The Struggle is Real: Far Cry 5 or God of War?
Let me start by stating flat out that this is absolutely a first world problem. Without a doubt, the following piece you are about to read is going to come off as whiny, annoying, first-world drivel. I do, however, have a few points to make so please stay with me. 2017 was arguably one of the greatest years for video games. Alongside the launch of the Switch, we were given numerous properties with which to shatter the contents of our wallets in a frenzy of button mashing ecstasy. In fact, most of us probably still have a number of games from last year on our list of “must-haves” that somehow fell by the wayside. The first quarter of 2018 is just coming to a close, and the biggest release so far must be Far Cry 5. I was fortunate enough to go hands-on with Far Cry 5 at PAX West last year, and when the game was announced and subsequently attacked by those that found the game offensive, I happily replied in defense of Ubisoft’s baby.
This is a game that has been on my radar for an entire year, and as you can see by our very own review, it’s far greater than we expected it to be. In a few weeks, however, is the release of God of War; the soft reboot of an iconic franchise with a hero that is without comparison. One game is open world, balls out action with heavy and very real-world overtones of corruption. The other is a story-rich, mythology laden epic journey that redefines the series and the hero we have come to know and love. Both of these will no-doubt be game of the year contenders, but being that they are entirely different genres, how does one truly compare them?
Ever since the release of the God of War story trailer I had made up my mind: God of War is the game for me. It’s gorgeous, it’s rich, it’s visceral, and it has been far too long since Kratos graced my screen. That is of course until Far Cry 5 managed to creep its way back into sight. So now I sit here trying to find the answer: Which one do I buy first? Well, the first selling point is simply being on the ground floor of all this excitement. My friends who are playing it now seem positively electric, forums are buzzing with discussions of the game and websites are reporting tips, tricks, and videos – loaded with spoilers – left, right and center. When a new game this big comes out, it’s easy to get dragged with the current and to want to be part of the happy masses. This has been a huge pull for me to choose Far Cry 5, but that’s not to say God of War won’t have the exact same reaction – it simply hasn’t launched yet (and it’s so close!)
Friends often say “Why not get both?” Well, the truth is I am an average person who has bills to pay and –sadly – adult responsibilities, I can’t justify buying two new AAA release games within a month of each other. So how do I make that decision? The games themselves, as I said, cannot be compared – they are completely different, and trying to pit them against each other makes no sense. Which style do I prefer? Well, I’ve spent the last few months playing both Skyrim and Assassin’s Creed Origins back and forth which really only tells me I don’t have a preference between open world freedom or mythology-laden adventure. I even made a poll on Facebook, asking my fellow gamers their thoughts between the games and wouldn’t you know it, it sits neck and neck with no clear decision. Video games are getting increasingly more expensive which is why indie titles are becoming more and more appealing and predominant; often times an indie will offer a new and interesting mechanic or feature at a cost well below that of AAA. Indies are affordable and manageable, but we are talking about two drop-dead gorgeous, game of the year contending AAA titles. If I could afford to buy both MAYBE I would drop the cash and hold onto one for down the road, but why not wait for a sale in that case?
Finally, which one is going to give me the most bang for my buck? Not to be mistaken for asking which genre I enjoy more, but what kind of replay value am I looking at? How many hours is the gaming going to be? Some linear games are fantastic tales but once you complete them you already know the story and there isn’t a reason to go back. If I intend to spend money on a AAA game, I want to know I won’t be completing it inside of three hours. We want our purchases to be worthwhile, so when gamers pick a game to buy – especially a full price one – we want to feel like it was a great investment.
What does this tell me about making a decision? That I am nowhere close to making up my mind. 2017 was a defining year for video games, and 2018 might just give it a serious run for its money, especially having titles like Far Cry 5 and God of War available early on, with huge names like Crackdown 3 and Super Smash Bros. to come. Both games offer me the experience I love to have when I’m gaming, both have unique and interesting narratives, and both are sure to offer plenty of replay value. I’ve watched every video I could on both games and read every bit of information I could find without spoilers, but to no avail.
I suppose I should be thankful the industry has reached a point where my biggest problem is deciding which franchise-expanding epic title I should buy first, but that doesn’t mean the struggle is any less real. Which do you think I should pick? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or the Comments section below, and while you’re at it, tell us your own personal struggle of trying to pick between two games!