April 18th, 2018 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

Sometimes you find love in weird places like the middle of a totalitarian cultist takeover.

Far Cry 5 is yet another example of how all the mainline Ubisoft games are getting rather homogenous. With the ability to hire a somewhat competent squad AI to help you fight the enemies, you’d be forgiven if you just briefly glanced at the game and thought you were playing Ghost Recon: Wildlands. Despite all of this, Ubisoft is making headway in all their sandbox games by giving the NPCs some actual characteristics and traits. Indeed, on top of the 9 companions you can receive in the game, you can also talk to the many many NPCs you find during missions, strongholds, and sometimes random encounters. They have interesting things to tell you, and a lot of them can be hired to fight by your side. These “guns for hire” do more than just that, they have unique skills that come with them, that they unlock when they score a certain number of kills.

While progressing through the game, I cycled around a lot of the specialty companions that had some things to say, especially to each other, but I found that their range of dialog grew short pretty fast. That was not the case for Diana Frye, an NPC I met in Fall’s End (I think) much earlier in the game. Despite going through the motions and finding new people with better special abilities, I was compelled to call on her to come fight with me instead. She had a large array of things to say and even addressed several other companions by name, which was the first thing that surprised me. There I was traveling with a random stranger in the game and just had another character join the squad, and she spoke to that character as if they were best friends. It was outrageous, never before have I seen so much work put into a character whom in any other game would just have been a nameless, faceless, disposable grunt.

She allowed me to keep extra ammo and was capable of reviving fangs for hire, sure, those were her “special abilities” but I was far more interested in taking her around and hearing her take on the local sights. Despite having some randomized catchphrases that plague all NPCs in every video game ever, I was continually taken aback when she mentioned some of the places I‘d walk through. I passed through a summer camp and she mentioned going there when she was a kid. When we ended up on the set for Blood Dragon, she enthusiastically stated how excited she was for the movie. And of course, the one-off “I think I peed myself” never got old. It really didn’t, it was funny EVERY SINGLE TIME. The only time I ever got sick of her was that she has only 1 or 2 lines to say about Peaches the cougar and she was repeating them ad nauseum to the point where I did have to send her away. But I legitimately felt bad about doing it. After I found Cheeseburger the bear, I brought her back into the fold.

I met many more named, fully developed NPCs as I tore my way through Hope County, but Diana was my favorite. She was the most adorable hillbilly in Montana and she was MINE. I don’t know what it was that made her so special. Maybe it was the accent, I do tend to fall for cute accents even when they’re possibly meant to sound “stupid.” You can meet characters who don’t have an accent, and you can meet characters who sound far more serious and grim. But Diana was not a grim character by any stretch. As I blew up the cult’s vehicles and heard her unironically shout “USA! USA! USA!” I grew rather fond of the character. I went through far more ordeals with this character than any other companions in the game and loved every second of it.

I did have another female NPC follow me around for a bit just to make sure the dialog wasn’t the same for everyone. Indeed it wasn’t, although I’m sure if I talked to enough NPCs I would eventually find the same voice actor saying the same lines on a differently skinned character. But that didn’t matter because I met Diana first and she and I racked up the kills together. I really appreciate the trouble Ubisoft went through to make Hope County a sandbox that has felt more full of life than I had in other games in their whole library of open worlds. This actually makes me want to go back and play other newer Ubisoft games like Assassin’s Creed Origins and Ghost Recon Wildlands just so I can see if they’ve done the same to those games.

And that was it, whenever she rode shotgun with me in a vehicle as rolled up to the next target event, I was actually happy to have her around, and she’s really not even my type as far as looks go. She said funny things and was effective in combat, respective of when I’d go in stealth and then switch to going loud. There are NPCs who don’t know how to stealth, but she did. I’m still just so surprised to have an enriched experience with one of the extras. I mean, later on, I did meet a cute and quiet sharpshooter, but I stayed loyal to Diana, just as my Commander Shepard stayed loyal to… oh wait, I left Liara for Jack, nevermind. But, Diana Frye is my bae for Far Cry 5 tho. I strongly suggest experimenting in the game, and if you look hard enough, your new red-blooded rootin’ tootin’ point-and-shootin’ American waifu will find her way to you. Alright, I’m off to purchase more 2B boob mousepads and hug pillows.

I did stay loyal to Jack, just so you know.




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