Far Cry Collapses
In this, the third and thankfully final part of FC6’s “Become the Villain” series, we enter the mind of FC5’s Joseph Seed, the maniacal preacher who brought about not only the end of the world, but the end of anyone caring about Far Cry.
I was curious how Ubisoft was going to pull this one off. Vaas, the mental villain of FC3 at least revelled in his insanity and so did we, while Pagan Min, the best thing about FC4 spent his DLC still clinging to his perception of reality. But Seed is different – not only did the apocalypse come true, but he got a sequel in FC New Dawn that saw him see the error of his ways and ask to be killed for his sins. So what’s got his mind so upset?
Seed is surprised that everyone hates him. A deep voice, maybe his own mind or God’s, who knows, reminds him of all the horrible things he’s done and Seed sets out to put things right – by killing everyone. Besides his brothers, a random appearance by that reverend from FC5 and his dopey son from New Dawn, The Judge returns as a mini-boss for no reason or explanation, just to double-down on what a terrible idea that was in FC New Dawn. Here was someone he Gaslit into becoming a masked enforcer, why isn’t he trying to redeem him? But no one hates Seed more than his Lana Del Ray-lite Faith.
Faith rages about how he kept her drugged, abused and passed her around. And all Seed does is claim it was for her own good or he didn’t really mean it. And that’s the biggest problem with Collapse – we’re expected to feel sorry for Seed. I don’t mind a redemption arc but Seed infuriatingly mutters about ‘mistakes were made’ and his guilt should be apology enough. FC5’s opening scene shows him gouging someone’s eyes out, he’s past saving.
Collapse should have been a twisted exploration of someone who actually did predict the end of the world, justifying his actions not apologising for them. Pagan and Vaas accepted their fates, but they never apologised for their behaviour, why is Seed? He was right, technically. We’re basically playing a rogue-like where the goal is surviving long enough to apologise to everyone. It should have been a darkly comic ‘I regret nothing!’ kind of approach. Seed blathers “I’m not the messiah,” yeah, you’re not a naughty boy either and that’s what this should have been; the world did end, and in New Dawn, Seed gave our hero divine powers - if he was the Son of God (or the Devil) instead of this pitiful apology that falls as flat as some Petrol Station flowers, it could have been awesome.
Again, just like Pagan’s DLC, the Rogue-like gameplay makes zero sense. What’s worse, the events are incredibly lacklustre and repetitive, so having to repeat it all makes it so tiresome. It’s one thing to repeat the same mini-game over and over, it’s another to repeat the same game filled with the same mission over and over. Every time you encounter Faith, John or Jacob, Seed explains himself, they refute it, he kills them to prove them wrong. The idea that we’re trying to give Seed absolution leaves a bad taste, the whole thing feels like one of those insincere social media apologies when someone gets cancelled.
The world is a mix of FC5 and FC New Dawn visually, where we take down safe houses, do side missions to explore moments that created the Seed we met in FC5, unlock weapons and so on. Once is enough, because the world is shockingly small and simple, and Seed’s story is tiresome. It’s serious too – the constant berating from Faith about his abuse of her is not a fun topic, so the let-lose fun that caried Insanity and Control is missing, making this even more of a slog and occasionally jarring – Seed defending his behaviour towards her is uncomfortable, but then he sneak-kills by choaking people with a Bible?!
Once the bullets start flying its good fun, and we have some brutal weapons to destroy/save everyone with. We’re basically ridding the world of his sin, represented as a pulsing weed, in the hope that everyone (including Seed) can go to Heaven. The problem is, narratively Seed already went through this at the end of FC New Dawn so how anyone is supposed to want to go through this 5 times to reach the finale, let along survive 20 final waves to unlock the secret ending I’ll never know, but what I do know is no one cares. Seed was by far the weakest, most undeveloped villain of all the FCs, even the one out of FC2 no one remembers. The Hyena or something?
At least the Insanity DLC took us back to Rook Island where hanging out with Vaas and Citra is never going to be boring, while spending more time with Pagan is never time wasted. But this has nothing going for it at all. The key thing for me, was when I played Insanity and Control, I found myself drawn back to the FCs they were based on. This has just reminded me of how shallow and toothless FC5 was.