Ubisoft have a tradition of producing a prequel style series or video short for their games at times, going back to Assassin’s Creed: Lineage which was a YouTube mini series ahead of the release of Assassin’s Creed II and told of the events that lead into that game through the eyes of Ezio’s father Giovanni. It added so much to the game experience by introducing us to the characters in the game but also that the actors used to voice the characters were able to become their characters in this mini series. With the upcoming release of Far Cry 5, Ubisoft has once again created a prequel short but this time it has been released as an exclusive on the Amazon Prime streaming service. I was most intrigued to see ‘Far Cry 5: Inside Eden’s Gate’ had to offer:
Inside Eden’s Gate tells the story of three vloggers who take it upon themselves to investigate Eden’s Gate after receiving an email from someone claiming that his sister had been kidnapped by a cult. After reaching Hope County and meet with the brother they soon learn that several other people have also gone missing, and all of which are out of character for them .As they track down missing locals and investigate other strange events, they eventually encounter Joseph Seed, the leader of The Project of Eden’s Gate cult and his followers and their investigation quickly turns into a deadly situation for them.
I really enjoyed this 30 minute short because it had one purpose and one purpose only to focus on, introducing Joseph Seed and The Project of Eden’s Gate cult. For many fans of Far Cry, the change in location from large tropical or Tibetan wilderness as seen in Far Cry 3 and 4 to that of the USA was a strange one. This prequel gives us a great insight into Joseph and his followers but mainly the cult itself by not only introducing the characters but all showing the impact it is having on Hope County and the methods used to ‘baptise’ people into the cult. We are witness to such a baptism thanks to the team of Vloggers recording one and we learn that a mysterious blue chemical is poured into the water before the victim has their head dunked underneath the water. This chemical makes the person more susceptible to the words of Joseph Seed and they quickly fall under his spell. It adds a real sinister aspect to what had been up to this point for me a really throwaway aspect of this story element.
Stand out performance has to go to Greg Bryk and his performance that truly brings Joseph Seed to life for me. Even outside of the mind altering chemical baptism, Joseph Seed has something about him that is able to speak to the very heart of people’s fears. In the first encounter with him, we see the team of Vloggers go to a small church in the middle of no where as Joseph delivers his sermon to a group of people clearly influenced by his words. Those words are indeed powerful as Joseph highlights why the World is in the trouble that it is and especially rings home with the many Donald Trump campaign speeches delivered on his road to the Presidency. Seed goes on to say that he can offer them true salvation from the evils of the world and that they should turn to him and through him, God. Bryk does such a tremendous job of bringing him to life I am very excited to see his dialogue performance in the full game.
Once captured by Seed and his followers, the Vloggers try to escape by finding weapons with the intention of shooting their way out if they have to in order to get to a location where their footage, at the very least, can be uploaded. Now this side is a little Blair Witch as we are informed that a mini cam has recorded the whole encounter with the cult and if they can get it uploaded then it will be also put on their YouTube channel for the world to discover. Now with the cult being in the middle of no where it just happens to not have any cell phone service so instead of giving the impression that they are going to be able to actually escape to safety, the focus really is on just getting the video uploaded which is no doubt what leads to the player travelling to Hope County in the game.
Overall the performances of the actors is spot on for what this short has to deliver with a brilliant scene where Joseph Seed is able to convince one of the Vloggers to join him by connecting with her with just his words in the opening Church sermon but then preys upon her weakness with help from his sister Faith to convince her that her pain can be taken away with his help and all she has to do is join them. We know that Ubisoft used actual experts in Cults to develop the character of Joseph Seed and The Project of Eden’s Gate cult and you can see the elements of manipulation Joesph uses even before the mind altering chemical is introduced in either the baptisms or as seen in this scene, administered as a drink.
I do think that it is a shame that this short for now is locked behind the Amazon Prime streaming service but with so many trailers now for Far Cry 5 which introduce all the main characters, Inside Eden’s Gate is another clever prequel story that excellently sets up the Cult for Far Cry 5. That said, with all the trailers available now, fans will still get the sense of the story from them without having watch this short but if you can watch it I do recommend doing so just for the performance of Greg Bryk alone in bringing the Joseph Seed character to life along with his followers. The true danger of this cult is showcased so well and makes it very believable that they could take over the whole county of Hope with their indoctrination methods and with Father Seed as the leader being able to make his followers do whatever he needs them to do.
It is entertaining for what it is and serves as a fun prequel story that introduces the world of Far Cry 5 really well to get fans even more hyped up for the game releasing on March 27th. I am more invested in the story now after watching Inside Eden’s Gate then I was before and being a fan of the amazing villains in Far Cry such as the under used Vaas in Far Cry 3 and the exceptional Pagan Min from Far Cry 5, it is clear that Father Joseph Seed could well be the best and most intriguing villain to date in the series.
Far Cry 5: Inside Eden’s Gate is available now via the Amazon Prime Streaming service with the game releasing March 27th.