With Far Cry 5, Ubisoft is bringing its open world shooter series to the United States for the very first time. More specifically, the game is set in Montana, an unassuming, beautiful and often overlooked state.
The people of Montana made clear during last year's US election that they have felt overlooked too, specifically by the government. Over 55% of its electorate voted for Donald Trump, the populist and self-professed 'anti-establishment' candidate, to become their president.
Contemporary fears, global uncertainty and a sense of desperation in rural America played major roles in that election, and they're also central to Far Cry 5 and its fictional Montana setting, Hope County.
Ubisoft Montreal's game, as you can see in the new trailer above, will boast Far Cry's typical brand of over-the-top gunplay, vehicular madness, dangerous wildlife and a charismatic cast.
This time however, the series' tropes will be set against a more familiar and recognisable backdrop than players saw in Far Cry 3's tropical island chain or Far Cry 4's Himalayan nation.
Townships, farms, forests and the Rocky Mountains can all be seen in Hope County. It's a beautiful setting, but one in turmoil since the arrival of a brutish, oppressive religious cult called The Project at Eden's Gate.
The cult is led by Joseph, known as 'The Father', and his three Seed family siblings, known as 'The Heralds'. Joseph's is the voice you hear giving a sermon in the trailer, and it's he who Far Cry 5's protagonist has been sent to arrest.
This protagonist is a deputy sheriff, but one never given a name. Instead, for the first time in a Far Cry game, players will be able to customise the look of a male or female lead character.
The game begins with your deputy sheriff arresting a calm and compliant Joseph at the Project at Eden's Gate. As you can probably guess, things quickly go south and Joseph is freed, leaving the player on their own in enemy territory with their two colleagues kidnapped.
The player's journey will see them interacting with Hope County's locals, who are split between those supportive of the cult and those fighting back. Some, in their desperation, look to a charismatic leader offering hope in troubled times, but there are others who see through the false promises and are willing to fight for what's good and right.
Central to the fight back are three supporting characters Ubisoft introduced today, each with their own stylish CG trailers (embedded below).
Pastor Jerome is a priest whose flock was been led astray by the Seed family, and who is out for revenge. Mary May has a personal reason for hating the Seed family. She's a businesswoman partial to a molotov cocktail, who owns a local saloon called The Whistling Beaver (tongue firmly in cheek here). Finally there's Nick Rye, a family man who loves planes and, apparently, grafting gatling guns to them.
Help will also come in the form of other Far Cry 5 players, as the game will support co-op play throughout its campaign. This builds on the co-op Guns For Hire mode in Far Cry 4, which acted separately from the main game.
Far Cry 5 promises the dark humour and big action of past entries, but this time Ubisoft hopes to tell a more interesting, more grounded story clearly inspired by the troubled world in 2017. The Seed family leads a vile, violent and authoritarian cult of personality and lies that proudly uses iconography with connotations of Nazism and Scientology.
It's going to be a pleasure taking them down.
Far Cry 5 is set to release on 27 February 2018 for PS4, Xbox One and PC. It'll next be seen at Ubisoft's E3 press conference on Monday, 12 June.