Ubisoft‘s latest entry into the Far Cry franchise was originally due out on February 27, but the company recently announced it would be pushed back by a month to March 27 for further development.

Despite the delay, I got the opportunity to give the game’s latest build a spin at Ubisoft’s office in Sydney last week, allowing me to run my own flavour of rampage around a third of the world’s huge map. I was given a whole two hours of play and told to do whatever I wanted, provided I didn’t leave the boundaries of that particular section.

Far Cry 5 is set in the US state of Montana, which is the first time the series has strayed from more exotic landscapes like tropical islands. However, it still holds an eccentric enemy and his army of cronies to mow down with a variety of weapons. This time it’s religious cult leader, Joseph Seed, who’s definitely caused some controversy given in the current climate.

Similar to Far Cry 3 and 4, the world is made up of numerous enemy outposts, tasking you with clearing them out in order to open up more of the map. While it doesn’t have you climbing up radio towers this time around, how you approach outposts feels pretty familiar. I decided to get into a couple of the closest ones to where I started first up.

Personally, I like to get stealthy when it comes to taking these down, using a bow to stay silent rather than going in guns blazing, at least until you take out the alarms so they can’t call in reinforcements. For the most part, these situations play out largely like they did in the last few games. The similarities to previous titles don’t stop there, though.

Animals still play a role in the game’s landscape, but that usually boils down to being griefed by a huge fucking cat (maybe a bobcat, I’m not entirely sure) at the most inconvenient time possible. I’ve always found the fauna in Far Cry games to be an unnecessary annoyance, but I’m almost certain I fall into a small minority with that opinion.

I also did a couple of the game’s main story missions, one of which had me stealing a truck back from an enemy outpost. I managed to sneak into the compound and silently take out a few enemies before making my way into the garage and the truck within. Being able to successfully complete an objective without drawing in enemy reinforcements still feels incredibly satisfying.

What followed was a typical Far Cry action set piece where I got to ram the fuck out of enemy roadblocks in a truck that has guns attached to it. It was a lot of fun and probably not the last time I’ll get to man the beast of a vehicle.

I also got to fang around in a plane and drop bombs on enemy buildings which was far more fun than it sounds.

In terms of all-out action, not much has changed there. You can still choose to blast the living shit out of anything you see with a machine gun if you’d prefer, but it’s not always the best option. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by enemies and you’ll almost always die if you’re underprepared here. Finding the optimal way to approach a particular situation is an important aspect of the game.

At the end of the day, if you’re a fan of the series, there’s plenty to look forward to here. Ubisoft haven’t deviated from the formula of previous games too much, but the change of scenery definitely feels fresh enough to keep things interesting. You can suss out the trailer below.

Image: Ubisoft