Far Cry New Dawn offers up several Guns For Hire over the course of the game. One of these is The Judge, who specializes in stealth and uses a bow to take down the invading Highwaymen. This mysterious character is tied to Joseph Seed’s New Eden settlement, a group of survivors who believe in the gospel of Seed and who hold a shared desire to forgo modern technology.
Although The Judge's identity isn't officially revealed, over the course of Far Cry New Dawn bits and pieces of the face behind the mask can be put together. Their silent nature, their prior relationship with Joseph Seed (that seems to stem from before the nuclear war at the end of Far Cry 5), and the fact that no character ever specifies the gender of The Judge all points towards one conclusion. The Judge is The Rookie, the playable character of Far Cry 5.
The true ending of Far Cry 5 leaves The Rookie trapped with Joseph Seed following the outbreak of a nuclear war. Seed’s warnings of an impending apocalypse turned out to be true, and the pair ended up together in the starting bunker of Far Cry 5. However, Seed gained the upper hand, and it's suggested that he had The Rookie at his mercy, forcing them to listen to the Family's doctrine.
This bunker is then found during Far Cry New Dawn. The Captain, the player character of the game, is tasked with going south by an apparition of Joseph Seed, to go and retrieve Seed’s bible. It’s a bit of a mind-bending trip, consisting of strange apparitions and puzzles before the bunker opens up to the player, and includes some of the best-looking moments of Far Cry New Dawn.
It’s easy to then head through the bunker and go straight for the good book at the end. However, instead of doing this, taking the time to read over the various notes scrawled and left throughout the bunker gives a lot of context for what happened in the years after the bombs dropped. In short, it’s heavily implied that Seed was able to 'get through' to The Rookie during their time together.
Why does this mean that The Rookie has become The Judge? For starters, the notes do make mention about Seed’s captive becoming a "judge" for him, and the final, scribbled note from The Rookie shows that they are looking for some kind of atonement for their previous sins against Joseph Seed. All in all, it’s pretty grim reading for those hoping The Rookie could have resisted.
The Judge’s own appearance also hints towards this. Far Cry 5 allowed the player to design a character as they wanted, and therefore a canonical appearance of The Rookie in Far Cry New Dawn was always going to be a difficult one. The Judge is androgynous, wears a mask, and is silent apart from the odd moment of heavy breathing; it could be anybody under that hunter’s garb.
The final and most damning piece of evidence to suggest The Rookie has become a brainwashed killing machine in the name of Joseph Seed comes from the moment that Seed grants the player use of The Judge as a Gun For Hire. After completing a mission that brings Seed back to New Eden, Seed speaks to the player to give them The Judge’s support, stating that the only language they know is "violence." This matches the themes of Far Cry 5 pretty heavily, particularly in the way that the Family speaks about the player character throughout that game, while The Judge is once again referred to by Joseph Seed by the gender neutral "they."
With that in mind, it looks likely that The Judge is indeed what happened to The Rookie in the events following Far Cry 5. It’s unlikely to be the outcome that anyone was hoping for, and maybe Far Cry 5’s early secret ending is the one that The Rookie should have followed. At least we get a very useful Gun For Hire out of it in Far Cry New Dawn.