In just over a week, gamers will throw themselves back into the world of Far Cry. Where many aspects of the game will feel familiar, there’s one thing in particular the game’s creators have gone out of their way to make feel different — the villain.
Far Cry has gained a reputation for having very charismatic villains — most notably Pagan Min and, of course, Vaas.
But when it came time to bringing Father Joseph to life, Far Cry 5 creators wanted to push things one step further.
“We didn’t want this to feel like a guy that was just a carbon copy of the things that we’d done before,” Drew Holmes, the game’s lead writer, explained.
“Vaas and Pagan Min were just charismatic psychopaths, you didn’t really get a change of what they stood for, what they were willing to fight for, they were just kind of agents of chaos … this guy needs to have ethos. He needs to have a goal.”
And it’s having a character that feels that he has a higher purpose that truly makes him both frightening and compelling.
“This time around we have an enemy who is really, truly convinced that he is the good guy. I think that’s the twist that is really different from the previous entries,” narrative director Jean-Sebastien Decant said.
But if you think previous Far Cry villains have messed with your head, the Father may push your ethical and moral beliefs to the next level.
“I remember having a conversation very, very early on when were developing the Father, and I was talking with Dan Hay, our creative director, and going ‘we need to push this villain in places emotionally that we haven’t with Far Cry villains before,” Holmes said.
“I want to see if we can get the character to a point where he’s crying and it’s coming from an honest place. Like we are breaking him emotionally. If you can break that villain, what does that say in terms of your perception of him?”
Holmes said the idea was to make the Father less of a “boogie man” and more of a human being with faults. That way, players may find the true conflict within themselves over what he preaches.
“There’s a conflict, I think, that happens within the player of ‘is the stuff that he’s saying, do I agree with it? Does it make sense to me? How does that make me feel?'”
Despite the conflicting emotions this charismatic leader may make you feel, Decant says make no mistake, these guys are on the wrong side.
“I think that on the surface, what you see on a minute to minute in the game is a cult that’s very, very aggressive. They’ve started their master plan when the game starts. The arrival of the police force is seen as the beginning of the end,” he said.
“The cult is really, really violent. There is no doubt about that. Even if they show conflicted emotion, these (characters) are quite violent and sometimes even sadistic.”
Far Cry 5 is scheduled to be released March 27.
Get ready to grab your gun, befriend a bear, and take back this little Montana town.