Far Cry 5 is the latest entry in the Far Cry series that has been going strong for over a decade. Hardcore Gamer recently had the opportunity to sit down with producer Darryl Long to discuss some of the features where Far Cry 5 expands on the traditional format to carry the series forward.
[Hardcore Gamer] Let’s start this off with the broadest, most open ended question possible. What makes Far Cry 5 different from previous entries?
[Darryl Long] That’s a good question. Honestly it’s the way that people play the game. The best way to explain it is the past couple of months when we’ve been testing it. I’ve played the game from start to finish five times and every time I’ve played it it’s been completely different. I don’t think people will realize how different it is until they’ve had their hands on the game for a while. In previous Far Cry games you’ve been following a chain of missions to reach an objective and thinking about how am I going to progress to the next point. In this one it is more organic, you’ll talk to people and gather bits of information and think okay I’ll do that or maybe I’ll get to that later, but you’re experiencing the world as it comes to you and you’re not thinking as much about what do I have to do next but more about how do I want to experience this. And with everything you do the game is acting differently so you can experience it differently every time.
It sounds like it’s more open ended and your choices have a greater impact this time than in previous Far Cry titles.
How far have you got in the demo?
I just liberated the FANG outpost, got captured by Jacob and was going through his hallucinogenic quest which kind of felt like an homage to Tensay’s quests from Far Cry Primal.
It’s not exactly an homage but definitely something from our bag of tricks. What you experienced was the opening where you got to meet the father, and after that we put you directly into Jacob’s region, but in the actual game you will be free to go into any direction you want after completing the intro. You won’t be pushed into any direction, if you want to go into John’s region or Jacob’s region or Faye’s region it’s all up to you. You aren’t bound to the region you choose either, you’re free to move in between them and progress the story in any order you choose. Building a game like that, where the player can truly experience the story in any order they want and talk to anybody in the world they want to meet, the world is filled with personalities such as the Whitetail militia, and this opens things up since there are communities dotted around the world that are hubs of activities and things you can do to build your resistance when the story blossoms.
So each place basically has its own personality and culture. Talking to the militia, I got the sense Tammy doesn’t really like me and Eli sees me as an opportunity to take care of some of their dirty work without having to expend his own soldiers.
(laughs) Exactly. We wanted to create different communities with different flavors to make sure the game isn’t just one flavor. With the Father and the cult it’s all very dark and serious but we wanted to also inject some very earnest, salt of the earth people like Mary May that you met at E3 and also in Faye’s region there’s a completely different community with different objectives and in the north in Jacob’s region you’re meeting the Whitetail Militia and they’ve been there longer than you, they’ve been fighting the cult since the beginning so they have a longer and deeper story and you can dig more into it. And then there’s people you can meet like Hurk who is just stupid and hilarious. He has a completely different tone than the rest of the experience.
I think I encountered Hurk at a previous event, that guy was nuts. Previous Far Cry titles were somewhere in the 20-30 hour ballpark to complete. Is Far Cry 5 going to be a comparable length?
It really depends on how someone chooses to play the game. This game is driven by the player and they choose to play, how they play, what they play and what order they play in. We have people that want to just consume the main story as quickly as possible and they can burn through it in a few dozen hours and then there are people that want to really complete it and see everything and that can take hundreds of hours. It really depends on how you play it. What’s interesting is it is up to the player how involved they want to get and that’s something I like about it. I could be playing for a while and thinking it’s late at night and I should be going home to my family but I end up fishing or hunting ducks, it just sucks you in like that.
On that note, there’s side activities like hunting and fishing and the Clutch Nixon stuntman trials for side activities. Can we talk about any other hidden side activities players can stumble across to whittle away time?
There’s a bunch of things scattered across the world, there’s hundreds of people you can find. We have something in the game called prepper staches and this is a great way to earn money. If you find a prepper stash that’s been abandoned there’s usually money, weapons or ammo. The Clutch Nixon trials are something, Clutch Nixon is the greatest stuntman to ever come out of Montana and you get to recreate his best stunts from his career all around Hope County.
We have a whole For Hire system in Far Cry 5 with Friends For Hire being co-op, Fangs For Hire being animal companions and Guns For Hire, like Jess who you met in the game and Hurk is another Gun For Hire and there’s other Freedom Fighters in the world that you can hire. Each one has a unique personality and a strategic element, they fight in different ways so it’s up to you to decide how to mix and match everyone in your squad for how it will impact the game. Far Cry 5 is the first time in Far Cry you can play the game from start to finish in co-op and it multiplies everything. Everything is just more fun when you’re playing with a friend like flying a plane, or if in the open world you find a skunk suddenly it’s hilarious in co-op. All these little things suddenly become significant when playing with someone else. The game blossoms when adding another player.
For more on Far Cry 5, be sure to read our hands-on preview.