Update: Steam's Summer Sale is over, but Ubisoft is selling the game for $9.00 on its website right now. Even better!
There are a lot of discounted games in Steam's Summer Sale. In my teens and early twenties I was a compulsive Steam sale buyer, but these days I try to limit myself to games I'm positive I'll actually play. This year that game is Far Cry 5, and right now it's 75% off, or $14.99, which is an absolute steal.
If you haven't already played it (I hadn't, until a few days ago), you're basically a fed who's brought in to arrest a cult leader. I know what you're thinking: but all cops are bastards, why would I want to play as one? Well, you might remember that Far Cry 5 got pretty bad reviews because it presented itself as a game about battling white supremacists in its earliest teasers, but ended up walking that back to killing religious (and extremely violent) cult members in the American south. Plot-wise, it doesn't have the guts to really go there, and it suffers for that. Here's how Ben Kuchera summarized the game in Polygon's review:
Far Cry 5 makes fun of everyone on the political spectrum, without ever taking a clear stand except to say, with toothless confidence, that murderous cults are bad. But maybe fighting them makes you just as bad, and in the end none of this matters anyway! It’s a story that goes nowhere and ends with a whimper, at least in the ending I saw. There seem to be two endings, although I doubt there’s a way to salvage the narrative in the last minutes after so many blown opportunities.
But here's the thing: the game is insanely fun and absolutely gorgeous. You don't really have to engage with the central plot, you can pick off side quests that seem fun and wander around taking in the scenery. In fact, I've chosen to play without using vehicles so that I can essentially treat the game like a hiking simulator. Did I mention that you have a dog who will walk with you everywhere? It's incredible. Also, I'm playing the game on my sub $1,000 gaming PC with a very affordable RX580, so it doesn't ask very much from a hardware perspective.
The game is also dumb as heck, and I mean that in the best possible way. When I first started the game, before I had the perk that reduces animal encounters, I was attacked by a bear and a mountain lion simultaneously, and one stick of dynamite later, boom, problem solved. (The bears in the game, so far, are American black bears, which usually aren't violent in real life and should be appreciated for their adorable rotundity and not blown up. Mountain lions are assholes though.) You can also fish, ride an ATV, and generally enjoy the all the perks of the rural south all from the comfort of your own home. It's great!
Does the game have a nuanced and cryptic interpretation of the modern human condition, like Death Stranding? Absolutely not. But is it worth $14.99? Absolutely. But you better move fast; the sale is almost over.