Also check out our first impressions of Far Cry 5.
Go west, young man
Prior to the game’s full unveiling, four very brief teaser trailers gave us a look at Far Cry 5. All of the teasers introduce the game setting, Hope County, Montana.
In the first teaser, the camera pans across a river. You might miss it at first glance due to the beautiful scenery, but there is a body floating in the water.
In a brisk wind, a man flees through a wide-open field, and rather predictably, he is shot before he reaches safety.
In the third trailer, the camera follows us toward a small church. There’s a man at the top of the steeple hand-ringing the church bell. As the camera gets closer to the bell, you see that he is using a woman’s head to ring the bell. In the background, a congregation, presumably inside the church, is singing “Amazing Grace.”
In the fourth teaser, the camera is set above the trees in the wilderness. A man screams out in agony, causing a flock of birds to flutter away.
Rumors about the game’s setting began earlier this month after the Great Falls Tribune spotted a crew filming live-action promotional footage. Jeff Guillot, who has worked on Ubisoft promotional material before (Driver, Red Steel 2, Rabbids), said he was shooting footage related to “a sequel to an existing global franchise.” He claimed that the game would take place “in an imaginary location.”
This rebel group is a religious cult called The Project at Eden’s Gate. If the game’s official cover art is any indication, its main antagonist, a man named Joseph Seed who is commonly known as “The Father,” will be just as charismatic as the previous games’ Pagan Min and Vaas Montenegro. Much like Far Cry 3 and 4, Seed is in the center, with his hands outstretched as a number of other members stare at him. An American flag, with the stars replaced by other symbols, is draped over the table he’s sitting behind, and a shirtless, bound man is crouched in front — the word “sinner” is written across his back.
Though the group appears to be inspired, at least in part, by real-life anti-government terrorists, it’s also possible that they are based on the Church Universal and Triumphant cult. The Montana-based organization had predicted that the world would come to an end in 1990.
Looking behind the group of people, we can see a small church with the same symbol from the American flag draped across its top. A flagpole is also visible, with another flag — again using the symbol — displayed above the American flag. Two planes, one smoking from its fuselage, are also approaching from behind.
A county in terror
Hope County has been taken over by the Project at Eden’s Gate, with Joseph Seed indoctrinating its residents with the promise of a “better path” as the world creeps toward “the edge.” Though some of its cult members choose to come willingly, others are forcibly removed from their homes by armed militia and forced to join.
But not everyone is going down without a fight. Pastor Jerome Jeffries, who lost his church after Seed’s cult gained a foothold, is fighting back with “the Good Book and a good gun,” and citizens Nick Rye and Mary May Fairgrave have taken up arms after Seed threatened their land. You play as a junior police deputy who is customizable — you can choose both gender and race.
Much of Seeds’ philosophy seems to be based around the seven deadly sins. In the game’s announcement trailer, we see an overweight man impaled on a stake bearing the cult’s symbol, with “gluttony” written on a tower behind him. Elsewhere, an evangelist has the word “greed” carved into his arm, presumably as a form of punishment.
Crazy cult, meet crazy weaponry
Far Cry 5 will feature the biggest arsenal of weapons ever seen in the series. Items announced thus far include an AR-C assault rifle, dynamite, a sledgehammer, and a baseball bat.
You’ll also be able to hire resistance members to help you in your cause — some with four legs and teeth. “Boomer,” a dog available to assist you in missions, will function much like D-Dog did in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. He can tag enemies so that you can plan ambushes before venturing out into danger, and he’s also useful in combat. The game’s first demonstration showed him actually ripping a gun out of the hands of an enemy, giving the player plenty of time to take the enemy out.
Grace Armstrong, meanwhile, is a stealthy sniper who can pick off targets from afar while you move into close-range combat. You have full control over where she positions herself — in the gameplay demonstration, the protagonist directs her to take aim from a nearby water tower.
Vehicles revealed so far include ATVs, boats, muscle cars, pickup trucks, deadly tractors, and airplanes. Nick Rye is equipped with a plane, and can deliver death and destruction from above if you’re in a sticky situation. In addition to machine guns, he can also launch missiles for extra carnage.
Greater destruction will lead to greater difficulty. The game includes a “resistance meter” that will increase as you cause more destruction. As it goes up, the enemies you face will become tougher. Just as in Far Cry 4, however, you don’t have to go it alone. A friend can join in on the open-world action in cooperative mode.
Teamwork makes the dream work
As highlighted in a trailer released during Sony’s 2017 Paris Games Week presentation, you will be able to play through the entire campaign in online co-op with a friend.
After completing the tutorial, a “Friend for Hire” will be able to jump in (as their custom player character) at any time and join you for any and all missions. Allies will have voice chat, and be able to share ammo and health, or even turn on friendly fire if they’re feeling especially confident (or spiteful). Stray too far and the game will teleport you together. Co-op will be limited to people on your friends list, with no random matchmaking.
This land is your land
The map editor, which has been a series feature since Far Cry 2, returns in Far Cry 5, allowing players to create custom maps for competitive multiplayer. Ubisoft has not shared any details yet, but presumably it will work similarly to the editor in Far Cry 4, which allowed for the design of the environments themselves, as well as tweaks to rules such as inventory size, animal spawns, and gravity.
So when can we play it?
Update: Revised launch date.