When Far Cry 5 was announced shortly before E3, fans immediately had a reaction to it, due to its surprising pertinence in modern American culture by taking place in Montana. These reactions often seemed extravagant, as passionate followers were not used to addressing topics that other forms of media have already covered in the past. For Creative Director Dan Hay, this evolution for the thirteen year-old franchise seemed only natural, as games continue to mature as far as their approach to new mechanics and themes. And both of these progressions seem to be on display in full force after close to three years in development, as the game, ironically, puts a focus on freedom above all else.
During the early stages of planning for this game, Hay took several members of the team to Montana for a couple weeks, in order to judge just how realistically and simply one can be cut off from society if a powerful enough force takes hold. During that time, the team realized how much they depended on not only one another, but other Montanans that they met during their time there, which led to the inclusion of the “Guns for Hire” system, which allows the player access to not only AI allies with specific abilities, such as Boomer the dog or Grace the sniper, but a co-op partner that can be called in at any time. Both the player-character, a Sheriff’s Deputy, and the co-op friend are fully customizable, a first for the franchise, as Hay continues to parade the spotlight the team has placed on freedom. But while the protagonist may be lacking in character, the allies and enemies certainly won’t be, as the main villain The Father and his associates each have their own motivations and goals as they continue to spread their ideals across Hope County. Most importantly, these characters react to the world around them, with actions such as leaving mid-conversation or the cult travelling nearby causing various reactions that make the world seem more true-to-life.
The core base liberation and exploration mechanics still remain a key part of Far Cry 5, but these thematic and assistance enhancements add a lot of life to a franchise that has consistently approached radical ideas throughout its existence. With plenty still to be revealed before Far Cry 5 launches on February 27 for PS4, Xbox One and PC, the title will surely continue to provoke and intrigue as it delves into an increasingly prevalent perspective.