Far Cry 5: Everything you need to know

The full-fat skinny on everything you need to know about Far Cry 5 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

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Quick Facts

  • Genre: First-person shooter
  • Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
  • Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Release date: 27 March 2018
  • Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC
  • Player:Two-player online co-op
  • Classification: MA15+

After a short delay, Far Cry 5 is on target for release on the 27th of March, and it’s poised to be the best one yet. It’s not surprising, then, that after a prehistoric detour in Far Cry Primal, Ubisoft has returned the series to its familiar contemporary setting. Except this time exotic locations around the world have been replaced with something which is, on the surface, blander: Montana in the US of A.

Despite the seemingly straight setting, Ubisoft Montreal is crafting another very, very mad world that’d make Gary Jules weep. This time it’s up to the player to take out a deadly apocalyptic cult that doesn’t mind culling the herd as much as it loves forcibly adding to its flock. The developer is an old hand at crafting Far Cry experiences, but while previous entries have flirted with greatness, they’ve never quite nailed the execution. Far Cry 5 seeks to double down on everything that makes the series great: more weapons, more companions, more activities, and more co-op.

Far Cry 5 releases 27/3/2018 in Australia. Until then, here's everything you need to know about tearing up the fictional Hope County in Far Cry 5.

Story: What’s going on in Far Cry 5?

The setting might be different, but the undercurrent of madness remains the same. This time, though, you’re fighting against the Eden’s Gate militaristic doomsday cult. As far as cults go, that’s the very, very bad kind. You play as sheriff’s deputy tasked with arresting the head of Eden’s Gate, Joseph Seed. Understandably, that doesn’t go so well, initially, and the rest of the game plays out as both a fight for survival as well as a battle to protect the innocent people of Hope County.

Far Cry 5: The setting

Far Cry 5 is set in the fictionalised Hope County in the very real US state of Montana. If you’re familiar with the lay of the land of Montana, don’t expect Hope County to be specifically recognisable, but you can expect that it looks like it belongs in Montana. This means an abundance of greenery, forested sections, plenty of lakes, ranges of mountain and island variety, and a whole lot of farms.

Far Cry 5: The tone

Get caught up in the Bible-bashing story trailers for Far Cry 5 and you might expect it to be a dark affair. While that’s certainly true of the core narrative, there’s a lot of lightness to help balance things out, both in side quests and open-world activities. To help put that into context, Far Cry 5 has been rated MA15+ by the Australian Classification Board, with consumer advice of strong themes, violence and drug references, and online interactivity (classified on 5 December 2017).

Far Cry 5: The characters

There are several NPCs that you’ll come across in Far Cry 5 that range from good, bad, to nutty and everything in between:

  • Joseph Seed: The big-bad cult leader who believes he’s chosen by God to do the nasty stuff he does. You have to arrest him (but will likely end up killing him, hopefully).
  • Hurk Drubman Jr: A returning character from Far Cry 3 and Far Cry 4. He’s an RPG-toting Gun for Hire who’s handy in a fight.
  • Casey Seagal: A friendly member of the Resistance and waiter/cleaner in The Spread Eagle bar.
  • Faith Seed: The half-sister and voice of Joseph Seed who may or may not have supernatural powers of influence.
  • Grace Armstrong: One of the Guns for Hire companions who packs a long-range punch care of her dead-eye aim and sniper rifle.
  • Jacob Seed: A former army sniper and current recruiter who’s in charge of cult security. This bad dude is also the brother of Joseph.
  • Jerome Jeffries: A priest who spat out the Eden’s Gate Kool-Aid and has seen the light of the Resistance. He fights for the freedom of Hope County.
  • John Seed: Ubisoft describes him as the “reaper for Eden’s Gate”, which is a charming way of saying he doesn’t mind using any means necessary to convert people to his cause. Or, y’know, kill them.
  • Mary May Fairgrave:Owner of The Spread Eagle bar and seeker of vengeance against Eden’s Gate for destroying her family.
  • Nick Rye: A crop-duster pilot turned militarised Gun for Hire who’ll gladly drop a payload on fanatic cultists on your command.
  • Boomer: A faithful former bird-dog turned loyal companion for the protagonist, should they so choose to use this particular Fang for Hire.


Far Cry 5: Character customisation

Yup, you read that correctly. For the first time in the series, Far Cry 5 will feature character customisation. No more having to put up with painful protagonists, ’cause you can build your own. Select a male or female avatar at the start, then customise to taste. You can customise across four core cosmetic categories: upper body, lower body, headwear, and handwear. It’s worth noting that this is a first-person game, so you’re not likely going to see much of your customisation efforts.

Gameplay: What’s it like to play Far Cry 5?

In short, it’s a hell of a lot of fun to play Far Cry 5. That’s based on multiple preview sessions, to date, and playing around with a lot of the game mechanics. It’s a first-person shooter, so expect plenty of shootin’, as well as other non-shooting activities.

Far Cry 5: The weapons

Here’s a breakdown of every goddamn weapon in Far Cry 5 (not including the variants). Weapons can also reportedly be customised to suit your stealthy, long-range, or other destructive tastes. The weapons are broken down into seven categories: melee, sidearms, shotguns, SMGs, assault rifles, sniper rifles, and other (which includes machine guns, bows, launchers, and special weapons). There are also featured versions, lieutenant variants, and other cosmetically customised takes on these core weapons below. You’ll also find the relevant unlock requirements for particular weapons listed, too.

Melee weapons
  • Shovel: Good for diggin’, better for bashing skulls.
  • Socket pipe: Laying pipe into enemy noggins has never been easier.
  • Bolted pipe: Like the socket pipe, only boltier.
  • Baseball bat: If it’s good enough for Donny “The Bear Jew” Donowitz, it’s good enough for you. This all-American Louisville Slugger has a taste for cultist brains. Best feed it.
  • Aluminum bat: There’s nothing soft about this softball bat. “Aluminium” is likely actually spelt in the American way.
  • Spiked bat: When Walking Dead cosplay turns deadly. Unlock by scoring two levels of resistance in any of the three regions.
  • Brass knuckles: When raw flesh doesn’t pack the necessary punch, use these. Unlock by scoring three levels of resistance in any of the three regions.
  • Paddle: You’d best believe that’s a paddlin’. Oar, yiss!
  • 1911 Pistol: Don’t be fooled by its age. This pre-WWI-era sidearm is a trusty go-to gun in a lot of shooters, and now Far Cry 5.
  • .44 Magnum: A revolver that makes you feel like Dirty Harry in a Far Cry game, because feelings towards another IP aren’t protected by copyright laws.
  • SMG-11: It’s got SMG in the name, but what it doesn’t have is that it’s an Uzi, which is hella handy for one-handed shootin’ in Far Cry 5.
  • P226: Basically, it’s just another pistol, except with a big ol’ mag. If bullets matter more, it’s a goer. Unlock by scoring one level of resistance in any of the three regions.
  • Skorpion: You could float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. Or you could ditch the similes and metaphorically light-up a bunch of goons with this SMG. Unlock by scoring two levels of resistance in any of the three regions.
  • .44 Magnum L: Like its .44 Magnum bigger bro, ’cept the snubbier nose lets it slot into your pocket. Unlock by scoring three levels of resistance in any of the three regions.
  • A-99: Another one-handed SMG for spraying out deadly lead. Unlock by scoring five levels of resistance in any of the three regions.
  • D2 Shotgun: A great choice for close-quarters combat. Like it says in the Good Book, two sawn-off barrels are better than one. Unlock by scoring two levels of resistance in any of the three regions.
  • M79: A Far Cry classic, the grenade launcher returns and is still classified as a one-handed sidearm. Unlock by scoring six levels of resistance in any of the three regions.
  • M133: A pump-action shotty. Not as how’s-your-holy-father as a sawn-off double-barrel, but it gets the job done.
  • M133 M: As above except, in the words of Rage Against the Machine, it comes with a pistol grip pump (which you should have on your lap at all times). Unlock by scoring two levels of resistance in any of the three regions.
  • M133 MS: If the M133 is the granddaddy and the M133 M is the daddy, this short-barrel, pistol-grip variant is a little buckshot baby boy. Unlock by scoring seven levels of resistance in any of the three regions.
  • SBS: No, this ain’t about international news, it’s the longer take on the sawn-off double-barrel shotgun. Buckshot aplenty, bucko. Unlock by scoring four levels of resistance in any of the three regions.
  • SPAS-12: Another pump-action shotty, except this one has bragging rights over being used to (unsuccessfully) hunt raptors in Jurassic Park. Unlock by scoring six levels of resistance in any of the three regions.
Submachine guns
  • MP5K: It’s an MP5, k? The same ol’-faithful SMG you’ve been spraying since GoldenEye 007. This particular SMG is an Ubisoft Club unlock.
  • MP5: Like the MP5K but less compact and more available to those who don’t want to venture into the Ubisoft Club. Unlock by scoring one level of resistance in any of the three regions.
  • MP5SD: When you want your MP5 variant to whisper, this bad boy ships with a suppressor. Unlock by scoring eight levels of resistance in any of the three regions.
  • MP40: A German-made machine pistol that puts a World War II spin on your submachine gun expectations. Unlock by scoring four levels of resistance in any of the three regions.
Assault rifles
  • AR-C: Fully-automatic assault rifle that gets the job of cultist-slaying done.
  • 45/70: This old-school rifle will make you feel like a lever-action cowboy. Unlock by scoring one level of resistance in any of the three regions.
  • 45/70T: A shorter-barrel variant of the above. Yes, Batman, it comes in black. Unlock by scoring three levels of resistance in any of the three regions.
  • MS16: A Fortunate Son of the Vietnam War, this more recent-school semi-auto rifle packs a punch. Unlock by scoring two levels of resistance in any of the three regions.
  • MS16 Trooper: A slick coat of black paint and shorter form factor makes this the perfect match for the cosmetic-conscience mid-to-long-range fragger. Unlock by scoring three levels of resistance in any of the three regions.
  • AK-47: You know the name. You know what it does. It’s built for culling cultists one full-auto mag at a time. Unlock by scoring five levels of resistance in any of the three regions.
  • AK-M: It’s a newer, slicker version of Hollywood’s fave assault rifle, the AK-47. This AK-M comes with shiny black paint. Unlock by scoring six levels of resistance in any of the three regions.
Sniper rifles
  • AR-CL: Despite being a less catchy acronym for a B-side version of YMCA, this is an AR turned semi-auto sniper rifle.
  • 308 Carbine: A sniper’s sniper rifle, for when you want to feel you really earnt that long-range headshot because you were using a bolt-action gun. Unlock by scoring three levels of resistance in any of the three regions.
  • MBP .50: That .50 may read like a half gun, but it’s short for 50 calibre, which is an overpowered choice for popping enemy noggins. Unlock by scoring five levels of resistance in any of the three regions.
  • SA-50: No grunts made it from earlier Far Cry games to Far Cry 5 but this semi-automatic sniper rifle did. Unlock by scoring six levels of resistance in any of the three regions.
Other weapons
  • M60: This light machine gun will be kicking arse and taking names.
  • M249: Like the M60, but purtier and modernizr. Unlock by scoring four levels of resistance in any of the three regions.
  • Compound bow: Conjure up your best Rambo reference for this stealthy option that also has explosive-tip bolt options.
  • Shovel: An old-school tool for silently dispatching cultists. Unlock by scoring one level of resistance in any of the three regions.
  • Recurve bow: The precursor to the compound bow for the purist hunters out there. Unlock by scoring five levels of resistance in any of the three regions.
  • RPG-7: This fires a single dumbfire rocket that’ll send any dummies who get caught in its explosive radius to Kingdom Come. Find it on a cultist cadaver to unlock it.
  • RAT4: This other rocket launching option can shoot smarter ordnance than the RPG (read: cluster rockets). Unlock by scoring four levels of resistance in any of the three regions.
  • Flamethrower: It throws flames, hence the name. No matter your steak preference, well-done cultists are most definitely on the menu with this strapped to your back.
  • Magnopulser: The only oddball sci-fi weapon in Far Cry 5’s arsenal. It has zero damage listed, but we reckon it’s going to be like the Gravity Gun in Half-Life 2. Unlock by helping Larry at Parker Laboratories in Holland Valley.
  • Browning M2HB: This is a heavy machine gun and will be attached to stuff in Far Cry 5.
  • Rock: It’s not going to kill anyone in the Old Testament sense but it’ll distract your enemies.
  • Dynamite: Built for demolition, destined for destruction. Put the big bada boom on the big bada baddies with this stick of explosive death.
  • Grenade: A modernised stick of dynamite that doesn’t require matches. It’ll put an explosive end to vehicles and groups of cultists.

What enemies are in Far Cry 5?

There are, of course, your run-of-the-mill cultists who make great gun fodder. There are tougher underbosses to fight, who soak up the lead before going down. Enemies can also be shot into an incapacitated state and revived by nearby buddies. This includes the tougher ones, so embrace rule two from Zombieland. Then there’s the head-to-toe-armoured backup that’s called in to stop you. They back heavy machine guns and take a pounding.

On top of this, though it’s yet to be properly identified, there are enemies with an odd intoxicated cloud above their head. These foes soak up more bullets than Ned Kelly before they bite the dust. Treat them with the lead-filled respect they demand.

Is there a map editor in Far Cry 5?

Yes, Ubisoft has confirmed that Far Cry 5 will have a map editor, even though it wasn’t in Far Cry Primal. The straightforward map-editing tools will let you forge your own unique combat zones, as well as scenarios across solo, co-op, and competitive. This is all under the Far Cry Arcade banner, which can be accessed from the main menu or via arcade cabinets and Far Cry Arcade posters in the game world. Players can share their creations and the community can vote on them. Each creation you want to play is downloaded on-demand. Far Cry Arcade includes assets from Assassin’s Creed Black Flag, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Watch Dogs, Far Cry 4, and Far Cry Primal.
Build and share to your heart’s content. Ubisoft has promised “exciting new features” and more details in an E3 2017 post but, at the time of writing, no additional information has been released since this announcement.

What open-world activities are in Far Cry 5?

There’s a lot to do in Far Cry 5 outside of the main missions. You can liberate outposts, as is the standard in Far Cry games. But Ubi-towers aren’t in the game. You can race cars, drive boats, hunt or tame (with the right perk) exotic animals, as well as fly helicopters and planes. There’s a stack of side quests you can score from NPCs. One of the bigger new additions is fishing, which is actually quite layered in terms of its mechanics. It’s easy to lose a lot of time trying to catch the biggest fish.

Fishing rods

There are four fishing rods listed under the weapons (no, really) in Far Cry 5. With the Fisher King perk (which costs 4 Perk Points), you can unlock new flies to catch heavier fish. All rods are rated in terms of their rate of fire (again, seriously) and handling:

  • Basic Fishing Rod: It’s all in the name. This’ll be your first fishing rod. It has twos for rate of fire and handling.
  • Natural fishing rod: An improvement over the starting rod. It has fours for rate of fire and handling.
  • Wonderboy fishing rod: The fully automatic of fishing rods. It has a nine rating for rate of fire and a six for handling.
  • Old Betsy fishing rod: The antithesis of Wonderboy designed for those who favor handling above all else. It has a six rating for rate of fire and a nine for handling.

What vehicles are in Far Cry 5?

There are stacks of rides in Far Cry 5. There’s the civvy stuff, like quadbikes, cars, and trucks. Then there’s farming equipment, like tractors with front-mounted blades that’ll shred cultists (and cows) in no time. There are also boats for getting around on the water. In terms of flying, there’s a variety of helicopters, planes (complete with machine guns, rockets, and bombs), and the wingsuit makes a return. You can jump out of flying machines, activate your wingsuit, then pop your parachute when you get low to the ground.

There’s also a fast-travel option for an aerial spawn that, like the opening of Predators, has you falling from the sky above the fast-travel point. It’s handy for Just Cause entrances, just ’cause. There’s also at least one militarised vehicle, found in a side mission, which is basically an Optimus Prime truck decked out with heavy machine guns. It’s awesome. You can learn to sabotage vehicles, too.

What companions are in Far Cry 5?

Far Cry 5 has two companion systems: Guns for Hire and Fangs for Hire. Guns for Hire include long-range snipers like Grace Armstrong and aerial support from Nick Rye. You can only have one companion at a time unless you unlock the Leadership perk.

In terms of Fangs for Hire, there’s Boomer the not-so-mangy mutt. He can quietly take down patrolling cultists – or those chasing you in a fight if you prefer – and he also plays fetch with enemy weapons. Good boy! Other furry companions are available, too, including a cougar called Peaches and even a bear called Cheeseburger.

What perks are in Far Cry 5?

Far Cry 5 has a perks system that includes 50 unlocks across five categories (10 per category): Survivalist, Renegade, Assassin, Prepper, and Leader. Perks are earned by completing challenges, or discovering Perk Mags in the game world. Challenges reward between one to three Perk Points (PP), depending on their complexity, and Perk Mags reward one PP per magazine.

Far Cry 5 Images

Far Cry 5 online and multiplayer

Ubisoft has put a lot of emphasis on co-op in Far Cry 5. At the time of writing, Ubisoft has only confirmed a cooperative mode for Far Cry 5. There isn’t support for local, split-screen co-op play, but two players can play cooperatively online. Unlike past Far Cry games, Far Cry 5 will let two people play the game in its entirety. It supports drop-in/drop-out co-op, meaning players can join and leave at any time. All that’s required is for both players to have completed the hour-long opening section.

Players joining a game will appear as a custom character, and there’s full support for in-game voice chat. You can also reportedly enable friendly fire, if hurting your friend is up your alley, plus you can also share health packs and ammunition. There’s a catch, though. Only the hosting player is able to accept missions and keep progress in the world. The connecting player will retain progression, guns, money, perks, and loot, as long the unlocked items don’t come from completing missions.

If you wander too far away from each other, you’ll be teleported closer together. There’s no support for random matchmaking, which means only people on mutual friends’ lists will be able to play together.

Far Cry 5 also includes support for additional cooperative scenarios and competitive multiplayer via Far Cry Arcade. This is the fancy name for Far Cry 5’s map editor, which also lets players create, share, and download new maps, modes, and scenarios. Ubisoft will, at the very least, include a rudimentary team deathmatch mode, but players will be able to create their own competitive modes in Far Cry Arcade. Multiplayer supports up to 12 players.

At the time of writing, Ubisoft hasn’t detailed any competitive multiplayer modes for Far Cry 5. That said, the PlayStation Store and Microsoft Store listings note 2–12 networking players for online play, which suggests a yet-to-be-announced competitive mode or modes. The PlayStation Store listing also notes that a PlayStation Plus membership is required to play online multiplayer. It’s anticipated that the Xbox One version will also require an Xbox Live Gold subscription to play online multiplayer in Far Cry 5.

Far Cry 5 DLC PlayStation 4 owners will receive a free Far Cry 5 skin pack

These skins will be available to Xbox One and PC players, too, but will have to be purchased by redeeming Uplay Units. The Father Edition and Deluxe Steelbook Edition of Far Cry 5 come with the Digital Deluxe Pack that includes:

  • Weapons: Signature AR-C Rifle and a Signature 44 Magnum Handgun.
  • Big Game Hunter Pack: ATV, Compound Bow, and an outfit.
  • Ace Pilot Pack: Helicopter, 1911 Handgun, and an outfit.
  • Chaos Pack: Fast Buffs (x4), Furious Buffs (x4), Molotov Cocktails (x4), Animal Bait (x4).
  • Explosive Pack: Helicopter, 1911 Handgun, and an outfit.

The Far Cry 5 Gold Edition includes the Season Pass as well as the Ace Pilot Pack and Big Game Hunter Pack.

The post-release DLC has been announced and a Season Pass is confirmed, which includes additional content, gear, and stories. Console players who purchase the Season Pass will also receive access to the single-player content for Far Cry 3 Classic Edition four weeks prior to Far Cry 5’s launch.

  • Hours of Darkness: The first DLC drop transports players back in time to Vietnam to fight against Viet Cong soldiers.
  • Dead Living Zombies: A Call of Duty Zombies-sounding second DLC drop where players square off against zombies in B-movie scenarios.
  • Lost on Mars: The third DLC drop takes players to Mars in a fight against Martian arachnids.

The assets from each DLC drop will become available after release in Far Cry Arcade.

Far Cry 5 install size on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC

  • Xbox One: 41GB
  • PlayStation 4: 38GB
  • PC: Currently unknown

Far Cry 5 enhancements on PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X

Far Cry 5 will be enhanced for both PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X versions of the game. There are no details on the specifics of the PlayStation 4 Pro enhancements at this stage. The Xbox One X version, though, is listed on the official Xbox One X enhanced list, which notes that it will be Xbox One X Enhanced, as well as support 4K Ultra HD and high dynamic range (HDR).

This means Xbox One X owners with a 1080p (Full HD) TV can enjoy upscaled textures as part of the Xbox One X’s supersampling feature, which renders 4K textures at 2K resolution. To play Far Cry 5 in 4K resolutions and/or with HDR, players will have to own a compatible 4K-capable TV. At this stage, it’s unclear whether “Xbox One X Enhanced” simply refers to the 4K Ultra HD and HDR support, or whether it will include other features, such as the option for a performance mode (higher frame-rate) or other Xbox One X additions.

Can my PC run Far Cry 5?

Ubisoft has released required PC specs to meet minimum configuration, recommended configuration (60fps), as well as 4K configurations (for 30fps and 60fps).

Minimum configuration

  • OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (64-bit versions only)
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-2400 @ 3.1GHz or AMD FX-6300 @ 3.5GHz or equivalent
  • Video card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 670 or AMD R9 270 (2GB VRAM with Shader Model 5.0 or better)
  • System RAM: 8GB
  • Resolution: 720p
  • Video preset: Low

Recommended configuration (60fps)

  • OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (64-bit versions only)
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-4770 @ 3.4GHz or AMD Ryzen 5 1600 @ 3.2GHz or equivalent
  • Video card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 or AMD R9 290X (4GB VRAM with Shader Model 5.0 or better)
  • System RAM: 8GB
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Video preset: High

4K 30fps configuration

  • OS: Windows 10 (64-bit version only)
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-6700 @ 3.4GHz or AMD Ryzen 5 1600X @ 3.6GHz or equivalent
  • Video card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 or AMD RX Vega 56 (8GB VRAM with Shader Model 5.0 or better)
  • System RAM: 16GB
  • Resolution: 2160p
  • Video preset: High

4K 60fps configuration

  • OS: Windows 10 (64-bit version only)
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-6700K @4.0 GHz or AMD Ryzen 7 1700X @3.4 GHz or equivalent
  • Video card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 SLI or AMD RX Vega 56 CFX (8GB VRAM with Shader Model 5.0 or better)
  • System RAM: 16GB
  • Resolution: 2160p
  • Video preset: High/Ultra

Here’s a list of the supported Nvidia cards at the time of release:

  • GeForce GTX600 series: GeForce GTX670 or better
  • GeForce GTX700 series: GeForce GTX760 or better
  • GeForce GTX900 series: GeForce GTX950 or better
  • GeForce GTX10-Series: GeForce GTX1050 or better

Here’s a list of the supported AMD cards at the time of release:

  • Radeon 200 series: Radeon R9 270 or better
  • Radeon 300/Fury X series: Radeon R7 370 or better
  • Radeon 400 series: Radeon RX 460 or better
  • Radeon Vega series: Any Radeon Vega series

Far Cry 5 Trailers

A deep dive into what Ubisoft Montreal hopes to achieve with Far Cry 5.

By Nathan Lawrence

It’s not long now until Far Cry 5’s 27 March release date is upon us. I’ve been lucky enough to preview the games on three separate occasions, and every time I’ve walked away wanting to play more. In what amounts to around 10 hours of play time, I still feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of what Far Cry 5 has to offer. In my mind, it’s on track to being the best Far Cry game, to date.

This prediction is fuelled by the opening hours, which showcase a confidence and, more importantly, a dedication to telling a story that will actually tempt players away from the sandbox shootin’. In the past, Far Cry campaigns have felt secondary to what Ubisoft Montreal calls the “anecdote factory” gameplay of everything outside of it. If Ubisoft Montreal can continue on the tonal trajectory it’s established in the opening of the game – which I won’t spoil for you – we’re all in for a treat when it launches later this month.

As part of the recent preview event, I had a chance to sit down and talk with associate producer Phil Fournier. Check out the full interview transcript below.

I just wanted to start with the engine improvements have been added. Far Cry has always looked gorgeous, this looks the best it’s ever looked, and it also seems to be the most ambitious Far Cry you’ve ever made. Those two don’t usually go hand in hand. Usually, in terms of gameplay you have either really pretty and limited features or lots and lots of features in a less-pretty package. What kind of improvements have been added to the engine for Far Cry 5?

We took a step back, basically, on all of our technology, production pipelines, to really bring that level of fidelity that we were looking for – meaning that we’re setting the game now in something that’s a bit familiar to some people. It’s the US, it’s Montana, people might have seen it in movies or a TV series or whatnot. So, it was really important for us to push those limits and put even more stuff on screen and have more NPCs but also, graphically, have something that stood out a bit better.

One thing that we didn’t understand at first was, "How can we create that world?" A world that is alive, a world that feels that everything is grounded, everything is in there, that people have personality. And one thing that we developed is actually a lot of brands and branding, in general. You go to the US and you remove all of the signposts and all of the ads and whatnot, and it feels like it could be almost anywhere. But when we added all of those touches of, like Joe’s Restaurant or Bob’s Garage, it started feeling like, okay, this is real, this is true, and we started tying that up with the narrative, and it really felt like Montana Hope County was alive, basically.

What were some of the bigger points of feedback for Far Cry 4 and Primal from the community that helped to shape the features going in to Far Cry 5?

I think it was that notion of freedom. We’ve heard a lot of the term "anecdote factory" in the past, and that’s what we wanted. We wanted more of that. We wanted to give toys to players, give opportunities to players, to create their own Far Cry moments or whatever you want to call them. Basically, layering a lot of new systems to make sure there’s always something surprising, there’s always some chaos, there’s always something unexpected that shows up.

And this is true from the Guns for Hire system, which allows you to hire a co-op companion that has a different set of skills. In the demo, you might have bumped into Jess who’s a hunter and a bit more silent. But there’s also Hurk, and Hurk carries an RPG rocket launcher. Combined with Hurk’s craziness – something is not correct in his mind – it creates amazing scenarios. I really recommend having a car ride with Hurk, he’s got some of the best dialogue in the game [note: I did and he’s very entertaining]. We just want to create and give more opportunities for players to have that chaos, and obviously now the game being fully playable in co-op right after the intro, playing with two players amplifies the fun.

I did want to talk about that: the idea of approaching design in terms of co-op play. Obviously, you can play through the entire game by yourself, you’ve got a companion system as well with AI, but there seems to be a really big push towards having co-op the whole way through. How has that influenced how you’ve had to approach design when people can be doing whatever they want with someone else throughout the entirety of the game, technically?

I’m not a designer, per se, but I can tell you from the faces of the designers when they finished the game that it was really hard. It’s really hard to craft an experience that’s going to be playable from any different angle with every different weapon with every different Gun for Hire. The game's matrix, if we were to put it down on paper, is so huge it makes it hard to think about all of those scenarios.

For me, that’s what makes it as fun to play as it is to watch. Whenever I see people playing the game – whether it’s at an event like this or at a play test or even in the future on YouTube when people are going to start posting whatever they’re doing – I keep seeing stuff that I’ve never thought about. Actually, that triggers some ideas in how we can generate more content, or in some future Far Cry, and I think that’s pretty cool.

It’s super important for us to support co-op play or just playing with someone, especially now that you’re playing as yourself. Your player doesn’t have a voice. You’re really playing as whoever you want it to be. So, whenever you’re driving along with a buddy, whether it’s a friend in real-life or also one of the Guns for Hire that we have, there’s always some form of commentary: it’s taking a road trip with some buddies. There’s always something fun and stupid that’s going to come out of it.

Was that the idea of having the voiceless character so that it would become the player? And also, the customisation, as well, I love that it’s there, but at the same time, I keep looking for opportunities where I can actually see myself, but really it just seems to be my hands which are the most important. Are there other opportunities where the player will get to see themselves and see the rewards of the unlocks and things that they’ve put on in terms of customisation?

For us, what’s important in Far Cry is, in the approach of playing the game, we’ve always been very much visceral. We want players to feel like they’re always in that player’s character, so there won’t be a lot of moments where you’re actually outside.

Except when you die, I’ve noticed.

Except when you die. It creates that attachment to your character. The customisation aspect, for me, what’s cool about it is for sure bragging rights. Whenever you’re playing co-op, or if you’re playing PvP in Far Cry Arcade, it’s like, "Look at my cool outfit or the cool helmet I found in some loot cave somewhere." But also, yeah, whenever you’re lying on the ground or waiting for one of your Guns for Hire or co-op buddies to revive you, you remember how important it is and you just want to cling to life. You just want to press that button and get that time for your companion to help you.

I was wondering if there have been some changes to the weapons ballistics. To me, they feel a little bit more realistic, it feels like there’s bullet drop and things like that. That’s part of the game now?

Yeah, that’s a thing now.

And is that new?

It’s totally new.

Why was it decided that this should be part of Far Cry now?

We wanted to make it more realistic. It was really our conscious effort for us to see how we can get closer to something that feels even more real, even more in line with what people would experience. So, bullet drop on sniper rifles, rockets will go in a weird way. You never know; it’s unpredictable. We wanted to, even from a gameplay [perspective] – not only from the visual and art perspective – it goes all the way. We pushed a lot on this because we couldn’t make it before, but stuff is actually going to go in the currents. You could drop something at the top of a river, and just watch it go down all the way to the bottom. It won’t be Zelda-esque, but it follows real physics rules, and that was really important for us because we wanted to get that.

Was that to create a skill gap, as well? The more realistic shooters out there, there’s this sense of satisfaction in playing, but also in watching replays when someone makes an amazing shot. Was that something you’re trying to capture as well in Far Cry 5?

That’s a good question. I don’t know if it was a conscious decision, I’m not the designer behind that, but I agree with you that it’s super interesting to see those super special skill moves. Every time we integrate something new in the game, we’re actually thinking about,"Okay, how is that going to play with everything else, and how can you make the perfect run?" for example. And when we design any level or any outpost, we want to make sure that we have different opportunities to approach because different players will have different strategies. We need to cater to all of those types of approaches, so every player can have a smart strategy and execute on it, and have that perfect run, because the feeling of accomplishment that comes after that is amazing.

Have you had to change the artificial intelligence at all? Enemy difficulties and things like that. I’m noticing there seems to be a lot more going on in terms of unit variety and different archetypes. How have you approached the AI in Far Cry 5, and how did you want to take that to the next level?

We really tried to push it further. We wanted every NPC from a grunt NPC to even a quest-giver to really have a sense of purpose. Every enemy NPC that you’re going to encounter, they care about their own lives, but also they care about the lives of their other companions. So, they might go and save someone who’s in a downed state, they might flee at some point, and that’s something that’s brand new on Far Cry.

You’ll feel that you’re actually having an impact on their morale. You’ll feel like you’re having an impact on the group itself. For me, this is why sometimes I say that the biggest villain in the game is not just Joseph Seed, it’s the whole cult – the whole Project at Eden’s Gate – because they’re all working together to fight against you.

Far Cry Arcade, which you mentioned earlier. That sounds like it’s this whole different play box, I haven’t had a chance to play with it yet, I was just wondering where that came from and why it was so important to be included in Far Cry 5?

For us, we’ve always wanted to have the community even more immersed or more engaged in the Far Cry environment and universe. So we had an in-game editor that’s been with us since Far Cry 2, and we wanted to integrate that better into the experience. Again, because of that feeling of purpose. The feeling of, okay, everything feels grounded, feels like it belongs in Hope County Montana, and we had that idea, notion, of Far Cry Arcade.

You’ll just go in a garage, go in a bar, and you’ll see an arcade and you can just interact with it, then get access to some really cool maps being created by some community members or Ubisoft as well, and it’s really your chance to also be creative. If you want to create your own map, you’ve got all of the catalogue of Far Cry assets, or even Assassin’s Creed or Black Flag, or Watch Dogs, you can really create and be super creative and give that to other community members and just have fun with it.

Nathan's flights, accommodation, and meals were paid for by Ubisoft for this recent Far Cry 5 preview event.

Far Cry 5 hands-on gameplay

The latest Far Cry 5 news

Far Cry 5 FAQ

Q: Will Far Cry 5 be on Nintendo Switch and last-gen consoles?
A: No. Far Cry 5 will only release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Q: Will Far Cry 5 have microtransactions and/or loot boxes?
A: There will not be loot boxes in Far Cry 5, according to this EPNdotTV interview . No word on microtransactions at this stage.

Q: Will Far Cry 5 have other microtransactions?
A: Yes, Far Cry 5 has cosmetic unlocks that can be purchased with microtransactions. Time Saver Packs, as seen in Assassin’s Creed Origins, are also expected to appear for faster access to campaign unlocks.

Q: Will Far Cry 5 have a beta?
A: Nothing has been announced, but it’s unlikely that Far Cry 5 will have a beta.

Q: Will Far Cry 5 be on Steam?
A: Yes, Far Cry 5 will be available on Steam. It’s also available on Ubisoft’s digital platform, Uplay.

Q: Will Far Cry 5 support VR?
A: Ubisoft has made no announcements regarding VR support in Far Cry 5.

Q: Will Far Cry 5 be online only?
A: Co-op and Far Cry Arcade require an online connection, but you can reportedly play the campaign offline.

Q: Will Far Cry 5 have cross-platform multiplayer?
A: No. Cross-platform play will not exist in Far Cry 5, even if Microsoft is open to the idea of cross-play between Xbox One and PlayStation 4 [http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2017-06-13-sony-defends-decision-to-block-cross-play-with-xbox-one-and-nintendo-switch].

Q: Can Boomer and other companions die in Far Cry 5?
A: No, but Boomer and other companions can be incapacitated and must be revived, in the same way you would an incapacitated teammate in co-op. If a companion is fully incapacitated, they’ll be unavailable for 10 minutes (unless you buy the corresponding Leader perk).

Q: Will Far Cry 5 have towers?
A: There are radio towers in Far Cry 5, but climbing them isn’t essential to unlock points of interest and missions in an area.

Q: What’s the Far Cry 5 controversy all about?
A: There was a minor controversy after the announcement of Far Cry 5 from a vocal minority upset about the game’s US setting and apparently white American enemies.

Q: Will Far Cry 5 have dinosaurs?
A: The closest you’ll get to ye olde creatures in Far Cry 5 is the Far Cry Primal assets in Far Cry Arcade, which can be used to make new maps and modes across solo, co-op, and competitive scenarios.

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