Far Cry 5
|Far Cry 5|
|Release||March 27, 2018|
|Genre(s)||Action-adventure, first-person shooter|
Far Cry 5 is an action-adventure first-person shooter game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and Ubisoft Toronto and published by Ubisoft for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It is the eleventh entry and the fifth main title in the Far Cry series, and was released on March 27, 2018.
The game takes place in the fictional Hope County, Montana, where charismatic preacher Joseph Seed and his cult Project at Eden's Gate holds a dictatorial rule over the area. The story follows an unnamed junior deputy sheriff, who becomes trapped in Hope County and works alongside factions of a resistance to liberate the county from Eden's Gate.
Similar to its predecessors, Far Cry 5 is an action-adventure first-person shooter set in an open world environment which the player can explore freely on foot or via various vehicles. Unlike previous titles in the series where the player takes on the role of a set character, the game gives the player the opportunity to customize their character's appearance. The player has a variety of ranged and explosive weapons to fight against enemies, with the game placing a renewed emphasis on close-quarters combat compared to previous Far Cry titles by introducing a wider range of melee weapons. In addition, Far Cry 5 features a new weapons ballistics system that includes elements like a bullet dropping over a distance to make it more realistic.
Creative director Dan Hay described the design of the open world as being modeled on the outposts from previous titles in the Far Cry series. These outposts represented a small section of the map occupied by enemy forces and the player was tasked with liberating them by killing or neutralizing the enemy presence. The outposts were designed with multiple approaches for the player to take and it was this element that the development team tried to recreate in the wider game world of Far Cry 5. The player is dropped into the game world with little context, direction or objective markers and is instead required to navigate the world on their own. Hay expressed a desire to create what he termed the "anecdote factory", a game where two players could venture out from the same point in opposite directions and have completely different experiences that they would then share with one another anecdotally. To assist with this, most of the game world is accessible to the player after completing the game's introductory missions and they are free to advance through these areas as they choose; by comparison, previous titles in the series gradually opened up the game world to the player with story missions guiding their progress through open areas.
The game also features a recruitment system in which the player can recruit locals in the county to fight alongside them similar to the "Buddy" system used in Far Cry 2 or the "Guns for Hire" system in Far Cry 4. In this Guns for Hire system, the player can recruit locals to join their cause at which point they will fight alongside the player. In addition to these Guns for Hire, the game also includes "Specialists" or non-playable characters with their own unique skills and personalities. The recruitment system replaces the beacon system used in previous titles. For example, Far Cry 3 featured radio towers and Far Cry 4 featured bell towers that the player had to climb in order to open up parts of the map and various activities in the region. Far Cry 5 removed this system and instead rely on the player forging relationships with other characters to discover story missions, events and other characters.
The player has the ability to tame wild animals through the Specialists, which is based on a system that was previously introduced to the series in Far Cry Primal. The tamed wildlife will assist the player in combat and follow the player's orders. Different wildlife have different combat patterns. A fishing mechanic was also introduced and a variety of fish can be caught. The campaign can be played individually or with a partner through the game's cooperative multiplayer mode known as "Friends for Hire".
Far Cry Arcade allows players to build and share small maps that have single player, two-player cooperative, and multiplayer objectives. Players are able to construct maps using assets from Far Cry 5 as well as Far Cry 4, Far Cry Primal, Watch Dogs, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, and Assassin's Creed: Unity. While a separate mode from the main game, the Arcade mode can also be accessed from arcade cabinets scattered around the game's map; successfully completing these maps can earn in-game money and other rewards for the main campaign.
Setting and characters
The game is set in the fictional Hope County, Montana, where a preacher named Joseph Seed (portrayed by Greg Bryk) has risen to prominence. Seed believes that he has been chosen by God to protect the people of Hope County from an "inevitable collapse" and has established a congregation called the Project at Eden's Gate. Ostensibly, this is to fulfill his mission of leading the people to salvation; in reality, Seed is a radical preacher and Eden's Gate is a militaristic doomsday cult. Under his rule, Eden's Gate has used both coercion and violence to forcibly convert the residents of Hope County, and intimidation to keep them from contacting the outside world for help. Seed has assumed the title of "the Father" and maintains control over Hope County with the aid of the Heralds: Jacob, "the Soldier" (Mark Pellegrino), a former US Army sniper and Joseph’s older brother who oversees the training and deployment of the cult's armed soldiers; John, "the Baptist" (Seamus Dever), Joseph’s younger brother and a lawyer who has been able to acquire much of the land in Hope County for Eden's Gate who leads the forcible conversion of residents; and Rachel Jessop, also known as Faith or "the Siren" (Jenessa Grant), who acts as a pacifist to bring the people to trust in Joseph, but uses a powerful hallucinogen called Bliss to run forced labour camps for residents who resist the cult.
The player takes on the role of a rookie sheriff's deputy—referred to as "the Deputy"—who is part of a task force sent to arrest Seed. The residents of Hope County opposed to Seed include a cast of characters who join the fight with motives ranging from altruism to revenge, profit and boredom.
A joint operation between the United States Marshals and the county sheriff's department – consisting of Sheriff Whitehorse (Christopher Heyerdahl), Deputy Marshal Burke (Doug Hutchison), deputies Hudson (Luisa D'Oliveira), Pratt (Julian Bailey) and an unnamed Junior Deputy – arrive at Eden's Gate to serve Joseph Seed with a federal arrest warrant on charges of kidnapping with the intent to harm. Although Joseph offers no resistance, he claims that God will not allow him to be detained. As he is escorted away, cult members attack the task force, causing their helicopter to crash. Joseph escapes and leads the cult in capturing the surviving task force members.
The Deputy survives and escapes with the help of Richard "Dutch" Roosevelt (John Tench), a local survivalist with a deep distrust of government and a history of anti-social behavior. He explains to the Deputy that the cult has interpreted the attempt to arrest Joseph as the fulfilment of his prophecies. Believing the end of the world is upon them, they have begun "The Reaping", a concentrated effort to purge Hope County of sin. As the county is now cut off from the outside world, Dutch tasks the Deputy with contacting the fledgling resistance scattered throughout Hope County to gather allies, rescue the task force and erode the influence of Joseph and the Heralds. As they begin dismantling the cult's operations, the Deputy's influence as a leader of the Resistance grows. Although the Heralds begin to focus their efforts in stopping the Deputy, they maintain interest in recruiting them to their cause.
Joseph's older brother Jacob recruits and trains the cult's members at the Whitetail Mountains, and keeps a mentally damaged Deputy Pratt captive. Upon capturing the Deputy, he indoctrinates and mentally conditions them to The Platters' "Only You (And You Alone)", which he uses to trigger uncontrollable rage to his victims. Jacob manages to fully break the Deputy, who accidentally kills Resistance leader Eli during a lucid state before coming to their senses. In retaliation, the Deputy destroys Jacob's sound devices and eliminates his troops before confronting and defeating Jacob in the mountains. As he dies, Jacob ponders on how empires rise and fall, and how America will be next if they are not prepared. The Deputy retrieves his bunker key and rescues Pratt before destroying it.
Joseph's younger brother John, stationed at Holland Valley, forcibly indoctrinates the cult's beliefs onto the residents by immersing them in water as a "cleansing", engraving their "sins" on their bodies, and then ripping out said marked skin after atoning. John also has Hudson captured. John captures the Deputy several times and concludes that their sin is "Wrath", but the Deputy manages to escape from captivity several times. John eventually takes over safe zone Fall's End and forces the Deputy to confront them to rescue their allies. A counterattack by the Resistance forces John to escape, leading the Deputy to chase after him and engage him in an aerial dogfight before downing and mortally wounding him. Before dying, John remarks that the Deputy will not save anyone, and asserts that Joseph is still right. The Deputy rescues Hudson among other captive survivors and destroys John's bunker.
Faith, a former captive turned "sister" of the Seeds, oversees the production of Bliss, a hallucinatory gas that puts its victims in a trance-like state, at Henbane River. Staying in the Bliss for too long results in permanent mental instability and hypnotic manipulation from Faith. The Deputy joins the Resistance based in the Hope County Jail, where they reunite with Whitehorse, who informs them that Burke has been captured and is now under the influence of the Bliss. With the entire area covered in Bliss, the Deputy encounters Faith several times, where Faith attempts to persuade the Deputy to join them and live in paradise under the Bliss. The Deputy manages to rescue Burke, but a hypnotized Burke opens the jail to Eden's Gate before killing himself. Although the Resistance manages to repel the cult, they receive heavy losses and Whitehorse is captured. The Deputy battles Faith during a Bliss-influenced state and defeats her, and she warns them that Joseph is right about the end of the world, but it is up to the Deputy to decide what happens in the end. The Deputy rescues Whitehorse from Faith's bunker and destroys the production of Bliss alongside her bunker.
Radio broadcasts begin hinting that the world outside is in chaos and a nuclear war is imminent. Killing his Heralds prompts Joseph to call the Deputy for a final confrontation at his church. He has captured Whitehorse, Pratt and Hudson at the gunpoint of several of the Deputy's allies that are hypnotized by the Bliss. Joseph offers the option for the Deputy to walk away with their friends unharmed if they leave him and Eden's Gate alone.
If the Deputy decides to walk away, Joseph forgives the Deputy and enters the church with the Deputy's hypnotized allies. The Deputy, Whitehorse, Pratt and Hudson leave on a truck, and Whitehorse assures his comrades that they will call the National Guard to help liberate Hope County from the cult. As Whitehorse turns on the radio, "Only You" plays, and the Deputy is once again put into a trance.
If the Deputy chooses to resist, Joseph spills barrels of Bliss and forces the Deputy to fight and revive their hypnotized friends before defeating and apprehending Joseph. Suddenly, a nuclear bomb explodes in the distance, forcing everybody to flee. As more nuclear explosions rain down on Hope County, the Deputy, Whitehorse, Pratt, Hudson and the captured Joseph flee in a truck to Dutch's bunker, but they crash into a tree, which kills Whitehorse, Pratt, and Hudson. A freed Joseph drags the Deputy to the bunker where he kills Dutch and handcuffs the Deputy to a bed. Joseph laments the loss of his family and land, and asserts this is "the Collapse" that he had prophesied. He tells the Deputy that they are family now.
Despite this the player will awaken in a tower post game, with everyone seemingly killed in the ending still alive, Hope County unaffected by any attack, as well as the message that Joseph Seed has been defeated and Hope County is liberated, leaving it ambiguous as to whether what they witnessed was real, or a Bliss induced hallucination.
A secret ending is found in the beginning of the game. The Deputy decides to not arrest Joseph during their first encounter. Whitehorse, who was against apprehending him head-on due to knowing that they would be ambushed and possibly killed, lowers Joseph's hands and orders the group to leave. Despite Burke's protests, Whitehorse asserts that it is "better to leave well enough alone" and that no one would leave alive if they arrested Joseph.
The game was developed by Ubisoft Montreal and Ubisoft Toronto with Ubisoft Kiev, Ubisoft Shanghai, Ubisoft Belgrade, Ubisoft Reflections and Red Storm offering assistance. Dan Hay, who served as lead producer for Far Cry 3, was the lead director, with writing led by Drew Holmes, who had previously worked on BioShock Infinite and its downloadable content. The game continue the series' practice of using the Dunia Engine, a modified version of the CryEngine. The team chose Montana as the game's setting, as the state lies on the frontier of the United States. To create a realistic environment, the development team visited Montana for fourteen days to collect information regarding its biomes, environment, and the "self-reliant" nature of the locals, who do not want any authority or outsider to intervene in their life. The development team had previously carried out a similar research excursion to Nepal during development of Far Cry 4. As the development team was no longer satisfied with having one core antagonist in each game, the cast of antagonists was significantly expanded.
After the release of Far Cry Primal in 2016, Ubisoft stated that the next Far Cry title will take more development time and would not be released in 2017. Far Cry 5 was announced by Ubisoft during the company's financial call, alongside two other major titles, The Crew 2 and Assassin's Creed Origins, which were released in fiscal year 2018. Ubisoft released several teaser trailers and the game's cover art ahead of the game's official reveal on May 26, 2017. The game was released on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One with support for PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X. Free skin packs were made available for PlayStation 4 players at launch due to a marketing deal between Sony Interactive Entertainment and Ubisoft. Though the game was initially set for release on February 27, 2018, Ubisoft pushed the date back a month to March 27, 2018.
The setting and the tone of the game originated from separatism. According to Hay, he often felt unsafe when he was young because of the conflicts between the two superpowers during the Cold War. This manifested in the twenty-first century in the form of frequent terrorist attacks such as the September 11 attacks, and financial problems such as the subprime mortgage crisis and in turn caused people to become increasingly protective as they questioned the government. Ultimately the concept of the "global village" began to collapse, which sets the theme of the game and prompted the team to write a story that features a doomsday cult as the game's main antagonist. Hay started writing the story in late 2014; in February 2016, he investigated the details of the occupation and standoff of a wildlife refuge in Oregon, as he wanted to look for evidence that can show the rise of separatism. To create a memorable story, the characters in the game were designed to have different views and opinions on important events, and different ideologies. Despite the dark theme, the team wanted to ensure that the game is still fun and entertaining to play. Therefore, the team implemented a large arsenal of weapons and open-ended gameplay possibilities for players to use.
The music in the game was written and composed by Dan Romer. According to audio director Tony Gronick, the team desired to have music in the background through much of the game world, but want it to reflect on the nature of the cult, so that the player would be experiencing the cult's messaging throughout the game and tie it to the narrative. To do this, they create hymn-like gospel music, but with lyrics that described the cult's end-of-the-world teachings. Further, extending on the idea of multiple antagonists, the style of the music shifts as the player enters regions of the world controlled by the different cult members, from country to glam rock to industrial music, representing how the hymns of Joseph Seed evolve under his siblings' personal preferences. The game also uses licensed music tracks when the player drives in vehicles, with the type of music played similarly influenced by the area they are in. The ambient/post-rock band, Hammock, used some of the songs Romer produced for the game and reinterpreted them. This resulted in a multi-volume soundtrack release, which consists of the original soundtrack and the three-parter Far Cry 5 Presents series. Far Cry 5 Presents is a thematic compilation of the additional music used in the game: Into the Flames collects cult songs written by Romer and performed by various artists, When the World Falls is a choir version of those songs, and We Will Rise Again is their ambient reinterpretations by Hammock.
Live action film
Coinciding with the release of the game, Ubisoft released a live action short film called Inside Eden's Gate. The film serves as a prologue to the events of the game, and follows three filmmakers as they travel across Hope County. They meet Mark and his sister, Faith who is in the game being taken in by the Eden's Gate cult. It stars Greg Bryk and Kyle Gallner. Ubisoft made the film available on Amazon Prime. On April 4, the film was released on YouTube.
Daemon Hatfield of IGN gave it a 8.9 rating, saying "Far Cry 5 is another wide-open playground with all the necessary ingredients for causing a real ruckus: loads of enemies and allies, temperamental wildlife, and plenty of explosions." Polygon gave the game 6.5 of 10 possible points, stating "It’s a shame that Far Cry 5 is propped up by a weak story with bland characters, because behind the plot is an open world filled with what Far Cry as a series does best."
Far Cry 5 became the fastest-selling title in the history of the franchise, more than doubling the sales of Far Cry 4. It was the second-biggest launch of an Ubisoft title, behind Tom Clancy's The Division, grossing $310 million in its first week of sales.  The PlayStation 4 version sold 75,474 copies within its first week on sale in Japan, placing it at number two on the all format sales chart.
Far Cry 5's announcement in May 2017 came at a time of heightened political and ideological conflict around the world due to current political events such as the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States and the onset of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union. Many journalists opined that Far Cry 5's setting and narrative concept, involving themes of religious fanaticism and the emergence of far-right political movements within the borders of the United States—as opposed to the more exotic locales depicted in other Far Cry titles—would likely make the game highly controversial in the current climate. These journalists noted that due to the long development cycle, it was unlikely that Ubisoft intentionally designed the game's narrative around the political climate at the time of the announcement, adding that Ubisoft had been careful to downplay any perceived connections to then-current real world events. Responding to the criticism, game director Dan Hay revealed that the story was written to discuss the consequences of beliefs and ideologies being taken to their most extreme form rather than as a response to a particular political event. Hay stated they had come to setting the game around a cult in Montana as they felt Montana reflected a remote frontier most people were not aware of, comparable to their other Far Cry game settings, and that after visiting the state, found that Montana was a place "where people go to be alone, where they don't want to be messed with", further resonating with past Far Cry themes. However, after three years of development, Hay said: "we could have never imagined, and to be honest I wouldn't have wanted to... that in some ways, it's echoing out in the real world."
Following its announcement, Far Cry 5 was the subject of an online petition lodged at Change.org by individuals objecting to what they called the portrayal of American Christians as villains and calling for the game's antagonists to be recast. The petition suggested followers of Islam, inner-city gang members, and other non-white antagonists as possible replacements. The petition also suggested changing the game's setting to Canada. The petition itself was criticised by industry commentators who highlighted the game's exploration of its themes as being necessary in the contemporary social and political climate, and pointed to video gaming as a medium for social commentary. Some publications questioned the authenticity of the petition, suggesting that it may have been intended as satire. Conversely, after the game's release, some outlets criticized it for trying to be inoffensive and apolitical rather than directly engaging with contemporary political issues. Polygon's Ben Kuchera described the game as a "defiantly inoffensive mess" which "wants to appeal to everyone, but ultimately says nothing." William Hughes writing for The A.V. Club disparagingly described the villains as an "easily digestible evil" deliberately crafted so as not to offend gamers of any political persuasion.
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