Far Cry 5’s antagonist Joseph is all about freedom, faith and firearms

5 min read

Far Cry games aren’t defined by their open worlds filled to the brim with distracting sandbox filler, but rather the people inside of that murder-pit who emerge to menace your ass. Far Cry 3 really got the ball rolling with the introduction of antagonists such as Vaas and the stereotypically Souff Effriken Hoyt Volker. Far Cry 4 stepped up its villain game even further with Pagan Min, a charismatic leader whose only gal at the start of the fourth core game was to allow protagonist Ajay Ghale to spread the ashes of his deceased mother across the air currents of Kyrat.

Y’know, if you’d actually sat still for 15 minutes and done so, you impatient bloodthirsty person you.

Far Cry 5’s lead villain is a bit different. Going by the name of Joseph, he’s a holy man on a quest to spread his gospel, one bullet at a time if necessary. “He hears a voice,” executive producer Dan Hay said to Polygon.


He has a mandate, and what he believes is that he has been chosen to protect people from the collapse, to save them, and he’s going to save them whether they want to be saved or not. … They believe we must be prepared to be tested, that we’re going to have to harvest souls. And souls don’t harvest themselves.

That’s a bit relevant considering the history of the US with religious cults. While Scientology and whatever evangelical Christianity manages to fleece its followers with alarming regularity without the need to ever take up arms, the same can’t be said for those incidents in the more rural areas of North America that resulted in the tragedy at Waco and the mass suicide of the Heaven’s Gate cult.

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A charismatic leader with a flock of devout followers ready to die in his name? Yeah, you’ll be doing a lot of culling when the true believers of Joseph’s cult locks on to you. A fact that already has many a US gamer divided over the idea of killing their own state neighbor over in digital Montana’s fictional Hope County. It may not be a real town in Far Cry 5’s slice of Montana, but the idea of killing your way across a state that finds itself locked in real-world battles over ideology and the right to bear arms is still a controversial one.

“We actually went to Montana and we visited,” Hay explained.


What was really interesting was what we learned there: this concept of freedom, faith and firearms.

People from that region don’t necessarily trust the government. They don’t want to be f***ed with. They want to be left alone. They have a pretty goddamn good bullshit detector. When we were there, they absolutely didn’t want to be lied to, and this resonating feeling of freedom, faith — and the firearms to protect those two things — came back again and again. So that’s what we’re doing. And we’re applying that to the Far Cry series.

I’ve always thought that Far Cry at its best narratively was when the series was self-aware of its ludicrous nature and ran wild with it. Far Cry 5 sounds like a far more sombre take on the franchise, one that is bound to get the most overzealous people in media and politics frothing at the mouth like a dog with a severe case of Rabies. It’s going to be wonderful to watch the lunatics triggered in the build-up to the release of Far Cry 5.

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Last Updated: May 29, 2017

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia’s M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

  • Neji

    Far Cry 5’s antagonist Joseph is all about freedom, faith and firearms” – I too, subscribe to the three Fs in life; Food, Fries, and Fanta!

  • MonsterCheddar
  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    But is Joseph stalling?

    • Original Heretic

      Might be due to a tummy bug, though. People say he has a bad case of the trotsky’s.

    • Silence you!

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        Don’t silence me, you commie! ROOI GEVAAR ROOI GEVAAR!

    • Hammersteyn


  • Original Heretic

    Extremists, no matter which aspect of life you look at, are always a dangerous thing. That’s why, peoples, do things in moderation.

    • konfab

      So you wouldn’t do everything in your power to save a loved one?

      “Nah, the extreme option is to use 1 pint of blood to save her, we will just be moderate and use 1/2 a pint.”

      • Original Heretic

        Doing something extreme does not make one an “extremist”.

        When I think “extremist”, The Spanish Inquisition come to mind.

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      I do everything in moderation every minute of every day!

      • Hammersteyn

        So you’re a moderate extremist?

        • konfab

          Or just extremely moderate.

          • Hammersteyn


  • Dresden

    SINNER listens to the Parlotones…

    • Original Heretic

      Um, hello. What the hell?

      • Dresden

        Are you offended that I agree with D or the fact that I dislike The Parlotones?

        • Original Heretic

          Neither. I’m just quoting a Parlotones song.

          • Dresden

            You see, I wouldn’t get that because I dislike them. My bad, I feel like an idiot now…

          • Original Heretic

            Hey now, no need to feel that way.
            The only reason I know those lyrics is because I have a wife who insists on listening to the radio.
            My favourite memory of The Parolotones goes back a decade. Cape Town, Coca Cola Big Music Fest, the one where Metallica came down. Parolotones were meant to play after them, to close the evening off.
            After Metallica was done playing (after their almost 3 hour set), the whole crowd just left!

          • Dresden

            The one I regrettably missed. That is so mean of the organizers though, letting them play AFTER Metallica. When all the hype is over.

          • Original Heretic

            Back then they were still relatively unknown.
            Plus, nobody expected Metallica to play as long as they did. From what I heard, Parlotones didn’t even play that night, it was too late. Something about Greenpoint Stadium only being allowed to have music concerts until midnight, then they had to be over.

          • Guild

            Lol same thing happened in Jhb. After Metallica pretty much everyone left and there was a small crowd of people watching and calling for people to join them.

          • Original Heretic

            Considering how I felt after Metallica was done, there was no way i was staying.
            Sore throat, sore legs, sore back. I just wanted to find a bar and sit down for a bit!

          • HvR

            LOL, can just imagine 6 Parlotones teeny boppers crying all over their already smeared eye make up

          • BANNED FOR LIFE

          • Original Heretic
  • konfab

    This isn’t that much more controversial than anything that Rockstar has made tbh.

    That being said, if you criticise one religious extreme, you should criticise others to be fair. Therefore I propose the next Far Cry game be set in a Middle Eastern Desert with a crazy Imam at the helm.

    • Original Heretic

      HA!! Ubisoft will get bombed the day after they announce it!

      • Hammersteyn

        Bombed with preorders?

        • BakedBagel

          “Stop pre-ordering the Jihad”

          – John “Imam” Bain

    • Dresden

      Or, you know, almost any European country…

    • Hammersteyn

      Or Saints Row

  • Wait so now Americans start to question game enemies when they are Americans too?

    Yet shooting Germans, Koreans, Mexicans, *insert other flavor here* doesn’t even cause their conscience to skip a beat?


    • BakedBagel

      Well think of a time when the US hasn’t been at war?
      Constant propaganda does that.

    • HvR

      Jy dink jy kan my aanvat? Dink weer, poephol!

  • Magoo

    I enjoyed killing russian extremists, german extremists, middle-eastern extremists, mexican extremists, even african extremists – in the contexts and narratives of dozens of fictional games. And now, I for one am excited to kill american extremists. But this time, mostly because they are unhappy about it. >.>

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