Everything we know (and suspect) about Far Cry 5 and its religious content
Last week Ubisoft unveiled Far Cry 5 in its announcement trailer. You can watch it below. The fictional Hope County has been infiltrated by the Project at Eden’s Gate; an insidious doomsday cult.
Players can explore Hope County however they see fit and go in any direction from the outset. Missions are playable in any order and the dynamic open world reacts to your choices and actions.
Who Are You?
Far Cry 5 will see player’s step into the shoes of a new Deputy Sherrif. For the first time in Far Cry, players will be able to create and customise the hero character. We’re assuming this will allow players to choose the race and gender, but at this stage details are scant. Hopefully, we’ll be able to play as a Native American or African American in addition to the likely availability of white characters.
The campaign will also be fully playable from start to finish in co-op with Friend for Hire. Alongside playing with your friends, the main character will be able to recruit allies from the local area. Up to three Guns for Hire can be recruited at a time, using their skills to take the fight to the Project at Eden’s Gate.
Special Fangs for Hire can also be recruited. These animals can be player controlled or commanded to help out in a variety of ways. The specific animals available aren’t known yet, but we’d be willing to bet there’ll be wolves, bears, mountain lions and eagles.
Where Are You?
As has already been established, the game is located in the fictional Montanan location of Hope County. An idyllic, rural area that has come under the control of the Project at Eden’s Gate and its charismatic leader Joseph Seed.
The trailer is narrated by Joseph Seed, leader of the Project at Eden’s Gate.
Something is coming. You can feel it can’t you? You can feel that we are creeping towards the edge. I know that you are out there. And I know that you are in pain, but my children I am here to tell you that suffering is a choice.
And you can choose a better path. We want you, accept you and we will take you. Willingly or not. And some of you may fight. But in the end you will thank us. I am your father and you are my children.
Unlike previous antagonists, Joseph Seed has a different motivation. At least on the surface. Rather than Vaas’ desire to fuel his drug addiction/business and Pagan Min’s protection of his stolen throne, Seed seems to truly believe in his own delusion.
What’s With the Biblical References?
From everything we’ve seen so far, it’s pretty obvious that Joseph Seed and the Project at Eden’s Gate are motivated by religion. Just look at the cover images obvious allusions to The Last Supper for one. There’s also the music playing during the trailer; a cover of The Carter’s “When the World’s on Fire.”
Joseph Seed’s voiceover is also hugely religiously charged, but it’s even more so when you take a look at the scripture referenced on the side of the Project at Eden’s Gate church. We can find John 1:4 in multiple religious texts, but three stand out in particular.
The book of John in the Christian Bible, both King James and New International Versions features in the New Testament. The New Testament is an account Jesus’ life and makes many references to him and his deeds. Joseph Seed clearly sees himself as a messianic figure, so scriptures referencing Jesus would resonate strongly with him.
The Book of Mormon also includes a book of John called The First Epistle General of John. All three verses relate to the little we know of Joseph Seed and the Project at Eden’s Gate.
King James Version
In the King James Version, the Book of John, Chapter 1, Verse 4 reads;
In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
The verse bears some similarities to Joseph Seed’s voiceover in the trailer. Seed could see himself as the ‘him’ which holds life. The ‘light of men’ could also be seen as similar to Seed seeing himself as the father.
New International Version
The New International Version is similar to the King James Version but has some differences which endear it more closely to Seed’s speech.
The New International Version reads;
In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
Both verses are essentially the same but there is a key difference. The King James Version says ‘men’ where the New International Version reads ‘mankind.’ While the meanings are generally accepted to be the same thing, ‘mankind’ is a broader term and more in line with Seed’s speech.
Book of Mormon
We can see that this verse relates to Joseph Seed and his beliefs in himself, but interestingly the Book of Mormon is even more compelling. The First Epistle General of John, Chapter 1, Verses 1 and 4 read;
1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
Honestly, this chapter of the Book of Mormon could not fit more perfectly with Seed and the Project at Eden’s Gate. Especially given that Montana has a Mormon population of 5% and is the 4th most Mormon populous state in the US.
Verse 1 makes reference to false prophets. Seed himself seems to be positioning himself as a prophet and labelling others as false prophets, including other churches in the area. Pastor Jerome Jefferies is introduced in a video and is shown to have suffered at the hands of Seed and his followers.
Verse 4 makes reference to ‘children’ as does Seed and it mentions overcoming. Seed says that “suffering is a choice” and that the people, his children will be taken and will thank him and the Project at Eden’s Gate for freeing them from suffering.
What About Joseph Seed?
The name Joseph Seed has religious connotations too. Joseph was Jesus’ father which is telling enough but continuing along the line of the Book of Mormon we find references to Joseph Seed.
According to the Book of Mormon, Nephites left Jerusalem and travelled to the Western Hemisphere, settling in present-day Central America. Finally, Joseph Smith is the founder of Mormonism. Yet another Joseph.
Joseph Seed’s siblings, the Heralds of the Project at Eden’s Gate are Jacob, John and Faith Seed, which are all biblical names. In particular, John could be related to John the Baptist who was considered a precursor to Jesus. John 1:6-8 reads;
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
John Seed is a lawyer and represents the Project at Eden’s Gate in the public eye. His job is to ensure that the public opinion of the cult and Joseph is positive and in that way is like his biblical counterpart.
Far Cry 5 is Going to be Dense
And I don’t mean that as a slight. I mean that it looks as though Ubisoft is going to pack Hope County with an incredibly detailed backstory. I may be just being hopeful or indulging in wishful thinking, but I’m hoping that there is a lot of meat to the story of Joseph Seed and the Project at Eden’s Gate.
Many of the points I make above mix and match three different religious texts but being the leader of a cult, it’s likely that Joseph Seed has cherry-picked various scriptures to suit his goals. For now, we can only infer what may be going on behind closed doors at the Project at Eden’s Gate.
Until we have more information from Ubisoft, we can only make educated guesses.
Far Cry 5 will be released for PC, PS4 and Xbox One February 27, 2018.
What do you think?