BUILDING A BETTER CULTIST
Far Cry 5 is built around Hope County, Montana – a fictional, romanticised mirror of the real place. Only, in Ubisoft Montreal’s interpretation, the area has been seized by religious fanatics preparing for the end of the world. Led by Joseph Seed, aka The Father, a cultish congregation has taken up arms as Eden’s Gate, and is beginning to prepare for the inevitable collapse of society in the only way that small-town America knows how.
Far Cry has always been known for its larger than life villains, and this instalment is set to be no different. “I was getting pretty nervous… because I didn’t know a whole lot about cults,” laughs Hay. “I had done a lot of research and mined stories that I had heard, and read a lot of books, and began to build this profile, but what I really needed was validation. So we brought in these cult experts.”
The team brought in cult experts from across the world – such as Rick Alan Ross (seriously, make sure you look this guy up) – to bring an authenticity to the way the charismatic cultists look, speak and act. “Rick Ross was great. He was like, ‘Yeah! That makes total sense; that’s super cool, for sure that happened; and I’ll tell you where that happened, and I practically know that guy!’”
“What was really cool about it was that the more he spoke was the more we realised that there was something that we were missing. Which is… these cults almost have a language of their own – a parlance in the way that they communicate. They use nouns and verbs that we don’t ordinarily use, and it became authentic only when we started to build our own language and talk about the rhetoric that these guys talk about. That was a big moment for us to be able to go: we’ve built a magnetic character; we’ve built a believable fiction; yes, we’ve built our own space; and yes we want people to understand that it is entertainment, but it also has to have the feeling and the cadence of what a real cult would have. Once we had that, once we started to see that out in our world, it started to feel much more… real.”