Far Cry 3′s Tribe Goes To War

By Alec Meer on October 9th, 2012 at 8:00 pm.

Doesn't the side of her head get cold?

Oh man, you’re going to hate me so much for saying this. So much. But – I’m so sorry – now that I’ve finished playing Dishonored – I’M SO SORRY – and XCOM – I’M SO SO SO SORRY – for the time being, I’m not entirely sure what to do with myself in the approaching weeks. I’ve not played Torchlight 2, but I don’t feel in right state of mind for click-frenzy right now. FTL forever sings to me, but I should move on to new pastures. I do have a new build of Hotline Miami… Then I saw this latest, thankfully generously-lengthed trailer for Far Cry 3, and for the first time (for I am an idiot) released it was out this year rather than next. It’s a trailer that suggests something really… meaty. Wild. Strange. It’s also got some somewhat dubious exploitationy aspects I’m not quite so sure about, but hell – I’d pretty much resigned the remaining months of 2012 to CODMOH bleh, and this looks proper interesting.

There’s a lot in there. A lot to get excited about, a little to worry about but most of all something with at least the hallmarks of great ambition.

Ubi’s other big late-2012 game is Assassin’s Creed III of course, and I’ll play the gosh-darn crikey out of that too, even if it is highly unlikely to win my affections to the extent FTL, Dishonored and XCOM has. It’s a strong hand from Ubi in the coming weeks, and I hope they can live it to it.

Far Cry 3′s out November 30, by the way.

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73 Comments »

  1. mariusmora says:

    That looks interesting :) and, probably you meant “realised” instead of “released”

    • BlueSheep says:

      I see stupid people with guns!

      And boobs…

    • Grargh says:

      CD Project Red once said something about how videogames made for adults could damn well live with a bit of nudity and sex, because that is a very relevant portion of adult life. While their Witcher minigame of picking up any woman that offers some scrap of dialogue might be a bit much, I don’t understand why anyone would make a fuss about a pair of boobs (or a sex scene, if that’s what it’s going to be) shown in a game like this here.

      Or did I just not get some kind of irony and make an idiot of myself?

      • phylum sinter says:

        Though i agree with nudity and sex as being viable in videogames in theory, i have yet to find a single example of a game using these with any real value beyond cutscene ‘rewards’ or some shlock-handed romance minigame. I mean the ways you get there in games always feel cheap, smarmy or chauvinistic. The Witcher series comes close, but still falls short of the ‘mature’ dealing with it that i believe really could make a game better.

        The boobs here, i’m not sure if they’ll contribute to the overall adult-ness of the game.

        • Bensam123 says:

          Not sure how much hand holding you want… Every instance of sex or nudity has to involve some sort of sacred ritual proceeding it in which the two characters fall into perfect love and the resulting product is completely meaningful?

          Cause we all know flings, one night stands, hookers, and even pretending to like someone else just to get laid doesn’t happen in real life. The Witcher and Witcher 2 integrated prostitution pretty good into their game, in addition to a friends with benefits of sorts relationships. If you want some sort of long drawn out love story in order to justify a five second clip of sex then you’re in the wrong genre of video games.

          • The Random One says:

            Of course not all sex is meaningful, but I’d be hard pressed to find a game in which sex is indeed meaningful. There is no greater proof of that than the fact that you essentially said “If you want to play a game with a more involved story, you should be playing a porn game!”

          • Brise Bonbons says:

            Whoa Whoa Whoa, let’s not get diverted by fake dichotomies. Sex outside a stable relationship is a perfectly valuable and meaningful thing if all parties can muster some basic human empathy and generosity.

            Which is sort of the rub. Video Games are doing a band on job of perpetuating unhealthy sexual stereotypes, because they always stick to this one comfortable dichotomy. Look at The Witcher: Sex outside a relationship is nothing more than a game – adding trophies to your rack; only sex with one of the main characters is taken seriously. Now, to the game’s credit (as I understand as someone who hasn’t played them), for the most part even the “sex card” ladies are shown as having their own desires and agency, which is great. But the presentation clearly colors the subject matter in troubling ways.

            Seems to me that games are so hung up about sex that they are in trouble either way. If they try to be serious they wind up showing this stilted version of romance-only sex (because casual hookups wouldn’t seem serious enough). If they try to be more irreverent they risk being labeled as adolescent – even when they’re clever – due to the weight of gaming history and the fact that so many games are just filled with T&A to appeal to boys.

        • liquidsoap89 says:

          LA Noir was pretty well done in regards to that. As was Red Dead Redemption (which was just a butt if I recall). Actually… Rockstar has done a pretty good job in that field recently.

          • woodsey says:

            One of the Mexican leaders is practically raping a woman when Marston walks in (and he gives zero fucks, inconsistent as he is), and there’s tits then.

        • Lenderz says:

          I seem to remember the original Mafia and Fahrenheit / indigo prophesy both dealing with sex in an adult and mature manner furthering story and charater development.

      • DiamondDog says:

        I think it depends on how gratuitous the boobs are.

      • Zogtee says:

        Why is it always female nudity, though? Nudity and sex for adults, sure, but you never see the camera zooming in on someone’s dick in videogames.

        • PleasingFungus says:

          Wouldn’t be surprised if the Saints Row series included gratuitous dick-shots. That series has a reputation for being remarkably progressive. (Bizarrely!)

          Also, I remember there was a GTA IV DLC that included a notorious male-nudity scene. The Ballad of Gay Tony, I think?

          (In general you’re right and I agree with the point you were trying to make; just felt the need to introduce Game Trivia.)

          • Ushao says:

            Check out SR3 when you meet Oleg. He’s hanging buckass nude from a machine. When you rescue him, he leads you on a chase to the boss and when he’s offered clothes to put on he yells back “No time!” The only thing that lessens it a little is he gets a censor mosaic over his junk. Which is odd considering one of the SR3 weapons is a giant dildo bat.

          • Stevostin says:

            The nudity scene in GTA is extremely smart actually. There’s a mozaic on the sensible part all the cinematic and whe you expect it the least it’s removed for no reason on a punch line. I laughed hard and I was enchanted by the boldness put to good use !

          • Inglourious Badger says:

            Yeah, if it’s the same cutscene I’m thinking of I laughed so hard. It spends the whole cutscene shooting from careful angles so as not to reveal anything and then, final shot, BAM it’s all there on show. Rockstar humour at it’s best.

            That is the only incident of male nudity in a game I can think of, and that was played very differently to the not infrequent boob and bum shots littering other ‘mature’ games. The Witcher 2 was the worst for it: Every sex scene had gratuitous bouncing boobs and arses, but you never once saw more than a glance of Geralt’s naked shoulders. Double standards, big time. Mass Effect will claim it was a lot subtler in it’s ‘romantic scenes’ but then it made Miranda walk around in THAT catsuit all game.

            Nudity is not a problem in games, it just needs to be handled better. It seems to get added to 18+ games to prove they’re more ‘mature’ in the same way more visceral gunshot wounds used to get added to uber-violent FPSes to prove they were more ‘realistic’. In both cases concentrating on what comes beforehand would have a much better chance of hitting the maturity/realism they’re after.

          • The Random One says:

            There’s still kind of a male gaze thing, isn’t there? A women’s privates are there for titilation, while a men’s privates are there for a joke, because the game is assuming you are a straight male, and therefore you 1) don’t want to look at a random dick and 2) would find a random dick’s sudden presence funny, because you are used to your own dick’s ungainly shape. I’m not going there today though.

            Did you know there are dicks in Hitman 2? There are! They have plain skin textures and look more like pale bolognas but they’re there. One belongs to the guy who steps outside to pee right at the very beginning of the game (you need to use a sniper rifle’s scope to actually see it) and the other belongs to the guy you kill in a jacuzzi.

            Have I told you about my new punk band, Pale Bologna? They’re opening for Random Dick’s Sudden Presence this weekend.

          • JackShandy says:

            Inglourious badger: I think it’d be wrong to suggest that Geralt is never sexualized.

          • Brise Bonbons says:

            “because the game is assuming you are a straight male”

            I think that’s a huge part of the problem. And while we are starting to see more women working in the field, mostly I don’t see anyone making games *for* women. Or an LGBT audience for that matter.

            But this is getting off topic. Suffice to say there are lots of people who aren’t straight white men out there that are interested in sexy things, and would probably eat up an indie RPG with classy pinup-style sexy pictures of all genders and persuasions on display. I feel like any developers who figure out this market exists will have a very happy and generous group of consumers on their hands.

            Wait, did I just pitch the videogame version of 50 Shades of Grey??

        • Grargh says:

          Personally, I wouldn’t mind some male nudity at all, if it fits the narrative. But in games, as in literature and cinema, erotic moments are primarily there for our entertainment, and I guess that even for most women zoomed-in dicks are not all that asthetically pleasing. An athletic, handsomely scarred Geralt in the Witcher cutscenes would probably be a better analogy for fair portrayal of both sides, and that is something I wholeheartedly support when nudity is shown at all.

          I think we can all agree that the average overblown balloony deco-girls do not fall in the category “nudity for an adult audience”.

          • Zogtee says:

            I disagree with the idea that women are above looking at dicks and naked men. Women are just as dirty as men, they just hide it better. :)

          • Jambe says:

            Well, extra testosterone seems to make men more overt in their sexuality but I don’t think women are predisposed to hiding or shying away from it. That’s an unfair suggestion…

            Sexuality and romance are important facets of the human condition and I see no reason to exclude them from interactive fiction. I’m not even really opposed to base gratuitous titillation in games if it’s thematically appropriate. Sex in The Witcher was like that — it was more teen fantasy fluff than anything else and that suited the generic low-fantasy setting. I’m also not opposed to sex or romance as a coercive tool in a game (e.g. the option to seduce somebody for info or to set them up or whatever).

            BioWare has done decent sex in games, I think, even if it’s mostly incidental flings. Not that I have a problem with incidental sexuality in games, mind. I’d certainly like a believable and plot-advancing romance in a mature title, but insignificant “side-mission” sexytimes or even outright porn could enrich a game if they’re appropriate. At the end of the day I really just care about a game’s overall cohesiveness.

          • Brise Bonbons says:

            I am operating from a limited sample size, but pretty much all of the younger straight women I know are happy to look at close-up images of penises, if they are attractive in form and presentation. Extrapolating to the wider internets, this seems in line with the sorts of pro-sex, pro-porn feminism that is becoming popular among younger “liberated” women.

            It does seem to me that perhaps men are less inclined to be like “those boobs are fake, ew” or “that drawing is silly because her spine would have to be broken to see both her front AND her back” – apparently our brains get overwhelmed by the symbols for BOOBS and stop processing anything else (that whole testosterone thing?).

            But again, small sample size, perceived patterns aren’t real, etc.

        • DXN says:

          In an example that I regretfully must include to ensure the completeness of the record, there is both corpse dick and old man dick in Amnesia: The Dark Descent.

          I actually think there’s quite a bit of male-subject fan-service in the Metal Gear Solid games, though certainly not as much as the female-subject fan-service!

        • Jackablade says:

          I don’t know about elsewhere, but in Australia, you’ll generally get a higher rating in film and games if you show a naked male than if you show a female. Getting a shot of Mr Winky standing to attention will get you refused classification entirely.

          That said, we did still get the infamous penis shot in the GTA4 expansion, so there’s evidently a little contextual lee-way.

          • Brise Bonbons says:

            I am quite sure this is true in most countries, though I’d be hard pressed to point to proof. I know it is perceived to be the case in the US, at least. Male ass is OK, and because male nudity is usually used for humor is probably seen as less titillating than female ass. But otherwise male nudity is almost always seen as either more notable (“oh man that one actor is waving it around again, he’s really trying to be serious”) or one step from pornographic.

            I could also point to the problems the UK magazine Filament had with the censorship board because they wanted to print classy images with penises in. But again, I don’t have good sources that document these events, just recollections of conversations.

      • SirKicksalot says:

        LA Noire did nudity well.

      • catmorbid says:

        I really don’t get all the Witcher critique regarding Geralt fucking the brains out of everything with two legs and a pair of tits. That’s the character: A monster-slayer IMMUNE TO DISEASE and UNABLE TO PROCREATE! Wouldn’t you try to get it on with every kind of female creature in existence? Anyway, Witcher 1 had the most tasteful and fun way to portray such a womanizing character. The cards were great, in a tasteful way such as you’d find in many “men’s magazine’s”. Or are us gamers some sort of different breed? Methinks not, so stop fooling yourself and say you enjoy the dirty pictures! ^.^

    • ulix says:

      Sweet Maryjane!

    • cspkg says:

      *sigh*. After the sheer magnificence of Far Cry 2 (I nean the ending which stopped my fps activities dead) I don’t think I’ll be going anywhere near this. Killing endangered animals, more mindless man shooting and gaping at overly sexualised women doesn’t tickle my fancy. Thank goodness for Dishonored and XCOM!

  2. phylum sinter says:

    I preordered this one. Glad to see it still looking awesome from… what feels like a year or more ago now. I hope the MP has some good co-op modes, but if not this is one series i’m sure still has enough emphasis on the single player to make it still feel worth purchasing.

  3. The13thRonin says:

    XCOM hasn’t been out a full day and Dishonored hasn’t been out two and you’re ‘finished’ with them?

    Right…

  4. ulix says:

    Go and play Retro City Rampage. It’s out today (after 10 years in development) and from the 30 minutes I’ve played it’s fucking awesome.

  5. MythArcana says:

    You guys are too easily impressed by in-game cinematics. It will be streamlined and play like a console game – like the last 27 FPS games in the past two years. They have the technology, but nobody wants to take chances with $30 million at stake. This is why I pick small indie titles which usually deliver when it comes to the feature set.

    • kud13 says:

      see, I thought so too.

      then I saw this:

      And now it looks a lot more S.TA.L.K.E.R.-y (and thus, actually interesting) to me.

      Now, if only there was no Ubi-DRM involved.

      • Grargh says:

        Thank you for that link, the presentation really showed a great-looking view of the game I didn’t get from the rest of the marketing. Genuinely interested now, if it’s actually going to be that open.

    • Milky1985 says:

      I played it at eurogamer, it was open world with lots of exploration possibilities. I know beause thats all i did. Sod any missions, I climbed to the top of a radio tower, you could see miles (and other radio towers) from.

      I then shot at some people driving aroudn, tehy got out of the car and came towards me, killed 2 of them, one fired his pistol and ran into some bushs, then for some reason stoped firing and shouting, i wondered why, then a pack of dogs came from the bushes and tried to eat me.

      I then figured out what happened to the man who was trying to shoot me :P

      I dind’t see much streamlining that isn’t sensible stuff (radio towers act as a map centerpoint revealing things on the map when you activate them)

  6. Urthman says:

    From the screenshot, I thought sure this was an article about a Skyrim mod. Something about the woman’s unnatural posture and the stone textures, maybe?

  7. Brise Bonbons says:

    I see lots of troubling stuff in this video and not much to get me excited, honestly. I mean, OK, my grasp of these things isn’t always great, but this seems chock full of problematic exoticism and laughably broad ethnic stereotypes. The sexy “tribal” witch doctor lady has to get naked, right, because that’s what “tribal” people do! Clothes get in the way of their connection with the jungle! Also tattoos! And spirit warriors! And random torture porn(?)! O ho ho, those goofy drug dealers love them some torture porn.

    Shit, I mean… This is all just so boring. It’s goddamn self parody, but not nearly as creative as something like Saint’s Row. I don’t know anything about this island culture, I should be mystified and fascinated by how alien and strange it all is – yet instead everything in this video is totally familiar and unsurprising – because it’s just one big cliche.

    Even if you want to be “edgy” – slash – engage in exploitation, cultural appropriation, and sweeping stereotypes, at least show me something novel as a result.

    Sorry, I’m grumpy again today. :(

    EDIT: In the interest of having a dialog, can you at least tell us what you saw that got you excited, Alec?

    • maninahat says:

      Yeah, the whole thing is striking me as problematic, to say the least. A lot of it could have been averted if you simply played as an ex-tribal yourself (that is to say, someone from the islands who has grown up in a modern society). That way when you contrast the modernised protagonist with the exotic tribes, it might tone down the colonialist aspect. It’s like this game completely forgot the Conrad references of the previous game.

    • DXN says:

      Yeah, this comes across kinda like Avatar without the Not Black Honest(TM) blue skin to hide behind. Just an updated version of Ooga Booga cannibals from 50′s pulp fiction. I dunno, I think this is what comes of basing all your narrative ideas on (bad) films, poorly interpreted, rather than really understanding what *makes* things cinematic. But at least they’re trying to really make a (by FPS standards) bold, strong narrative out of it, I guess? And the game this is hanging over does look pretty neat, if there’s any openness to it.

    • emotionengine says:

      I have to say I completely agree with this assessment. Not only do I find the trailer thoroughly disengaging (there’s little here to suggest interesting gameplay, mechanics, or for that matter, half decent narrative), but I find it problematic for all the reasons you described. It’s like a greatest hits of stereotypical teenage male gamer fantasies and b-movie clichés rolled into a senseless and embarrassing ball of schmaltz. I was neutral towards Far Cry until now, but after seeing this latest trailer, I just walked away shaking my head.

    • D3xter says:

      I too, am thinking of Pre-Ordering this game but I don’t know yet.

    • Advanced Assault Hippo says:

      To be honest, I couldn’t give less of a shit about anything ‘problematic’ in the trailer.

      I don’t want gaming to ‘grow up’. I spend every other minute of my life in boring grown-up politically correct land. It’s nice to have a break from it sometimes.

      • Archipelagos says:

        Well why would you want it to change? You’re clearly content to experience the same thing over and over, by calling out cliche and stereotype the rest of us are simply being unfair. Obviously we want to deprive you of the things you like by asking for variety, what an awful word that is, honestly, who could be so cruel as to ask that?

      • Brise Bonbons says:

        I don’t think gaming needs to grow up or be politically correct, I just want it to be more clever and do its damn research/due diligence.

        How about this: “I spend most of my life stuck in a world filled with the dumb stereotypes and cliches on display in this trailer. I would like to have a break from this lazy shit and see something fresh for a change”.

      • Advanced Assault Hippo says:

        There are plenty of other games that fulfil these grown-up things. Why should EVERY game have to abide by the PC-obsessed circle-jerk ‘rules’ or be subject to niggly comments about ‘problems’.

        I hope the game throws in even worse sterotypes than seen in the trailer, just to piss people off even more.

    • JackShandy says:

      Man, witch doctors who get naked to heal you are rad, as are spiritual jungle warriors. It’s like you people don’t even like 50′s pulp fiction.

      • maninahat says:

        I think it works much better when you go whole hog. Instead of trying to create a serious narrative, just go bug nuts. Have natives with bones through their noses, communicating exclusively through the words “Unga Bunga!” Have a jap with bucked teeth and a bad Mickey Rooney accent. Have a seven foot two white American, with a jaw shaped like a breezeblock and a semi naked dame on one arm. That’s real pulp fiction.

        • JackShandy says:

          Yyyyyes, but I also honestly love pulp jungle natives unironically. This is fantastic, and I refuse to believe that enjoying it is in any way sexist or racist or harmful to anyone in the real world.

          • Brise Bonbons says:

            Oh I love the archetype too, don’t get me wrong. But I think there are ways to change the formula a bit to not exploit/misrepresent existing cultures, and perpetuate silly stereotypes about island societies (many of which were/are extremely diverse and sophisticated given their often limited resources).

            In the case of Far Cry, for example, I imagine a similar settings where the tribe was made up of castaways, refugees, and pirates who formed their own anarchic culture, and an entire mythos based on their interpretation of ancient ruins and artifacts. The female leader/priestess could be a native archaeologist studying the magical prophecy, presented as an expert, confident leader, while a group of immigrant castaway women have embraced a liberated jungle-amazon lifestyle (“the fanservice”). Hell, the priestess could be an islander who happens to have a strange gift she doesn’t understand, and tries to manage this tribe that has adopted her.

            This is all shitty fanfic level stuff off the top of my head, but I hope it’s enough to illustrate what I’m asking for. Fun pulp archetypes: OK! Generic people with nonspecific dark complexions talking in “island” accents about their spirit warrior prophecies: Try harder.

  8. brkl says:

    You should just play Far Cry 2 if you’re finished with those games.

  9. tobecooper says:

    “She is the leader of our people,” so she will drug you and show you the boobs.
    Because that’s what leaders do. Of course Churchill would also intoxicate you with alcohol, aside from showing you his manboobs (imagine that, don’t look away, imagine Winston’s manboobs, I dare you!).

  10. yurusei says:

    Fun fact – Rakyat means “People” in Malay. We live in stone buildings, cheer savagely, take mind altering “poison” but unfortunately, aren’t awesome enough to step on fire. Also we don’t slay giants.

  11. Rotekian says:

    I wish to complain about the insufficient number of grovelling apologies in this article. Clearly you aren’t sorry enough (come on time, pass quicker).
    Also ‘released it was out’ as opposed to realised.

    Hmm, I tried to make sure I didn’t misspell anything in this post, but did I succeed?

  12. cai says:

    Hmmm… Everything about the sexy tribal lady and the “help us, white man, and you can have our ancient wisdom” makes me pretty suspicious. But I so, so want this to be good!

  13. frightlever says:

    I don’t think Alec is hated much, or much of an idiot. But recognizing the problem is step one to finding the cure, so I wish him all the best on his journey.

  14. Stackler says:

    Not even a pair (or triple, if you have a crush for marsians) of well formed tits can convince me to buy a Ubisoft game.

    Also, I’m really angry about the stereotypical tribespeople. And WHY THE HELL do “not-typical-white-western-npcs” ALWAYS have to speak with an accent? As if they aren’t foreign enough already or we players aren’t getting it, so developers tack on this crappy accents to make their point.

    • JackShandy says:

      By “Accent”, you mean accent other than western? Because… everybody has an accent. People from different countries have accents different to yours. Foreigners have foreign accents. I’m not sure exactly what I’m doing here.

      • Dances to Podcasts says:

        Too much of an accent can be bad, though. I work with lots of foreigners (I am one) and if you speak English on daily basis there’s not much accent left after a while. Besides, you don’t wanna end up in ‘Allo ‘Allo country.

  15. int says:

    Is that a younger Robert Davi at 2.50?

  16. Archipelagos says:

    ‘Proper interesting’ is quite the stretch and that’s putting it mildly. I thought that Hitman’s Nun-gate farce of a trailer was going to be the most obnoxious spectacle of triple A gaming this year but phew, I’m glad Far Cry 3 came to the rescue. It’s like the creative team purposely dug out every classic exploitative, racist, sexist cliche possible.

    Gratz, I guess?

  17. nasKo says:

    So far it looks like “Scripted Events & Cutscenes: The Game”

    I hope I’m wrong

  18. ritalingamer says:

    The gameplay parts of the trailer look great (running, shooting, driving, flying, flying manshoots, driving manshoots, knifery), but the story parts have some . . . unfortunate implications.

    FarCry 2 (and one, maybe?) arguably had a magical-white-warrior-among-the-savages theme running and this trailer makes FarCry 3 look like that trope turned up to 11.

    Also, the opening placeholder image for the video is the camera staring down at boobs. That didn’t really raise expectations.

  19. Grapeykins says:

    Something tells me this will end up another example of casual racism and sexism getting a pass amongst fans due to its purported “satire”.

    Whatever the case might be, colour me uninterested. Far Cry 2 was the diamond in the rough (no pun intended) of that franchise, and judging by all the promotional material I’ve seen for FC3 it seems to have shrugged off any semblance of subtlety or purpose.

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