The demo offered three allies for the same church-based flashpoint you might have seen in the gameplay trailer earlier this week. That teaser showcased all three characters in action at once, but I only got to choose one. My Fallout 4 sensibilities kicked in and went immediately for Boomer the dog, who mauls and distracts enemies, retrieves weapons and is such a good boy, yes you are. (You can pet Boomer anytime you want. It’s the gameplay feature we always needed.)
I’m not the stealthiest of players, so my play-through consisted of a lot of botched sneaking attempts, some sticks of dynamite, and some lucky breaks: One dynamite explosion set off a chain reaction of fiery vehicles and killed off most of the peripheral enemies around the church. I also noticed that this iteration of Far Cry ditches the mini-map (thanks, Zelda!), opting for a compass-like halo that more subtly points you toward objects and enemies.
Without the sniper character or pilot to act as support, teaming up with Boomer creates a more direct approach as you flank enemies, revive the dog when needed and just generally get up in the face of gun-toting troublemakers. I completely forgot to actually go into the church (I probably should have) and was soon on my way to the next mission, which involved smashing an 18-wheeler into other cars, hopping into a tiny prop plane to blow up some silos and then even a quick dogfight with a rival pilot. (He lost.)
I didn’t have time to play the demo with the other backup characters, but a sniper would have definitely assisted in my gung-ho play style, and while I got to meet the pilot during the demo’s missions, I ended up flying his plane myself. Far Cry 5′s early trailers hint that both allies and other non-playable characters will have stories to tell and motives for their actions — it’s something I’m looking forward to hearing more about. Oh, and the idea of your online buddies getting in on the action through a cooperative mode? That sounds even more intriguing.
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