Some Hope for Hope County – A Review of Far Cry 5


Koby Haldorson , staff writer

(Warning: There will be spoilers for large portions of the story in this review/analysis.)


“You are all I have left now. You are my family. And when the world is ready to be born anew, we will step into the light. I am your Father, and you are my child.” Joseph Seed, Far Cry 5


Far Cry 5 is the newest entry in the Far Cry game series, a series that has notoriously fluctuated when it comes to quality of the content the games provide. But Far Cry 5, the latest entry, released on March 27th, has been the subject of much scrutinization by the consumers. In the game, you play a silent, customizable protagonist, who’s recently become a deputy for the law enforcement of fictional Hope County, Montana. It’s also worth pointing out that at six games deep, this is the first Far Cry game to take place in the United States.

The story sees you, the new deputy, along with the rest of the county law enforcement and a federal marshal, going to the isolated church of a cult that’s overtaken the region of Hope County, to arrest Joseph Seed, the leader of the cult. He also has siblings, John, Jacob, and Faith, who each oversee one of the three regions of Hope County in the game.

Far Cry 5 has been advertised heavily as a game with a dark story, one of religious extremism driving once-good people to do horrible things, under the guidance of a charismatic leader, who believes they know God’s ultimate plan. Of course, the plot, being politically-centered, brings controversy to the game. A little controversy can sometimes be helpful to a game, driving up sales, but this kind doesn’t do much to help. The game is getting good, or even great scores across the board, but many believe the game doesn’t go far enough with its proposed story.

Personally, I thoroughly enjoyed the story. I thought the villains of the game were very well written. They were trippy, eerie, intimidating, and intriguing all through the game. Each of Joseph’s siblings, known as the heralds, has a different sort of personality. John is a charismatic recruiter, convincing people to join the cult through charisma and manipulation. Faith, who oversees manufacturing of a drug called The Bliss, which fries the user’s mind until they become a mindless husk. And finally, Jacob, who’s ex-military, and trains the recruited cultists for combat, and brainwashes good people.


I was very invested in both some of the heroes and the villains. While almost all of the side characters are well-written, I found myself caring about very few of them. Then there’s Joseph Seed, the main villain of the game, is a very complex enigma. It’s very clear he’s a damaged man, both emotionally and mentally, as his wife died, leaving their newborn daughter in his care. He claims that at that point, he heard God reach out to him, and tell him his ultimate plan for humanity.

He then abandons all reality, claiming that he alone can lead humanity to salvation. Joseph is absolutely one of the best, most well-written villains I have ever seen in a video game. He’s compelling, and since you know practically nothing about him, you always want to learn more. After defeating one of Joseph’s siblings, you’ll be given a cutscene of Joseph speaking into the camera underneath dramatic lighting. These cutscenes serve as obvious character exposé, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t useful. While some exposé is used improperly, this is used solely to provide information regarding the backstory of the primary villain. Joseph is always an interesting antagonist, from the slowest of moments to the most climactic.


But story and interesting characters aren’t the only components of this game. The music is superb as well. A combination of instruments, like acoustic guitars, banjos, violins, and many more all come together to create calming, serene music that plays during menu screens, and quietly during normal gameplay.


One complaint about the music I have is the occasional use of heavy synth music, which plays primarily during large gun-fights that occur while you’re exploring the map. The first time I experienced this change in music, I was fighting cultists in the middle of a road. Almost instantaneously, the synth was heavy and loud, rather than fading in quietly. My heart was pounding, and I had no idea why the developers of the game would elect to use heavy synth in a game that was primarily string instruments. Other than that, the rest of the music fits with the game perfectly.


I loved Far Cry 5. I think it’s one of the best games in the series, if not the best. It’s mechanically and technologically great, while 90 percent of the story is superb. However, where the game trips up is the very end, which is quite a shame. Also, it goes without saying, but this section will include massive story spoilers for both endings of Far Cry 5. Now, first off, the game has no good ending. You confront Joseph Seed after defeating his three siblings, and saving the two deputies and the sheriff. You arrive at his church, however, he’s kidnapped all the side characters you’ve met, and used The Bliss to turn them into his minions, and they hold the other members of the police department at gunpoint, while Joseph gives a long speech. At the end of it all, you’re given two choices: resist, or walk away.

Personally, I felt somewhat cheated, as neither of the endings are the stereotypical good ending. But endings aside, I feel the rest of the game offers much to enjoy, and I strongly recommend Far Cry 5 to anyone looking for a fun game with a mostly quality plot, but I wouldn’t go in expecting an incredible final payoff for the work you put in during the game.

Far Cry 5 is rated M for mature.