Here's everything we know about the game so far and what the game could do to stop the stagnation of the series.
Since the third installment, the Far Cry game series has had colorful villains as their selling point. Far Cry 3 had the intense, unpredictable, and maniacal Vaas, and Far Cry 4 had the regal, flamboyant, and methodical Pagan Min. The next installment in the series, Far Cry 5, will have the aforementioned doomsday cult, but the head of the cult and assumed main antagonist of the game is called Joseph Seed.
The villains have traditionally had a one-man-show, with absolute power and the generic goals of achieving more power and wealth; I think this is where Joseph Seed can be taken in a different direction. As the leader of a religious organisation, Seed could have, or once have had, genuinely good intentions that have been warped by tragedy. Exploring this character's past would be integral to setting him up as a tragic and more fleshed-out figure, one with which the player might even sympathize.
The Project at Eden's Gate also provides room for some interesting possibilities. Instead of having the spotlight focused on Seed alone, the cult's members could each have their own impactful interactions with the players. It would help establish The Project as a memorable group, with their religious fanaticism having the potential to produce some truly unhinged and varied characters.
A rookie cop could show genuine concern for the people of the county, making for an endearing and compassionate character, as opposed to the gruff and cynical, or inept and weak characters we've seen in previous games. Players can customize their own characters, a first in the series, so the protagonist may just end up being even more relatable and endearing.
In terms of the direction the story decides to go in, I would also like to see the game's premise evolve beyond "overthrow the bad guys," as has been the case of the previous two titles. Far Cry 5 should strive to set itself apart from previous entries by giving the player agency in deciding how they approach not only gameplay but also the factions they build and battle against.
I'd like to see a game where we can explore the big players for each side before deciding who to side with, or condemning both and acting on our own accord. In a game full of insane characters, morals are sure to fall between blurred lines, and each player will react differently to how the story unfolds, adding to the dynamic experiences the series so prides itself on.
Far Cry 5's recruitment system has been touted as the key feature of the game. With an expanded version of the "Guns for Hire" system from the previous game, players can employ help from members of the resistance, each with their own set of skills. Characters we've seen so far include Nick Rye, a pilot; Mary Fairgrave, a munitions supplier and barkeeper; and Pastor Jerome Jeffries, who seems to be a battlefield ally.
Each is nuanced in their dedication to freeing Hope County from the control of The Project. I'd like to see a system whereby these individuals need to be carefully approached in order to make full use of their services, possibly even turning on players based on the decisions the player makes.
Animal companions will be making a return as well, with players able to call in "Fangs for Hire."
Hopefully, this is expanded on as well, as strongholds could get stronger as the player forces The Project to allocate all their resources to their remaining strongholds in a last-ditch attempt to save them. The tower system is in serious need of a rework as well; Ubisoft could surely find multiple ways to unlock sections of the map to keep tower climbing from becoming stale.
Customization is hinted to be a key feature, with weapons, vehicles, and aircraft all stated to be completely open to customization. This idea could possibly do the most to change the game. Far Cry has always been about equipping your character with the tools that best suit you, so being able to tinker with weapons further could push this to an entirely new level.
Planes could be modified to be stealthy, allowing for quick and silent bombings of enemy strongholds. Big rigs could be armored up and weaponized, allowing players to act like wrecking balls tearing up the world. Customization is exciting and potentially game-changing if handled correctly.
This isn't an easy fix, but having side missions and quests that affect the main story and character relationships would add to the dynamic world the game is billing. Character relations and big personalities are where the game's strengths lie, so why not play to these strengths?
Have players control the way these relationships are formed and how their interactions with the larger-than-life characters go. If Far Cry 5 can pull this off, then it's sure to rejuvenate not only a series but an entire genre.