'Far Cry 5' Players Will Battle a Montana Militia

Creative director and executive producer Dan Hay always wanted to take the "Far Cry" series to America, but he couldn't find the right story to tell. The modern version of the series has always occurred in exotic locales -- Africa, the tropical Rook islands and the Himalayan country of Kyrat. Although the exact locations have been fictional, the one element that stayed the same is that each entry told a personal story and offered choices with no good consequences.

Although "Far Cry 5" is coming to America, that same idea will hold true. Hay said the concept for the new chapter came from the anxiety he felt as a boy during the Cold War of the 1980s. "I was 10 in 1982 and I remember a specific feeling back then ...," he said, "a feeling in the pit of my stomach like we were going over the edge."

After the Cold War ended, that feeling evaporated, but it returned after three things happened. The first was the housing bubble, the second was the Brexit and the third was when an armed militia took over federal land. These events, one after another, elicited the same feeling from his childhood. That brought him to the idea of militias and cults, and those concepts brought him to Montana.

The Ubisoft team did research in Big Sky Country. "It's a place where people feel self-sufficient," Hays said, "and they're proud of it."



Their tour of the state brought the studio a premise: "Far Cry 5" is about a cult that infiltrates a fictional place called Hope County and forms its own militia. The cult is led by Joseph, a charismatic leader who believes himself to be similar to Noah. His family fills the leadership roles with Jacob, the oldest, heading the militia with his 20 years in the military. John, the youngest, is the architect of the cult, the brains behind the operation. Faith their half-sister takes the motherly role of calming and pacifying cult members.

Together, the group wants to start something called the Reaping, an apocalyptic end of days scenario. Players take on the role of a deputy sheriff, who is trying to build a Resistance against the cult. They have to recruit different people around Hope County, Montana. Mary May is a bartender who has a history with the cult. She offers her support while Nick Rye is the mechanic who can craft anything, turning a puddle hopper into a fighter jet. There's even a pastor named Jerome Jeffries who takes up armies against the cult.

From what I've seen, the only wildlife that's confirmed are deer, bulls and dogs. The interesting thing is that a friendly dog appears trainable. It can attack enemies and take away their guns.

At this point, the game looks decent. It will be interesting to see what new mechanics the developers will introduce in "Far Cry 5." I also wonder if a bald eagle will dive bomb players in the most patriotic attack ever. No matter what will happen, the game is sure to draw some controversy as the the team shifts the series stateside.

(c)2017 the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.)

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