Hours of Darkness, the first DLC chapter for Far Cry 5 season pass holders is now out. Following hot on the heels of last week's release of Far Cry 3 Classic Edition, Hours of Darkness transports you to the jungles of Southeast Asia for a brief but entertaining Vietnam war story.
We've gotta get out of this place.
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Far Cry 5's first bit of post-launch DLC, Hours of Darkness, will be coming to PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 on June 5th, Ubisoft has announced.
Hours of Darkness is the first of three rather bizarrely themed bits of DLC planned for Ubisoft's enormously successful open-world shooter, and sees Far Cry 5 trade its usual Montana setting for the Viet Cong. The connecting thread is Wendell "Red" Redler, soldier and citizen of Hope County, "who must find and rescue his fellow squad members from hostile forces during the Vietnam War".
In present day Hope County, as seen in the main game, Wendell Redler can be found at the Redler Residence, in Far Cry 5's Holland Valley region.
Far Cry 5 isn't just a hit - it's a monster hit - bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of sales.
Ubisoft said this week that the open-world shooter, which launched in March 2018, enjoyed first week sales of $310m, making it Ubisoft's second biggest release ever. (The Division remains Ubisoft's biggest launch in history with $330m in its first week.)
Obviously, Ubisoft won't see all of that money - retailers and platform holders such as Valve, Microsoft and Sony all take a cut before cash flows into Ubisoft's coffers. Still, Ubisoft will no doubt be delighted with the remarkable return. For context, Far Cry 5's launch more than doubled that of Far Cry 4, which launched in 2014.
The island from Lost, that TV show about polar bears and time travel, has been painstaking recreated in Far Cry 5's Arcade map maker mode.
For the next few hours, you'll be able to get yourself a copy of Far Cry 5 on Xbox One for its cheapest price so far since launch - £34.95.
Under Ubisoft's stewardship, the Far Cry franchise is now celebrating its 10th year - a full decade of series entries and offshoots that have seen the focus of the gameplay and the technology shift dramatically. And this has led to some interesting YouTube offerings from Mark Brown and CrowbCat, showing what look like substantial engine downgrades over the years. So what's going on here? Has the massive increase in processing power provided by the current-gen consoles been matched with a simplification in aspects of the technology?
Beware serious spoilers for every numbered Far Cry game except the first. You have been warned.
Far Cry 5 has topped the UK chart with monster sales, earning the series its biggest ever launch in the UK.
Ubisoft shifted considerably more copies during its debut week than fellow recent releases Assassin's Creed Origins and Ghost Recon Wildlands - which themselves sold well.
It's especially impressive for Far Cry 5 as it launched in March - compared to the busier November launch windows of Far Cry 3 and 4.
Ubisoft is comfortably settling into developing for the four current-gen home consoles: hardware that's similar in so many ways, but each paired with a very different level of GPU power. Far Cry 5 has much in common with stablemate Assassin's Creed Origins - we're essentially looking at parity in terms of the visual feature set across the stack of consoles, with resolution the only real point of variation, the differences blurred somewhat thanks to temporal anti-aliasing. Those extra pixels still count - with Xbox One X top of the tree - but the key takeaway is that everyone gets a great game here.
AC Origins combined TAA with dynamic resolution scaling to bridge the gap between one console to the next, but Far Cry 5 is a little different - it's a fixed resolution all around on all consoles. At the bottom of the pile sits the standard Xbox One, which delivers a still creditable 1440x1080. Scaling only occurs on the horizontal axis, but the end result is a game that is noticeably softer than any of the others, as the comparison tool below demonstrates. PlayStation 4 seems to be the foundation platform here, delivering Far Cry 5's full visual feature set at the 1080p standard.
Moving onto the enhanced consoles, a good presentation for 4K displays is the target, and it's Xbox One X that is the star of the show here. The Scorpio Engine delivers a full, native 4K presentation - 3840x2160 - while retaining the TAA for an almost flawless, virtually jaggy-free experience. It's an impressive achievement, with a 5.3x boost to resolution over the standard Xbox One. By comparison, PlayStation 4 Pro delivers 2880x1620, a 2.25x improvement over the base model and almost entirely in line with the GPU compute power increase available to developers. This is pretty impressive bearing in mind that there's only a small memory bandwidth boost over the older PS4, and just a small amount of additional memory.
You can kick off a spectacular set piece pretty much anywhere in Far Cry 5. All you need do is stand in the road. Give it 60 seconds, and - yes, there it is, a van full of hostages, cruising around unescorted, the lowest of low-hanging fruit. You pour hot lead into the windshield until the driver flops out of his seat like a spent shell casing, then follow the vehicle into a ditch and help its dazed occupants to safety. One grateful civilian waves you over, a side quest icon materialising over his head. "Wh-" he says, and is promptly swept off his feet by a speeding pick-up truck.
Far Cry 5
In a callback to events from the previous game in the series, it is possible to complete Far Cry 5 in just 10 minutes.
Ubisoft has emerged victorious in the long-running battle to stave off a hostile Vivendi takeover.
Since the announcement of Far Cry 5, details of its map editor and multiplayer portions have been surprisingly thin on the ground. I'm a big fan of that kind of stuff though, so during a trip to try out the campaign, I badgered the developers for a bit more info about Far Cry Arcade and in particular, the map editor.
The Far Cry series' map editor - now rebranded as Far Cry Arcade - is making a big return in Far Cry 5, and will include elements from other Ubisoft series for the first time.
Ubisoft has launched a half hour-long film prequel to Far Cry 5 via Amazon Prime.
I just watched it and it's actually not bad - it follows three vloggers as they blunder head first into the Eden's Gate cult while researching it for a documentary series.
The fact they start their vlog by saying "WHAT'S UP" felt suitably accurate.
Ubisoft has announced a bizarre trio of DLC packs coming as part of Far Cry 5's season pass.
Ubisoft has announced delays for three of its upcoming titles: Far Cry 5, open-world driving sequel The Crew 2, and a third, currently unannounced game.
Far Cry 5 is the first game in Ubisoft's franchise to be set in the US. After more than a decade, the series which has defined itself by inviting players to explore various weird and wonderful locales will next look inwards.
As soon as you complete Far Cry 5's tutorial, you can play the open-world shooter co-op online with a friend, Ubisoft has said.
If you're even remotely familiar with the work of Ian Higton, you'll know he has two great pleasures in life - these being Far Cry games and titting about. With this in mind, it should come as no surprise to hear that Ian played Far Cry 5 a little while ago and things got a little silly.
Ubisoft showed off some proper Far Cry 5 gameplay at its E3 2017 conference earlier today, and it's just what you'd expect.
The trailer kicks off with a nice bit of hymn recital, followed by several minutes of bloody murder. The main focus of this one is the notion of "guns for hire," "friends for hire," and "fangs for hire" - allies you can call on in the form of non-player characters, wild animals, real-world friends, and a real good dog.
It's the first time we've seen the feature in action, with you seemingly being able to point at an enemy and set your various pals-for-hire upon them on command. The dog that was featured, Boomer, is not only a very good boy, but also will steal and retrieve for you an enemy's weapon if you ask him nicely.
The first big E3 conference kicks off tonight at 10pm BST as EA unveils its plans for the coming year and beyond.
Here's an odd one: UK retailer GAME refers to Far Cry 5 by a different name on its internal stock system - "Father Trump".
Ubisoft has a new logo - it's an updated version of the familiar purple swirl you'll have seen hundreds of times when loading up Assassin's Creed, Far Cry or anything Tom Clancy.
Far Cry 5 will introduce airplanes to the open world shooter series for the first time - as well as an attempt to satirise the rise of the far-right with its representation of fanatics in North West America.
UPDATE 24/5/17 5.05pm: Here's our first look at artwork from Far Cry 5, showing its cast of main characters:
There's a number of religious overtones to the image - its mimicry of da Vinci's famous Last Supper painting, the church in the background, the crosses on both the church's flag and the Stars and Stripes, and the character in the centre of the picture with a book - presumably the bible.
There's also a pile of weaponry - heavy rockets and a souped up crossbow.
In a flurry of announcements, Ubisoft has confirmed games in four of its big AAA franchises are all coming in the next 12 months:
Far Cry 5
The Crew 2