When Far Cry 5 was first teased earlier this year, gaming fans were flung into a flurry of speculation and pre-launch excitement. Even before the FPS action-adventure title was officially announced, there was a slow leak of information on its rural Montana setting, its story that centers around an off-the-rails religious cult, and its cast of characters. Since then, publisher Ubisoft confirmed plenty more information, but few offerings have been exciting as the one that came today. Ubisoft has just unveiled almost nine minutes of the title’s gameplay, complete with developer commentary.

Posted on the Ubisoft US YouTube page, the footage opens with Far Cry 5 associate producer Philippe Fournier and scriptwriter Marri Knadle introducing themselves and explaining that the footage viewers are about to see is actually the game’s extended E3 2017 demo. The camera pans through the Holland Valley in fictional Hope County, Montana. It’s described as the section of farmland that the cult, Project at Eden’s Gate, is using “as their breadbasket.” Right from the get-go, the deputy hops aboard a tractor to move toward the heat of the conflict: confronting the cult, which has been stealing supplies and kidnapping people to prepare them for the world’s end.

The demo centers around a rookie deputy, who has at his side his loyal dog, a Blue Heeler named Boomer. This pup is just one of many allies players can recruit from the game’s For Hire system. As Fournier explains in the video, each ally has special abilities, and it’s up to the player to decide which companion to bring along for the journey, whether that’s simply exploring the open world in Far Cry 5 or battling against the Doomsday preppers in a set location.

One of Boomer’s skills is plucking weapons and tools from opponents in a fight. This can aid players when they’re low on ammo or don’t have the correct type of weapon for the situation they’re in. Additionally, Boomer is a fantastic all-around ally that can support any playstyle. He will fetch guns, bring down cultists, and tag enemies and animals from far distances with his acute sense of smell — all without the player commanding him to do so. Boomer just might become players’ favorite video game dog ever.

far cry 5 gameplay footage

The fishing system in Far Cry 5 is, surprisingly, a large aspect of the gameplay as well. As Fournier and Knadle explain, players can truly live the experience of being in the modern rural west — quite a leap from the Wild West setting the game was first rumored to feature. Stopping by rivers and lakes in Hope County is an excellent way to gain experience and to evade conflicts in general.

However, tension rises in other areas of the game. The cult, led by the dastardly Hope County resident Joseph, snatches up food and supplies for its bunker, destroys resources, and conducts forced baptisms in those idyllic bodies of water. To take down these forces of evil, players are equipped with “tools that feel like they belong in Montana and [the] fight against a Doomsday cult.” Such tools include the classic Far Cry 5 revolver, stealth weapons like baseball bats, and vehicles such as pick-up trucks, tractors, and a rig called “the Widowmaker.” Weapons are customizable, and players can add attachments or change the color scheme as they please.

far cry 5 gameplay demo
According to Fournier and Knadle, Far Cry 5‘s Hope County is larger than other Far Cry world that precedes it. Featuring a rich ecosystem that represents Montana’s wilderness and a host of interesting and terrifying characters, it’s not hard to see why. But don’t let the lush landscape create a false sense of security: it’s hunt or be hunted in Far Cry 5, and players must be the predator if they want to survive.

As rousing as this footage is, it’s just a fraction of what’s in store, as Far Cry 5‘s completion time has been estimated at around 20 to 30 hours. Hopefully it will be enough to tide fans over until the game launches next year, though we would be surprised if Ubisoft didn’t release a few more teaser videos between now and then.

Far Cry 5 releases for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on February 27, 2018.