'Far Cry 5' Tries to Do It All, But Fails To Be Much of Anything


#1

You can listen to this review by pressing play above.

By the time I hit the 20 hour mark, I was wondering what could be salvaged. Far Cry 5, after all, was not a complete failure. Its changes to the series’ long calcified structure were genuinely an improvement. There had been a surprising amount of good, original music here, too, much of it going beyond the guitar-infused country I’d expected. I still genuinely liked the game’s generic “Guns for Hire,” too. Oh, and, as far as I was concerned, Far Cry 5’s exploration-focused “stashes,” which provide everything from platform-heavy spelunking to a kind of light forensic work, should be added to every first person open world game.

But there was little else I wanted to bring with me out of Hope County, the fictional Montanan locale where Far Cry 5 is set. As I stared down the game’s final hours, I began to reckon with the fact that despite all of its scale, it was in many ways an empty world. Far Cry 5 is a game that takes excess as ethos, yet, in pursuing that goal of more-more-more, stretches itself so thin as to offer up nothing at all.

It didn’t have to be this way, of course. Far Cry 5’s premise is potent enough: For years, Hope County has been slowly coming under control of the Project at Eden’s Gate, a well resourced cult that is preparing for the end of the world by buying up local businesses, building up a sizable militia, and converting the county’s residents through a cocktail of schlock-y Hollywood brainwashing techniques.

(It’s worth noting that, though I never saw the game use the word “Christian” or “evangelical” to describe them, their particular brand of eschatological belief is firmly drawn from those sources, with the Book of Revelation and other scripture serving as the script’s shortcut to creepy cult talk.)

Acting on evidence that the cult’s wrongdoings have escalated from generally frightening the locals and to outright murder, your character (a rookie deputy) joins a group of other cops to arrest the cult’s leader, Joseph Seed. It all goes wrong, and, seeing this aggression as proof that his prophecies are coming true, Seed orders the county to be locked down to force a Bundy-like isolationist standoff, and for his followers to begin “The Reaping,” an aggressive campaign of kidnapping meant to bring the citizens of Hope County into the Project’s flock (or at least into the prisons of their massive bunkers).

You’re saved from that first, Purge-like night by Dutch, a man who, like John Seed, has been long preparing for the end of the world. (The irony is not remarked upon). Dutch gets you on your feet, teaches you the basics of Far Cry 5’s new, tower-free exploration, and directs you to meet up with resistance fighters spread across the County’s three distinct regions, each of which has been taken under control by one of Joseph Seed’s lieutenants, his “family.”

From there, you move out into the world proper and are introduced to Far Cry 5’s new take on the series’ overall structure. In past Far Cry games, you’d move from section to section, climbing towers to add side quests to your map, and then working away at those until you were ready to do one of the major story quests that would advance you to the next major area. Now, the wide range of activities are added through a much more natural feeling system of exploration.

For instance, if you rescue a civilian from a forced baptism they might tell you about a silo filled with the cult’s explosives, which will then get added to your map. Or find a deer crossing sign or a fishing magazine and your map updates to reflect that information. Even the series standard outposts have been spruced up, as each one now has a unique, combat-puzzle enabling identity—like a repair garage or an observatory—and becomes a real hub for quests after you complete it. This part of the system works well, seriously cutting down on the icon clutter that plagued past open world Ubisoft games and adding much needed character to the world.

Best of all, this new structure gives the game’s level designers two important tools that had previously been relegated to the towers. First, verticality: In past Far Cry games, you climbed towers so often that height itself felt trite by the mid game. Now, the occasional trip high up is dizzying. Second, the light platforming puzzles once limited to tower climbing are now spread across the game’s incredible “prepper stashes,” bite-sized challenges that let you explore the homes and bunkers of those caught up by the reaping. They were the last place I expected clever world building, but the place I most often found it.

On top of these new additions, the new Guns for Hire system means that even when playing alone, you’ll have a few NPC friends around for the ride (or to pick you up off the ground when you get caught out of cover). On top of the 9 “specialists,” ranging from fighter pilot Nick Rye to expert sharpshooter Grace Armstrong to loyal canine companion Boomer, you can recruit just about any random person you see hanging around a captured outpost as additional backup.

Unfortunately, about an hour or two after I started recruiting these companions, I started to feel the game buckle under its own weight. Each character comes with a collection of quips and reactive observations. Mark a crow with your binoculars and Grace might mention that they’re associated with death. Meet a quest giver that Nick doesn’t like, and maybe he’ll mention the fact that he doesn't trust this guy. The characters converse with each other, too… and that’s where it began to fall apart.

Instead of the memorable banter of Mass Effect or Dragon Age, Far Cry 5’s NPCs slip over and over again into the same dialog routines, sometimes even interrupting themselves to start over. In one case, while playing co-op, major quest dialog was halted in favor of one of these conversations. In another instance, I spent 10 minutes hearing two characters exchange the same 4 sentences over and over.

And this general arc repeated too: From appreciation of the effort Ubisoft put in to fill the game with content, to doubt that they managed to focus on the right parts, to disappointment as the game either bugs out or loses focus on what’s working all together. From the airplane combat to the fishing to the weapon selection, so many of the game's numerous features offer only the most shallow level of enjoyment. Within a few hours of exploring one of the game’s three regions, you will have seen basically what the game has to offer. That isn’t to say that there isn’t a lot of content. Instead, Far Cry 5 winds up feeling hollow explicitly because, in an attempt to stuff it with content, it turns to repetitive formulas.

Mechanically, that’s most felt in the game’s streamlined progression system, which trades out the crafting, upgrade trees, and a traditional XP system for a “challenge” based structure that rewards you with perk points whenever you complete certain tasks, like completing the aforementioned “stashes,” racking up kills with a specific type of weapon, traveling a couple of kilometers in the wingsuit, or completing stages in the game’s “Far Cry Arcade” mode (which offers both traditional multiplayer and a level creator that functions as a sort of Mario Maker for Far Cry levels.)

The result is that progression is forgettable, a sort of low background hum that you check in on here or there. I occasionally equipped a certain weapon to get the last couple of kills needed to get a few extra perk points, but within my first 10 hours with the game I had pretty much all the perks I cared about. (It also just generally feels strange to get equipment like the wingsuit, grappling hook, and blow torch from an open ended perk screen instead of through a narrative device.)

The same issues apply to Far Cry 5’s new take on story progress, which is tied a “resistance meter,” a concept which boils down the very idea of resistance until it loses all character. Nearly anything positive you do in a given region advances your meter: Blow up a cult shrine, your resistance meter goes up. Kill a cult VIP? Resistance points. Complete an outpost or a mission? Boom, the resistance is coming for you, peggies (which is what everyone in the game calls the members of the Project at Eden’s Gate. It’s novel for the first hour, maybe.)

On one hand, it’s great to have the choice to pursue the activities you actually want to do and have them count towards overall progress. On the other, because there’s a chance you’ll ignore any given mission, it means that the majority of these activities are utterly skippable.

Despite the seriousness of the premise and the intensity that the game’s main cast speaks about fighting the good fight, the bulk of what I did in Far Cry 5 was diluted, unimportant, or comical in the worst way. I spent much more time killing zombie-like cult members in “novel” ways than doing things that felt like aiding a resistance effort. With rare exception, even missions from major NPCs feel like fetch quests, and the minor NPCs range from forgettable to grating.

This could have been prevented with more focus. Each region is filled with a half dozen quest givers, and none of them are given the opportunity to make an impression. All across Far Cry 5, characters flitter in and out without leaving a significant impression. In one case, an ally broke down in tears after a major plot development, but all I really knew about her was her name and general demeanor.

The only missions that feel “weighty” are those that every player will receive, those that advance you down the task of directly confronting Joseph Seed and his Family. But even these tend to miss more than hit.

Once you gain enough resistance points, the region’s lieutenant will interrupt whatever you’re doing to whisk you away into interrogation rooms or drugged out dream worlds, where they lecture and preach and torture, at all points feeling like cast offs from some unreleased fourth BioShock game. Far Cry 3 and 4 were so driven by their “insane” antagonists, and here it feels like Ubisoft quadrupled down, aiming for unpredictability and finding instead incongruity.

Take one of the constant refrains from both Joseph Seed and Faith, one of his lieutenants: Why do you always try to solve so many things with violence, they ask, despite their own organization's fondness of brutal torture and your inability to interact with the cult in any way except violence.

It isn’t the first game to do that sort of thing, of course: BioShock and Metal Gear Solid both chided the player’s more bloodthirsty gamer-habits, though those at least let you determine your own level of violence. But even when compared to games like The Last of Us and Spec Ops: The Line, which force the player down paths they may not be happy with, Far Cry 5 falters. After all, while those games are able to linger in their chosen tonality, Far Cry 5 spins wildly between didactic, yet contradictory sermons and a relentless, mediocre style of comedy that never rises above an echo of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas’ 14 year old sketch of rural American culture, down to the UFO expert and amoral CIA agent.

This speaks to a deeper problem, albeit one that emerges from the same central flaw of being stretched too thin: Thematically, Far Cry 5 is such an inconsistent mess of ideas that there is hardly a recognizable through line at all. Instead, the game gestures towards ambiguity as if looking for a shield to save itself with.

This is a game that undeniably knows that Donald Trump is president, but cannot decide if that fact should be punchline or key plot device. When, in two different scenes, cult leaders make oblique references to “America’s leadership” or the failures of the person “who’s in charge” as proof of the American empire’s final days, the game reaches for sincere relevance. But an hour later, you’ll be recovering the notorious piss tape from a Russian spy in a pun-filled quest.

In some moments, it feels as if Far Cry 5 wants to take a neutral position and represent some true complexity of rural America. Take, for instance, the fact that various characters will speak to their various opinions about the country’s gun culture, with some disappointed in our addiction to assault rifles and others “not getting the big deal” about guns.

Yet when facing more obviously troubling truths, like the racism and xenophobia that swept Trump into office, Far Cry 5 hedges its bets. Mission after mission, NPC after NPC, there is a sense throughout the game that Ubisoft wants to make sure you're laughing along with them regardless of why you're laughing.

In one case, a white quest giver asked me if I was “One of those eye-talians,” who she was concerned were stealing her jewelry. The joke, of course, is that racism is bad, and that this is a particularly unlikely form of racism, since Italian-Americans have been largely assimilated into white culture. Of course, the truth is that very similar statements are actually made about people of color regularly, especially those in service sector jobs. The irony is that if she'd followed through and said “Hispanics," if there had been no comedy alibi for the racism, the game would have the genuine ability to test what players thought their characters would do. Instead, we got "eye-talians."

Or consider the fact that the surprising racial diversity of the game’s cult (which I explored in my interview with creative director Dan Hay last month) means that the Project at Eden’s Gate never quite assumes the stature of the primarily white militias that the game’s developers heavily emphasized during their original pitch. It’s a point only further extended by the fact that you work directly for one such militia for a good third of the game, but due to the poor job of characterization and worldbuilding, you never learn what the militia stands for, why it came into being, or what it would be doing if not for the Project at Eden’s Gate.

That last question—what would Hope County be if not for the cult?—haunts Far Cry 5, and its inability to address it directly hobbles any meaning that could be gleaned from some of the game’s more surprising twists. Which isn’t to say that you can’t interpret the game’s story or that there won’t be a million theory videos about what is going to be one of the year’s most talked about (and most unearned) endings. But it does mean that any final interpretation wiggles out of grasp, deferred for lack of clarity.

After all, what are we to make of the Project at Eden’s Gate, itself? At key moments, when you and the resistance score major blows against them, the game offers us a brief vista of the nearby area, lit by fireworks and decorated by the raising of an American flag waving in the breeze.

Yet Joseph preaches in front of a modified American flag, and the cult’s leaders are as American as they come: A business savvy self help guru, a military vet, and a sort of pop-culture-and-drug wielding micro-celebrity. Their entire mobilizing purpose is an anxiety about the collapse of the American system, and the appeal they make for joining the cult is the ability to escape the stress of your daily news feed. Honestly, what could be more American than the Project at Eden’s Gate?

Perhaps, in a different game, the message would be clear: You, player, are the agent of the broken status quo. You’re the one working for conspiracy theorists who complain about globalists and politicians who grouse about “Obama-loving libtards.” You’re defending a culture where every member of Hope County has individually invested in a personal bunker that will never be able to provide them a life of safety and comfort, while the Project supports a collectivist vision of survival. The cult is nothing more than a scapegoat, a whipping boy for all of the problems of Hope County and America writ large.

But Far Cry 5 doesn't earn that reading. Instead, this is a game where, in search of shock, one of the cult leader’s rips the flesh off of a living victim and staples it to the wall. It’s a game that leans all the way into the debunked “brainwashing” view of cults, despite Ubisoft hosting interviews with expert consultants who emphasize that cults work through social pressure, not drugs and programming. It’s a game that retreats from its own moments of sincerity, which is a shame, because in the rare cases where it spends time with some of its slightly more restrained characters, you can genuinely see what a better version of Far Cry 5 might look like. Instead, we got this version, one wrapped in a safety blanket of disinterest and reference-as-punchline.

What’s so frustrating about this is that you don’t need to look far from Far Cry 5 to see other games manage to be both funny and thoughtful, or which offer even more content but which retain some central thematic through line. In fact, you don’t even need to leave Ubisoft’s own catalog: 2016’s Watch Dogs 2 had some missteps but its anti-authoritarian ethos was always clear, and rung true across missions both serious and comical. Last year’s Assassin’s Creed Origins is an even bigger game than Far Cry 5, yet it never loses sight of its primary tension: Protagonist Bayek is torn between a quest for personal revenge and a larger responsibility to his community, and most of quests he takes on relate to one or both of those goals.

Instead, despite carrying a premise with a lot of potential, Far Cry 5 ends up feeling like two other recent Ubisoft releases: Tom Clancy’s The Division and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands, both of which scratch a certain mechanical itch but which demand you not think too hard about them. For me, that makes Far Cry 5 something like a vacant mansion. I can admire its shape from a distance, and I enjoy moving through its halls, walking both the old familiar steps and a few new ones. I can recognize the cleverness at work in its flowing structure, and can imagine the person who can see themselves at home here. But for me, it’s empty of life and meaning.

There was a moment towards the very end of my time with Far Cry 5 that I can't quite shake. In an effort to 100% one of the game's regions, I took to exploring some of the hills that none of the quests had taken me to hoping to find the one last mission I'd somehow missed. Suddenly, I caught the sound of guitar over a ridge, and came across a trio of folks at a campsite. One was playing guitar and singing "In the Pines (Where Did You Sleep Last Night)," while the other two danced.

It was a quiet moment, and more than that a confident one. It wasn't sticking its tongue out at the intimacy of the couple, or treating the musician's performance as a joke. And it was unmarked on the map, and that made it feel more true somehow. This was, in a sense, not for me to find. It was simply a routine this trio would repeat until the end of time, undisturbed. Meant as a curiosity, yet in effect one of the rare times that the game felt like it understood what it could have been. Even writing this now, I feel a pang of regret that I didn't stay longer, that I didn't get a better video of the them.

I never found anything else like that moment, but again and again, Far Cry 5 served up its opposite: Moments that were incredibly loud, but increasingly timid. And because of that, Far Cry 5 itself will always be more of a curiosity than a destination.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/qvxbeb/far-cry-5-review

#2

I’ve just seen this gif from another publication, and I’m having a really hard time working out if the captions have been added after (I assume they have been, but they are almost too on the nose)


#3

This is the most tip-toe I seen in any game. I don’t think they had to go back to Far cry 2 levels of political hardness but make it a point instead of being a complete mindless world.


#4

First off great to see Austin doing “reviews” again, the Monster Hunter piece was amazing, now this - awesome.

Well, we all saw this coming, and it did exactly what we thought it would, right? It’s a real shame because millions of people will play this game and it looks like FC5 will not really force them to think about much of anything, and worse may even feed into existing dangerous thinking.

Austin brings up the fact that you have Watch Dogs 2 and AC: Origins, both HUGE AAA Ubisoft games that on the whole stay true to a vision, in spite of their flaws, they have something to say and they go for it. This just seems so… basic, so bland, so afraid of the very premise of itself. Oh well…


#5

This game feels like it came out of a timewarp from 2013. Like, they managed to return to FC3’s with flailing attempts at edgy white ““ironic”” politicking and mix in GTA 5’s utter fear of sincerity (and dashes of its edgy white “”"“ironic”""" politicking, too), with a sprinkle of Bioshock Infinite posturing and even some godawful Do You Like Hurting Other People bullshit like we didn’t play that out in trite action games literally half a decade ago.

The fuckin brainwash poo gas is bright green and even sometimes makes glowing green particles appear around the heads of dudes like it’s Destroy All Humans. The ending even has barrels of flowing glowing green gas framing the villain like it’s dramatic and not the silliest shit you’ve ever seen. I also see they still can’t get past making their EDGY SHOCKING DRUG TRIPS just be the exact same map you were just in with a filter and some new particle effects until you walk around and/or shoot people the same way you always do until the “trip” is over.

They still really can’t figure out how to make this first-person cutscene stuff not feel jarring, either, which means the camera never frames anything with gravity (besides the marketable villains when they get up in your face, same as it ever was) so your camera mostly just floats around until it decides to let you control it again because the dramatic scripts mostly calmed down or it wants you to shoot things.

No weight, little sincerity, just a bunch of vignettes that might wrestle the camera away so it can fart around all animated-like just to make sure you see some centrist-bent one-dimensional caricatures be competently acted & animated at you for a bit, edgy only within the Overton window set by nervous leads and/or management.

Goddamn this is bringing me back to a very bad place with games, I only hope more corners of crit will follow Austin’s lead, realize that it’s 2018 and not 2013, and that we don’t need to pretend like this is the best we can get now.


#6

Thanks for the great read! V sad about its lack of heart - from the few early trailers it’d looked like this Far Cry had shifted its focus and mechanics from the towers to the people, and to their specific natures and injustices. Clearly they’re similar in substance. Reading this it really shows the necessity of the people behind the game having real stakes in their subject matter for it to ring true - WD2 and AC:O as testament.

I don’t think I’ll play chump for another Far Cry to be left unsatisfied again. But man, does that dance scene shake my resolve… Would love your take on the arcade mode if you get around to it!


#7

It’s not uncommon for early marketing to barely reflect the finished product, but it’s disappointing Ubi did not follow through on this one. Just the diversity of the cult shouts the game’s sniveling centrism to the hilltops.


#8

Damn this reads like a review I’d have written for Breath Of The Wild. Can’t say I’m surprised Ubisoft is well know for this kind of thing thing especially with Far Cry. Though I know that at some point I will end up playing this just due to the setting which I haven’t really seen captured well in a game since Skyrim with it’s snowy mountains, empty plains, and unexamined white nationalism


#9

Yeah, unfortunately it sounds like what I expected. Still seems like a fun game mechanically but I was kind of hoping it would go all in instead of playing it safe politically. Seems like a waste of an awesome premise.


#10

I mean we always knew this was going to be the case right?? Is anyone still playing these games for the stories???

They could have called this “Far Cry Outpost Capturer Simulator: Montana” with no story whatsoever and I’d be equally as excited (which I absolutely am, hopefully I can change my console to Australia again tonight like sea of thieves and play early).


#11

This is a great piece. Despite what you’ve written, I’m still interested to see and experience the game for myself. I know and like the Far Cry formula enough to know that I’ll enjoy the gameplay, and I’ll be playing it with my wife so we can discuss the plot and how it handles (or doesn’t handle) the topics it takes on. I think Ubisoft has it in them to do this subject matter justice. I hope they give it another shot in the future.


#12

This review helped me realize that when gamers say they ‘don’t want politics in games’, what they really mean is they’re fine with politics in games, they just don’t want them to function as anything more than window dressing. Sounds like Far Cry 5’s Steam reviews are safe for now!


#13

In one case, a white quest giver complains asked me if I was “One of those eye-talians,” who she was concerned were stealing her jewelry.

While the broader strokes are disappointing I can at least wrap my head around why a massive company like Ubi would take such a milquetoast stance. This though? Who okay’d the casual racism as a joke and from a quest giver no less? They expect players to put up with it or just miss out on those missions I guess?

@JohnnyLawz
I don’t think anyone was expecting an amazing story, but when you use certain settings or themes they come with responsibilities. You don’t get to just borrow the aesthetic of white supremacist, anti-government militia, doomsday, gun cult, especially in 2018, and then act like it’s all a big goof. In most games it wouldn’t really matter if the cult didn’t have a fully defined ethos. When they’re based on actual people with the political power to bring real harm to marginalized people the whole, “generic bad guy don’t think about it” defense doesn’t work.


#14

I believe this is well known but to emphasis how bad this is they set this game in the state Richard Spencer is from (In some capacity I know his parents live here) and then half assed the hell out of this


#15

Ugh man another thing that I am so fuckin sick of (that I’m gleaning is true for this game) is the Rockstar model for open-world quest givers. I do not want to run missions for shitty assholes. It’s not funny. They’re obnoxious, I hate them, and (I guess to make my character relatable?) my character also hates them. How about instead of filling your world with terrible shitheads and making the protagonist go “whoa, okay, whatever dude” the whole fuckin game why don’t you just write some characters I like for a change.

I know the world sucks and everything is satire, but what the writers don’t seem to get is that mean-spirited cultural parody makes for really trying company across a 30+ hour playthrough. Additionally, it provides greater ludonarrative dissonance than any Uncharted game when, for the entire story, the protagonist is willingly engaging exclusively with people they hate, and rewarding them with their service and cooperation.

Anyway.


#16

It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.


#17

To echo everyone else, what an utterly expected disappointment. I really appreciate Austin’s words regarding the nature of the player character as enforcer of the status quo and the cult as collectivist punching bag. It’s an extension of a viewpoint I see and hear often, a sort of “ought implies can’t”. The idea that proposed solutions or ameliorating ideologies must be grounded and chained to the realities, and often failings, of current systems and structures. That imagination is inherently flawed, and that the lack of it is “practical” or “logical”.

And isn’t that the greatest shame of a video game? That when constrained by no realities beyond the developers’ wishes that they chose to say, “Ah yes, we could earnestly explore collectivist or utopian concepts, but what happens when they’re bad? That means their badness is inherent, and you should thus stop dreaming of something better.” Far Cry 5 seems like it wants to say that there is no imaginative solution, that the way things are is how they must always be and we should just accept it. That imagination will always lead to ruin and the only solution is to gun it down and keep walking the same path.


#18

Just watched the stream and I’m getting heavy Damage Incorporated vibes, which I must have played when I was 11 or 12 (released 1997). Back then I was too naive to question the messaging of marines and cults but its amusing / disappointing to see that a game with 20 years of progress on that which is basically telling the same power fantasy with exactly the same level of critical engagement (i.e. none)


#19

I touched on this in a different thread, but there’s an inherent problem with the idea of mechanics as being politically neutral or separate from story:

The problem with saying that the mechanics (i.e. guns) “feel good” in a video game is that it implies the mechanics exist on their own. That the context in which they happen in a video game is irrelevant. That it ultimately doesn’t matter what the consequences are to characters or worlds in the story, because none of that is real, and therefore there are no consequences. It isn’t just that guns are decoupled from reality – it’s that the game world itself is decoupled from reality in a way to serve the power fantasy of the gun.

All that matters is that you had fun shooting guns in a game, and when that’s over, you can do it in another.

A lot of debates about story in games boil down to the notion that bringing in a writer at the last minute is never as good as having one involved from the start. I would argue in many cases it’s irrelevant, because mechanics themselves often limit the possibility space of a story. If you are making a game centered around great feeling gunplay, then your story probably isn’t going to be a philosophical discourse on pacifism.

How often is it that story only exists as a fig leaf to justify the really good shooting you’re about to do? In that sense, story does not exist as meaningful context, because context is irrelevant. You’re going to do the shooting anyway, so let’s write the bare minimum necessary to get you on the battlefield.

The thing is, I understand that point of view, because that’s how I engage with games that don’t have anything else to say, or which support a really questionable viewpoint. I can’t really judge anyone for consuming games like that, because I also enjoy first and third person shooters. But it’s necessary to recognize that we’re doing that, and what the limitations of that approach are. The sorts of lazy tropes and excuses that pass as a justification for fictional violence don’t exist in a vacuum – they build on each other. A game this big, getting cults and white supremacy this wrong, is a stepping stone for the next big game to do the same thing or worse.

The notion that games about guns don’t need context, only good mechanics was never an inevitable conclusion – it’s just what you get when you focus on mechanics to the exclusion of everything else.

How many people who worked in video games 20 years ago are still in the industry? Of those, how many are writers? Of those, how many have the background to actually understand the issues at play here?

I think one of the consequences of how video game companies exploit a younger labor force is that the people who could do the work on this get burned out or pushed out by the culture. There’s no critical engagement, because there’s no need for it from a financial perspective.


#20

The thing that bothered me the most about their take on the cult. was actually the justification Dan Hay had for it in Austin’s interview with him. He was talking about how it was informed by his and other’s perception of those cults when they grew up in the 70s. Problem is, this game was made in 21st century North America, primarily, and takes place in 21st century USA. So, basing it on outdated versions of those groups seems misguided at best.

Perhaps more importantly, the most obvious cult of the time, Peoples Temple, and its leader Jim Jones, were not like what we see in this game. Now, I understand that Far Cry deals in extremes (especially violent ones) and exaggeration, but not in the right places it would seem. Project at Eden’s Gate almost has more in common with the Bundys, as mentioned by Austin, and a sort of more “inclusive” Westboro Baptist Church.

Anyway, I know I will play this game and will likely enjoy it for what it’s worth, but I can’t help but be disappointed.