Assassin’s Creed Origins is largely identical whichever platform you play it on, but it’s getting one PC-exclusive feature - a cheat console called the Animus Control Panel. Once out it’ll allow you to turn 75 separate knobs, altering Bayek’s speed and the hitboxes of his enemies, as if Ancient Egypt were a song and you at the magical mixing board that controls it.
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Which got us thinking: what if the same were possible in Far Cry 5? We’re not interested in cheats, exactly, but modifiers - the game-changing alterations that would turn Ubisoft’s new open-world shooter from a flawed, good time into a cult classic. Just a little Eden’s Gate humour for you there.
One of the most entertaining cheats in GTA III drove the citizens of Liberty City insane. It made crossing the street a more dangerous decision than joining the Italian Mafia. Far Cry 5 seems to start there by default, filling Hope County with civilians determined to make every drive their last.
It’s possible they could stand to lift their feet off the accelerator a little bit - or be persuaded to with a few tweaks of the neutral AI. Not only would they live longer, and local insurance premiums would become far more affordable, but suddenly it would become possible to reach your destination without losing all the bumpers and mirrors on the muscle car you’ve paid top dollar for at the Fall’s End garage. Just a thought, expressed through gritted teeth.
No story missions
Far Cry 5’s penchant for constant kidnappings gives you a lot of facetime with its villains. And don’t get me wrong, defending against attacks where a single Bliss-tainted bullet can bring you down is extraordinarily tense. But it doesn’t half interrupt your self-directed activities.
It would be nice to have the option not to be carried unconscious in the back of a truck halfway across the map, simply because you’ve reached an arbitrary number of resistance points after blowing up a silo on the way to doing something else. After all: Bliss is ignorance.
Indie open-world games are already beginning to see the value in modes that strip out the combat and intrigue, leaving behind only the rustling of nearby trees and the cheep of Steam’s screenshot key. Hope County would be the perfect candidate for a hiking mode - a place so beautiful, the intro tells us, that its residents didn’t notice how ugly the people were getting.
This natural paradise would feel a tad empty if you pulled the cultists out entirely since, you know, they make up the majority of the population by the time you roll into town. But it would take only one edit to pacify them: reducing their threat detection to zero.
As it stands, Far Cry 5 draws the enemy indicator on the centre of your screen so often it’s practically burning a circle into your monitor. It’s impossible to stand still and appreciate the scenery even away from the roads, where suicidal eagles and wolves hold sway. A mode where your camera and fishing rod are the only items in your weapon wheel would allow for as much downtime as you like, without compromising the hectic pace of the main game.
Gibs fit for a patriot
Far Cry 5 is bloody, yes, but not in comparison to shooters past. In the age of gibs, a man would explode into more pieces than you could collect into a jar and count at a raffle. How about a slider that governs the explosiveness with which your opponents expire?
Age ratings are a concern, of course - but it doesn’t have to be blood. The Fourth of July may only come around once a year, but a cultist ready to explode in a shower of red, white, and blue sparks? They’re on every street corner in Hope County.
All we’re asking for here is a dial that can vary the total number of Hurks in the game - so that, where there was once one Hurk, there can now be none. We’re looking to make Hurk Jr. so junior that he ceases to exist.
Look: it’s nothing personal. In a series with practically no continuity, it’s nice to have a recurring character. The idea that a hapless backpacker has the misfortune of stumbling upon not one but three guerilla wars in his young adulthood, like a hillbilly George Orwell, is wonderful. Heck, his gabbling manner can even be charming. It’s just his choice of weapon that’s the problem.
Does the Gun for Hire AI know how to shoot an RPG without engulfing their employer in flame? No. Is that going to change? No. Better to remove the possibility of a friendly fiery death entirely.
Far Cry 5’s gun-for-hire system opens up new and exciting opportunities for tactical delegation. It has made synchronised assaults and pincer movements possible. But we’re not interested in tactics so much as we are tricks that Boomer could perform.
A dog-specific list of console commands, anyone? ‘Sit’, ‘roll over’, and ‘paw’ would be a decent start. Essentially, we’re looking for Rainbow Six levels of squad control, applied to a very good boy. Less Far Cry, more Go Long. These are the tweaks great games are made of.