The recently released Far Cry 5 is a video game where you reclaim Montana from a cult obsessed with the "power of yes" by hitting members over the head with a shovel. It's also one of the biggest sellers for publisher Ubisoft to date, and it stands to reason that many people would like to grab a copy for free.
It's been a while since we saw a wave of YouTube vids promising free games all based around one title, but this is definitely one of those moments given the huge popularity of its shovel-throwing hero.
In the past week or so, we've seen videos galore, all offering downloads or sign ups or sign ups and downloads (novel!), with a couple of heart-warming flashbacks to our somewhat off-the-boil friend, the survey scam (and a couple of download sites, too). The standard operating procedure for these kinds of scams means they're reliant on here today, gone tomorrow videos so the view count typically varies between half a dozen and thousands upon thousands. Not all of them get taken down, so it's possible to drive huge numbers to the final destination.
Here's a typical example:
Click to enlargeNothing says old school like "poorly typing out instructions in Notepad while giving you a tour of my desktop." That one leads to a site called oceanofgames(dot)com, which itself offers up a variety of download links:
Clicking the blue button takes you to solvettube(dot)com, which serves up a similar number of links/adverts, and offers up a roughly 40GB download after hitting the page. The download kept failing for us so we can't tell you what it is, but caveat emptor (with the additional caveat in your caveat by pointing out you're not actually buying anything here).
Next up, we have someone filming their TV screen for what looks like a promo for a console version. The site being promoted here is fc5(dot)gamereach(dot)net, and we'll come back to that one later.
Click to enlargeThe next video is pretty ugly looking, and features hideous gigantic text over a web browser. Having said that, people likely to fall for these things probably couldn't care less what the video looks like.
Click to enlargeThe other videos knocking around all follow the same pattern; crudely thrown together video, lots of text to ensure it gets picked up in searches, and the suggestion that you should get over there quick before the offer expires.
First, we'll check out fr5(dot)yourunlocker(dot)org, which is your standard survey unlocker website.
Click to enlargeSelect your platform, hit the verify button, and:
Lots of surveys to choose from. Here's one site we ended up on—a sign up for something to do with "unlimited movies."
Click to enlargeOne of the other websites is a lot slicker and involves a fair bit of hoop jumping to get anywhere (and by "anywhere" I mean "a survey page"). It's the one located at fc5(dot)gamereach(dot)net that we mentioned earlier.
It's presented as some sort of pretend post-crowdfunding campaign page by someone claiming to be a team of game developers. The implication is, I guess, that they worked on Far Cry 5. It's a bit of an odd line to take because it certainly wasn't crowdfunded.
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Thanks to you we were able to reach our goals! And with this little project we'll lessen the strain on your wallets! One free game at a time! Dev. AndreyFrom the FAQ page:
How are you able to give out a great game like this for free?Apparently, a game with a development budget of between $80 to $130 million dollars is a "small project" these days.
...if you followed our crowdfunding campaign, you should know that we got way past our set goal, and with the additional support and money, we were able to create a game which far exceeded our expectations, and we even have money left to spare, and with those, we decided to release this small project as an additional token of appreciation to all our supporters
This one is all about submitting your email address and an "access code." They claim you had to have contributed to their indie campaign to get your hands on one, but it doesn't matter—the code is posted underneath the "console promo" YouTube video near the start of this blog.
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Enter your access codeThen they perform some checks. No, really:
Enter your email
Select your platform
Click to enlargeAfter this, there's messages about them needing to confirm you're a human and not a bot (flimsy justification for popping survey questions the world over), followed by survey-style options leading to mobile-centric offers.
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Click to enlargeThe other sites currently floating around act in much the same way; time-sensitive offer, not a bot verification, and lots of offers, downloads, and surveys to wade through before a total lack of free video game action. There's no end to them. Here's a screenshot filtered to just the last few hours of uploads:
Click to enlargeClaims of DRM free downloads, or dubious cracks, are also rife. More often than not, downloading a supposedly unofficial copy of the game will just lead to headaches, especially where dabbling with game cracks is concerned. Malware is probably going to pay you a visit at some point, and then you'll definitely need something more technical than a throwable shovel to solve the problem.
As much as you may wish to take down the evil cult plaguing Montana,the more sensible course of action is to wait until a game sale pops up.
Forget the power of yes; it's time to embrace the power of no, and steer clear of download offers.