My PC is over three years old. It creaked during the last Total War, groaned playing Assassin’s Creed Origins. Yet Far Cry 5, a brand new modern gorgeous open world shooter, runs like a dream even on ultra settings.
I've spent a long time trekking across Far Cry 5's fictional Hope County, Montana fighting the members of an apocalyptic cult led by a man called Joseph Seed, and I'm still not sure what their deal is. They drive around blasting weird Christian synth and shooting non-members on sight. It's weird and terrifying and unsatisfyingly explored in this epic-length game. For all its nods to contemporary politics and societal strife, Far Cry 5 is just another fun permutation of the usual Far Cry formula with nothing very interesting to say.Read more
Which is my personal anecdote, and is wonderful news for me, but for the sake of science there are people with a lot more graphics cards in their office than I do who have really put the game through its paces, and found much the same thing.
The Guru of 3D, for example, found that for most players "Ultra quality settings at up-to 2560x1440 really should not be an issue", PCGamesN say "Far Cry 5 has made a great impression when it comes to PC performance", while PC Gamer's testing showed that even some really old cards can play the game on Ultra provided folks were happy playing at 30FPS:[image id="1150753" url="https://www.gizmodo.com.au/content/uploads/sites/3/2018/03/28/uy9phaey2tpjwtvjtq6t.png" align="centre" clear="true" ]
There haven't been any huge changes under the hood here; this is still the same Dunia engine (with some advances, of course) that has been used in the last few Far Cry games. And it's not like you're able to get these results after a load of tinkering with settings, either, since the customisation options in the game are fairly limited.
It's just ... optimised really, really well. Remember to be out in February, only to be delayed until the end of this month? Turns out that an extra few weeks polish can do wonders.
It wasn't too long ago that we used to mock the performance of Ubisoft games on PC, especially at launch. For Far Cry 5 to be running so well straight out the gates is one of this year's more pleasant surprises, at least for those of us getting by on older hardware.