Far Cry 5 Arcade Impressions

In addition to what so far looks to be an engaging open-world campaign in Montana, Far Cry 5 will also sport an arcade mode featuring a level editor and 6-on-6 PVP multiplayer. I was able to test out Far Cry Arcade at the same Ubisoft event where I got to preview the main game. I was not prepared for what I witnessed.

I played through two unique maps that were created in the level editor. In one level, I was given the prompt to find the exit of an unassuming house. At first, it seemed like a normal, slightly unkempt house. Then after walking through several rooms, I suddenly encountered a warped reality – random clocks were floating, objects were hanging upside down on the ceiling, and animal carcasses were glued to the wall. Except for my character, gravity was all over the place. Needless to say, I got very lost. Regardless, I found it intriguing as an experience that I would never expect in an average main Far Cry campaign.

The other map was more normal, taking place on a dilapidated cargo dock. My goal was to kill a single target while dealing with numerous enemies on the way. Similarly to the previous level, it was somewhat of a puzzle trying to reach my target. He was hidden on top of a building, but I had to climb atop other buildings and use ziplines to find my path. Neither level felt at all like similar in tone or atmosphere to the main campaign, but I liked the increased focus on cunning over skill. While I didn’t get to see how the level was made, there appear to be a lot of gears spinning in the background to make this user-created mission work.

Both levels were breaths of fresh air from the campaign, taking a completely different direction and simply using the Far Cry engine as a basis. I didn’t get to play with the level editor itself or even see how it works, but it looks like it will be fairly robust if it can create situations like the warped house. There will be thousands of assets not just from Far Cry 5, but also Far Cry 4, Far Cry Primal, and even other Ubisoft series like Watch Dogs and Assassin’s Creed. I’m particularly interested to see how all of these objects are used together. There are reportedly few restrictions on how to set up these maps, and hopefully the editor is easy enough to use. The strength of this mode will depend on the user-generated content. While I’m sure there will be duds, I hope creators will share truly off-the-wall levels that could only be conceived with the editor. At the very least, Ubisoft will continue to release levels for Arcade mode over time, as well as updates that add even more objects.

I also got to engage in 12-player multiplayer on an island map. My time was brief, but from what I played, it was a standard 6v6 deathmatch in an area that seemed cobbled together with odd structures. The strange map was the weakest link for me, but the beauty of this mode is that you can create whatever masterpiece of an arena you'd like. Or you can try others' maps with custom loadouts and modifiers. Otherwise, it was a fair multiplayer mode that didn’t hold anything distinctly notable from other shooters. The actual gameplay of moving and shooting felt just as strong as it did in the main game.

Far Cry 5 Arcade is shaping up to be a nice bonus to an already expansive story mode. I prefer the deep gameplay and engaging story of the main campaign, but at the same time, I’m intrigued by the many possibilities for unique user-generated content. And solid 12-player PVP is always a plus. There’s a lot of potential with Far Cry Arcade, and it will depend on how the community reacts to it. Far Cry 5 and its Arcade mode launches on March 27.

I am a lifelong gamer, having grown up with Nintendo since I was young. My passion for gaming led to one of the greatest moments of my life, my video game themed wedding!