Religious cult, charismatic dictator, and a whole lot of America – Far Cry 5 has it all. Is there something more to this game, though? Read on as we discuss the foreshadowing and referencing that Ubisoft blatantly implements in its newest Far Cry installation.
With Ubisoft’s newest Far Cry 5 release come a lot of questions: Is this game more than just a bunch of pixels? Could the title perhaps reference the rising nationalistic tensions worldwide? Is the gun control issue becoming a huge problem in the US? Can you go more American than shooting religious rednecks preaching the path to Eden whilst yelling yee-haw, with a diabetes bear as a sidekick, mauling your enemies?
There are a lot of answers to these questions out there, and this article aims to discuss the game’s philosophy. And yes, a game’s philosophy is a term I used, because Far Cry is far from your everyday first person shooter.
The Pure vs. Unpure conundrum
Say what you want, our world is changing, and some say not for the better. Nations worldwide seem to grow more introvert and nationalist, isolating themselves and aiming to build small empires of their own. Be it either Brexit tensions in the European Union or the Trump regime in the US, political parties and infuential leaders build on the idea of „making X great again“ (sorry Donald, hope you don’t mind me borrowing the phrase).
What role does Far Cry 5 play in this? Simple – taking place in a fictional place called Hope County, Montana, the game explores the „us vs. them“ mindset that seems so popular these days. The religious dictatorship established in Hope County is based on one single idea – to deliver those who are worthy to the gates of Eden, and to get rid of all those who are unpure.
With Ubisoft’s know-how on how to create frightening villains, the game studios manages to depict the us vs. them situation in a truly horrendous manner, showing just how crazy can society become if there’s a leader, an idea, and an enemy.
Leaders & Followers – All it Takes is One Man
Humanity has a bad record track when it comes to leaders. Too many times have there been charismatic individuals that swayed the masses in pursuit of a twisted goal, mesmerizing the heads of everyday citizens with visions of grandeur. Adolf Hitler, Mussolini, Kim Ir-Sen, the world has seen murderous dictators come and go.
In Far Cry 5 however, it’s more about the cult of personality rather than about dictators waging battles. The charismatic young leader Jacob Seed, called simply „The Father“, leads the citizens of Hope County towards a distant Eden, claiming that humanity is overdue for a reckoning. Many citizens of Hope County blindly follow him, willing to die for their leader who is destined to bring them salvation.
Haven’t we heard that before? Cleansing, salvation, purity? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
The Father is supposed to present a charismatic leader with a vision, and what better time to tell such a story than now? Imagine that storyline developer in Ubisoft, sitting in his comfy chair and thinking „hm, which type of insane will we introduce in the fifth instalment?“ and then simply turning on the TV and seeing the newest Donald Trump case.
What I mean to say is that Far Cry 5 can be understood as a warning of sorts – this is what happens if powerful leaders sway the masses. And with Trumps and Kim-Jong-Uns measuring the sizes of their missiles, this game is more relevant than ever.
Fucken‘ Yee-haw – America’s Shiny New Image
Ah yes – the good old America. Eagles, hamburgers, and rednecks coming to church masses with their AR-15. However progressive and modern US strives to be, its image seems to have deteriorated, and why is that? Could it be the fiasco that the 2016 presidential elections were, and the leader who came out of those elections? Is it really possible that one man could bring down such a glorious nation?
Well, yes. As research shows, the global image of US has plummeted under Mr. Trump, and the country is now perceived as a joke or a meme rather than the leader of the free world. And while Far Cry 5 goes to great lenghts to give the user a truly unique American experience, one has to ask – are all of these stereotypes based on truth, or are they completely true? Do people really love their assault guns in the US to the point where they would rather preserve their rights to bear arms than to battle gun violence in schools?
Does every single person in the US know how to shoot a gun, fly a helicopter, or drive a truck with a machine gun mounted on top of it? We will never know.
Of course, the last question should be taken with a grain of salt, but nonetheless Far Cry 5 shows just how much freedom is poured in the American culture, and as they say – too much of everything never ends good.
Far Cry 5 highlights that we should be aware of who leads us, and what happens if we see the world black and white. It also shows us what the US culture is based on, and the values that it embodies. But you know what’s the most important thing that Far Cry 5 displays?
That even bears can get diabetes in America. Yeah. Because in this game, you actually get to have a diabetic bear as a sidekick. Just look at him, look at his magnificence.
You go Cheeseburger, you do your own thing.
Eager to read more about video games, movies, and TV series? Check out other articles by Martin Hlousek here!