Ubisoft probably had no idea Montana was going to be all over the news when it rolled out the first trailers for Far Cry 5. And yet, here we are; Montana has just barely elected a Congressman who might be lucky if he gets to even finish his term, America is on edge, and into all this comes a video game about an insane fringe taking over a slice of Montana, and a bunch of Americans deciding that an apocalypse cult’s First Amendment rights end when they start killing people and burning down buildings. And it raises the stakes for the game, out February of next year, since now it’s embroiled in America politics, like it or not.
The trailer itself is fairly straightforward Far Cry; rural setting, natives and expats on varying degrees of the unhinged scale, people getting eaten by bears. What’s more interesting is when you get into some of the NPCs you’ll be meeting, including a gun-toting pastor, a vengeance-minded bar-owner, and an angry pilot with a baby on the way who they really should have just named Goose, since there’s no way he’s making it to the end of the game.
The main question, though, is who our protagonist is going to be. After some unfortunate racial politics in Far Cry 3, which featured a frat boy killing and impregnating the natives of a small island amid pulpy “dark gods” and the like, Far Cry 4 went in a different direction. That game’s protagonist, Ajay, was so alienated from his own culture he mispronounced his own name, and the game was as much about his struggles to understand his cultural past as his personal one. It wasn’t perfect, by any means, but a step forward. For this game to really earn the setting of America on fire, it’s going to need a protagonist who reflects that, instead of just another generic dude. Interestingly, we haven’t seen who our hero is just yet; that might still be on the table. We’ll find out this February.