one more time.
The future of Far Cry might not be so different from what has come before. Maybe Ubisoft doesn’t want to shake the franchise up by going post-apocalyptic, back in time or returning to the crazy world of Blood Dragon. Maybe they want just another standard Far Cry game set somewhere in the world without some extra twist. So far, the franchise has been to tropical islands (multiple times), African savannas, Himalayan mountains and the Great Plains of Montana. So where better next than Australia. It’s got everything. Deserts, The Great Barrier Reef, mountains, grasslands, rainforests, cities, unique animals to hunt and cool accents. It’s the perfect place for the action and exploration of an open world game like Far Cry.
Where would you like to see the Far Cry series go next? What do you make of my choices? Let me know in the comments and geek out with me about TV, movies and video-games on Twitter @kylebrrtt.