Far Cry has always been whisking players off to some of the most beautiful places in the world where the law can’t stop you. In past Far Cry games, this involved putting us in open plains, uncharted islands and the Himalayas. Far Cry 5 is completely different, putting players in the middle of a country with a strong centralized government, the United States of America. Specifically, players are going to Hope County, Montana, a fictional county in a real state. This is one of the last places one would expect to go in a Far Cry game, which is why Ubisoft invited Hardcore Gamer to check out the game early.
Far Cry 5 was built around the idea of having a feeling that something is boiling under the surface that could kick off a worldwide crisis. The developers referenced the Cold War, 9/11 and the 2008 financial crisis as examples. They also took inspiration from what was going on in the world today, most specifically the idea that we’re moving away from the concept of a global community, and more towards the idea of ‘Us’ and ‘Them,’ such as what happened last year with Brexit.
What really sold the developers on their idea was the Occupation of the Malheur Nation Wildlife Refuge. Taking place in Oregon last year, several armed anti-government men managed to capture the reserve and hold it hostage for 40 days. Though the government agencies eventually won the battle, it was that anti-government sentiment that told Ubisoft Montreal that Far Cry 5 was a concept worth pursuing.
Despite the drastic change in scenery, the developers really wanted to stress that Far Cry 5 is, above all else, a Far Cry game. It’s still about chaos, insanity, and exploring a beautiful world. While we were only given a brief look at the world, what Ubisoft Montreal has done to bring Montana to life is impressive. With large open fields, streams of water, and lush forests filled with animals like cows and wolves, Far Cry 5 is shaping up to be a beautiful game.
Far Cry 5 is built on three main pillars, freedom, faith, and firearms. Players will have the freedom of the open world and will have all manners of firearms to play with. The faith comes from the game’s antagonists, a religious cult operating in Hope County. To accurately portray a cult, Ubisoft did vast amounts of research and hired experts on the topic. Their studies showed that cults could gain a significant amount of influence and power through the purchase of bad land, settling recruits on it, which then causes the price of surrounding land to plummet, and then buying that property. The cult can spread like wildfire, which is exactly how our antagonists managed to climb to power.
Our cult is led by Joseph, the Father. He believes he has a mandate from the Heavens and that a collapse is imminent. As such, he must save as many souls as he can whether they want to be saved or not. He is followed by his older brother Jacob, a disenfranchised army man, and younger brother John, a recruiter for the cult. Rounding out the bunch is Faith, the half-sister who is charged with keeping the recruits pacified.
These four will do everything in their power to stop you in your tracks. There’s really only one thing you can do, go out into Hope County and build a resistance. Much like previous Far Cry games, players will travel out into the world and build alliances that help you take down the antagonists. We were introduced to a few of the colorful cast of characters players will encounter throughout the game.
Pastor Jerome is a guns and God preacher who feels that the devil has bewitched the people of Hope County. Mary May is a native whose family was squeezed out of everything they own by the cult. She’s a bartender willing to stand up and fight to protect what all she has left. Finally, we have Nick Rye, a crop duster whose father and grandfather flew planes during wars. He’s stoic, honest, but someone you don’t want to mess with. He’s willing to take the skies and rain hell upon the cult to ensure his child has a future. This is just a taste of the people players will meet during the campaign.
We only got to see a smidgen of gameplay, but fans will be happy to know that the game appears to be distinctly Far Cry. There are going to be a whole lot of guns to shoot and vehicles to drive, and, for the first time in the franchise, players will be able to pilot planes. Based on what we saw, it looks like the melee combat of Primal is getting an overhaul, and there appears to be a way to train dogs to attack enemies. It may not have been much, but it looks fun so far.
It’s hard to say just how Far Cry 5 will turn out. The premise is bold, as no one could have predicted that this is what the next Far Cry game was going to be. Far Cry 5’s most immediate problem is convincing players that a scenario like this is even plausible. Ubisoft wasn’t quite able to convince us during the presentation, but hopefully, future showings will help with that. As for the rest of the game, Far Cry 5 is shaping up to be another Far Cry title. The open world is beautiful and expansive, and the smidgen of gameplay we saw contains all the chaos and insanity we’ve come to expect from the franchise.
Far Cry 5 is out February 27, 2018 on PS4, Xbox One and PC. Expect to hear and see more about Far Cry 5 at E3 2017.