As we all know, though, even the best AI partner pales in comparison to having an actual human inhabit Hope County alongside you. Luckily, this is where many of Far Cry 5’s issues begin to fade. Exploring the landscape with your partner of choice lends itself to ignoring whatever nonsense the story tosses at you, and while the alleged “Anecdote Factory” doesn’t necessarily adjust itself for the better, the situations you find yourself in typically feel more memorable when shared with someone else. The game’s co-op restrictions are also a marked improvement on its predecessor, which effectively allowed you to do little more than futz around in the world until you got bored.
Unfortunately, there’s a minor catch. While Far Cry 5 does allow two player online co-op for the entire game, story progress is only kept for the host. It’s understandable, given the developer’s desire to provide a unique progression for each player, not to mention what I assume would be a nightmarish amount of work reconciling co-op and single player save data, but it’s a tad disappointing nonetheless. In the end, it feels more akin to something like the Souls franchise, wherein full co-op playthroughs are generally rare, and allies are called in more often to assist with tough areas or bosses. That’s certainly not to say the game doesn't allow for a full co-op playthrough, but it would require one of the two players to accept a nearly complete lack of progress on their personal save, which I could see being a bridge too far.
So, do I think the game’s worth a purchase? Yes, but only as long as you know what you’re getting into. In spite of its flaws, Far Cry 5 is mostly a goofy, good time, and it even manages to cement a bit of progress into the design of sandbox games. It’s also simply beautiful in parts, and I could honestly recommend playing it for no other purpose than a chance to exist in that world for a few moments. Among other things, Ubisoft’s frustrating attempt at engagement and disappointing story prevent the game from reaching greatness, but you probably already know to what degree those items will bother you. If you’re full-up on games right now and only a modern classic will move the needle, maybe wait on a sale (it is almost summer), but if you’re looking for a good way to spend a few dozen hours goofing around with a friend, it’s tough to argue against Hope County and its unwelcome inhabitants.
The Co-Op Experience: The fate of Hope County is in your hands. Take on the cult solo or team up with a fellow resister in co-op mode and wreak havoc upon Joseph Seed and his band of cult followers.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.