wall of text warning lol
I was really excited to play this game, I heard it was disappointingly short but wrapped up the story from 5 and had solid gameplay.
Technically all of this was true. The rpg lite mechanics felt meaningless to me, I always grind up my gear so I never felt under geared.. which just meant the combat felt like typical far cry combat, which isn't bad. I hated the lack of weapon customization, but I loved the new double jump perk. I'm convinced it should be a staple in every FC game. Getting around finally felt fun again, which felt screwed up in Hope County during 5 somehow.
But the story.. man, the story was so frustrating, and sometimes confusing. But mostly frustrating. The repeated legitimizing of Eden's Gate. The complete and total brainwashing of the Deputy on a comical level. The insane logistical power of the Highwaymen, which behave like random bandits from Borderlands but apparently have the organizational skills to control massive areas from California all the way to Florida and places in between.. But of course they all listen to the same music. The repeated legitimizing of Eden's Gate. Ethan's entire existence. Complete and total lack of payoff regarding all of the game's villains, and by extention the plot itself. The repeated legitimizing of Eden's Gate.
Did I mention I really hated that the writers chose to repeatedly legitimize Eden's Gate? Like wtf was their intention? It's okay to create murderous fanatical cults as long as you happen to time its creation to the onset of a nuclear war? It's okay to present news you can hear on the radio as the word of God? It's okay to do all this shit as long as at the very end of the day after thousands and thousands of deaths at your hands and word you accept that you were wrong? Killing your own daughter is okay if you feel bad about it 27 years later? Fuck.
For the most part I actually enjoyed the twins – they should have had bigger presence throughout the game beyond generic radio messages, and it would have been nice to get a better idea of who each one was as an individual. My biggest gripe with them was no payoff. I killed Lou and she died laughing. I let Mickey live because she was never the one to escalate things as hardcore as Lou did, and she actually understood that their behavior was fucked up, unlike Lou who thrived in it. I figured, if the game somehow thinks it's okay to give Joseph fucking Seed a chance at redemption then she deserves one too, and she did much less than he at least from what we've seen.
Which brings me to my next point, Joseph Seed and my burning hatred for the nature of writing team's handling of him. Technically this extends to FC5 so it's not specifically limited to ND. But since FC5 already fucked it up so much, I had ND to look forward to at least attempting to rectify it. And they chose not to. Not only did they choose not to even try to turn it around, they made it worse. (At least they didn't make him survive a helicopter crash while not strapped in or a car crash at full speed – with no seat belt – that killed almost everybody else in the vehicle.. what the fuck was that??)
By the end he was a pathetic, sniveling piece of shit and i almost didn't even want to kill him anymore because at that point he wanted it – but letting him live isn't really an acceptable alternative either, neither of which provide any payoff in any manner, not even emotional. At least I might have felt good about killing Mickey if I'd done it, like I did the world a service. Killing Seed at that point felt like getting a stubborn piece of shit out of the treads of your boots that had been stuck for too long. Not even that is comparable because at least you get the satisfaction of knowing your boots are a little cleaner. It was so deeply underwhelming. At that point it achieved literally nothing. It reminded me of the intro to Endgame if any of you get that reference.
I never once felt even remotely attached to the Cap, somehow I felt like the Deputy at least felt like a bit of a stand in for me in terms of being forced to do things the same way I am as a player to progress in the narrative, but the Cap well and truly felt like a robot with a gun.
I still find the combat, stealth, and outpost mechanics to be fun. Strongholds were too frenetic though, never spent much time in there because I was just getting what I wanted and getting out. The new powers were fun to use and I enjoyed leveling up my arrow capacity to the point that i had 120 explosive arrows. but man idk if I'll ever let that narrative go lol. If I ever replay this pair of games I'm definitely skipping cutscenes.
Whoo! I feel much better now. I just finished the game and just needed to get that off my chest. Overall I'd say 7/10. If you actually read all this, you deserve a cookie.
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