Far Cry New Dawn is finally out. To coincide with the game’s release, we recently talked to the Jean-Sebastien Decant, the game’s creative director, and Cara Ricketts and Leslie Miller, the actresses who play the twins on the cover. In our interview, we chatted about the game’s setting, the role of villains in New Dawn, the odd mention of “Space Force,” and more.
Game Revolution: Why did you want to make New Dawn especially so quickly after Far Cry 5?
Jean-Sebastien Decant: It’s coming from a couple places first. I’ve been on Far Cry since Far Cry 3 and we’ve been dreaming of doing a post-apocalyptic Far Cry for a while. When you think about post-apocalyptic things, it’s very much in line with what Far Cry is: a lawless frontier, a place where there is a lot of wildlife and dangerous animals, and where groups are fighting for survival. That is the core premise of a post-apocalyptic setting and that is Far Cry.
So we wanted to go there. And with Far Cry 5, we were debating how to finish the story. The idea of having nukes being dropped around Montana was super exciting so we decided to go for it. And we knew that by doing so we’d open the door for a sequel so we can actually carry on with some of the characters and the story 17 years after and getting to this place which is post-apocalyptic.
GR: Far Cry 5 was based around Americana and American culture. How would you describe Far Cry New Dawn? Is it the apocalyptic Mad Max version of that?
JSD: I think the key words we used for development to everybody. One was “super bloom,” the idea of a world that has bursted with colors and vegetation everywhere. It’s a very inviting world. It’s still very harsh world in which people are fighting and it’s really tough but it’s super beautiful and it’s a place where you could spent hours in and feel good.
The other one was “makeshift.” It’s a world where nothing has been produced out of a factory for years so people have to make due with what they have. And that actually guided some of the decisions for design. We’re going to make the game about gathering resources and crafting weapons. It gave us opportunities for new weapons like the saw launcher that is a made up crazy weapon that throws circular discs.
GR: You two are the main antagonists in Far Cry New Dawn and is a quite a big role. How do you prepare for such a big role like that?
Leslie Miller: I didn’t know it was such a large role when I booked it nor did I know midway. So once I found out, I felt a little pressure but I put it in the back of my mind and focus on the characters and their goals and what they wanted and how they went about doing it.
Cara Ricketts: I looked a little bit into twins. Like there is this great Kray twins so I looked into that a little bit and we could play with that dynamic. The neat things about those iconic twins is that just because they are twins doesn’t mean they think the same. Like we put the under the title “villain,” but we don’t know what that villain wants because there is two people. So I think we play with that dynamic pretty well of agreeing and disagreeing and working with that in front of the player.
GR: Far Cry always seems to focus on the villains. Like did you two look at how iconic Vaas was—
LM: No, why? [laughs]
CR: We’re so different!
JCD: I think that is more on the development team. How do we create surprise? How do we create the space in which we have a character or characters that own their space? And then it makes it difficult to compare to the former ones. And we try to do that with every villain. So we surprise the audience.
GR: I guess what I’m trying to say that those are big shoes to fill and it seems like a tough job.
CR: I agree with you. We definitely knew the other villains and somebody named “Fake Pagan Min” followed me on Twitter the other day and I was like “I’ve made it!” [laughs]
JCD: Who? Troy Baker? [laughs]
GR: Yeah, Troy Baker just goes by “Fake Pagan Min” now.
CR: [laughs] But the nice thing about it was just that the the writing for our characters was so clear and the world itself was so different that even if we wanted to mimic it, it wouldn’t make sense for this world. We have to be true to what our characters want in this situation.
LM: I think it could be a trap to compare yourself to other or past villains because I’m not them. I can only be the best version of my character. It’s actually really awesome to a part of the [Far Cry villains] list. It’s a really cool list. [laughs]
GR: Yeah and Michael Mando is a big character on Better Call Saul now.
JCD: Well, there’s a lot of pressure on us now. [laughs] What is nice about try to do our own thing with every game and every new face and for this one was how could we change the dynamic of the one on ones. How could we create a duet that is in your face? We needed something that could bring venom and fun and where you could feel the familiarity between these two characters. Every situation is a peek into their world.
So for preparation for me, it was about find the two actresses that could bring us that and I think I like how you two connected. You clicked very quickly. We had Leslie but we still hadn’t had our brains which made me think of Syla from Far Cry Primal and thought she would be great. Then we brought them together and the chemistry was amazing. At least, that’s how I perceived it.
LM: [laughs] It was.
CR: You perceived it well. [laughs] Speaking of villains, the Father [Greg Byrk] was always like, “In Far Cry 5, I did it like this,” and we were like “Why?”
GR: So what are the twins’ motivation in Far Cry New Dawn?
LM: I would say we are relentlessly in acquisition of goods and power and sustaining our positions. We’re brains and brawn. And we handle adversity differently. But we are powerful and leaders and domineering and don’t mess with us. [laughs]
GR: I ask because I feel like we are in the age of the sympathetic villain. Like if you look at Thanos or Killmonger, you can kind of see where they are coming from.
LM: Yes, yes. We’re not just violent just for the sake of it. There’s a purpose.
CR: I always feel like that has almost always sort of been there. Our characters have a philosophy which is “live for today and live fully.” And the idea of doing that is that because we live in a post-apocalyptic space, you can’t throw a party with a carrot and some dirt. So it’s better off to go to your place where you’ve built a nice little village and ransack the shit out of it. [laughs] Then we can throw down.
So that is pretty much what we are doing: living for the moment. That is a complete opposite of the other philosophies. It’s not like we just have a philosophy as a villain because there is some space there but there are three ideas that are happening throughout the game and we are purposely following ours to its truest form and that is in conflict with the other two [groups].
GR: Far Cry 5 took a little bit of flak for weirdly portraying the political times that we are in. I saw “Space Force” weapons in there. Is that a coincidence or…?
JCD: So I think it is not a comment. It is a joke. We really went crazy with the different suits you can gather in the game. So there is the reality of space and the conflict with the twins but in terms of what you can wear in the game, we really went batshit crazy. So you can disguise as an ape, you can a robot arm, and you can have Space Force stuff.
And yes, we just wanted to have cool gear that you can wear in this game so you could be the person you wanted to be in that space. That’s how you get Space Force gear.
GR: But it’s related [to what Trump said], right?
GR: I wasn’t sure because that is just weird timing.
JCD: Space is cool, right? And Space Force is the dream. So now you can now play that in Far Cry New Dawn. No, no. It’s a joke. I mean, it’s really a joke.