Far Cry 5 is bringing the series a bit closer to home when it comes our way next February, and when we went to Montreal earlier this year to visit Ubisoft, one of the main things we talked about was the making of the cult that the player has to confront in Hope County.
Leading the Making a Cult panel was creative director Dan Hay, who obviously had a lot to say on the matter. He explained that Ubisoft had wanted to take Far Cry to the US for years, as it's quite literally a far cry from the other, more exotic locations they have had in the past. This provides something unique and distinct from previous entries as a result, and gives the team a chance to do something new.
There are certain challenges that come with this, though. For instance, there's the trouble of things being a little familiar, with people feeling like they've been there before, but at the same time, Ubisoft also wants to balance this with fiction. They're not making a real cult, or a real place in Montana here, but instead a fictionalised area based on real-life experiences, and so balancing this believability with fiction is one big challenge.
A part of this fiction, obviously, is the cult itself, led by The Father. Hay told us that The Father is a powerful leader with a purpose, unlike previous antagonists we've seen before. He's fighting for something he believes is right, which is that the end is nigh and that non-believers will try to take him (which they do, prompting the events of the game), whereas others like Vaas didn't have such a motive, and were instead more about measured evil with a sprinkling of insanity and chaos.
How does Montana fit into this, though? Well, Montana is important because the rural nature of the state means that you can easily cut yourself off from the outside world should you choose to do so. It's far enough away from civilisation and major cities that you can settle down without being bothered, and if you've got a status as a cult, that's one extra guarantee that people won't come knocking.
This all sounds plausible, based on Ubisoft's research before developing the game, and this level of believability was vital for Hay and the team. This is why Montana was chosen, after all, and why it was so important for The Father to be tempting. Hay jokingly remarked that he actually felt like he wanted to join the cult in the game himself after seeing its leader in-game, and that's an important thing - he tempts you, just like real cult leaders do, and that's how they garner such a following.