Far Cry 5’s story isn’t going to destroy/save anything

There have been some strange old murmurings around the glacial reveal of Far Cry 5 [official site], people worrying about it in all sorts of strange ways. And as the final reveal appeared at the end of last week, and we learned that – sigh – yes it is about a doomsday cult and your efforts to thwart them, I’m left wondering at what it could have been.

Gosh, there were some odd reactions. Just the word “Montana”, before we’d even seen the first teaser trailer, was enough to trigger some of the more delicate denizens of the internet to erupt in rage certain it was to be the final oppression of white people they’d so long predicted. Others have proclaimed it’s clearly a game about defeating the rise of white supremacy, at last a voice speaking out against such Western extremists. But to me it sounds like what everyone’s forgetting is: it’s a Far Cry game. It’s far more likely to be a crass mess of stereotypes as a buzzing background irritant to a lovely, silly playground.

The thing is, watching the trailers and bits and bobs revealed Friday afternoon, I find myself imagining a far more interesting approach to the same set-up.

Far Cry is, I think history has rather firmly established, not the place for Swiftian satirical interrogation of modern cultural mores. I would venture that Far Cry has proven itself disastrous at such attempts, and the idea that this fifth installment should suddenly be the game to strike a killing blow against freedom-loving patriotic Americans, or indeed be the mouthpiece that finally sees the alt-right’s rise collapse like a souffle on a landmine, is perhaps a touch optimistic. It’s much more likely going to be a goofy string of far-too-long cutscenes, each of which interrupts the opportunities to have lots of fun.

There is certainly an argument to be made that picking on poor, struggling American people in ‘flyover’ states like Montana is unhelpful in an era that has seen such down-nosed attitudes inflame the disenfranchisement that allows a monstrosity like Trump to attain power. And if Far Cry 5 were to be that, it’d likely be problematic in all sorts of ways. But Far Cry 5 isn’t that. It’s going to be a game in which exactly those good-old-boys-and-girls of Montana fight back against the distinct otherness of a cult that steps on liberties and freedoms. It isn’t going to be a game that’s anti-gun ownership, because it’s going to be a game in which you win by firing lots of guns. If the history of the series is to be repeated, it’ll think it’s being far cleverer than it is, which we will all ignore in order to have fun driving cars into petrol stations.

There’s no doubt the trailers suggest the game is going to be replete with stereotypes. In a way that really shouldn’t be any surprise when you look at the emotional sophistication of the average shooter, let alone a Far Cry game. They’ll have bases dotted all about the nearby counties, and you’ll have to take them over in the name of, I dunno, not a cult. Maybe it’ll ramp up the insensitivity to a headline-grabbing point of emulating a Waco-like siege. Maybe it’ll be offensive? Probably it’ll be offensive to some. Boy were the previous Far Cry games offensive to some.

But if it were me, and especially if I were revealing a game in the drip-drip method Ubi used this week, I’d be revealing something that would have surprised and confused the hell out of everyone who was lining up to complain.

Would the world be a better place if developers like the various Ubisoft studios were to rise above stereotypes, and to think beyond the predictability of responding to their own awkward past by role-reversing? Goodness me, yes it would. Imagine if – and it won’t be this but let’s imagine – Far Cry 5 had you playing as a member of the cult! A sincere, believing member, whose only desire is to see loved ones protected from the impending government-led uprising she so desperately fears. Imagine, perhaps, that maybe she was right! That in fact this is a cult that does not discriminate by race or gender or sexuality, but instead rightly recognises that in this fiction the American government is in cahoots with a despotic corporation, whose intent is to end the Montanan way of life such that its citizens are enslaved to work as drones. And you, bravely, fight to reclaim Montana for all its peoples, regardless of background or birth.

Imagine how that would turn the tables on everyone’s expectations. How you’d flummox those who see it as an attack on their incredibly specific way of life, and those who see such ways of life as an attack on them. It wouldn’t endorse the true horror of real cults, it wouldn’t be a statement in favour of the unsettling rise in American militias. It’d be a statement against both them and those who dismiss the realities of America’s terrible rise of jobless, hopeless small towns forgotten in the back-and-forth of Washington. Hell, you could use it as the most spectacular way to satirise the deceit of a rich manbaby who inherited his millions from his daddy who pretends to give a shit about such people while enacting laws that will only further devastate their lives. It could, so easily, have been a game about both speaking out for these people while simultaneously condemning the rise in racist, anti-immigrant rhetoric that’s cynically used to stoke the flames of forgotten counties.

It’s not, most likely. If it matches what’s come before it, it’ll be a bloody brilliant fun game with a stupid story you wish would shut up so you can get on with having a good time. And it’s entirely possible that some characters and cutscenes will hit the mark, either as satire or serious business, while others will miss so badly they’ll disappoint or cause offense. But you’ll be fighting alongside the bears! You’ll be screaming in rage because this is a game about a county that’s closed off from the outside world despite your having an aeroplane and it’ll most likely say, “YOU’RE LEAVING THE MISSION AREA” when you fly too far. Anyone seeing it as a threat, and anyone who sees it as a potential saviour, is being ludicrously pessimistic/optimistic.

But the game I’d have made – that’d have been something.


  1. tslog says:

    Couldn’t agree more.

    Now if Ubisoft intent was to exploit the predictive silliness among the impatient doubtless wonders – then mussion successful.
    Doesn’t that help in part explain the lack of gameplay reveal? To not risk early so to bring all those hopes crashing down by what far cry 5 actually plays like, and very probably really is.

    Glad there’s a J Walker around.

    • bunionbell says:

      White-on-white violence in a Far Cry game? Sweet! Too bad this game will likely reinforce the idea that the Americans being satirized in this game would even give a shit about some nutcase cult that is itself predominantly white. Not how it works here.

    • Babymech says:

      What do you mean “lack of gameplay reveal”? Ubisoft has already released a complete and full demonstration of exactly what the gameplay of Far Cry 5 will be. Here, go read some impressions of it: link to rockpapershotgun.com

  2. RobinOttens says:

    You’re just describing the plot of something like assassin’s creed or mirror’s edge or something. With a small murder-cult of extreme lefties fighting the big evil corporation/government that’s trying to take power and turn people into slaves. Sort of. Obviously none of those games have the depth or ambitions you’re looking for.

    Good article though! I’m expecting this game to be every bit as crass and dull story-wise as the last few. Regardless, it is nice that Ubisoft seem to keep striving for original and unexpected settings to put their games in.

    • darkath says:

      That was my reaction too. I was like “didn’t he just describe Assassin’s creed ?”, too bad ubisoft realized they made a smart plot and decided to bring aliens to ruin it entirely.
      The one game that succeeds in that exercise is Deus Ex the first. That moment you realize you’re actually working for the bad guys and you were killing the “good guys” all along.

    • J.C. says:

      You don’t have to be a so called “leftie” to be against big corruption/corporate megalomania government in reality or fiction. That seems more like generalizing more than a little bit.

      • jonahcutter says:

        Indeed you don’t.

        We’re seeing a rising of populist sentiment across the political spectrum. As a leftist, I, and many others, welcome the right wing peeps who recognize the real fight we’re facing is not left vs right, but bottom vs top. And the top is well in control of the political apparatuses of both parties in the U.S.

      • LexW1 says:

        Perhaps, but you absolutely do have to be a “rightie” to defend those things. So it’s generalizing rather less than you might hope.

        • Sir_Brizz says:

          WTF? You serious? Which political party wants the government to be in even more control of practically every service that is provided in the US again?

          People on both sides of the political spectrum want bigger government controlling more things and don’t really care or believe in the problems that giving such power creates.

      • v21v21v21 says:

        Actually, yes, you do.

        What you might be referring to is a so called “natsie”

    • msd23 says:

      wasn’t that intended?

    • Anti-Skub says:

      I feel like what Ubisoft is really striving for is new ways to disguise the fact that they haven’t had an original thought since about 2009. Slapping an off the wall setting onto that one game they’ve been making for a decade now…I don’t get why people are expecting anything more than another Ubisoft game.

    • Shadow says:

      It is the standard Far Cry template, in itself a subtemplate of the Ubisoft Game.

      In Far Cry’s case, you have this picturesque locale besieged by the Big Bad and his gang. The hero is a random yet uncommonly capable guy caught in the crossfire, whose job is to follow the hopelessly linear story, clearing the evenly distributed, cookie cutter gang camps while exterminating the local wildlife to craft pouches and bags and what have you.

      Add a light stereotyped culture coat of paint, regenerate the actors’ names and all, and you’ve got yourself the next Far Cry installment.

      On another note, it’s a bit of a shame they haven’t applied this doomsday redneck cult lens to the entire US and not just Montana. They missed the opportunity to grossly misjudge an entire country, like they did with Ghost Recon Wildlands. I suppose misjudging an entire state is acceptably crass enough when you’re dealing with something that’s completely known. After all, it’s not like it’s some remote, unexplored South American country.

  3. wombat191 says:

    i have simple desires with this game.. to chase right wing rednecks with a bear

    • Cyphran says:

      Yessir, that would be pretty fun.

    • Grizzly says:

      Let me know if you ever want to play co-op :-P

    • Nauallis says:

      Same thing, but I’m hoping I can do that while riding a bear.

      And maybe instead of elephants we’ll be able to flag down idle truckers and use our mad skills to direct them around the map in a 14-18-wheeled rampaging off-road madhouse of hydrocarbon-burning, low-gas-mileage destruction. Which can also serve to satisfy fantasies of causing other American consumers to not get the stuff they ordered on time (the real doomsday), really sticking it to The Man and Big Consumerism. Because we need to get back to shopping local, y’all.

      Although riding elephants around rural Montana would really be keeping with the absurdist gameplay that is Far Cry.

    • Deviija says:

      Yes, please, sign me up for that.

  4. Danley says:

    Without getting too much into the controversy, Waco wasn’t a white supremacist cult but included people from multiple countries and multiple ethnicities. Montana is less diverse as a whole and has notable nationalist/sovereign incidents from the Freeman, the Unabomber and the presence of the KKK in the town of Superior (a historical ‘sundown town’) to this day. But it’s a shame if the outside world thinks of us that way.

    Montana is also the home of Jeannette Rankin, the first woman elected to Congress who famously voted against both war resolutions for the two World Wars. It’s got environmental protections built into its constitution (Missoula had a clean air act before there was a national one), it’s governed by a former attorney general who resisted the infamous Citizens United/SpeechNOW decisions that gave corporations political standing because of our history with political corruption during the age of copper mining. (It’s estimated that Montana copper may circumnavigate the earth multiple times and still exists in modern electronics.) This is also where lawmakers and lobbyists gathered to construct the Affordable Healthcare Act (“Obamacare”). In many ways Montana is incredibly progressive. We just have only a million people across a geographic area the size of Germany and prioritize wilderness over development whenever possible so that we probably won’t shake the ‘rural’ tag for a long time. (I could also mention that this is where Star Trek writers chose to put the invention of warp travel, though it might just be because of all our nuclear missiles.)

    All of this is to say that if the Far Cry writers are indeed using stereotypes derived from radical libertarians then I hope they chose the setting of Montana for its landscape and not any reputation the state has for that sort of philosophy. We’re tolerant of it, but only so far as it coincides with American values and the open-minded history of the state. People should visit and make their own conclusions. Vegas/LA/Pheonix/San Fran to Missoula is the cheapest way to go.

    • udat says:

      That was an interesting post, but Montana did also just elect Greg Gianforte, who seems to be the opposite of progressive. :)

      • Danley says:

        In an 85-day special election where Gianforte’s opponent refused corporate support and managed to catch up 13% of the deficit from the 2016 election. But you’re right, Montana is probably a conservative state overall. I’m just saying we have exceptionally progressive policies and record for being a conservative state.

        • GeoX says:

          I don’t think Montana’s history really demonstrates anything, except that places change. Hell, KANSAS used to be a bastion of firebrand leftism. Not anymore!

          • Danley says:

            This is fair. Though since it is the 31st now, it is worth reflecting not only on how places change, but what they are capable of becoming again even after great progress. Without venturing too far into the deep chasm of social opinions that is race (I’d love to get past it too, but I’m not the one who got fucked), I’ll only project that I consider not murdering and stealing from people as progress, but I defer to the first people’s opinion on whether those crimes have even concluded.

            Worst case scenario is sensational entertainment combined with unscrutinized corporate media (and we’re all guilty of not scrutinizing it one way or another) making light of subjects to the extent we neglect whatever actions have made this country or world a better place to live, like holding ourselves accountable when we let mobs and armies violate people’s humanity and freedom. But I have more faith in people than that and think that even if Far Cry 5’s setting and plot are a terribly misrepresented glorification of radicalism, sites like RPS will demand a critical forum. Games were never the problem itself, but an encapsulation of other more fundamental matters we’ve yet to resolve.

            [youtube link to youtube.com

    • J.C. says:

      All I can say is I’ve been to Montana, only a small part though along the Yellowstone.

    • Cian says:

      Pedantry ahead, but only ‘cos you were right about Waco.

      I don’t think Tez Kazynzci (the “unabomber”) is a white supremacist, from what he’s written he’s much more of an anti-civ anarchist (which is how he’s described his views).

      And I know it’s silly, but I still resent the co-option of “Libertarian” by American racists.

    • Aetylus says:

      Excellent post. You have just increased my knowledge of Montana tenfold, and you should really replace the wikipedia entry for Montana with this post. Wikipedia just rattles off some stats comparing Montana to other places (presumably US states that everyone outside the US knows just as little about as we do Montana), and says that Montana is good at farming and national parks.

      Sadly thirty plus hours of flights from here to there makes touristing to Montana unlikely.

    • Premium User Badge

      Martell says:

      Thank you for that, it was interesting reading.

      But I think you’re over-analyzing the choice of Montana. I think it’s simply because for most people, Montana is as distant, exotic, and picturesque as Tibet or Indonesia. It could’ve been just as easily Kansas.

      • TK-093 says:

        “It could’ve been just as easily Kansas.”

        OMG, no. Kansas is like starting a Minecraft world on superflat. That would be horrible. :-)

  5. udat says:

    I think people are reading a lot into the setting, while forgetting that the game was probably designed before Trump even announced he was running, never mind won the election.

    I’m sure they’ve crowbarred some more topical content since then, but the core setting would be fixed about 3 years ago, no?

    • Grizzly says:

      Right, but I do remember that three or so years ago, anti-government militias were quite a big thing in the US and they always have been, and if anything they are slightly less a thing now because of Trump catering to those people. I remember seeing the Waco Siege on discovery channel when I was rather young:
      link to en.wikipedia.org

      And last year there was a rather peculiar incident with a bunch of militias trying to take over a wildlife park. It’s a rather terrifying thing, unique to the US in many ways.

      • MajorLag says:

        That incident wasn’t so much terrifying as it was a complete joke. They took over an unoccupied for some stupid reason and thought everyone would support them and their cause and basically no one did. The internet responded to their call for supplies by sending them dildos and lube. The whole thing eventually ended when they were invited to speak somewhere and, get this, actually went. Sadly at least one of them was crazy enough to fire on the police who stopped them and he’s dead now.

        • maxcolby says:

          He never fired on them.. There is video ffs. He had his hand in his jacket and didn’t remove it. So they shot him.
          It’s funny how people who cry foul on police who shoot people who are shooting at them were celebrating this guy being shot who never even pulled a gun, because , “fuck white rednecks!”.

          Anyway. It wasn’t a “wildlife park” either. Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is for a couple birds.

  6. ninjadad says:

    Listen, I think people are entitled to their opinion, but do we really need to go this far. “IT’S A GAME”, not a life style, not a religion, it is just a game. The truth is there are many cults in the world, yes, even in America. This game is not an attack on anyone or anyone’s way of life. It is for entertainment, just like a TV series or a movie. The fact that the group who is complaining suggest they change the main villain to a Islamic extremist, isn’t that making it a bout religion? Folks all I’m saying is this games are for entertainment. If something in a game offends you, don’t play it. at this rate Nintendo will be scrutinized for assuming Mario and Luigi are “Italian Plumbers” #getoverit

    • John Walker says:

      That you don’t think cultural artefacts can be attacks on people’s ways of life seems, well, pretty terrifying.

      • Ralsto says:

        Meanwhile, every time someone tells Walker when one of his articles is too deliberately provocative and openly insulting towards fans of certain genres, he’s more than happy to play the free speech/”it’s just an opinion, bro!” card.

        • John Walker says:

          a) I’ve never replied to such a comment saying that in my life.
          b) I absolutely do not deny the rights to free speech, and your imagining that I was is very peculiar.
          c) My not liking a game you like is perhaps not quite as likely to start a revolution as a well written book.

          • modzero says:

            Judging by the last few years, I wouldn’t be entirely sure about the last point, tbh.

        • Pendragon says:

          Examples or GTFO

      • JUNOK9 says:

        You realise a lot of the controversy and mild outrage at the games setting, character’s and story line are fake outrage created by ubisoft to drum up free advertising for the game. It’s been done before by ubisoft and you seem to have either not done your research on recent going on’s or have chosen to write an article on something you know has been deliberately fabricated. Either way articles like this make me question why I visit rps on a regular basis and if I can learn to deal with it’s political leanings rather than switch to using a different site for my pc gaming news.

    • australopithecus says:

      Nobody’s denying “it’s a game”. But to think that because something is designed for entertainment it won’t have an impact on society, or that that societal impact shouldn’t be discussed, is naive or disingenuous.

      Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Oliver Twist were just novels, and Birth of a Nation and Philadelphia were just movies.

  7. latedave says:

    It’s an enjoyable article to read but I find it odd that Far Cry gets particularly highlighted as having a story that needs changing based only on a trailer. It’s always been a sandbox type game which in fairness also hasn’t been afraid to have a fair bit weirdness going on. I can think of many games that have far more boring plots and some of the characters have actually been pretty good. The main issue for me has been the obsessive meed to put fetch quests, collectibles and as the author rightly says, arbitrary fail missions but I’m not sure the plots have been that terrible in comparison to other games so ill give them the benefit of the doubt until it comes out. Witcher 3 and it’s like are very rare exceptions, anyone for instance remember the Skyrim quests outside of the brotherhood?

    • pepperfez says:

      The difference with this Far Cry is that its plot casts white people in the developed world as bad guys, so it has an extra obligation to make sure this historically marginalized group are depicted sympathetically.

  8. Grizzly says:

    But the game I’d have made – that’d have been something.

    Is this article secretly a pitch to Jim Rossignol for the next Big Robot game?

  9. JRHaggs says:

    What I see is an attempt to make a slippery slope argument about, or analogy of, American, right-wing Christianity and, yep, you guessed it, ISIS. Black flag with white graphic and everything. Just a guess. Could be fun.

    That’s my guess anyway, heavy-handed morality being what it is in the franchise.

  10. lancelot says:

    A despotic corporation, yes, that’d have been something. Let’s make it a pharmaceutical corporation, that would be super original. The corporation is planning to inject human genes into the genome of a bacterium to start mass-producing human hormones. The cultist girl is the only one who realizes they have to be stopped. How about that.

    • John Walker says:

      I didn’t claim originality in such broad terms. Nor indeed did I claim originality at all.

      What I suggested was subverting the expectations of what one might assume of a media portrayal of a Montanan cult.

  11. Blackcompany says:

    Still havent had enough of insulting the American Right, I see.

    First, Alt Right is a term the LEFT created. Its a pure insult, designed to belittle, heckle and demean hard working Americans fed up with the establishment politics that have plagued this nation for a century or more.

    We tried it your way. We tried voting for so called progressive liberals. After all, they promised to end poverty, improves the lives of minorities, decrease the cost of both healthcare and education and make work life more fair for everyone. Heck, even as a right Leaning Libertarian, I can get behind that.

    Except that isnt what the Left actually DOES when they gain power. At least, not in America. Instead, they run up massive debts, pass paper tiger legislation that only works in ideal worlds where greed and profit margins dont exist, and which drives America further from the prosperity ALL people seek.

    Obamacare is collapsing. Solyndra already has. The economy effectively shrank the eight years Obama held power. Hillary lied to us all about what happened in Benghazi, which shouldnt be a surprise, since Wiki Leaks went on to tell us what most on the Right already knew: Lying is what the Clintons do, and their personal news network along with them.

    Look, I’d love to vote for the Leftist politicians you all THINK run for office in this country. I really would. People who actually have a plan to bring about the altruistic words of people like Sanders and Obama. But the truth is, the Left – again, at least in America – has a literal, vested interest in keeping poor people poor, American workers oppressed and poverty levels high. Without those things, the AMERICAN LEFT wouldnt have any victims they could promise to lift from poverty every couple of years.

    If you think the American Left is doing so great, ask people in the Inner Cities of Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, etc how voting Left has worked for them. Because from where I’m sitting, every progressive stronghold in this nation has some basic things in common: High levels of crime and poverty, poor graduation rates relative to the rest of the free world and city and township coffers that are mostly empty despite a complete lack of results either socially or economically.

    So keep touting the Left all you like. Texas doesnt vote that way for a reason, and looking at their economy, I wish my state would take a clue from them.

    • SigmaCAT says:

      Erm I’m pretty confident the author is british

    • Grizzly says:

      At the risk of being pedantic, I would like to point out that the term alternative right was first coined by a mister Gottfried, a paleoconservative. I’m not entirely sure where a geological term for really old things combined with conservative ranks in the US left/right scale, but I do think it’s right wing. If anything, the alt right is a far more polite term for something that is normally described as fascism.

      • pepperfez says:

        And it was lifted by bigoted tweed punching-bag Richard Spencer to describe–positively!–straight-up white supremacists.

    • John Walker says:

      You know the article that went to great pains to talk about the disenfranchised American rural poor who are ignored by Washington that you commented underneath?

      You might want to give it another read.

      • Urall5150 says:

        Only reason he posted that essay was to rile people up. 50% chance he’s a Macedonian bot (come to think of it, they should’ve set the new Far Cry in Macedonia, have the hero take down a bot network…and the twist is there’s actual robots to fight!)

        • Premium User Badge

          Martell says:

          RPS needs a Like button for when I like something but didn’t have something to say beyond ‘/chuckle.’

          But yeah, I chuckled.

    • lasikbear says:

      glad to see people are still mad about solyndra

    • Person of Interest says:

      Thank you for backfilling some of the cult’s story. The teaser trailers didn’t capture it quite as well as you do.

    • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

      Um but here’s the thing: the left has never had political power in the US. Only maybe a brief toehold during the Carter or FDR administrations.

      The Democratic party is not a leftist party, they’re a tepidly right-wing party with deep investment in convincing people to confuse (vague, half-hearted) social liberalism with actual socialist policy, and a vested interest in keeping any actual lefties marginalized, because their only real, concrete selling point and principle of unity is “We’re technically to the left of the Republicans.” (It’s all further confused by the fact that economic liberalism is, despite its name, on the rightward side of the spectrum.)

      America has never “tried it the left’s way,” so your justification for pushing even further to the right is… a bit odd, and feels like an answer in search of a question.

      • pepperfez says:

        The Democrats are clearly not socialists, but it’s silly to claim they’re right-wing. The ACA is, in addition to a Rube-Goldbergian muddle, the very prototype of center-left legislation: achieving universal access to medical care (and a dramatic downward redistribution of wealth) by tinkering with the market. That’s not something a right-wing party would ever bother with, because universal anything is anathema to them and giving money to the poor even more so.

        • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

          Fair enough, and very true. Though I do see the ACA as a kind of historical anomaly even within the party. Plus I suppose that coming from a country where universal healthcare is just a given, across the political spectrum, also colours my interpretation a little – I don’t really experience it as something necessarily left wing. But you’re right, its introduction was immensely significant in the US.

          I still insist the Democrats are centre-right on balance, though :)

          • Horg says:

            The ACA expansion was most definitely not a left leaning policy. While it denies insurance companies the right to refuse coverage to people with pre-existing conditions (which is an improvement), it’s still fundamentally an extension of the insurance model which uses public taxes to subsidise private losses in order to keep the market functional. Essentially, it simply gave the middle man more people on the books and more opportunity to bill the government for their comparatively expensive treatment. A true left leaning reform of American healthcare would need to provide comprehensive, tax payer funded services direct to the public,allowing people to circumvent insurance policies (and their insane mark ups) entirely.

        • Harlaw says:

          “The Democrats are clearly not socialists, but it’s silly to claim they’re right-wing.”

          They’re right-wing by any country’s standards other than those of the US though.

          • Aetylus says:

            Yup, pick em up and stick em in another western country and the US Democrats sit pretty tidily in the centre right. Providing a minimal level of health care is not ‘right wing’… its standard. If you take the UK as an example, universal free health-care has been supported across the whole political spectrum for decades.

            Most countries mainstream right vs mainstream left battles look something like Hillary vs Bernie. Trump, Cruz, Ryan et al in other countries would represent the corporate special interests at best, lunatic far right at worst. I don’t even know if the US has a far left by international terms.

          • Cinek says:

            Center-right, not right. But true enough.

        • Arglebargle says:

          The ACA was modeled on a Republican program that was instituted in Massachusetts. My friends in Boston like it. The failure nationally was in forgoing a government backed option.

        • Deviija says:

          Indeed, though I understood the gist of what they were trying to paint. Maybe it would’ve been more fair to say that the political spectrum in the US is a snapshot that is skewed more to the center-right. As others point out, there is no real “the left” here, especially not with any actual power and clout, so much as we have the far(ther) right party and the “selling point: at least we’re not them” party.

        • dethtoll says:

          The Democratic party are, at heart, neoliberals who pretend they’re not neoliberals. That makes them right-wing; the only difference between them and the Republicans is a matter of degrees. Granted, it’s a gulf that’s widening thanks to the Republicans moving further and further to the right over the last decade.

      • pepperfez says:

        I should add that I agree with all the stuff you said around that.

    • Kolbex says:

      Democrats are not “the left”. There is no significant, organized “left” in America today, nor for the past couple of decades at least.

    • sisozmalor says:

      America’s inner cities are actually doing much better than their rural heavily red counterparts. Even right wing sources like WSJ acknowledge that: link to wsj.com

    • Arglebargle says:

      Texas votes ‘that way’ through gerrymandering. Pure and simple. I worked for the legislature and their redistricting project years ago. It’s much worse now.

      The most recent US Democratic regime had serious trouble due to concerted efforts to make sure that government wouldn’t work. How many years did we hear the call for infrastructure expenditure, to no avail. Now? It’s a Republican watchword. And please, Obama was a moderate pro-corporatist, just like the lion’s share of the Republican party. Well, he did have socially liberal leanings.

      And historically, every Republican administration in the last fifty years has lead to increases in the size of government.

      With this kleptocratic loose cannon in charge, there’s no telling how badly things will go for anyone but the top tier of movers and shakers.

    • aldo_14 says:

      So… I don’t want to reply in depth, because I don’t have all day. But just on the last part; the Texan economy is heavily dependant upon the price of oil (sort of like Aberdeen, I guess), and if you want to compare it’s worth noting the top performing US state is arguably the rather left-wing California.

      And I suppose I also feel obliged to note that the inner cities of the USA are now being serviced by a politician who declared ‘poverty is a state of mind’, and a ruling party whose elected officials includes those who won’t commit to accepting the ability to eat as being a right.

    • lglethal says:

      Ok just one comment – Yes, Obama was in power for the last 8 years. Before that was 8 years of Bush. Was life better then for the disenfranchised? I doubt it. In that time the republicans have controlled both the senate and the house of representatives for 90% of that 16 years. Has life got better in that time? No. Otherwise you wouldnt be complaining.

      Ok you dont like Democrats. Got that. Ok you voted for Trump because he seemed something different. Kinda understand that, dont agree, but OK, I can see where you’re coming from. But then why in hell did you all vote back in the exact same Republicans into the Senate and House of Representatives that have been there and did f%&k all for the last 16 years. If you were really anti-establishment you would have voted for independents. There were independents standing in every state. Give them your vote. They dont belong to a party, so thats about as anti-establishment as you can get. Did you do that? Nope. You just voted Republican again. And when in 4 years time you find that things are even worse then they are now, remember that. You are the reason sh&t is bad, and your inability to look beyond puppet A and puppet B is the cause…

    • skeletortoise says:

      You’ve listed numerous reasons why we should be looking for alternatives to the establishment, some compelling and some less so, for political leadership. You’ve listed exactly zero reasons why that alternative should be Donald Trump.

  12. trashbat says:

    I genuinely have no idea what is and isn’t satire when it comes to this game. The petition just has to be a very deadpan parody, right? This article, I’m not sure.

    • cpt_freakout says:

      That’s the thing: remember when for Far Cry 3 the story author basically stylized himself as a master of satire that no one but the ultra-sophisticated French understood? Everything about the Far Cry games’ attempts at satire is idiotic, but while 3 and 4 didn’t matter that much because the settings basically affirmed a bunch of ugliness contained in ‘Western’ people’s views of other places of the world, 5 has created a relatively significant uproar because it’s doing exactly what it’s been doing for years, except now it’s someplace in the ‘West’, and that pins it much more closely to ‘our’ sensibilities. Far Cry constantly thinks it’s quite smart (and it wants you to think you’re smart for playing it), which is perhaps a huge part of why it’s so unbelievably stupid.

      • Snargelfargen says:

        Oh god, I remember the kerfuffle about Far Cry 3. The lead writer did indeed defend his work as satire after the fact, but his argument was long-winded and nonsensical. It could loosely be called satire, in that it included a lot of cliches and stereotypes, but it didn’t really communicate anything with them. Any coherent message was contradicted by gameplay design anyways.

        I’ll bet you that’s how Far Cry 5 plays out too. The nature of an open-world shooter doesn’t really allow for social commentary, and it’s repetitive nature means that any joke, no matter how well-intentioned, will seem cruel or dumb after it repeats for the 20th time. The fuss over this one is probably going to be blown all out of proportion simply because it touches on some hot topics.

        • Premium User Badge

          subdog says:

          The thing is, there *was* a lot of easily noticeable satire in FC3. The main character’s trajectory from American party-bro to self-styled god of death is pure satire.

          The problem was when the writer was called out for using lazy racial stereotypes and tried to explain that away as also being satire.

  13. something says:

    It could, so easily, have been a game about both speaking out for these people while simultaneously condemning the rise in racist, anti-immigrant rhetoric that’s cynically used to stoke the flames of forgotten counties.

    No it couldn’t, because it would still have been made the makers of Far Cries two through four. It needs less politics, not more. They’re a drug cartel run amok, I’m the undercover narc who’s gonna take ’em down. That should be enough.

    • Babymech says:

      Oh god, you just picked the most divisive political setting imaginable. Why does the blue Narc have to walk the streets blowing up junkies with his rocket launcher while the red Narc gets to ride around in his ferrari all day? What kind of federal needle exchange initiative is allowing hypoman to just throw away syringes full of non-specific drugs? What kind of obamacare madness is keeping Mr. Big alive?

  14. Person of Interest says:

    I’ll be mostly satisfied if the enemy barks contain such immortalized phrases as “I’m sick and tired of you guys!” and “Get the hell out of here!”

    And maybe a death rattle prefixed by “The last guy did the same thing!”

  15. ravenshrike says:

    ” It’s far more likely to be a crass mess of stereotypes as a buzzing background irritant to a lovely, silly playground.”

    So 50% of the ‘cultists’ are going to be federal agents of varying stripes? Quite simply, setting it in America is moronic. The other places were small and self-contained enough that it made at least a modicum of sense. Montana, being in the middle of America, would have so many people coming to stop the cult it wouldn’t be funny. Let’s go through the list shall we?

    Far Cry – Small archipelago in unknown location.

    Far Cry 2 – African nation during the middle of a civil war.

    Far Cry 3 – Series of islands in somewhere around the Indian/Pacific oceans.

    Far Cry 4 – Set in totally not a landlocked version of Burma at the height of its violence.

    Far Cry 5 – Set in Montana, in an area where the total population would be less then 5000, in the middle of summer with no major upheaval in the US.

    One of these settings is not remotely like the others. There’s a reason that Jim Jones didn’t set up within the borders of the US.

    • April March says:

      Are we sure there’s no upeheaval in the US? Some commenters in past threads suggested it might happen at the same time as a natural disaster or something else that drew resources away from internal security, which would be a good enough excuse for me, at least. But I admit that with Ubi even ‘a good enough excuse’ is cause for jubilation.

      • sisozmalor says:

        The US actually has quite a history of localized upheavals. Usually along racial lines as the police and feds have been generally inconsistent about coming to the aid of minority populations and occasionally arrive only to actively target them making the situation worse. If anyone wants more detail look up sundown towns. Those extrapolated to an entire state (which is actually what places like oregon were founded as) are not far off from the typical far cry premise, at least if you happen to be black.

        • ravenshrike says:

          And if this were set in the 1930’s to 40’s you might have a shot at making that work. With modern technology, no.

          • sisozmalor says:

            This kind of thing kept happening long after the 40s with one of the most recent examples being in the aftermath of hurricane katrina.

        • pepperfez says:

          places like oregon
          Also the place where an armed mob occupied federal property, filmed themselves vandalizing it, broadcast threats against public officials, and were acquitted by a jury. If a drug cartel can control the entirety of Bolivia, then violent white people can take over a US state.

          • ravenshrike says:

            They got away with it for three reasons. One, they never interfered with federal workers going about their duties because the FBI stopped any workers from attempting to do so in the first place. Had even one worker, even a lowly janitor at the park been refused entry to the building it would have been a very different story. Two, the Feds refused to identify how many undercover ‘agents’ they had in the group or for how much of the rhetoric they were responsible for. Three, they never even bothered to charge them with trespassing. Instead they charged them with “Conspiracy to”. Conspiracy charges require very specific elements to be shown at trial in order to prove, which the Feds showed none of. They basically handwaved it and said you should find these people guilty because we say so. Thus, the jury did not convict.

          • GeoX says:

            …in other words, uh, they got away with it? I don’t understand the argument here.

          • ravenshrike says:

            In other words, the system of laws in this country means that the Feds just can’t chuck people in prison. They were not acquitted because the jury liked them, they were acquitted because the government failed utterly to prove the elements of the crimes they were charged with. They didn’t even bother to charge them with trespassing, even though that would have been an automatic slam dunk. That is, in fact, the sign of a system where you won’t have cults popping up and going murderhobo on anyone they don’t like.

          • LexW1 says:

            Ravenshrike, dude, you don’t seem to get your own argument.

            You’re all “THIS COULD NEVER HAPPEN IN THE US!”

            Then you explained, in detail, why the US government effectively colluded in ensuring that a bunch of very serious armed criminals, who were of course, right-wing white-men, suffered no consequences for their crimes.

            You explained that the FBI intentionally let them get away with it by preventing federal employees from doing their jobs. This is effectively collusion with thugs-with-guns.

            You explained that they were not charged with obvious crimes like trespassing, instead going for difficult to prove charges. This is effectively collusion with the thugs-with-guns.

            You then claim that the US government intentionally failing to convict these guys, as they very obviously did, is a sign to cults and the like that they won’t be getting away with anything any time soon.

            All your evidence, however, points to the precise contrary. So it really seems like you’ve demonstrated how utterly feeble the FBI and the US Justice system is in the face of armed white men. If anything you’ve improved the case that a cult consisting primarily of armed, openly-religious white males would be virtually untouchable.

          • ravenshrike says:

            Oh you sweet summer child. The govt. didn’t collude with anyone. The prosecution was supremely arrogant and assumed that the jury would be nice little proles and go along with the line the govt. was pushing with little to no actual evidence presented. At a guess the FBI refused to identify their undercover agents because more than one of them was instrumental in the planning and execution of the takeover, which really wouldn’t have looked good to the jury. As for keeping the workers out, that was because the FBI was minimizing the risk to their health. While unlikely that the Bundyites would harm someone like a janitor, from the FBI’s perspective it would be ludicrous to risk it. Especially since they probably weren’t thinking about the intricacies of the prosecution after the situation was resolved.

          • maxcolby says:

            ravenshrike, don’t you know you can’t use facts! Only emotional responses!

            anyway. Thanks for posting legit what happened rather than bullshit.

      • ravenshrike says:

        What US disaster that wouldn’t be a scenario infinitely more interesting than the one posited by FC5 would draw the attention and vast majority of the Montana Nat Guard, the BATFE, the US Marshals, and the entirety of the FBI, and the entirety of any major law enforcement in Montana or neighboring states exactly?

  16. Laurentius says:

    I think Ubisoft is the worst AAA producer now. Their games sucks but theur PR and marketing campagins are just awful. And 8, 9 years ago I was Ubifan I as excited with new reveal. As for FC5 story and setting, it’s cheap and bad as all Far Cry games but it’s ok, it’s just video games. But when I hear these producers speak nonsense and se these aful marketing coghls I want to scream my head off like with awful EA Battlefield1. FFS Ubisoft if you want to make money out of controversial games at least make them. Set your Far Cry game in modern day Syria or Donbas. This is just cheap PR spin with really pathetic image reference (I really whish gaming press would dig out who is this sorry individual that is responsible for this). So some idiots will cry because of Montana, white-power militia and pseudo christian cult and there will be controversies as ther were with Division and Wildlands and etc. All while the single truth is that Ubisoft’s games are made with no creativity, template knock-off of their own brands.

    • April March says:

      FFS Ubisoft if you want to make money out of controversial games at least make them.

      *standing ovation dot gif*

  17. Solidstate89 says:

    No, it absolutely won’t result in any changes of anything. It’s not a social commentary, etc. But the amount of nearly endless asspain coming from the alt-right and “gamer” communities since the reveal has been *chef’s finger kiss* just fucking delicious.

  18. April March says:

    Pretty much right.

    I feel sorry for Ubi sometimes. They are the only AAA dev, I think, that realizes that the AAA game-making model is going the way of the dodo. And so they try to change. They try to make games that are different, and challenging, and smart. They try to make games that are not just power fantasies for priviledged white guys. They try to make a bedrock so that, when the AAA industry collapses, they’ll have cultural touchstones that allow them to move into the new zietgest.

    And they fail. Boy, do they fail hard. It’s embarassing how little they know about the stuff they pretend their games are about. I don’t know if it’s because of executive meddling, because they want to have their cake of AAA power fantasies and eat their thoughtful deep stories too, or even if they just have a bunch of Yosalems in there who think they know what they’re doing when they don’t, possibly because only a Yosalem-type writer would subject themselves to what’s expected of AAA game’s writer; probably a bit of all these. But it’s embarassing.

    And then one says, well, the stories might be offensive and hurtful and ridiculous, and we’ll have a talk about them and frown but then keep playing because the game’s so good. And that’s true and fine. But that’s what we do about Battlefield and Call of Duty and all the others, and they don’t try to be anything like that. Battlefield doesn’t create a story about Russia invading the US because they think it’s interesting or innovative or thought-provoking, they do it because they don’t know what story they want so their military advisors had full rein. And they’re in the exact same spot as Far Cry! Ubi are like that part in Alice in Wonderland, they run and run and run and end up in the same spot as EA and Activision, who didn’t run at all.

    That said. As many people said above, John’s idea of a counter-game isn’t very revolutionary. It’s Assassin’s Creed. It’s Red Faction Guerilla. With a little twisting, it’s Homefront: Revolution. Do you want to hear about an idea for a new entry in a series that would have been, well, polemic? I sometimes like to think where I would take a series if I were given free reign with it after it tanked. I thought about it after the first Homefront game. How to salvage it? Well, remember that the original idea would be to show a broken and fragilized America, and it ended up doing the exact opposite. So first I’d pull a Bioshock: Homefront games don’t take place all in the same continuity, they’re just connected by similar themes, namely, about a foreign, militarily powerful aggressor taking over a familiar, well known location. And they I’d announce that in my new game, the foreign military aggressor would be the US. The game would basically be a Battlefield style game, documenting how the world defended itself when its most powerful military force went rogue and basically started taking on all of its allies, and how the US eventually fails and folds on itself. I’m pretty sure that game would have been almost universally hated in the US, and almost universally loved almost everywhere else. (And as a bonus, it would play just like a Battlefield or Call of Duty game. There are many levels in many well-known world locations ravaged by war, you kill a bunch of bad guys that pop up in front of you. In a way, a slight lower quality CoD-style game is also part of what the Homefront brand meant back then.)

    • gi_ty says:

      What the hell is a Yosalems? I googled it and it just lead back to your rant lol.

    • fish99 says:

      “They try to make games that are not just power fantasies for priviledged white guys.”

      I can’t think of a game that description fits better than Far Cry 3.

  19. racccoon says:

    I love the extreme work gone into this game and i am looking forward to it greatly.
    The name calling is the wrong thing to do.
    It should bongtanna, treetanna, houchtanna, shinetanna or hightanna! etc etc, not the real the name.
    I have noticed over the years game devs seem to be making this wrong announcement, giving real name towns and cities now. This should be cut out, as it does create a huge offensive outcry from the people who actually live there & they have a right to up in arms about it.
    Don’t they?
    We are playing a game.
    There is no need to say where you took the textures & ideas from.
    If you do, you are then making yourself known that’s where you’ve taken the textures & ideas from and are therefore obligated to give compensation to those people by law. It is defamation or something of that nature that occurs, I believe. that maybe over stretching the mark but it is a fact that needs to looked at.
    So do not call your game after real town, city or country, or bring up the assumption of it presence of place, as its only game, think of something else, period.
    Gaming = Fantasy, Fantasy = imagination.

  20. Hao-Sen Lin says:

    I think having a well told, well paced story is much more important than having a story that makes some sort of political or social statement that will either be overly broad, and meaningless, or overly specific and make no sense once a decade or two has passed. The issue I have with Ubisoft isn’t that they don’t bake important or topical messages into their games, a large corporate studio is the last group of people I want to hear such a message from, and their attempts to do so in the past 5 years have been hollow at best and laughable at worst. The example sticking in my head is Watch Dogs 2, where there seems to be an active effort to have a story that references social or political issues of the week, but they seem to have forgot to put an interesting story or compelling characters to back this up, and just by shoving awkward references to income inequality in America in their game that is not about it they overplay their hand and show that they know laughably little about the topic to begin with. It’s all a bit cynical and seems like it exists just to win over amateur critics, rather than because they genuinely cared about it.

    What I’d like to see more of from the power studios is simply more effort put into telling a compelling and well paced story, with strong characters and some interesting themes. Uncharted 4 was a lovely example of this, it has a simple, tightly told story, with fairly shallow but nevertheless very likable characters, and it’s very careful not to overstep it’s bounds, the developers knew the kind of story that they wanted to tell and knew how to tell it in a way that complemented the gameplay. The development team shows that they feel secure and confident in their work, and don’t feel the need to shove in any additional themes that they know would be too serious or complex for the game to support.

    Not to sound adversarial, but I think a lot of young writers and creators start out like you John, very eager to say something important, progressive, insightful, only to realize that they were too focused on that end goal and lost sight of what makes a given work important in the first place. When a political or topical theme is explored in depth, they’re very likely to become apolitical due to just how complex they are compared to the way the public prefers to view them, and end up giving a message completely different to what you initially thought you wanted to deliver, or deliver a message that has too many layers and too much depth to be as easily digestible as you initially hoped it could be. Focusing from the start to deliver a message causes you to lose any chance of exploring the theme in a natural or truly thoughtful way because everything is bent and molded in order to fit your own message instead of letting the story and its characters form their own message naturally.

  21. goodpoints says:

    Assuredly these same manbabies whining about rural white stereotypes also think Postal is masterful social commentary.

  22. Stevostin says:

    It seems to me you’re treating Far Cry in one big package while they’re actually pretty different story wise.

    Far Cry 1 is a Sci Fi shooter with a Schwarzeneger type of protagonist (including the constant joking). Let’s put it aside, Ubisoft went away from that.

    Far Cry 2 is a super grim story with impressionist story telling and is probably the closest to an Apocalypse Now for war video game, except you’re the crazy god like killer white guys lost in the woods of a country that’s much less wild than you are.

    Far Cry 3 has a story which indeed fulfill the description of the above article. To be fair though it may not really be an issue as the story is about the endless search for the thrill and player psychism. (not a great story down the line though).

    Far Cry 4 remain a game set in an artificial country that doesn’t strike me as super realistic, but the story ending does provide some depth to it. Despite the intro you end up realizing there are no “good” pick – possibly including yourself as Pagan Min recollect having been doing what you just did playing the game back in his days. Bottomline is that you have to pick a stance between two factions, one progressive (but at all costs) and one secular. The parallel with real life politic is pretty obvious. Anyway you may like it or not but that’s a setting far more nuanced, and IMO realistic, than nearly every other “gun” game, and actually than what the press is doing those days (“evil” syrian/russian/NK dictators as if there was no historical context to anything, “evil” Trump as if there was no deep moral issues with each and every of his predecessors as well etc.).

    So I for one, because it’s a Far Cry game indeed, am looking forward for a game that will let everyone pick their side without cuddling them to the point of having them believe they made “the good choice”. The story will probably aim for high ground sub text that you can choose to delve into or ignore like the previous games. I know for sure it won’t be “cool” to like the writing because game journalists are hell bend on apologizing for games not being as advanced, writing wise, as Hollywood, IMO missing the fact that you can see ambition in writing in more blockbuster games than movies those days. I am not a huge fan of FC’s writing overall but it’s some dedicated work and should be more respected than that IMO.

    • goodpoints says:

      Far Cry 2 is a super grim story with impressionist story telling and is probably the closest to an Apocalypse Now for war video game

      It’s inspired by ApocNow’s inspiration actually, Heart of Darkness. Except FC2 is more like like if Kipling or H Rider Haggard wrote Heart of Darkness.

    • Janichsan says:

      Far Cry 1 is a Sci Fi shooter with a Schwarzeneger type of protagonist (including the constant joking). Let’s put it aside, Ubisoft went away from that.

      The difference stems from Far Cry 1 not having been developed by Ubisoft, but by CryTek.

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      Yep, FC1 was a Crytek game, and is probably better off being grouped with the Crysis series.
      Far Cry 2 is an infuriating, flawed, masterpiece. It’s (consciously) taking from Apolcalypse Now (and Heart Of Darkness), but only reveals at the last minute that it is you as the player who has become Kurtz.

      FC3 and 4 (and to a lesser extent Blood Dragon along with Primal) are the lineage that 5 will be taken from.

  23. InfamousPotato says:

    I’m nearly certain they’ll bungle it, but I’m glad that Ubisoft are trying to deal with the intricate mess that is our country, its present, and its history. I don’t think they’re the right ones to do it- I think that there are games which can engage deeply with it, but not this one- but the fact that they’re trying to be more than just a shooter is commendable (even if the result might end up laughable). Like many have noted (such as Mr. Walker in this very article), this game has the same issue that the previous games have had (only perhaps people like me haven’t paid as much attention til now).

    I hope games try, even if I don’t know how they could possibly succeed. I don’t think I can imagine a game that can sum up my country. My country is diseased. Every fiber of it is infused with racism, hatred, and greed (the former often in service of the latter). Been that way since the beginning.

    Still… I hope games try. I want these problems to be explored, preferably by someone unlike me. I don’t know whether Mr. Walker’s game would be better than what we’re getting. I honestly don’t know what perspective most needs to be heard. Rural America, definitely, especially POC. Muslims, though a tiny portion of our population, are likely suffering the most, and we nearly never see them represented (same for LGBTQ).

    Everything feels like its plummeting, but the more I read, the more it seems it has always been this way, and I just haven’t been paying attention.

    I don’t know what contribution games can make, but I hope they try, sincerely, to at least begin to explore.

    • Deviija says:

      On that, I very much agree. I’d like to see more games try. There are a few indies in the last several years that have been great with the messages and the exploration they do in these social and cultural (and political and psychological/emotional) spheres. Games are entertainment, certainly, and I’m definitely not saying we be rid of pure entertainment games whatsoever, but games also have the potential to do a lot more and be utilized in so many different ways unique to the medium and unlike movies/tv/books that are not real-time interactive.

  24. Kefren says:

    This controversy has been going on for years and I’m glad to see the press hounding them for it and continually asking “When will Ubisoft stop making uPlay a requirement on top of Steam?”
    (And “Why kill wildlife to make handbags when you could just take a handbag from one of the soldiers you kill?”)

  25. Dersu says:

    I think the most interesting part of this so-called “controversy” is that it shows how much the political climate has changed in the last couple of years.

    No one really batted an eye on the border-line colonial images of Far Cry 3 (I’m talking about major publications and such), and even those who did didn’t get all that offend so it would prevent them from playing or enjoying the game. Then when Far Cry 4 came around some people found one of the promotional images to be offending and racist, so the people from the other polar of the political spectrum were mocking “them SJWs” for getting offended over nothing.

    And here we are with a new Far Cry coming soon – how the tables have turned. Now those people who were mocking the SJWs are themselves being offended (or pretending to be, to push their own agenda) for similar reasons. It’s like all is right when your setting is in some remote location about some tribe or other (even though it might very well be offending to some people as well), but don’t you dare have your video-game be taking place near our homes – that’s making fun of our way of life.

    I mean, at the end of the day, like John said, calm down. It’s Far Cry for God’s sake.

  26. Babymech says:

    “I dunno, not a cult” has over 80 000 adherents and growing congregations all across the world. We will be heard.

  27. Atomica says:

    I’m currently playing a couple of Ubisoft games just now: Splinter Cell Blacklist and Far Cry 3. They’re fun games. Neither are original, but they are polished, the systems work and they (particularly FC3) have enough emergent behaviour in the game systems that I come back to replay them.

    Ubisoft have a template for their games–probably called the Tower Template–but so do other developers now. In a world where cross-platform development is required the costs are high, so few risks are taken. Dying Light by Techland, came across as a mash-up of Far Cry, Assassin’s Creed, and other titles, but it worked.

    I didn’t bother with Far Cry 4 or Primal because they both looked like reskins of FC3, but FC5 may tempt me. Running FC3 on better hardware than I did when I first played, it looks stunning. The artwork has always been good in the series and I’m looking forward to somewhere new.

    • aldo_14 says:

      I suspect it’s now extremely difficult to review Ubisoft games professionally, as much of their entertainment will depend on how many times you’ve played that sort of ‘template’ before.

  28. GAmbrose says:

    Far Cry 4 wasn’t great. It took me many years to finally get around to completing it.

    But they did have that genius hidden ending, where, if you just wait at the table (as asked by Pagan Min) he comes back in the room, leads you to the shrine of his daughter (your half sister) and you complete the game without firing a weapon.

    Not the most fun thing to do, but a nice touch.

  29. kse1977 says:

    Okay, I will bit. As a right-leaning, conservative American, isn’t this about the safest game they could make? No more games taking place in foreign lands where game journos accuse Ubisoft of Racism? This is about as fictitious as you can get and there are clearly idiots in my Country who want this type of thing to happen, so its not really like a super stretch and on top of everything, its not like they are making a statement about white people in general. Besides after killing Africans in Far Cry 2 and Islanders in 3 and Asians in 4, why not white people in 5? This is a game after all. Seems like fair play to me. Far right religious/sovereign citizen/separatists extremists seems like a fairly cool and worthy villain. Especially after the Waco/Branch Davidian thing. Funny how sensitive the anti-PC folks get when they feel like it is getting close to home. Just like the free speech people get up in arms when they don’t like what is being said. No consistency with one’s convictions.

  30. FreshHands says:

    As a chaotic neutral entity I think all sides sound the same to me – it is olweys ze same: I am right and you are wrong!

    I would happily kill everything FarCryX put in front of my leopard-camouflaged mp5 – if I wasn’t terribly bored by the formular by now.

    Also I h a t e killing animals. Even virtual ones :(

  31. DEspresso says:

    Honestly at the current state of US politics as a game developer I would stay away as far away from any political statements as I could.

    No matter what you do you would alienate a significant part of your playerbase for no positive effect at all ( Except maybe one of those awards which have zero effect on your bottom line).

    To those who say games are an artform with cultural impact which needs to address current issues: I respect your opinion, yet I perceive a different economic reality which puts sales before impact. Just take a look at paradox games, VicII had a certain liberal bias which the more current games lack. Every form of government/policy is viable in newer games.

    • dethtoll says:

      If the gaming market is so dependent on preserving the feelings of white cishet dudes with reduced empathy, anger issues and personalities entirely formed by 90s advertising that to do otherwise would seriously negatively impact any publisher daring to do so, then I’m going to fucking throw all my gaming shit — games, consoles, computer, even shirts I bought on Etsy — in the garbage and take up knitting.

      Somehow I don’t think that’ll be an issue though.

  32. FFabian says:

    Exactly what we need: Another game with guns and guys waving US flags. *yawn*

  33. Carlos Danger says:

    Ubisoft needs to get Kathy Griffin to do some ads for this game, she would fit in nicely with their target demo.

  34. skeletortoise says:

    I dunno, is this really being interpreted as an alt-right thing? I feel like everything I’ve seen has indicated the alt-right is notably less religious than traditional conservatism. Not atheistic, exactly, but more secular-ish than the bible thumping right (which is part of why they can be so abhorrent, as they’ve abandoned any anchor to a moral standard). So trying to connect them to a cult seems to be fairly misguided, if that was the intent.

  35. dethtoll says:

    The only thing more eye-roll-worthy than another white liberal handwringing Golden Mean/balance fallacy is that I’m not even surprised by it, but I do find it to be irritatingly self-indulgent for a Brit to be commenting on American matters like this.

    Do I expect FC5 to be a nuanced take on the rise of the extreme right wing in rural America? No. Am I going to relish in the chance to take out my frustrations with an America that is becoming increasingly hostile to me and the people I love on some fictional caricatures of people who are actively making this country a worse place to live in? Hell fucking yes.

  36. AyeBraine says:

    I liked Far Cry 3’s story and how it worked with the game. It was a Spec Ops: The Line with a rictus grin. It was Natural Born Killers on Instagram. It was about people who gear up and go to fight into Syria or Novorossia because it’s fun. It doesn’t have nuanced civilian populace because they don’t care about them, and also because in there, everyone were these guys, everyone’s up for horror, everyone’s infected by the war bug regardless of stupid plot labels. Like in Chechnya.