Impressions: Far Cry 5’s New Game+ makes cultists worth fighting again
Amid three DLCs and more Far Cry Arcade updates than you can shake a patriotic shovel at, Ubisoft has finally released an official New Game+ mode so that fans can port their saves to a new Montana full of familiar and unfriendly faces.
As is often the case with New Game+, players that choose to port their saves get to keep all their money, skills, and equipment from the base game, while all main quests and side objectives are reset. As a result, players are far from starting from scratch, but there’s plenty of content to experience again, often from a new perspective granted by a more powerful character.
To make things interesting, Ubisoft also included an optional Infamous difficulty, which increases enemy health, makes enemies hit like even bigger trucks, and makes enemies better at detecting a nosy deputy hiding in the bushes around one of their outposts. It’s a challenging twist but appropriate for anyone that felt like the normal and hard difficulties were a bit too easy once they got their hands on decent equipment.
We highly recommend that anyone that’s gotten close to maxing out their character in the base game give Infamous difficulty a shot. Even though you can’t lower the difficulty once you’ve started a New Game+ campaign on Infamous there’s no doubt in my mind that the Infamous difficulty is the way Far Cry 5’s New Game+ is meant to be played.
It’s also worth mentioning that completing the game on Infamous will net you a unique Rook outfit and a special Uplay reward. It’s nothing huge, but it’s a nice little goal to keep in mind.
Otherwise the end-game weapons and many of the DLC equipment make things just a little too easy to be anything other than wanton slaughter. Granted, if you want to just have a good time slicing through enemies with your Mars weapons, your grenade launchers, and your .50 caliber sniper rifles, the other difficulties are still plenty of fun in that regard.
At the same time, it’s worth mentioning that on these difficulties you’re more likely to die from fall damage or because you fired something explosive into a nearby wall then because the cultists got the drop on you. It’s just hard for squishy human cultists to argue with laser weapons built for picking apart hordes of tanky arachnids.
Friends and firearms
Of course, quests and new difficulties aren’t the only advantage of diving into New Game+. A core part of any New Game+ experience is a chance to unlock new abilities and make your character even stronger, and Ubisoft has a few fun tricks up their sleeves for players to spend their skill points on this time around.
Although you can’t increase your health or boost your ability to pull off takedowns in Far Cry 5’s New Game+ you can pour points into continually upgrading both your Guns/Fangs for Hire and the size of your ammo pouches. The former makes it possible to keep your companions around nearly indefinitely even if they get “killed” by a big push from an enemy, and the latter gives you access to massive ammo pools for the weapons you use the most.
If you’re like me you’re usually low on explosives and SMG ammo, in that order, so the ability to massively boost the ammunition I can carry is a nice touch and makes it possible to rain hell from the sky or from the bushes a couple hundred yards away equally possible.
Stepping outside the comfort zone
These upgrades make a good case for using New Game+ as an excuse to try out new playstyles to spice things up. Not just in terms of what weapons you use, but also in what companions you bring to the party.
Once you reduce your timer enough on your companions it’s nice to be able to swap them around quickly without having to worry about long cooldowns or any kind of wait before you can bring them back to the adventure.
This extends to your guns as well, but the best part is bringing the two together, running all pistols or shotguns is a fun way to force yourself to play entirely in close range encounters, but combine it with the ability to swap between Cheeseburger and Boomer in favor of Nick Rye and Hurk to tackle a convoy, then flip around to Grace and Adelaide to take out those pesky snipers and planes is a nice bit of versatility that makes you feel like you’re actively commanding a resistance rather than just a plucky group of individual fighters.
The fact that your companions can dive back into action faster makes this even better, and we found ourselves actively using our companions a lot more because we weren’t nearly as afraid to see them knocked out of the fight for a bit. This in turn led us to using weapons that fit their playstyles more, and in general made experimenting with these loadouts a lot more fun.
All in all, Far Cry 5’s New Game+ is a great extension on the basic formula and gives you plenty of reasons to experiment with different gear and companions in a variety of situations. Situations and loadouts that would be a real bear to put together if you were just starting a normal new game.
It might not be perfect, but it’s a great addition to the game and if you liked the base game’s mix of hijinks and open world action you’ll only find more fun and firearms in the New Game+ experience.