For a while, it seemed like co-op mode games were a thing of the past.
With single-player stories becoming ever shorter, and a shifting focus moving to online multiplayer, the ability to run through a story mode with friends was going the way of the dodo, fidget spinners and Kevin Spacey’s career.
But in 2018, things seem to be turning around for good old-fashioned co-op. Far Cry 5 is just one example of a game where a cooperative mode is making a return in a big way. In the latest instalment of the Far Cry series, players can jump into the game with one other friend and experience the violent landscape of Hope County together.
But is this game worth picking up if you’re only interested in the co-operative aspect? In our Far Cry 5 co-op review, we ask exactly that.
Far Cry 5 Co-Op: Differences From Previous Titles in the Series
Far Cry 5’s Co-Op mode lets you play alongside friends — well, one friend at a time — in the expansive Hope County of Montana, USA. It follows the same story arch as the single-player game, along with all the missions, side missions and extras too.
This is a distinct departure from the previous iterations such as Far Cry 3 & 4. While these games offered co-op gameplay, they didn’t provide access to the full single-player story, only side missions and unique multiplayer options.
As Far Cry 5 is an immersive story experience, being able to play it through with friends is definitely a major plus point in the game’s favour.
The biggest draw to this title is easily the disturbing religious cult plot — a plot so well drawn out it could be its own TV show. The fact that you can enjoy both the story and co-op play at the same time is something we really appreciated this title offered.
Without it, the co-op would suffer badly, lacking a real drive to jump on and get involved, as we’ll talk about more later.
Thankfully though, Far Cry 5 co-op gives you all story elements that singleplayer offers, so you don’t miss out on anything when playing with friends, allowing social players to really get the most out of this game.
What’s Good About Far Cry 5 Co-Op?
The biggest selling point we can make for the co-op on this game is this: it’s a bloody good time. Far Cry 5’s co-op is fun. Period.
Sure, it has the interesting story elements, the gameplay and the missions that come with it, all the things that make the title worth buying a single player experience, but the co-op also offers way more than that.
Far Cry 5 is, at times, absolutely f***ing insane. NPCs are saying weird stuff. Things are blowing up. Planes are dive bombing you. Cows are having sex in a field while a bear chases you down. Enemies are aiming snipers at your head and your only method of escape is a gunfight or a tractor.
These are hilarious moments, moments that are made all the more fun when you’re cracking up with a friend.
The game is absolutely hilarious. It’s also tough at times and it’s so easy to make stupid mistakes. Which, while frustrating when playing alone, are a chance for even more jokes when playing co-op.
By yourself, you won’t get so many laughs out of Far Cry 5. But with somebody to play alongside, you’ll never be short of a good lol.
On the subject of tough, this game is challenging. You drop like a sack of shit when riddled with bullets and it can take a few goes to complete certain missions.
But in a world where games are impossibly easy, it’s another welcome break, especially when it forces you and your teammate to think tactically and work together instead of just running around like lunatics — although you can definitely do this as well.
We certainly did.
In terms of a technical co-op experience, Far Cry 5 works pretty well. There are some bugs, but in general, it is easy to jump in and out of games, and the entire setup seems well geared towards co-op play, with no limitations being set on missions and only a few on how players interact with the game.
For example, only the host can recruit NPCs to support you.
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The Downside of Co-Op in Far Cry
So far, Far Cry 5 co-op sounds great, right?
And it is, but nothing is perfect and the game has a number of flaws to go alongside the positive elements.
Most noticeably when playing co-op, as mentioned above, are the glitches. You’ll find glitches occur fairly regularly in the game, from being booted out and crashing to missing vehicles and getting stuck in weird places, Far Cry 5 definitely has some bugs to smooth out post-launch.
This is a niggling issue, but it definitely impacts the game. Sometimes in a funny way, adding to those aforementioned laughs, but always noticeable.
You’ll also notice that only one person’s story progress is saved. This means if you play with a friend for 10 hours, but then they get bored and don’t want to play anymore, you’ll have lost all your progress. If you’re going into this game with co-op in mind, make sure you find somebody who is committed to completing the game, or have them play on your save.
Moving on the issues with the core gameplay, a major irritant we found with the co-op in Far Cry 5 is that you will receive a warning if you stray too great a distance from your ally, which is not very far.
In short-range combat and on the ground, this isn’t really a problem, and can actually be helpful if you get split up. However, when it aerial battles, it becomes a nuisance very quickly, as you find yourself being teleported into your friends plane all too quickly. It also presents issues if you’re trying to think tactically. On more than one occasion we attempted to flank enemies or perform strategic manoeuvres to catch them off guard, only to find we couldn’t because the distance was too far.
It must be noted that these really are niggles.
The only other issue I can think to mention is that it’s quite easy to miss important story moments as you talk over dialogue or cut-scenes. Easy solution: mute your chatterbox mate when people sound like they’re saying something important.
Far Cry 5 Co-Op Review: Our Final Thoughts
Overall, while it has flaws, Far Cry 5 is a brilliant co-op experience mixing a tense story with well-designed multiplayer and hilarious outtake opportunities. It is by no means a perfect ride, but it’s a fun ride and isn’t that what gaming is all about? Go in with a friend and be prepared for a tough go of it at times, but also be ready for some real laugh-out-loud moments.
What we will add is that Far Cry 5 is definitely a game best served in co-op. A lot of the core elements of the game revolve around side-missions and progressing through capturing zones in order to move further in the story. When messing around with a mate, this is not a problem, but when playing alone, it can get stale and repetitive.