Far Cry is a great series. At least it was until it became clear that Ubisoft had run out of ideas and instead decided to rehash the template from the beloved third game time and again in the vain hope that nobody would notice.
What made Far Cry 3 (and in fairness, quite a few other instalments in the franchise) so special was the game’s sheer lunacy. Far Cry 2 had been a relatively sober meditation on the nature of war and the ethics surrounding profiteering (when things weren’t exploding or you weren’t pulling nails from your hands), but FC3 took off the stabilisers and made things go boom to the pulsating sound of Skrillex and Damian Marley. It is this template that subsequent games have followed ever since because it’s these ingredients that players have ultimately fallen in love with.
Recapturing that magic has been Ubisoft’s main concern with the series going forward, but these ten games like Far Cry will give you a similar kick without feeling like the retreading of well-worn ground.
Games Like Far Cry
10. Horizon Zero Dawn & Forbidden West
If you loved Far Cry’s open world, satisfying gameplay and lush, vibrant settings, you could do worse than to check out the Horizon games as a matter of priority. While they may sound a little odd on paper, both Zero Dawn and Forbidden West are hugely enjoyable RPGs that see you take on the role of Aloy, a flame-haired bow-master with a knack for hunting down the hordes of mechanical beasts that now roam the American frontier.
Horizon Zero Dawn and its massive follow-up Forbidden West have earned serious acclaim from players and fans alike, devotees citing both games’ visual style, great gameplay and outlandish conceptual setups as being some of the best around. It also sold rather well, too.
Playing either Horizon game should be a given regardless of your feelings on Far Cry, but fans of Ubisoft’s series should find the transition to Sony’s effort utterly seamless, especially if those players have already enjoyed Stone-Age spear-throwing sim Far Cry: Primal. The two share a lot of similarities: they both employ the use of primitive weapons, they both allow exploration of a massive world, and they’ve both got big nasty creatures to hunt and destroy at your leisure.
The Dishonored games have already slashed their way into gaming legend. As acclaimed by critics as they are adored by loyal fans, Arkane Studio’s series has been heralded for its involving stories, massive player freedom, creative gameplay mechanics and bold and involving art direction, not to mention the huge replayability both mainline entries offer.
Playing Dishonored, much like Far Cry, has become a honable skill, perhaps not the sort of thing one could boast on a CV or use to impress the in-laws, but an expertise that you can use to build upon the basic parameters set out by the game in order to become more efficient, more effective and ultimately, more deadly.
Playing Dishonored is like playing the guitar: it’s easy to get started, but learning to master it is practically a full-time job. Whether casually or as a committed devotee, fans of the Far Cry series should definitely check out Dishonored as a matter of priority.
8. Just Cause
Everyone loves the Just Cause series. Well maybe not literally everyone, but it’s hard not to be suckered in by Square Enix and Avalanche Studios’ ludicrously intoxicating mix of explosions, unadulterated carnage and more grappling hook action than you can shake a stick at. Sporting the same deranged streak as its Ubisoft-published counterpart, Just Cause is like the brother Far Cry never had.
Even some of the themes are the same, most notably your protagonist Rico Rodriguez’s quest to overthrow a series of foul dictatorships and reassert the will of the People, a task he carries out not through grassroots political action or peaceful protest, but by shooting everything within a four-mile radius and causing more death and destruction than Godzilla on his stag do.
“We appreciate you trying to liberate our island, Rico, but do you mind actually leaving some of it left once you’re finished?”
7. Assassin’s Creed
The Six Degrees of Separation Theory, alternatively known as Kevin Bacon’s Theorum, essentially posits that everything in the universe is connected and can be linked together in a series of no more than six basic steps.
True or not, the theory could easily have been named the Assassin’s Creed Theorum on account of the fact that practically every game in some way seems to link back to Ubisoft’s colossally successful IP. With dozens of mainline games, tons of spin-offs, not to mention tie-in movies, books and comics, the Assassins’ tentacles have spread their way across the gaming landscape.
This all being said, there are obvious similarities between Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed, two franchises published and developed by Ubisoft and the many divisions thereof. Both boast huge open worlds, both incorporate stealth and takedowns to varying degrees, both are colossal moneymakers and both are in danger of becoming stale and static AAA titans unsure as to what their respective next moves are.
Sure, Assassin’s Creed features more hooded tops and fewer flamethrower sequences, but the basic template is shared across both of Ubisoft’s massive properties. For better, or for worse.
The Dying Light games and Far Cry have their obvious differences, of course, the latter boasting a notable lack of zombies or properly involved parkour. What these games have in common, however, is not only a sense of player freedom, but also a feeling of chaos and anarchy, that the rules no longer apply thanks to the breakdown of social order. The Dying Light series has the same strange glint in its eye, the same quirky, slightly mean streak as Just Cause and Far Cry (especially from 3 onwards) that makes those games such off-beat delights.
If you liked the first Far Cry, there’s a good chance you’ll like the critically acclaimed series that it (sort of) went on to spawn.
The first Far Cry was something of an outlier in the series in that it was the only game developed by Crytek, the German games studio based out of Frankfurt. While the rest of the Far Cry entries would be developed by Ubisoft, the first game featured a rather unique flavor thanks to the initial input of a completely different development studio.
When the Far Cry franchise was subsequently acquired outright by Ubisoft, Crytek put their attention into the Crysis brand, a hugely powerful and technologically demanding IP that ended up becoming the gold standard test for a PC’s processing power for at least the next ten years.
The Crysis games differ thematically from those in the Far Cry canon, but fans of the original will find much of the same tone and feel in the much-acclaimed futuristic offshoot. Like Far Cry, every Crysis is well worth checking out.
4. Spec Ops: The Line
An odd choice on the surface for a list of games like Far Cry, but deeply disturbing anti-war polemic Spec Ops: The Line has a lot in common with flippant open world carnage simulator Far Cry. In fact, it has a lot in common with one game from the series in particular: Far Cry 3.
Spec Ops: The Line took the established Call of Duty “shoot the baddies in the face until your mom takes you to therapy” formula and subverted it to startling effect. Taking a format that often indulges and glamorizes warfare, Spec Ops: The Line lets gamers peek behind the curtain for a disturbing dive into the murkier aspects of mechanized killing, from the grey areas of combat morality to collateral damage, PTSD and even descents into madness.
Many of the themes that make Spec Ops such a phenomenal experience (a phenomenally upsetting one, that is) are present in Far Cry 3, albeit in a very different wrapper. The third (and best) instalment in Ubisoft’s AAA franchise is also about falling into the dream of insanity. In fact, it’s the game’s central thesis as Jason goes from mild-mannered hair gel enthusiast and Abercrombie and Fitch patron to tattooed psychopath and machete expert who, by the story’s end, has only a shred of his humanity left intact.
As two games exploring the depths to which the human soul is capable of plummeting, Spec Ops: The Line and Far Cry 3 are two peas in a rather unlikely pod.
3. Tomb Raider
The more you play the very capable Tomb Raider reboot games (officially known as the Survivor Trilogy), the more you appreciate the debt developers Crystal Dynamics owed to many of the AAA releases already selling well in the market.
The Survivor Trilogy borrows a lot from games like Far Cry, a franchise which itself borrows a lot from other Ubisoft IPs and contemporary AAA action games, namely RPG elements colliding with (some) exploration in a semi-open world with a heavy focus on brutal survivalism in a hostile environment. Where have we heard that before?
The original Tomb Raider series, of course, did practically everything first anyway, so getting into a debate about who did what first is as redundant as it is pointless, suffice to say that there’s a great deal of overlap between Far Cry and the rebooted Tomb Raider instalments.
EA-published historical action-adventure game The Saboteur flew somewhat under the radar when it was released back in 2009, an unsurprising fact given it shared the same release year as Modern Warfare 2, Assassin’s Creed 2, Wii Sports, Resident Evil 5 and, of course, Ski-Doo: Snowmobile Challenge for the PS3. How could anyone compete with that?
The Saboteur initially didn’t do much to be remembered by history, but it does hold the somewhat unenviable honor of being the last game the now-defunct Pandemic Studios ever released before its closure in 2009.
The Saboteur doesn’t quite have the whizz-bang kinetic feel of most Far Cry games, but its open world, stealth mechanics, anti-authoritarian storyline and occasional taste for brutality should keep fans of Ubisoft’s flagship franchise happy for hours.
First-person shooting? Check. Large open worlds to explore? Check. Guns? Check. Off-kilter sense of humour? Check. Turns out Borderlands is a lot like Far Cry in more ways than one.
The Borderlands series became a massive success in the 2010s because it dared to be different, hitting players square in the face with its brash sense of humor, bold art style and willingness to experiment with the format in order to do something different. Very much like the early Far Cry games, there was always a sense with Borderlands of a franchise pushing out into the frontier and, whether you liked it or not, attempting to do something that was unique in the AAA market.
Most of the series takes place on Pandora, a mineral-rich planet whose natural resources have drawn the attention of multiple megacorporations and interested parties vying for a slice of the economic pie while facing off against one another and the hostile inhabitants of the planet itself.
Like Far Cry, the Borderlands games are sharp and frenetic, moving at a mile a minute and always putting the emphasis on players having fun, fun, and more fun. If you want guns, explosions and all-out action on a ludicrous scale, Borderlands is capable of scratching your Far Cry-shaped itch.
Some of the coverage you find on Cultured Vultures contains affiliate links, which provide us with small commissions based on purchases made from visiting our site. We cover gaming news, movie reviews, wrestling and much more.
Gamezeen is a Zeen theme demo site. Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.