Ubisoft seems to have a knack for picking hot-button issues to center their games around. They don’t always get the message and tone of these games right, but they’re always trying. Far Cry 5 is the company’s biggest gamble yet. As the initial imaging suggests, this is the story of a religious cult that has taken over a Montana county. A few juicy details have made their way out via previews, including a release date – February 27, 2018.
Unlike Far Cry Primal, it seems Far Cry 5 sticks much closer to the standard formula, with vehicles and the usual loadout of deadly weapons. It sounds, though, like some elements from Primal have made their way over. Polygon specifically calls out a moment where the player commands an attack dog to snatch a weapon out of an enemy hand to return it to the player’s hands. It also seems like both male and female protagonists will be available, though Ubisoft hasn’t yet confirmed this explicitly yet. Among the videos released to promote the game are a series of vignettes about characters you’ll meet in the game. Rather than being mission stations with voice acting, these characters seem to be NPCs that you can work with in the field.
The villain next door
There’s a lot for Ubisoft to get wrong here. When we’re shooting down enemies in first-person games, they’re rarely Americans on American soil. They’re often indeterminately foreign, or they’re straight-up monsters, aliens, or robots. Or they’re clearly criminals, in the case of something like Battlefield: Hardline. Here, they’re Americans with strong beliefs. Really strong beliefs. The game’s mere existence, if framed wrong, could tick off a lot of people. Talking heads on news channels are just the start, and the game will likely generate some serious press once it goes live.
Details about who we’ll be playing seem sparse right now. The official description says the main character’s arrival “incites the cult to violently seize control of the region.” That wording makes it sound like the character is influential, rather than just someone who wanders into the situation.
We’re hoping to get our hands on the game at E3 this year, and we’ll report back with what we find out then.