When we first saw the announcement of Far Cry 5 it seemed almost unbelievable that a game as exotic as Far Cry would be taken back in the States in a small county with story driven by political and ideological opinions of a specified cult.
As time went by it became clear that controversy would rise up due to the game’s character and it happened many times until now. Far Cry 5 director creative director Dan Hay took some time to speak to gamesindustry.biz about the matter and clear things out for his team.
According to Hay, the team didn’t know what theme to go for after Far Cry 3. They wanted to bring the game’s setting to the United States but since the subject was too generic they didn’t know what to do about it. To find what was this setting missing, Hay flew to Montana where he lived earlier and tried to find inspiration from the people there.
“We weren’t sure at first, but within two days, we’d met enough interesting people, we’d been to enough interesting bars, we’d heard enough stories about people that wanted to live life the way they wanted… some people had actually moved to Montana to get away from the prying eyes of the government. There was this flavor, this feeling, and it felt very Far Cry.”
The team needed a villain for Far Cry 5 and as it happened with its predecessors it had to be an iconic figure with strong beliefs and manipulative character. Given the concept, the idea of a Cult “father” is far more on point than any other would do.
“We wanted to build this magnetic villain who has the ability to manipulate people,” he explains. “The cult experts we were talking to were using words and a language I’ve never heard before. Some of these cults and leaders had almost built their own kind of language, talking about bliss and bliss-bombing people – it was strange. We realised we had something there but it had to be ours.
Setting the Father as the main villain in Far Cry 5 was a huge step but the world around him is both influenced by his beliefs and by their own characters. The Montreal studio took that under consideration when developing the game, so when you start playing it will feel more like you create your own story that following a written script:
“[The anti-cult message], it’s a theme. It’s a very potent elixir, but it’s a spine. There’s a lot of other meat and bone and sinew wrapped around that. The game still has to be fun, the opportunity to express yourself still has to be fun but it also needs to feel real in a way that if you meet a character or interact with them, they have beliefs. They’re not just waiting around to give you a mission, and the world around them feels believable.”
Hay also admitted that he believe’s it’s ok to be experimenting with such political and ideological themes as long as you don’t talk about facts. He used the show “The Twilight Zone” to prove his point, saying that “they would explore different themes but they would do it using science fiction, using a little bit of reality but then they would shift and change so that you were touching on certain things without really realising you were doing it”.
At the end, he stated that the series is now past beyond blowing things up and killing whatever stands in your way. The developer wants you to meet characters, have relationships, be in a world that feels real and put you in a moment where you’re introspective. For what is worth, all controversies will be clear when the game will release on February 27th for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.