Ubisoft Stokes the Fires of Controversy With Far Cry 4 Reveal
Far Cry 4, “the most expansive and immersive Far Cry experience ever,” will set players loose in the breathtaking Himalayas.
Ubisoft has announced that Far Cry 4, the latest iteration of its hit open-world FPS franchise, will take place in Kyrat, a region of the Himalayas under the control of a “despotic, self-appointed king.” That’s about all we have to go on right now, although in case there was any question, Ubi also emphasized that the game will offer “a vast array of weapons, vehicles and animals.”
“Following the success of Far Cry 3, we wanted to take the franchise to the next level and create a game that will surprise players and exceed fans’ expectations,” Executive Producer Dan Hay said in a statement. “Given the unique setting, we feel Far Cry 4 will stand out as a top first-person shooter and we’re eager to reveal more about the game in the coming months.”
Ubisoft also unveiled the Far Cry 4 cover art, which is attracting no small amount of controversy on Twitter. The cover features a flamboyantly-dressed white man seated on a throne, with his hand resting on the head of a person of color who’s cupping a grenade. There’s no context to the image and Ubisoft’s meaningless description of the game offers nothing of use, but a number of observers have reacted strongly against its perceived racism. Those criticisms are strengthened by similar reactions to Far Cry 3, which took heat for its use of the “Noble Savage” trope.
Racist or not, I can’t say it’s the greatest box art I’ve ever seen – in fact, it’s definitely closer to the other end of the scale – but it’s unquestionably evocative, and even provocative. Whether the game will be able to address those racist undertones with any degree of sophistication remains to be seen, but it seems certain that controversy will follow it either way.
Gamers who preorder Far Cry 4 will also get Hurk’s Redemption, a series of three single-player missions starring Hurk, the central character from the Far Cry 3 DLC Monkey Business, as well as Hurk’s favorite weapon, the harpoon gun “Impaler.” Far Cry 4 is scheduled to launch on November 18 for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PC. To find out more, hit up farcrygame.com.