At E3 all the way back in June we got our first taste of the upcoming Far Cry 5 when we were thrown into Fall's End, one small section of Hope County, Montana. Now we've been given an ever wider area to explore, and during our recent two hours-worth of hands-on time with the game we saw a whole lot more and got a deeper look into what this sequel will offer us when it comes around, including the co-op side of things as well.
As before, we started out our life in Fall's End, and were pretty much left to do as we pleased. Sure, there were people around us like Mary May Fairgrave to give us story missions, but like the previous entries in the series (and indeed like many other Ubisoft games in general), the order in which we did these was left up to us, as was our engagement with the non-compulsory elements scattered around the map.
Well, that last part isn't quite true. Much like Ghost Recon: Wildlands our task is to take down the individual leaders of the cult, and to do that we need to 'piss off' (as Ubisoft phrased it) each one enough so that they're forced to find us and we can face them one-on-one. Of course, story missions help you achieve this, but it's all about increasing a "resistance" bar as you mount a fightback by completing disruptive activities on the map, things like killing cult VIPs, blowing up important vehicles, and stealing their loot. Oh, and there's also strongholds to take, which you then convert into hideouts for your allies.
Once you makes these strongholds friendly you then get access to way more content, from weapon vendors to side missions, so it's worth taking time out of your busy cult-slaying schedule to claim these for yourself. In fact, it's only by exploring the world that you find things in the first place, so it's worth taking a look around every now and then to see what's what. As Ubisoft made clear to us - it's not about climbing up towers and looking around anymore, but exploring the world yourself.
As you start to wander off the beaten track it doesn't take long to realise that there's a hell of a lot of content here, and the map will soon become littered with icons for you to visit, some of which are more useful than others. Fishing, for instance, won't help you rid Montana of the pesky cult, but speaking to the townspeople just might, as they give you useful information about where to visit and what to see. One of them even gave us the location of a stash with some useful loot inside, which was rather nice of him.