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Far Cry 5’s first image points toward a deeply political game

by Eric Frederiksen | May 25, 2017May 25, 2017 8:00 am PDT

The Far Cry games, despite Ubisoft’s best intentions, have always been political for racial and cultural reasons. With Far Cry 5, it seems like the company is looking to lean into the political nature of the series, but from a slightly different angle. Instead of fighting a random foreign dictator or pirate group, it looks from the newest art – which points to a reveal on Friday – like we’re going to be fighting an American militia of some kind.

Ubisoft has already revealed that the game will take place in Montana – a far cry from the previously distant locations of other titles. Pun absolutely intended. Where it would go from there, though, was up in the air. Far Cry Primal, the most recent entry in the series, had us fighting cavepeople and prehistoric beasts, so it could’ve been a survival-focused game or something like that for all we knew, but this art does away with any suggestions of that nature.

Let’s do all the politics

The image calls to mind, all at once, the 2016 occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Range, American ultra-nationalism, and America’s history with religious cults like the Branch Davidians. The symbol that has replaced the star on the American flag, The Verge notes, looks a bit like the cross used by Scientology.

All of that points to issues that are particular hot-button issues. If Ubisoft wants to try to argue the game isn’t political, they might try arguing that it’s not a game, either. It’s sure to raise a lot of eyebrows. The idea of taking on an egomaniacal leader and his hostile organization in an outdoor location is not new ground for the series, but all of this certainly is.

The game doesn’t have a release date, but Ubisoft has it scheduled for this fiscal year. That could put it releasing anytime between tomorrow (highly unlikely) and the start of April 2018. Far Cry Primal‘s winter 2016 release means the game could hit just about anytime starting this fall, and we’re curious to see how the game handles the subject matter it appears to be tackling.

There are still all sorts of questions. When is the game set? It’s modern, but that leaves a lot of leeway. I don’t know enough about weapons to pinpoint a date, but I could see Ubisoft putting the game in the 1980s or something like that to keep pesky cellphones out of the mix. Nothing in the image screams of a modern time period. We also don’t know what kind of protagonist we’re going to be playing as or why they’re in the middle of all this stuff. That could change the entire tone of that image, depending on where they go with it.

Either way, this seems like a risky move for the publisher, and one sure to generate a lot of buzz.

Far Cry 5‘s reveal is set for Friday, May 26.


Eric Frederiksen

Eric Frederiksen has been a gamer since someone made the mistake of letting him play their Nintendo many years ago, pushing him to beg for his own,...

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