It is obvious that the Far Cry 6 gameplay revolves around a Cuban setting, mainly because of the cars and architecture, but Navid Khavari said in last week’s interview that the game is not, by all means, a political statement on Cuba. At first, it was widely interpreted to mean that the Far Cry 6 gameplay was not political at all. But considering a pretty bold claim around a game built around a revolution against a cruel dictator of some Caribbean island… I don’t think so.
Recently, the narrative director took back his statement by issuing a lengthy statement on the game’s politics, following last week’s controversy.
According to a post on the Ubisoft blog, Khavari sought to reassure fans that the Far Cry 6 gameplay would include sensitive topics about fascism, forced labor, human rights, the need for fair and free elections, the impact of imperialism, and more within the context of Yara – the game’s setting.
Khavari commented that the Far Cry 6 gameplay “is political”, and how a modern revolution “must be”. However, he added that anyone finding a direct political statement about the current political nature of Cuba won’t be able to find it.
Looking Into “Political Statements” In-Depth
I think the problem of political statements in games comes down to the dynamic term of “politics”. People who are tasked with marketing their games seem to view politics in proper nouns: Real politicians; Real, places; Real countries.
The world of social media, however, tends to think of politics differently. For them, it’s a historical force that concerns people how they live. Usually, it has something to do with decisions, trends, and systems, that are way more complex.
For instance, Ubisoft’s The Division 2 puts the player in control of a government agent tasked to restore order in post-pandemic Washington D.C. For Ubisoft, the game is entirely not political because it didn’t name specific political figures, even though it mostly resembled a real-life D.C. The game’s script is not on the political questions of the day. As a player, you’re more on doing pest control on famous landmarks.
Are Political Statements In Games Really That Sensitive?
To critics and players, Far Cry 6 gameplay was brimming with politics. Criticism is more about excavating meaning, while games are limited simulations. They can’t possibly simulate the full detail of the world. Gamers are always reading a world that can’t fully reveal itself. And that’s where a game’s “politics” show.
Every time a new Ubisoft game comes, some smartass critic writes a lengthy review about what the game’s “political essence” really is. Moreover, games aren’t typically made by a single guy. Individuals and teams at various levels are often deputized to make choices that can change a game’s first impression. A team may be briefed on how to unveil a game. But the “politics” come out after release.
More interesting, though, is Ubisoft’s approach to handling the matter. Khavari’s statement is not in any way in a declarative position, but at least acknowledges that the Far Cry 6 gameplay is inherently political and that politics is a complicated and sensitive matter. Perhaps, TechsnGames will be a little more in-depth than we’re used to seeing, too.
Ubisoft’s upcoming Far Cry 6 is set to launch on this year’s October 7. You can already check out the gameplay, here.