Far Cry 5 is insane. I got the chance to sit down with the game’s creative director Dan to chat about the game’s setting. The controversial choice to center the game around a Christian cult leader and some other things you’re just gonna have to watch the video to find out. It’s all coming up right after the intro. Roll it.
Hey guys Charles Powers here with Dan Hay, the creative director behind Far Cry 5. Dan dude I just, I’ve played a little bit of the game, and I am so excited. Having played previous Far Cries, our community had a lot of questions. I had a lot of questions. But first of all thank you so much for giving us your time to talk to us about the game. Okay, so let’s, can you, can you give us like a quick overview of Far Cry 5, where we are, and just like a quick, just like bullet through it.
– Sure, if you know nothing about Far Cry first thing we’re doing is we’re taking it to the states. And we’re taking it to our version of Montana, a place called Hope County. Where you kind of go into this, this place that maybe you feel like you know. But it’s been taken over by this cult and it’s got this magnetic leader who believes that the end of the world is coming. And basically, he’s kind of closed off this Hope County, this place that we built. And now you go in there and you gotta basically deal with it. So that’s, that’s Hope, that’s basically Hope County in a nutshell.
– Okay, so I know that you guys are very eager to, to put the game in our hands. We are very eager to play the game. But I wanna touch really quick on the delay. Can you tell us a little bit about what you guys are polishing? I mean it’s only a month so you know, there’s really no reason for us to fret right?
– No, I mean the thing is, is that when you see a delay that’s like that short it’s just about putting the polish on and making sure that everything is nuanced and feels good. And the thing is, is that is such a generous world. We wanted to make sure that it was easy for you to fall into it. So you know as a question of you know, are we gonna put out something that’s good or something that’s great? And we want great.
– That’s awesome, okay so let’s talk a little bit about the world. Can you give us an idea of just the scope, I mean, playing the game just, the, well, first of all, we already know that this game is gonna have an amazing ecosystem just based on previous Far Cry titles. So can you tell us a little bit about that, that scope?
– Sure, well you played it today and like you, you got about an hour and a half to play it, an hour to play it. And you just got a little taste of it right? So at E we showed people Hope County and that’s just the sense of Hope Country but also just Fall’s End.
Just that town and now you’re out there and you’re able to sort of look at the entire region that’s John’s. And I think if you were to play just that region if we had you stay in here for a couple of days you could probably get maybe to hours of story time in there plus another hour of open world.
But that’s just one region. There’s three in its entirety. So the game is huge. It’s, it’s expansive, it’s designed for you to just kind of fall into it. And the thing is that it’s not prescriptive. You don’t like, a lot of times I’ll get asked okay what do I do next? And it’s like, I don’t, I mean, just, go. So we wanted to make it feel like real life.
And fill it with characters that didn’t have all the information, right? You go up to somebody and they think oh this is what’s happening in Jacob, this is what’s happens in Faith. And they’re not sure. But it feels very real and that those characters could join you or not and you get to pick. Play the game the way you want.
– Okay, that’s awesome. Yeah, I know, I am like, I did not know what to do. I was looking around like okay, I see all these missions, I see all these people talk to, I see all these notes that I can go and take a look at. So let me ask you this. How did you guys settle on Montana of all places? How, how can you kind of give us some insight as to like how that came about?
– Yeah, it was a weird one because you know, honestly the first time we say Montana everybody’s like Montana what the hell. Right, but I think that you know, Far Cry has a pedigree of kind of going to places people don’t expect. If you think at the end of Far Cry you know we put out Blood Dragon, and everybody was like what?
Nobody saw that coming. And then Far Cry we went over to the Himalayas and then we were thinking about you know what do we wanna do next? And then all of a sudden Primal comes out and it’s completely different and nobody was expecting that. And so we really have this history of being able to say look let’s throw out some ideas, let’s look at it, and then let’s see if it’s something that somebody could see coming.
And so we were in a room, and I vaguely remember sort of the brainstorming session. We’re like we know we wanna go to the states, and it’s always where should we go and then somebody threw out Montana. And somebody else went Montana, I know nothing about Montana. And we’re like wait a minute that’s a good thing, right? So we started to look into it, and what was really interesting about Montana is that it’s, it’s a frontier.
And it still has the rugged beauty that we want in Far Cry. But it’s also a little bit removed and it’s got people that live there that really don’t wanna be messed with. They wanna be left alone, you know, kind of away from the prying eyes of the government. And we thought that’s a perfect recipe for Far Cry.
– I love that you, that you, you call back to previous titles. So I wanna know, previous Far Cry titles have always had antagonists that really stood out. I mean you’re talking about Vaas, you’re talking about Pagan Min. So can tell, tell us a little bit about what we can expect here in. In this game because we already, we already know that we’re in some like crazy stuff.
– Right, so I think that yeah, you think about Vaas. Vaas was very physical. And Pagan Min was a unique and interesting character and he was a ruler and nobody said no to this guy. And so what we wanted to do was take a look at that, that we’d built before. Those characters that we’d built before and grow them and say okay how do we make it so that it’s believable that this person could be in America?
How do we believe that they could have that same magnetic feeling that Vaas has? And as soon as we kind of stumbled onto the idea of a cult, and the gravitas of this person bringing you in, the thing that we needed to believe though, is that the devil’s in the details here. It’s gotta be a good, like the writing has to be great, the acting has to be great.
The actor is key, right? And you have to lean into it where you got the actor who can also contribute to it and you can’t just say, you gotta be able to say yes to everything. So, you know we had this, we basically put up this casting for this actor and what I really wanted to be able to say was make it believable that whoever this actor is, that after five minutes of watching it, I believe that they could convince me to join their cult. And we have this guy that we met named Greg Brick.
Guy’s an incredible actor. And he sent in his stuff. And the guys were like Dan come over, check this out. Look at it. We put it on and after two minutes I was like yeah I believe it. I, if this guy told me to go do something I think I might do it, he was perfect. And that’s what we got.
– Okay, that’s, that’s awesome. One last question. So, you know, I know there’s been a lot of talk and a lot of articles and a lot of videos about the, the setting choice right? The fact that you guys are doing something very different. You guys are taking something that’s very close to home not just in the setting but also in the fact that you’re talking about you know, a Christian cult. Given today’s like, political and social climate, how, how do you guys hope that this will be received by you know, by, by the gaming audience?
– I think that you know, we’re really careful to make sure that build our version of Montana, right? And what we did with our cult is we said that they kind of steal from different religions. They basically, they’re kind of hijacking the stuff. And so when the Father talks, he talks with a rhetoric of snacking on different things and then turning it into kind of his own, his own thing.
And what we really did is focus on one person. A very, very simply idea that the Father believes that the end of times is coming. He believes that we’ve gotten close to the edge before, and that humanity isn’t mature enough to know when it’s actually gonna happen. And he, he just has this idea that when the time comes he’s gotta save as many people as he can. Whether they wanna be saved or not. And that was powerful to put into a character that, that hearkened back to Vaas and Pagan Min.
– Awesome, well Dan I am so excited. I had such a blast playing the game. I actually cannot wait to play more. So thank you so much for your time, really appreciate it.
– Nice to have yours.
– No problem.
That was my chat with Dan. Be sure to subscribe to the Game Fanatics YouTube channel because you don’t wanna miss the next video where I chat with Phil, the game’s producer. We talk loot boxes and the mechanics in Far Cry 5. I’m Charles Powers, thanks for giving me a few minutes of your time today. You can follow me on Twitter, @MrCharlesPowers. I’ll see you in the next video. Until then, keep calm and game on.