‘Our story is political,’ says Far Cry 6 narrative director
Far Cry 6 borrows some obvious visual traps from the island of Cuba, particularly the cars and architecture, but narrative director Navid Khavari said in an interview last week that the game was not meant to be “a statement. political on what’s going on in Cuba in particular. “This is a reasonable position to take, but it has been widely interpreted to mean that Far Cry 6 was not political at all, a pretty wild thing to say about it. ‘a game built around a revolution against the fascist dictator of a Caribbean island.
It was an understandable reaction, to an extent: Ubisoft has never been particularly good at answering questions about the political nature of its games. In 2018, for example, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot acknowledged that his games are political but strive to remain neutral, while editorial vice president Tommy François said a year later that ‘Ubisoft was making “mature” video games rather than political games. Everything is a bit difficult to sort out, and especially coming from a company that created, for example, Ghost Recon Wildlands, a big budget shooter about inserting a team of American commandos into a sovereign nation for a chaos out of the books.
The response was strong enough to prompt Khavari to delve into the matter further in an update released today, in which he explicitly states that “our history is political.”
“A story about a modern revolution must be,” Khavari wrote. “There are harsh and relevant discussions in Far Cry 6 about the conditions that lead to the rise of fascism in a nation, the costs of imperialism, forced labor, the need for free and fair elections, the rights LGBTQ +, and more within the context of Yara, a fictional Caribbean island. “
Khavari said the developers of Far Cry 6 drew inspiration not only from Cuba, “but also from other countries around the world that have seen political revolutions in their history.” They worked with people who could “speak personally” about the history and cultures of these inspirations, and consulted with experts to ensure the story is “told with sensitivity”.
“The conversations and research done on the perspectives of those who fought revolutions in the late 1950s, early 1960s and beyond are absolutely reflected in our history and our characters,” Khavari wrote. “But if anyone is looking for a simplified, binary political statement specifically about the current political climate in Cuba, they won’t find it. I come from a family that suffered the consequences of the revolution. I debated the revolution at the table. all my life. I can only speak for myself, but it is a complex subject that should never be reduced to a single quote. “
“What players will find is a story that, from a point of view, attempts to capture the political complexity of a modern and current revolution in a fictional context. We tried to tell a story with some action, adventure and heart, but it’s also not afraid of asking tough questions.
Khavari asked players to “let the story speak for itself” before judging its politics and regardless of what you think of Ubisoft’s narrative ambitions – and personally I’m not sure I would call a particularly “complex” Far Cry game, although Far Cry 2 did give it a try – I think that’s a fair request. It is foolish to think that a game of overthrowing a dictator might somehow lack a political bent, but deeming him as a thinly veiled analogue for Cuba based solely on artistic assets and grassroots geography does. probably won’t get you very far either. .
More interesting, however, is Ubisoft’s willingness to tackle the issue more or less head-on. Khavari’s declaration is obviously not some sort of declarative position, but it at least recognizes that these matters are inherently political and that politics are complicated. Maybe that means we’ll squeeze a little more depth and complexity out of Far Cry 6’s narrative than we’re used to seeing as well.
Far Cry 6 is scheduled to launch on October 7. We got our first look at the gameplay last week.