The Far Cry franchise is no stranger to controversy, being called everything from sexist to racist going as far back as Far Cry 3. In fact, Ubisoft is currently king when it comes to gaming controversy. Most recently pissing off the Bolivian government for using Bolivia as the back drop of the latest Tom Clancy game Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands. So it should come as no surprise that Far Cry 5 is being met with a world of backlash, following the release of it’s trailer and box cover art last week. What is surprising however, is who is feeling offended this time around.
If you’ve seen the trailer or box cover art you may have an idea about who Ubisoft has managed to enrage. If you haven’t watched the trailer yet please take a minute to check it out below. Don’t worry I’ll wait.
Now if you’re first guess was that religious white Americans or hard line conservatives are the ones up in arms, then winner-winner chicken diner! That’s right, the poster child groups for 1st Amendment defenders and politically correct haters are losing their collective minds over Far Cry 5. The game is based in the deep red-state territory of Montana, but in a fictional city called Hope County. Of course the people of Hope County are ironically down on their luck, and hope is just about all they’ve got to hold on to. This makes them a primed and easy target for the antagonist of the game Joseph Seed a.k.a The Father, and his band of immoral doomsday cultist know as The Project at Eden’s Gate.
The game is obviously meant to criticize the role of religion on society. It’s meant to show how religion can be used as a means to an end for the agenda of a singular person or group. Instead, many have decided to make the underlining issue all about race. While it is true that Montana is a predominately white state, Ubisoft made it a point to have people of color represented amongst the enemy as well. Probably, to drive home the fact that extremist religions can be detrimental to all groups of people regardless of race or ethnicity. Also to point out that failing to question something you know to be wrong just because someone claiming to be doing God’s biddings tells you to do it, is the fastest way to tear apart a functional society. It’s not the first game attempting to tackle the dark side of religion this year but so far it is the first being called out as racist for doing so. Outlast 2 released in April and was set in the rural part of the predominately white state of Arizona. The antagonist here was another secular religious cult trying to kill you at every turn. But I guess since you’re not actually able to kill the nut jobs in Outlast 2 the people complaining about Far Cry 5 decided to pass on bitching about Outlast 2.
The fact is video games are meant to offer players an alternative reality. A means to escape and in some cases provide players a way to look at society in a new light and rethink the values we hold on a pedestal. To understand why people have decided to make a race issue out of a game focusing on religion you’d first have to understand racism in American culture and media. While I think it would be fair to say that in most games minority representation is often an after thought, and in some cases not done in the best light it’s usually not the developers intent to offend. In the case of Far Cry 5 it’s not Ubisoft’s intent to be “racist” towards white Americans. The fact that people are pissed because they feel like Ubisoft has suddenly banned together with the so called “social justice warriors” (SJW) of the world and turned on white gamers is utterly ridiculous. I mean I actually came across a reaction video on YouTube where the guy said “And so you get the SJW who are going ‘I get to kill white republicans’.” Wtf? Who? Who in their right mind is going to go out and spend $60 on a game just so they can kill white people? I mean seriously I play games like COD, Assassin’s Creed, Saint’s Row, Sleeping Dogs, GTA and Far Cry and at no point do I think “Oh boy I get to go out and kill Europeans, Asians, Middle Eastern, White, Black, Brown or Indigenous people!” No sane person thinks this way!
If the trailer and cover art offend you to the point that you’re going online calling for a boycott or it’s cancelation by signing petitions, this is for you. Or if you’re trolling the internet leaving comments like “Ubisoft is to scared to go after ‘Radical Islamist’ so they came for ‘God-fearing red blooded White Americans’ instead”, then you my friend are the problem. The game is about religion and its ability to be used as a tool for undermining societal progress, not race. Please stop trying to make it more than what it is.