In the Far Cry series we’ve faced kidnapping mercenaries, been caught between two warring African factions, come face to face with insane pirates, overruled a despotic self-appointed king and even tamed sabretooth tigers. But in Far Cry 5, you’re going to face a threat far closer to home – a violent religious cult who’ve taken over Hope County, Montana.
The Project at Eden’s Gate is a religious cult led by Joseph Seed and his siblings, who are calling themselves The Heralds. But their recruitment policy is a little unorthodox because it’s basically by any means necessary.
“We want you, we accept you and we will take you, willingly or not,” states Joseph in the first Far Cry 5 trailer. “And some of you may fight but in the end, you will thank us. I am your Father and you are my children.”
Ubisoft gave us our first look at Joseph Seed and co. in May, with the first Far Cry 5 artwork, entitled 'The Last Supper' and it did nothing to squash the rumours of a religious theme. And of course, those theories were correct.
Of course, there's so much going on in this artwork alone. There's Joseph Seed in the centre holding out his hands in a way a preacher or priest would while reading scripture. All his minions are crowded around him in a way that mimics the famous Leonardo Da Vinci painting also entitled 'The Last Supper'.
You can't miss the shirtless man bound with his hands behind him and the word ‘sinner’ scrawled across his back down front. You’ve also got a wolf with a cross painted on his face, who we've already fallen in love with – even if his master's part of a religious cult.
Interestingly, it seems like that version of the Scientology cross replacing the stars of the American flag seems to be The Project at Eden's Gate's symbol, as it's also in that Far Cry 5 trailer. That might be a lovely moment of the classic tongue in cheek comedy of the Far Cry series among a serious topic.
Welcome to Hope County, Montana – where everything is not as it seems
Ubisoft has already done a great job of setting up Montana as this blissful, idyllic place. Ahead of the full reveal, the publisher released a number of teaser images that gave us an overview of the types of Far Cry 5 location spots we'll be exploring – all with a very sinister edge to them.
Take this first teaser trailer for example. It's all going well, you're feeling peaceful staring at the water and then a female body flows on down.
Then the second trailer sees someone running through the long grass of an open field, only to be shot in the back moments later.
The disquiet in this third one is much more subtle. There's a church where people inside are singing hymns and the bell is ringing. But if you look closely, the bell is being rung by someone smashing a guy's head into it.
The fourth was simple enough – a picturesque scene broken by a blood-curdling scream and a scattering of disturbed birds:
What will we be doing in Far Cry 5?
Ubisoft officially announced that Far Cry 5 is coming earlier this month, which got us all excited to take some drug-induced trips, coming face to face with strange foes and exploring dangerous territory very, very soon.
The Far Cry 5 story goes something like this. You play as a Deputy Sheriff sent into The Project at Eden's Gate with two cop buddies by the US Marshalls, tasked with arresting Joseph Seed.
As you arrive at Eden's Gate, Joseph is incredibly calm, coming with you willingly, but as is the case with Far Cry games, it all goes a tiny bit wrong. You and your colleagues end up kidnapped in a hostile territory by The Heralds of Eden's Gate.
It seems like this will be how the story starts and the rest of the game will be about taking down Eden's Gate and the Seed family.
The people of Hope County will be a major source of story content. Each citizen will have their own rich story to discover, but it'll be up to you to work out whether they're friend or foe, and whether they will help or hinder your task.
We've already been introduced to three key characters of Hope County – outside the Seed family of course. Firstly there's Pastor Jerome, who's a preacher that wears a bullet-proof vest... as you do. This guy is all about getting his congregation back as they've all been stolen away in one way or another by Eden's Gate.
Then there's Mary May. She might look sweet and wholesome, but she's got a majorly personal bone to pick with the Eden's Gate Project. They took her mother and her brother, and then her father – the owner of the Whistling Beaver Saloon – was found dead. Whether he killed himself or was murdered is still to be found out, but Mary's now the owner of the saloon and is understandably not a happy lady.
Finally, there's Nick Rye. He's a family man who's got a little bit of an obsession with planes. He's not happy that the Eden's Gate folks have taken over and is prepared to give them a war if it protects his growing family.
But who are you?
For the first time, Far Cry 5 is going to let you create your own character from scratch and they can be of any race and gender you want. The story will also react and change according to your actions and the decisions you make – hopefully in a better, more reactive capacity to the way it did in Far Cry 4.
The protagonist is currently nameless, but we might hear more about who you are at E3 2017 during Ubisoft's press conference.
You will be able to play the entire storyline in co-op though, with your real-world friends taking up the roles of your two deputy buddies.
Interestingly, you will be able to take advantages of the Fangs for Hire feature from Far Cry Primal in Far Cry 5, where you'll be able to call in animal pals to help dispatch some of the Eden's Gate members. And yes, that means bears are involved.
You can even get a tiny glimpse of a bear being set upon one of the enemies in the Far Cry trailer.
Other activities you can take part in include hunting, fishing, flying planes and roaming around the Montana countryside. We've got our fingers crossed that you'll be able to drive tractors across the farmland too.
When can you get your next Far Cry fix?
Ubisoft has confirmed that Far Cry 5 is landing sometime this financial year. That means it'll launch at some point between now and March 2018.
Ubisoft has now confirmed that the Far Cry 5 release date is set for February 27, 2018 on Xbox One, Ps4 and PC.