Ubisoft recently released news of Far Cry 4, the successor to the critically acclaimed yet controversial Far Cry 3, and within a few hours of the revelation gamers and critiques all across the globe seemed to have spotted something that they don’t like.
It’s not the description of the game that so aptly reads, “a vast array of weapons, vehicles and animals” and the promise of “exceeding fan’s expectations” that caught the insulted eye of the viewers, but rather the flashy, colorful, and highly evocative cover art.
A picture that portrays the beautiful Himalayas in the background, but more importantly portrays a man in a pink suit sitting on his make-shift throne formed from a broken Buddha statue, with his hand unkindly grasping the head of a militant who is apparently forced to hold on to a grenade.
Yes, it’s the portrayal of a mad tyrant, a self-proclaimed king in the Himalayas, but many people seem to seem more than just that.
There seems to have been a sudden outburst in the gaming community, with accusations of ‘homophobic’ and racist content, with the emphasis on colonization, white supremacy, and what not.
The homophobic part apparently seems to emerge from a mixture of things, of which the most prominent are the pink clothes of the (maybe) antagonist and the unorthodox haircut, along with earlier statements from the FC3 writer suggesting, “we won’t see gay protagonist in AAA game for a while over sales fears.”
It’s a box art that speaks a lot, and one can feel it speaks a bit too much since the level of interpretation has most probably exceed beyond anything Ubisoft could have imagined.
The deliberate portrayal of racism and homophobia is questionable in the regard, but the fact that some can see it may worry the developers.
But then again, we know for a fact that people tend to get offended by just about anything. So what if the antagonist is actually gay? It doesn’t necessarily holographically project the idea onto the entire concept of homosexuality.
In fact, maybe it’s a character who likes to dress like this to stand out as the supreme among the crowds that would wear conventional colors.
Simply put, without context all these claims seem to be anger and insecurity originating from elsewhere and directed towards anyone and anything that possesses the slightest suggestiveness of diversion from human equality.
After all, these games are supposed to be about colonization, about dominance of a certain faction who hold themselves supreme. That’s what makes the villainy so charming, and grants the survivor in oneself more desire to undo the calamity that is being caused by it.
We hope Ubisoft can clarify (and maybe redeem, if the accusations are true) the interpretations with a few story and context-related trailers in the near future.
The retail game is set to come out on November 18 for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PC.