American gamers have gotten so used to aiming down their sights at foreign adversaries that a game like Far Cry 5, where the enemy is a band of Christian Americans, may be a complete shock. In fact, when it comes to the release of the eleventh installment and fifth main entry in the Far Cry series, the word “controversy” was used quite a bit after its reveal.
It had only been four months since President Donald Trump took office and the political and social climate turned sour when Far Cry 5 was announced. To American viewers, it may have seemed like the game was trying to be a commentary on the state of the nation, especially considering Far Cry typically takes place in more exotic parts of the world. Video games aren’t developed overnight, however, making it unlikely that the Canadian developer, Ubisoft, was emulating the current state of the nation.
Still, the setting and the use of a radical preacher as the focal antagonist appeared to set off some. It wasn’t the first time a Far Cry game struck a nerve with the public, however. The third main entry was banned in Indonesia for its hellish portrayal of life in the Southeast Asian nation and Far Cry 4’s cover art was deemed to be racist.
As for the latest title in the long-running series, a petition was started by Change.org user Gamers United calling for the cancellation of Far Cry 5. The petition pegged the game as being “an insult to your fanbase, the Americans who make up the majority of your customers.” To rectify the so-called issues, Gamers United suggested that the villains be changed to “something more realistic,” and then immediately mentioned, “Islam is on the rise in America.” Some of the other suggestions included altering the plot and the villains to include “some blacks and Mexicans.”
Granted, some outlets believe the petition to be satire, and it does sort of read like one to start, but a later update comes across as far too jaded for the whole petition to be a joke. Even if it were, it did obtain more than 2,500 signatures, many of which likely do agree with the content of it.
Despite the state of the nation and the rather touchy topic of Far Cry 5, however, there have been no reports of the game being banned anywhere in the United States. Quite surprisingly, though, ITech Blog reported that the Australian Classification Board banned the game as it “promotes violence against Christians.” According to the author, Jeffnin, the classification board claimed: “nobody should be oppressed or even killed because of one’s religious beliefs.” If accurate, Far Cry 5 is one of more than 20 games refused classification in Australia. Others included Manhunt, State of Decay, South Park and the Stick of Truth, and The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings.