Far Cry 5 was supposed to be the anti-right game of the year, but ended up being far too friendly to it for the leftist media.
Every now and again my two realms of expertise merge, and I have the pleasure of writing about the political culture in regards to video games. I realize that video games aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, much less this site’s audience, but the truth is that video games are one of the largest sub-cultures in America, and it’s only growing. They are, in my opinion, just as important as movies and television.
I want to focus on the game “Far Cry 5” in particular that recently got some negativity from the left, and while I wanted to comment on it, I hadn’t played it. I don’t at all feel comfortable reviewing a game, especially its political aspects, if I haven’t explored it.
But after spending two weeks with the game, I can definitely say I understand why the left is angry about it.
For starters, I want to go back to before the game was released. The Far Cry series usually takes you to exotic locations like African jungles, or far-flung islands. Far Cry 5 was unique in that it took you to rural Montana. Here lives the independent, gun-toting, farming, ranching, truck driving, country boy American that much of coastal America considers flyover yokels.
As to how Far Cry 5 was billed, a chunk of this population was duped into joining a cult called “Eden’s Gate” under a man named Joseph Seed who speaks quite a bit about God and sounds like he’s quoting the Bible. What the trailer made it seem like was the end result of the right-wing extremism we hear so much about from the leftist media.
The excitement for the game was there for the left. This was going to be a game that went down in history as a great commentary about the Trump era, and the nuttiness of those right wing-Christians who are so taken in by anyone with even a little bit of charisma. Even I was somewhat unsettled by what I saw in the trailers. It did seem like the game would be painting right-wing Christian America with a nasty brush, and there would be one more piece of pop-culture that got it all wrong. Even so, there were already hints that this isn’t exactly what the aim of the game was.
The main piece of evidence came in the form of a trailer focusing on a monologue from town’s actual Christian preacher Jerome Jeffries, who laments about the fact that the church did little to stop the rise of Eden’s Gate, but in the face of the cult ruling over his flock with violence, will resort to violence himself to save his flock. Jeffries immediately created a divide between Eden’s Gate and actual Christianity before the game was even out.
Fast forward to the game’s release and…disappointment abounds from the left.
You play as a county deputy sent with the Sheriff, a fellow deputy, and a U.S. Marshall to arrest Joseph Seed. The whole affair goes completely FUBAR, resulting in you being captured by the cult, escaping, and taken in by a rural prepper who outfits you with some gear and sends you into the county to wreak havoc on the cult. Along the way, you make friends with the resistance within various parts of the county, which includes Pastor Jeffries.
They wanted their anti-right commentary. They wanted negativity about Christianity and Trump. Hell, they’d take anti-gun messages. Anything! Only they didn’t get it. Even the name of the good guys, “The Resistance,” has zero connection to the real-life Resistance fighting Trump.
Two leftist pieces of commentary about the game really stick out. One is Paul Tassi’s takedown of the game at Forbes, where he more or less goes through issue by issue that the game doesn’t address satisfactorily for him. There’s no commentary on how gun-control would have prevented the rise of Eden’s Gate, and what’s more, the cult isn’t racist and that’s somehow a negative mark for the game. Seemingly most egregious to Tassi is that Christianity isn’t properly slammed with comparisons to Eden’s Gate. He seems disappointed that the cult and Christianity are shown to be so divided in the game, most noted during a moment where a cult member slaps the Bible out of Pastor Jeffries hands and forces the Book of Joseph in its place.
The leftists over at GameSpot released a seven-minute commentary on the game on YouTube titled “Far Cry 5 Has Us Confused,” where the reviewers go through and seem to take the same route as Tassi. The game doesn’t have enough commentary about race for one of them, and the conservatism of the residents of red state Montana made him “uncomfortable.” Amusingly, one of them said that in order to enjoy the game he had to divorce himself from the story.
Welcome to the everyday life of a conservative trying to enjoy media, guy.
The reason Far Cry 5 has leftists confused is because it veered off a path that leftists seem to take for granted. Media is supposed to support a certain narrative. Political and cultural commentary is supposed to be left-leaning. The right, Christians, whitey, guns, etc, are supposed to be the bad guy. Conservatives are supposed to be crazy, evil, or all of the above.
In Far Cry 5, they just weren’t. They were all the good guys. The Christian pastor is a resistance leader, the good ol’ country boys pick up guns and fight back. Reclaimed territory from the cult immediately shows the gun-toting country folk proudly flying the American flag over the stronghold. Political commentary from non-player characters is oftentimes right-leaning, sometimes absurd, and sometimes very sensible.
There was one moment, after I had liberated a spot on the map from the cult, where one of the country residents initiated a monologue when I got near him, and it surprised me to hear it coming out of an AAA game. He commented that people nowadays have a hatred of guns, but that if it weren’t for their guns then the cult would have walked all over them.
I was blown away. There was no goofiness to his voice, or a loud “yee-haw” afterward to indicate that this is an opinion held by some backwoods yokel. It was a man calmly talking about how glad he was that he had his gun.
Leftists seem upset because the game takes no risks. For them, “risks” means insulting a good deal of the American population in order to get across an in your face message about the supposed evils of the majority’s values. It’s a tired trope within the leftist dominated media that drives a real-life narrative that is driven more by ignorance and prejudice than it is real-world observation.
But Far Cry 5, in all its video game-esque absurdity, really salutes middle America. It tells that we are, in fact, the good guys. That our values do have value, and we don’t have to be represented as some far-flung caricature of what a coastal thinks we are. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few examples of that caricature in the game, but Far Cry is a series known for its zany characters.
The developers of the game could have painted every character with that same level of coastal favored exaggeration and didn’t. They created rural America where the populace, if threatened, will likely fight back with fury and vigor just like they would in real life. Where a veteran, a Christian pastor, and a concerned family man are all great main characters who fight alongside you. Where race isn’t a concern, and whether or not you’re a good man or woman is. Where right-leaning politics aren’t consistently slapped, kicked, and insulted, but embraced and sometimes applauded.
Far Cry 5 is a game that nods in a friendly way to the silent majority, and the louder coastals can’t handle that.