Far Cry 5 is courting controversy

Tomorrow, Ubisoft will officially unveil Far Cry 5 after a series of vignettes teased its Montana location. That’s unusual for a series that usually has you, the player, off in remote locales killing the local population. That move alone – having you killing Americans – is likely to be controversial enough. There’s bound to be more controversy though. Yesterday, Ubisoft teased a little more, showing off the bad people – and they appear to be religious fundamentalists.

The artwork Ubisoft showed off yesterday suggests that the enemy is a band of white Christian fundamentalists. Presented as a take on The Last Supper, the Christ figure in this redneck tableau is a bearded man wearing yellow-tinged sunglasses. Other bearded and importantly armed men surround him, joined by a woman with flowers in her hair and oddly, a wolf or breed of dog that resembles a wolf. In front of the table sits a man with the word “sinner” carved into his back.

The table is draped in the American flag, with the stars switched out for The Iron Cross; the famous German military medal that’s usually used in conjunction with Swastikas to demonstrate some sort of perceived racial superiority. The table is also home to Christianity’s Eucharist; the goblet of wine and bread – and also Americana like a wholesome apple pie.

The game is going to play up the intersection of politics, religion, and wanton and gratuitous violence – and it’s going to need to tread carefully. Right now, I’m very interested – just by the fact that American people are the enemy in a genre that usually prefers narratively safer foreign targets, dictators, despots and rebel militia. For the American populace, this is going to hit far closer to home.

It’ll be really interesting to see who we get to play as in Far Cry 5 given the overt political division in today’s mad world. It’s already politically controversial, but should the game feature a playable woman – especially one who is a person of colour, certain right wing subsets of the internet may actually explode.

We’ll find out tomorrow.

Last Updated: May 25, 2017

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