Numerous games are built on players overthrowing regimes or participating in conflicts in fictional countries. Some get away with it by adopting a ludicrous tone like the “Just Cause” franchise.
Ubisoft’s “Far Cry” open world shooter game series on the other hand has leant into the political aspect in the past. From the central Asian conflict in the fourth to American separatist militias of the fifth game, there’s an edge there but one that has often pulled its punches.
With “Far Cry 6” on the way in October, the game’s narrative director Navid Khavari has now posted an open letter which makes it quite clear in the very first line, with this entry “our story is political”:
Khavari says the game, which is set on the fictional Caribbean island of Yara, boasts “hard, relevant discussions” about the conditions that lead to the rise of fascism in a nation along with themes like the costs of imperialism, forced labor, the need for free-and-fair elections and LGBTQ+ rights. He says:
“My goal was to empower our team to be fearless in the story we were telling, and we worked incredibly hard to do this over the last five years. We also tried to be very careful about how we approached our inspirations, which include Cuba, but also other countries around the world that have experienced political revolutions in their histories.”
To do that they involved creators and collaborators who could speak personally to the history and cultures of the regions they were inspired by, along with bringing in experts and consultants to examine the game story multiple times throughout the project to “make sure it was being told with sensitivity”. He adds: “it is not for me to decide if we succeeded, but I can say we absolutely tried.”
He says players will find a story that attempts to capture the political complexity of a modern, present-day revolution within a fictional context and he hopes players are willing to let the story speak for itself first before forming hard opinions on its political reflections.
The full letter can be found here. The letter follows in the wake of a gameplay and release date reveal trailer last week for the title. “Far Cry 6” will launch on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Google Stadia, and PC on October 7th.