Hope springs eternal, goes the old saying.
What keeps people going when they find themselves pinned to the floor by the jackboot of their oppressors is hope, a fire that refuses to be quenched in the face of adversity and despair.
But all fires do go out at some point. They cannot burn forever. Such is the case of the good folks of Hope County, Montana, the setting of Ubisoft’s latest action-adventure game, Far Cry 5.
Far Cry 5 was released for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on March 27, and the role playing game is now available to download as well as to purchase in stores.
Like the other games in Ubisoft’s successful Far Cry franchise, this too takes place in a remote, isolated location – a ‘far cry’ from civilisation. It is the far-flung nature of the fictional Hope County that makes it the perfect breeding ground to foment radical rebellion: Eden’s Gate, a doomsday cult that believes that the end of the world is at hand, has begun the ‘Reaping’, under the constant supervision of its fanatical leader, Joseph Seed.
Convinced that the world is about to end, Seed and his minions — also known as the Heralds — cut Hope County off from the rest of the world, and forcibly induct people into Eden’s Gate, a move they believe will purge them of all sin, although this is far from the truth. Join Eden’s Gate, and you continue to spread their violent ways. Refuse, and you’re killed without remorse.
In the wake of Seed’s barbaric actions, you, the player, a junior deputy working in US law enforcement, are sent to Hope County as part of a joint operation between the United States Marshals and the county’s Sheriff Department. Their mission? Capture Seed, and bring him in to face justice before his horrific acts claim more innocent lives. En route to your destination, though, the copter you’re in crashes as cult members attack it. One of the few members of the task force to escape the attackers, you’re now tasked with making contact with the fledgling resistance in Hope County, gather more people to counter Seed’s maniacal ways as you realise that the problem runs far deeper than law enforcement agencies initially believed it to be.
While Joseph Seed runs Eden’s Gate, he’s ensured that the systematic domination and violence he spreads across Hope County remains in the family, both literal and otherwise: Joseph’s elder brother Jacob trains cult members up in the mountains. That’s not all, though — in the recesses of their mountain fortress, one of your comrades in arms, Deputy Pratt, is being kept alive, if you can call him that.
Pratt’s mental discipline has not just been broken, but completely shattered: Joseph’s torture won out in the end, and his indoctrination means he can now control and trigger Pratt to carry out atrocities in the name of Eden’s Gate, with the brave deputy not even aware of the horrors he is inflicting on others.
Joseph’s younger brother John conducts the forcible initiation of new recruits. Sister Faith, another of Seed’s indoctrinations, oversees the manufacture of Bliss, a hallucinogenic gas that keeps unwilling prisoners obedient to Eden’s Gate. But the resistance will not give up the land that they and their ancestors have lived on for so long without a fight, and the arrival of you and your fellow agents has only strengthened their resolve.
It is a quality they will need in spades. In addition, of course, to hope.
The Short and Skinny
Name: Far Cry 5
Produced by: Ubisoft
What it’s about: In rural America, a bloodthirsty cult, convinced that the world is about to end, have seized power and cut themselves off from the outside world. You’ve been sent in to stop the madness, but all is not as it seems...
Where to buy: Ubi store, Steam, Amazon, Xbox Marketplace, PlayStation Store
Platforms: Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
IGN Rating: 8.9/10