There are a lot of interesting things to find off the beaten path in Hope County, Montana. Many of the stories told in the Far Cry 5 world events are environmental, told after some horrific torture or death has happened. Bullet holes in a wall may indicate an attack on a quiet little cabin. A man lying dead in a locked bunker shows that he just couldn’t take living with the cultist threat anymore. The world building was one of the things we lauded in our Far Cry 5 review, and each corner of Hope County tells new, grim, and fascinating tales.
There are many stories to be told about Hope County’s living residents too, even the nameless NPCs scattered around the world. While running through a small thicket of trees on my way to some mission or another, I heard the sound of singing and a guitar. Now, it’s not uncommon to hear various songs on the radios in populated areas, but I was nowhere near civilization at the time. Rounding a bush, I was met with three people at a campsite. One man played guitar and sang while a guy and girl slowly danced together. A dead cultist lay nearby.
I created entire stories in my head from this brief interaction. The two guys were best friends, inseparable, even when one of them wants to head out on a camping trip with his girlfriend. The threat of the cult also had them scared, so heading out as three people was far safer than a couples-only camping trip. The guitar playing man–probably named Sam–brought his instrument because he was actually a little jealous. You see, Katie (the girl) had been his high-school crush, but he was too timid to act on it. Then Eden’s Gate came. Her family was killed. Sam was forced to watch as Jake, his best friend, landed in the right place at the right time, offering comfort in her time of loss. Jake became romantically entangled with the girl Sam was in love with. And still he couldn’t say a word.
As suddenly as I came upon the serene moment of peace, it was over. The NPCs detected an unseen danger, as NPCs in Far Cry 5 are wont to do. It might have been a single cult member a mile away, but the guns came out, the guitar hit the dirt, and they took off into the woods after mysterious bullet noises that I definitely didn’t hear.
Worst of all, that was the last moment they would all be together. On returning from the mission, I passed by the same campsite, only now it was just Sam and Jake standing beside one another. I don’t know what happened to Katie. I can’t imagine it was anything good. As the two NPCs stood staring blankly at each other, I imagined Jake crying inside at the loss of his sweetheart, and Sam feeling pangs of regret that he had never mustered up the courage to say anything before she was gone. Or maybe her poor AI still has her running headfirst into a tree, trying fruitlessly to make her way back into a dramatic love triangle tormented by Eden’s Gate.
So much of Far Cry 5’s ups and downs are highlighted all at once in this single moment. Random events like these make the world seem a varied and living place, but watching them all run off blindly after some non-existent threat is a prime example of just how high Ubisoft tweaked the detection meter for NPCs. Of course, you’d probably be on edge too if you lived in a county cut off from the rest of the world and run by a doomsday cult.
If you missed our Far Cry 5 review, we felt that the latest entry in the series makes some serious advancements while also hitting a few stumbling blocks. It’s still a lot of fun to play though, and Joseph Seed is the best villain that Far Cry has ever had. We also show you how to get an alien microwave gun to vaporize cultists, and a secret ending where Far Cry 5 can be completed within 10 minutes of pushing start.