Hope County is a remote and rural fictional county in the state of Montana, United States, and is the main setting of Far Cry 5, Far Cry: New Dawn, Inside Eden's Gate and Far Cry Absolution. The county has been slowly taken over by the Project at Eden's Gate doomsday cult over the years, through buying the majority of the farmlands, the local radio stations, and by paying off most of the staff of the local Sheriff force. However, with the arrival of the Junior Deputy, the silent takeover turned into violence and bloodshed.
The county is divided into five distinct sections (two small areas and three major regions):
- Dutch's Island is the small island where Dutch's doomsday bunker is located, and where the player starts the campaign. As part of the early-game tutorials, this small region must be liberated before the rest of the county is unlocked.
- The Holland Valley is the farming region of Hope County. It is mostly a flatland area, consisting of farms and arable land. During the years leading up to the events of Far Cry 5, John Seed took great efforts to gain most of the local farmlands by legal means. After the violent takeover of the cult, the region completely falls under John's control, who plans to reap whatever he can from the locals. Holland Valley houses the county's largest settlement, Fall's End. Deputy Joey Hudson is held hostage in this region by John Seed.
- The Henbane River is the main recreational region of Hope County, with its name coming from the large river that divides it. Its landscape mostly consists of bungalows and hot springs. The region is controlled by Faith Seed, who is relying on field labor to produce the drug known as Bliss, which is used to convert the locals into angels; Marshal Cameron Burke is also subject to such treatment while being kept hostage by Faith. As for Resistance operations, the Hope County Jail is under control by the Hope County Cougars, who are led by mayor Virgil Minkler and sheriff Earl Whitehorse.
- The Whitetail Mountains are the mountainous region of the county, full of wildlife and secrets. The region is ruled by Jacob Seed, who is using the area as a training ground and staging area for the cult's armed forces. The region is also home to many preppers and survivalists who oppose the cult, with The Whitetail Militia being the largest of them. Deputy Staci Pratt is held captive by Jacob Seed in the Whitetail Mountains stronghold of the cult.
- The Cult's Compound appears at the prologue of the game. It then stays locked for the duration of the campaign until all three Heralds (John, Jacob, and Faith) have been defeated.
Depending on the chosen Far Cry 5 ending, the fate of Hope County may unfold as follows:
- If the Junior Deputy refuses to arrest Joseph Seed at the beginning of the game, the task force retreats from the compound, despite the outcries of Marshal Burke, who threatens Sheriff Whitehorse and the Junior Deputy of arresting them. Whitehorse then says that the Deputy made the only logical choice: had they arrested Seed, none of them would leave alive. He then tells the Marshal that they will summon reinforcements, implying that he intends to return soon with more officers to subdue Eden's Gate. To unlock this ending, simply do not press any button when prompted to arrest Seed in the Prologue mission.
- If the Junior Deputy decides to fight Joseph Seed once all his heralds have been neutralized (this is known as the Resist ending), the Father is eventually defeated and arrested. However, once he is cuffed, nuclear bombs detonate around Hope County, and the valley quickly bursts into flames, proving that Joseph Seed was right all along about the Collapse. In this ending, Hope County probably suffers heavy damage and many of the residents who do not have access to or do not have enough time to retreat into a prepper bunker perish. The Junior Deputy and Joseph Seed end up in Dutch's bunker who is killed by Joseph Seed. The Junior Deputy stays in Dutch's bunker with Joseph Seed who unilaterally declares them his 'child', and the screen slowly fades to black. NOTE: With the release of Far Cry: New Dawn, this is considered the canon ending.
- If the Junior Deputy accepts Joseph Seed's offer once all his heralds have been neutralized, the Father lets the Deputy's colleagues go (this is known as the Walk Away ending). Despite the protests of Deputy Hudson, Sheriff Whitehorse and his staff leave the compound by car. Whitehorse then tells his deputies that he'll go through with his original plan, by driving to Missoula and asking for reinforcements to take down the cult for good. Unfortunately, once he turns on the car radio, the Junior Deputy falls into a red rage, implying that Jacob's brainwashing worked on them, and will probably kill their colleagues in the car. It is unknown if Hope County gets nuked in this ending, but it is safe to say that what remains of the Cult will continue to pose a threat to the newly liberated county that has just lost many of its prominent defenders.
- Despite both the Resist and Walk Away Endings resulting in the demise of either Hope County or the Junior Deputy, the game promptly resets the player and the game world to the state they were in before the final confrontation. However, if the player chooses the Walk Away ending, they will not have access to the Outpost Master and New Game+ features and the 'Where It All Began' mission will reset and remain active, effectively indicating that the only canon ending is the Resist ending.
The bombs that leveled Hope County brought forth years of nuclear winter and radioactive rain. However, six years after the events of Far Cry 5, the fallout settled and nature began to reclaim the county. By then, the appearance of Hope County had radically changed. Much of the Whitetail Mountains region had been irradiated, and the collapse Hope County Dam caused much of the north to flood. Places like Fall's End were buried under dirt and debris. Wildlife in the area mutated due to the radiation, and soon foreign species began to migrate into the valley.
Seventeen years after the events of Far Cry 5, the once ashen and desolate Hope County became vibrant and colorful thanks to the super-bloom. What little remained of the pre-war settlements and structures were largely overgrown and left to decay. Survivor communities grew from the rubble, with the two largest being Prosperity and New Eden. However, the relative peace of the apocalypse was shattered when a group of bandits known as the Highwaymen invaded the county, sparking a war between them, the Hope County survivors, and the members of New Eden.
- While not based on any particular existing Montana county, Ubisoft took inspiration from several real-life locations when creating Hope County for Far Cry 5. The first promotional videos of the game were shot in and around Great Falls, Cascade County (which may also have inspired the name of Fall's End). However, based on its low population density and geography (especially considering that its largest settlement, Fall's End, is just a small town), the in-game county itself seems to be inspired by extremely low-population Montana counties without any large metropolitan area, such as Petroleum County, Treasure County, or Golden Valley County.
- During the Prologue mission, Marshall Burke tells the Junior Deputy that by driving northeast, they can reach Missoula "in a few hours", and get help. Although the real-world Missoula County is bordered by the State of Idaho to the southwest, this statement suggests that in the Far Cry universe, Hope County situates itself within the vicinity of the real-world Lolo National Forest and the Bitterroot Mountain Range.
- Hope County is traversed from east-to-west by a state highway, S-224, which enters and exits via mountain tunnels. S-224 is an actual Montana state highway, but it instead runs north-to-south in Liberty County, on the Canadian border.
- There is an abandoned railway line (possibly abandoned because of the cult). But unlike the roads which go to collapse tunnels, the railway lines don't seem to connect to Montana's mainlines.
- Before the events of Far Cry 5, Hope County had a decent tourist industry.
- It is theorized the U.S. Government is fully aware of the events occurring in Far Cry 5 but are not getting involved on purpose, possibly to observe how the average American citizen reacts to an invading force such as The Project of Eden's Gate. This theory is backed up by the presence of Willis Huntley, a CIA agent, in Hope County, and numerous government documents mentioning the cult and its activities.