A recent editorial by Polygon tackles the politics of Far Cry 5. The author, Colin Campbell, outlines that the game has an opportunity to further condemn “fascist” politics in the U.S., pointing to people like Roy Moore and groups like the Christian Right as holding on to and exploiting racism in America. However, Campbell was displeased with the fact that the game isn’t quite as anti-Conservative and anti-Christian as he originally assumed after being invited to play the game at Ubisoft’s offices.
Campbell states in the article that he assumed the iconography and symbolisms used by the Eden Gate cult in Far Cry 5 would paint them as white, Christian supremacists, writing…
“The villain (Joseph Seed) is recognizably part of our political culture, albeit exaggerated.
He is a guns-and-Bible demagogue who cites scripture often, and speaks in apocalyptic terms. As I write this, the news headlines are full of Roy Moore’s refusal to concede his defeat in the recent Alabama election, warning that “immorality sweeps over the land.” Crucially, Moore exploits racism, as he appeals to followers on the Christian right.
“All games are political, to some extent. But Far Cry 5 is clearly inserting itself into the zeitgeist.”
But after playing enough of the demo, he came away frustrated that Ubisoft didn’t have much of a political message to share in the game itself. The villains weren’t the far-Right, supremacist Christians that he first thought that they would be.
A rumbling on the scale of two suns pummeling each other at the center of Campbell’s temporal lobe obviously took place, resulting in an explosion of cognitive anguish. Campbell wrote with obvious disappointment coursing through his likely trembling and flustered fingertips…
“The final game will certainly offer a narrative thread in which characters reveal their own anger, and why they were tempted (or not) to join the cult at the center of the game. But based on what I’ve seen and the conversations I’ve had with Ubisoft representatives, I don’t believe that Far Cry 5 will seriously address the issues that are core to the game’s visual and cultural language.”
The idea that Christian Conservatives aren’t quite the center of attention as the big, bad, evil-doers that the initial marketing campaign led everyone to believe was a blow to the ideological heart of those who couldn’t wait to “kill Trump supporters”.
As it turns out – and for anyone who has actually been paying attention to the interviews and gameplay videos – the Eden Gate cult is about bringing multiculturalism and their own warped form of religion to Hope County, Montana. They aren’t quite the Christian Conservative Nationalists that Leftists and SJWs had hoped for them to be. In result, journalists like Campbell have been having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that Ubisoft isn’t willing to call a spade a fascist, writing…
“According to Ubisoft, the player can judge the cult’s leader and his beliefs for themselves. On the face of it, this seems reasonable. Death cults do not spring from vacuums. There are always social and political reasons for them. But there’s an undeniably fascistic quality to Eden’s Gate, one which Ubisoft was unwilling to address during my interview.
“[…] Ubisoft argues that Eden’s Gate is not a white supremacist group, and that the cult gathers adherents from all sectors of society. From playing the game, I can tell you that the bad guys are not all white. And yet, this feels like a useful way to exploit hate-politics without facing tricky ethical questions.”
The inclusion of non-whites into the cult easily dispels the notion that they’re white supremacist. The fact that there are more people of color in the cult than on the rebel’s side could even prompt some to believe that you’re fighting against an invasion of multiculturalism. This was not something that Campbell could stomach, decrying Ubisoft’s unwillingness to follow in the footsteps of Machine Games’ politically-heavy Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, writing…
“So, with a few months to go before Far Cry 5 comes out, I’m concerned that it is using extremist politics as a marketing tool, rather than as an opportunity to address real issues. At a time when people are being marginalized, silenced, deported and killed as a result of nativist politics, this seems like a morally dubious exercise.”
“People around the world are angry and frightened by the rise of nativism, and acts of violence and murder perpetrated by far right terrorists. It seems a shame to me that Ubisoft is ready and willing to create a cult that looks a lot like a bunch of modern-day American nazis, without the inconvenience of facing this political phenomenon head on.”
And now it’s time to take the lid off the whole thing…
Ubisoft played the media like fools; they used the journalists’ histrionics and fascination with identity politics to put Far Cry 5 on the marketing map.
They let the caustic nature of current-day social divides trumped up across media platforms do the heavy-lifting for them. It’s why they didn’t bother to immediately correct the misinformation about the game that surfaced early on when the controversial posters went live and the many outlets out there identified the game as a Christian Conservative killing sim, which was then followed by many online discussion threads joining in on that summation.
The reality is that this is little more than Far Cry 3.7, with recruitable pets from Far Cry: Primal and recruitable NPCs to help you along the way – oh yeah, and it has a co-op mode likeFar Cry 4
The Eden Gate’s cult behaves identical to every other villainous group in a Far Cry game. Their AI is nothing to write home about. The setup and open-world sandbox contains many of the same goals and challenges as the previous games, including freeing small towns from the cult, identical to Far Cry 3 and Far Cry 4. The addition of mini-games like flying in planes and catching fish are designed to lure in those who are bound to get bored shooting the behaviorally-dull multicultural bad guys in the face.
At the heart of it, Far Cry 5 is a copy-and-paste job riding high on the media circus of sociopolitical outrage. People too wrapped up in identitarianism can’t see the forest for the trees because it’s just easier to compartmentalize everything in life on a black and white, left and right spectrum:
- SJWs are angry that Ubisoft isn’t more gung-ho with attacking what they feel is racial fascism in America.
- Christian Conservatives are angry that Ubisoft has a cult using religion as a means of recruitment, and that the cult isn’t mirrored after Muslims.
- Hardcore gamers realize that it’s just another copy-and-paste job and will likely pass up the game for that reason alone.
If people wake up and stop being led around by the nose like puppets strung up by the media’s marionette strings of outrage-bait, games like this would fade into oblivion faster than Taylor Kitsch’s movie career.
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