In the PC games section (sponsored by Canada Computers), I was able to play a PS4 demo (go figure) for Far Cry 5. This was the same one offered to press at Gamescom earlier this year.
The demo opens by asking the player who they want as their companion, a lady sniper, some bearded dude-bro, and a dog. I have one rule in my RPGs, and that is always bet on the dog. So me and my new canine pal set off to free a small town in Montana that's been seized by militant, cultist, redneck types (there's context for all this presented in a trailer after the gameplay), that being the sort of thing you do in Far Crys. The dog immediately ran towards the first mulleted avenger of latter day jerks and stole his AK, good boy. On the other hand, my go-to plan on creeping around the edge of town picking dudes off with melee and silenced small arms went out the window and I had to blow up all the cars on the main intersection to clear out the baddies. Speaking of blowing things up, explosions feel way more hardcore than the last two numbered entries in the franchise, and most action games overall. Expect to take damage, get knocked down and have your visual and audio cues messed with if you are near any blasts. After "saving" the town, I was quickly introduced to a sassy barkeep who told me that the local airfield was also being threatened by the Ammunition's Witnesses, more violence ensued, I shot man wearing a sleeveless trench coat, so y'alls know he was hardcore.
The best thing about talking to the airfield guy afterward was when he started expositing and I mashed 'X' to skip his spiel, and the character stopped himself mid-line and then said (functionally) "I can see you’re in a hurry, just hop in my pontoon plane, bomb the 9mm Ministries' fuel depots." It was oddly impressive to see those smart audio and animation edits in the face of a user prompt happen. But more important was the example of the new addition: old-timey prop plane combat. Bombing runs were simple, intuitive and forgiving given that I had never had to interact with a bombing reticule in my life. I did just fine blasting some sweet, high-octane go-juice sky high, the tricky part was dealing with potential retaliators from the Armored Church of Pentecost. Dogfighting is a confusing mess of indicators, awkward inputs and trying to get the other guy somewhere near my godsdamned reticules long enough to maybe just maybe nail him. I died twice and then I got screen that said I had totally succeeded and then jumped to a trailer outlining the conflict between the local resistance and the Fellowship of Full Metal Jackets but not the protagonist's exact place or stake in the fight.
I have a love-hate relationship with Ubisoft's open-world game formula, but Far Cry has always been closer to the love side of that equation, this one seems to be shaping up towards something I am eager to play.