As recently revealed last month, Far Cry 5 has been announced and it will take place in Montana. This is the first time the series takes place in the United States. While this may bring new life to the series, the aspect people are talking about is the most controversial aspect of the game. As you may or may not know, the main antagonist in Far Cry 5 is Joseph Seed, a cult leader leading a militant survivalist group with very extreme religious views.
On one hand, fans are excited to try out what seems to be a fresh take on the Far Cry formula being that it takes place in Montana. On the other hand, many fans and outside sources have criticized the game, feeling it is trying to be less of a video game and more of a political discussion by Ubisoft. Gamer United created a petition to cancel Far Cry 5 and that petition almost has enough signatures. While the petition is being criticized for its credibility, there still seem to be some dislike for the new setting. Is Far Cry 5 taking the controversial route? I would say yes but I would ask in return is that necessarily a bad thing? Is addressing controversial topics problematic in a video game?
First and foremost, we need to realize that Far Cry 5 is not even out yet. It releases February 27, 2018, so I assume that unless you have a time machine and traveled to the future, you probably have not played the final product. That means we do not know how politically focused the game will or won’t be or if it will even be any good. It may turn out that Far Cry 5 tries to juggle multiple issues at once and ultimately fails to resonate with the player. There is also a chance that Ubisoft adds credible points to the discussion we have in the United States today with Far Cry 5.
Video games in many ways are an art form, and in most pieces of art, the artist creates something that represents something of personal value. They hope to have the viewer feel an emotion that they will go on to talk about. In today’s day and age, a lot of art forms have become more political. Whether you agree or disagree is up to your own beliefs and opinion. Far Cry 5 is an example of interpretation. At the end of the day, if you buy this game, you are buying it for the game and for the fun that you will hopefully have. Whether or not the game has something to say should not automatically discourage you from at least giving the game a chance.For the past couple of entries, the Far Cry series has been criticized by many for the lack of differentiating between each of the games. People praised Far Cry 3 when it first came out but when Far Cry 4 came out, people complained about it just being Far Cry 3.5 in the Himalayas. The same can be same about Far Cry Primal, where you have the same outpost and tower structure that has become a staple for each entries in the series. Is it fair to assume these components will be in Far Cry 5? Possibly, but we will not know for sure until we play the game. It might be completely different than most of the games in the series but could also be the same formula that has started to divide a lot of the fan base. The evolution of the series should be what we discuss for now and not the political aspect that may be in the newest Far Cry game.
Regardless for Far Cry 5, it will continue to be a topic for debate in the mainstream media. Even if it does turn out to tell a great story with engaging characters all wrapped in smooth gameplay mechanics, Far Cry 5 will still be discussed only because of its political stances. Video games have always been associated with violent behavior and was a topic of debate during the aftermath of the horrific Sandy Hook school shooting. While some video games may not always be a good influence to some children, blaming every single act of violence or saying how video games are bad for you only shows how biased you are against the medium. It is a shame that a video game with something to say only gets represented with its politics and not how the game actually turns out to be. Both of these features are equally important and deserve to be highlighted. One without the other could possibly harm the final version of the product which no one really wants.
Ubisoft is making a bold move setting the next game in the United States and making the villains white extremists, but why should they be criticized? Developers should take risks when it comes to developing their video games. Again, we will not know how Far Cry 5 will turn out until February of next year so until then why criticize? Everyone should have the right to voice their opinion and not feel afraid to be censored or shunned. Criticism can be very helpful and can lead to good discussions. However, criticism that leads to censorship defeats any point about having the right of free speech. No matter what you think about the views that may be expressed expressed in the game compared to your own political stances, Far Cry 5 should not be viewed as a propaganda piece that Ubisoft is trying to force on us but rather as an open world experience in the long running franchise that has some topics that are waiting to be discussed. There is nothing wrong with hearing a different opinion that might contradict your own and until February of next year, let Far Cry 5 be the game Ubisoft is developing it to be and not the game that many people already assume it will be.