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(Pocket-lint) - Far Cry 5 is coming early next year and is set to be the series' most accomplished outing yet - no mean feat considering the excellence of Far Cry 4.

It is set in the US for the first time, allows you to fly planes and lets you create your own lead character rather than play as a predetermined protagonist.

So what else can you expect for Far Cry 5? Here we explain everything we know so far.

What is Far Cry 5?

Far Cry 5 is technically the sixth in the Far Cry series, if you also include the Stone Age-set Far Cry Primal. In fact, if you include the Far Cry: Instincts variants and Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon it's actually something like the tenth. But we're not. So there.

Like Far Cry 4, it is an open-world first-person shooter with role-playing elements. We also expect it to feature some crafting elements, with our E3 demo taking in some fly fishing so we'd expect a similar hunting/skinning and making system as in previous games.

Also as in previous games, you can drive and ride vehicles across the mission map. And this time around that includes planes.

Far Cry games have always been dark in tone, but with an underlying wicked sense of humour. We've been told to expect the same in Far Cry 5.

It's certainly, from what we've play so far, as brutal as Far Cry 3.

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Where is Far Cry 5 set?

For the first time, Far Cry is set on US soil - in the fictional region of Hope County in the Northwestern state of Montana. The initial action takes place in the town of Fall's End, which requires liberating and is the base of the resistance - a ragtag bunch of civilian determined to rid the world of all-new villains, the Seeds.

The Seed family is headed by Joseph, AKA The Father, plus his siblings, Jacob, John and Faith, known collectively as The Heralds. They lead a cult, the Project at Eden's Gate, and have been recruiting civilians to their deeply religious cause, presumably for a nefarious reason that is yet to be discovered.

The surroundings, from the trailer and E3 gameplay session we've been privy to, include forests, mountains and farmlands. There are several towns and encampments too, with different missions and objectives in each.

Who do you play in Far Cry 5?

For the first time in the series, you get to choose your lead character. You design the avatar from numerous customisation options, even choosing whether to play a male or female lead.

Once your character has been designed, you start the game as a Junior Deputy Sheriff of Hope County, assigned to capture Joseph Seed by the US Marshals.

Surprisingly, he comes peacefully but his followers have other ideas. "All Hell breaks loose," we were told, and you end up kidnapped by the Seeds and the Project at Eden's Gate cult alongside two of your colleagues. We haven't yet been told what happens next, but can guess. We doubt the colleagues make it.

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What other characters are there in Far Cry 5?

There are three other main characters we know of so far, who appear to guide you and give you missions in Far Cry 5.

They are each a member of a local resistance, seeking to put an end to the cult and Seed family's reign for different reasons.

Pastor Jerome has lost his entire flock to the Project at Eden's Gate, so is willing to take up arms against the cult to get them back.

Local bar owner, Mary May is out to seek revenge for her father. He was killed by the Seeds and her mother and brother were taken.

And plane-owner Nick Rye has also suffered family woe thanks to the group. He is the source for flying vehicles which you will be able to pilot in the game for the first time.

He is also part of the new Guns For Hire feature, where you can employ an AI friend to help you out in missions. The others we've encountered so far are Grace, a kick-ass sniper, and Boomer, a dog. A hardcore, take-no-prisoners dog, at that.

What does Far Cry 5 look like?

Graphically, Far Cry 5 looks stunning, especially on the PS4 Pro where, we were told, it was running in 4K (most likely checkerboard). We played a large mission during our E3 hands-on session and it ticks all the boxes for a triple-A game.

The new setting also allows for some great colour hues. We expect the design team to go a little crazy with this one.

Are there co-op and/or multiplayer modes in Far Cry 5?

Ubisoft is yet to reveal full multiplayer options for Far Cry 5 but it has told us that the entire single-player campaign can also be played co-operatively.

As mentioned above, Guns for Hire will be available to play with in the AI stakes. Ubisoft also confirmed that you will also be able to recruit additional "Fangs for Hire" animals (bears, cougars and more), like in Far Cry Primal, not just Boomer the dog.

There will be a map editor to create all-new playing fields.

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What vehicles can I drive in Far Cry 5?

We can see, in the main announcement trailer, that cars, buggies and quad bikes return, along with boats and big rigs - one of which we crashed through a roadblock in the demo.

As previously mentioned, you will also be able to fly planes.

Is there a trailer for Far Cry 5?

As well as a few trailers, as below, an extended gameplay video was first released at E3 2017:

Prior to that an announcement trailer for Far Cry 5 was released, which you can see here:

Three character pieces, starring Pastor Jerome, Mary May and Nick Rye are also available:

And first up there were a few tiny teaser vignettes released online, which are available to view below:

Far Cry 5 release date and formats

Far Cry 5 will be available for PS4, PS4 Pro, Xbox One, Project Scorpio and PC. It is scheduled for release on 27 February 2018. PS4 owners will get a free skin pack with their purchase.

We are likely to go hands-on with an early build of Far Cry 5 at E3 2017 in June.

Writing by Rik Henderson.