Follow TV Tropes
That is what always bothered me about Far Cry 5 and the Seed family.
Survivalist and extreme religious fundie groups tend to have a big overlap with the alt-right and white supremacists.
That's part of the reason why I think the Joseph was right true ending is total shit. Survivalists and extreme religious fundies don't need to be catered to in anyway, they are crazy enough on their own.
It honestly to me felt like Ubisoft was going to go with a criticism of those two groups initially (and the alt-right by proxy) with Far Cry 5 but they either changed their original plans for whatever reason or the marketing team messed up.
Suffice to say I don't like the Seed family and never will. They just conceptually do not rub me right. The only one I kind of like is Faith Seed.
They did try to make most of the people even the crazier survivalist less racist red necks and more average joes to a degree except for Hurks father. He was made to be a colossal dick. I think they did not take the various factions far enough in the right directions to fully justify them being the right side. The folks who were dragged into the conflict worked just fine but the militias and other nutters were hit and miss.
Edited by TuefelHundenIV on Jan 30th 2019 at 6:19:02 AM
Honestly if they just let me shoot Joseph in the face in New Dawn I'll forgive them for Far Cry 5's ending.
I wish the let us put a slug through his skull by the end of 5 I would have been much happier.
I think the fact they chose not to make the heroes a bunch of racists to be a good thing.
Mind you, I come from a state where giving time to racists even as bad guys rarely works out and usually results in Misaimed Fandom.
Some of them gave off vibes that they might be racist conspiracy loons but it appears the bulk of the resistance was too busy fighting the Peggies to give a shit about skin color.
I put up a page for New Dawn. It links back here for those who have questions about how the story leads to the sequel spin-off and there is a spoiler warning at the top before the trailer.
I think they restricted the racist "heroes" to Hurk Sr.
And made him a buffoon to compensate.
Hurk Sr. was an upfront abusive buffoon looser and Hurk's mother comes across as making the right choice in leaving him. The voice mail messages just plop him deeper into that hole. Makes me feel bad for Hurk who is well, Hurk.
One of the main points of the article I linked a couple pages back (which a lot of its detractors seem to be missing) is that Far Cry 5's heroic resistance factions are pretty blatantly inspired by the very real Montana-based, 2nd-amendment-obsessed, "You can take my AR-15 with a tac-grip and night-vision scope when you pry it from my cold dead hands" militia groups and doomsday preppers, who the author can tell you from personal experience tend to be racist, anti-semetic conspiracy nuts (he notes at the end that most of his interactions with them come in the form of getting called a kike and having beer cans thrown at him from speeding trucks).
The biggest issue in his eyes - and the eyes of a lot of people, myself included - is that the game seems to deliberately whitewash (and yes, I know how ironic that term is in this context) these groups, presenting them as these diverse, easygoing, freedom-loving everypeople who you should support and sympathize with. And of course from there you can extrapolate a lot, like how Eden's Gate could be seen as more in line with radical left-wing "new age"-type cults than Montana's very real radical right-wing fundamentalist cults, and all sorts of political Unfortunate Implications that the unexpected mid-development election results can't account for.
Edited by Dirtyblue929 on Jan 30th 2019 at 5:43:26 AM
The only acceptable ending of Far Cry 5 is exactly that.
Really don't care if the game pulls a 'BUT THOU MUST' on me. I'll shut off the game. If you're going to drop a bomb on me for shooting and leaving behind a guy that... really should have been left behind, then fuck you and its the better ending. EVERYONE died in nuclear hellfire.
Yeah, the difference between the real world groups and the groups in the game is quite drastic. It would be quite a rude surprise to many who try to talk them in person and expecting them to be like the groups in the game.
To a point, I could believe in groups coming together out of necessity given how the Peggies have been terrorizing the region, but you would expect more internal friction and people being assholes. I like Red Dead Redemptions cast better for that. They are a somewhat diverse group but there is always some form of internal friction amongst the members.
Frankly, I didn't care for that article. White supremacists are things that absolutely need to be called out and exist in large dangerous numbers. I frequently point out their existence in my state and that they have to be fought repeatedly.
However, its argument was basically, "all the people of Montana are white racists and we shouldn't be exalting them." The argument that militias are the heroes of the game is utter bullshit because there's one survivalist (the guy who saves you) and one militia on the good guys side. The vast majority of the game's allies being the regular townsfolk like the Reverend, the bar owner, the deputies/local law enforcement, and the pilot.
Indeed, while it gets dismissed as a cult alone by the article, the Peggies are the very definition of a survivalist doomsday militia. Frankly, one-third of the Peggies are outright fascist Darwinists with the implication of being every bit as racist as you'd expect.
Its argument was essentially, "There were too many minorities in this game and the locals weren't portrayed as sufficiently hostile to them." Which is an argument that is identical to the kind of people who criticize the game it wants to criticize.
Edited by CharlesPhipps on Jan 30th 2019 at 7:05:52 AM
Charles: I really doubt you read that article beyond a casual skim given how much you leave out or seem to have ignored and your whole argument is in bad faith top to bottom. You grossly exaggerated and misrepresented nearly everything in it.
Nowhere do they paint all of Montanna in the manner you describe by any stretch of the imagination. They describe a relatively small region of the state near Idaho. They do quite very accurately describe a region known factually to be rife with exactly as the author claims and surprise surprise its right up against the part of Idaho most well known for neo-nazis and white supremacists in the 90's and early 2000's. I know it is fact because like the author I grew up in the same region just on the other side of the panhandle and in a decade where the militia movement and the assorted white nationalist loons were going hog wild. These weren't secret groups these were out in the open marching in the light of day groups.
They even point out the bulk of the inspiration for Eden's gate is ripped right from the local nutter Christian Identity groups. The author even points out how weird the cult is in that unlike literally nearly every single other cult that is built around Christian Identity affiliated group is missing the painfully obvious marks. The obvious conversation and mentioning of Jesus even wildly out of context. Other things to boot like the missing anti-semitism that is rampant in such groups and the equally odd fact they are atypically multi-ethnic where the real world counterparts pretty much walk hand in hand with white supremacist and neo-nazi groups. They soft balled that one to the point that if you didn't know the nature of the groups they picked from it would be oddly vague at most.
That is the way these nutter groups are in real life. You may not like the facts but the facts are exactly as they describe them. The groups in the game are wildly different from what you find in the region and Montanna is noted as nutter militia country for decades and all the ugly trappings that go with it. Which is what makes the whole game kind of weird to begin with.
The author accurately walks you through step by step and repeatedly points out lots of lost opportunities in Far Cry 5 to make some more meaningful and even story appropriate commentary. They even offer up an array of alternative crazy antagonists that would work in place of the ones we were given.
I'm not disputing that. I'm pointing out the fact that it's depiction fails because Hope County is a fictitious region and they're applying non-relevant information to the region as a whole. It basically fails because while there is a place where that sort of thing is true, it's not this place. Like talking about Ashland, KY in reference to Frankfort.
The author basically shoots themselves in the foot because Ubisoft's cult is not based on the Christian Identity Movement. Jacob Seed's branch of the cult may be based on fascist ideology but the cult draws inspiration from 1960s hippie commune and drug cults every bit as much as it does other inspirations.
The connection to the Branch Davidians is constantly mentioned by the developers but there's no discussion of this in the essay—which is weird. Mind you, the Branch Davidians were 130 members with 45 members being black.
Believe me, I'm surrounded by doomsday cults in my area and they're majority white but there's also multiethnic ones.
The Peggies just happen to be one.
The lack of mentioning Jesus is also a weirdly specific problem given we don't get that much of their doctrine and they are established as a Christian cult. It just puts emphasis on the Father over God.
Edited by CharlesPhipps on Jan 31st 2019 at 1:48:36 AM
Citing that a place isn't an entirely real place and therefor removes the actual place from criticism seems a sidestep. It's set in Montana which has a cultural underlay of baked in racism and anti federal attitudes.
If you set a game within a place known for a certain cultural attitude, aim to exploit the wider societal knowledge of that attitude then subvert it within your creation then it surely does present an issue; just because it's a fictional county doesn't negate that. Citing that a work of fiction that sells itself on controversial attitudes and "fighting a right wing cult" that turns out to be left wing doesn't remove the subject from criticism.
Otherwise any work of fiction which relies on allegory or allusion is thus incapable of criticising its subject or likewise not something you can hold to account for not correctly portraying its subject / presenting a false narrative?
If I set a game in Afghanistan but all the bad guys were tolerant, left leaning British speaking mercenaries and the Taliban had women soldiers leading, I think you could criticise me for misrepresenting the nature of the conflict. Especially if I'd sold my narrative on reflecting the difficult inter-political relations of the region.
TO simplify - if you set something in the real world with a history of racial tension and then play around with that, expect some critique. Does that make it a bad game? Not necessarily; but it doesn't mean you can't highlight the comparisons with the real. And why the game fails to take advantage or misses a great opportunity to explore the actual cultural implications.
Hope county is literally lifted right out of a known region of Montanna and the groups don't just exist in that one little corner in the real world. Again Montanna as a whole is known as one of the biggest centers of militia nuttery in the US and have been for a very long time. Nearly every single group is almost a carbon copy of the other with some regional variation for flavor. That corner mentioned though is extra nasty because the Neo-Nazis and white supremacists were driven out of Idaho by the end of the 90's and they pretty much just crossed the border into Montanna. Though I am willing to bet they have been moving back in, in more recent years.
No, the author does not shoot themselves in the foot. Ubisfot damn near cribbed significant portions of Christian Identity Movement cults and militias and their various affiliates and left out the ugliest parts like rampant racism. Plenty of those nutso Christian groups have no problems using a lot of the exact same techniques used by Eden's gate types including brainwashing, drugs, and stress and abuse manipulation. These groups have an extensive and well-documented track record including some unsurprisingly similar forms of abuse. Actual Hippie communes are a whole other critter but the weirdo cults that rose in the era including Christian variants are pretty much the template for what they would later become.
That and some Christian cults of various flavors and drug use pre-date the hippies by quite a bit. You want to see it get really weird look for the ones that start mixing beliefs like Aum Shinrikyo. That and it so obviously ripped from the headlines of the 90's era cult and Militia movement and even some of the late 70's and 80's groups. Eden's Gate is a massive cribbing of a lot of the crazy Cult and Cult Militia groups of that era including a few that were not as big in the headlines like "The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord".
The Branch Davidians were also the exception to a common thread in membership. The vast majority as even you noted of the groups was their polar opposite in terms of diversity especially if they were in regions like Montanna and neighboring Idaho. You can count the truly multi-cultural variants on one hand in places like Montanna statewide at least if you count three people sitting around a table getting drunk as a group in that vein. The S/W at least has a variety of groups and there seems to be some willing to suck in anyone. Well at least around Waco. There are a still few tiny two-bit groups kicking around including on the Baylor Campus but they aren't going to give much inspiration to the heyday of the cults and millitia movements did.
I don't necessarily disagree with all of this.
I'm just noting that the argument's crux hits areas where their very point is undermined by elements they think support it.
I also am of the opinion that white supremecists thrive on being given air time even in a negative context and it's best to not give them free publicity.
Just my opinion.
You are still deliberately missing their point by a mile. Damn near everyone who has played the game and knows about the militias and knows the general region this is supposed to be in finds its out of step and how Ubisoft softballed a significant amount of their narrative. They were far less shy in previous titles.
No the racist white power and neo-nazi groups are not represented by the Peggies given the Peggies are neither. Which is one of the oddball missteps especially in a region when you shouldn't be able to swing a stick without hitting one. And those groups match the vast majority of the militia examples in the US with few examples breaking the mold. A significant portion of the militant Christian Cults follows a similar pattern, especially where they overlap. In Montanna that is pretty much every single militia and Christian Cult, you could find. If this were in another part of the US it would stand out less and even be believable but it is Montanna a region with well-known traits and demographics in its groups. It's going to get noticed and is pretty obvious.
Yes, actually the Red Shirt army is the militia and the player joins them. That is a direct part of the game. A key factor hinges around the player being turned into a Manchurian Candidate to assassinate the leadership of the militia. Kind of hard to do if you aren't part of it and they have a whole region dedicated as their base of operations along one of the Peggy groups. You also run into them on a regular basis elsewhere. The people not fighting the Peggies not working with the militia are the minority. The game is not shy about mentioning it or letting you know that. You have exactly two large factions one of them is a militia the other the Peggies.
They were not based on Heavens Gate by any stretch. Heaven's Gate was the UFO cult that committed mass suicide and was utterly non-violent and non-militant. I might believe the end game of the Jone's Town cult to a limited extent but not Heavens Gate. Heavens Gate made an almost immediate departure from Christianity into the strange and went pretty far down the rabbit hole. It went so far s to include references to material from Star Trek. Heaven's Gate has more in common with Scientology than they do any other group. The Peggies have nearly anything in common other than being a cult.
The Branch Davidians were also the bunker down type of cult not the move-out and mow em down type. They were not interested in going out and being violent they were fully expecting the evil of the world to find them hunkered down and come after them. The go out and be violent practice would be the hallmarks of groups like The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord (CSA) I mentioned earlier. They were literally preparing to wage war against the US government as part of their doctrine. Said group was also one of the most heavily armed to date and managed to lay hands on belt-fed machine guns and even a heavy machine gun alongside assorted military explosives like C-4. Their members were also committing acts of violence out in the US typically on the small scale one of which finally drew the attention of the FBI.
The Peggies are overtly violent before you even arrive and match far more closely to groups like the CSA whose members did everything from recruitment to training of their adherents in a camp, were training assassins and infiltrators, and sent various trained members out to form cells in other areas. All of those are things done by the Peggies. They were organized into different groups assigned to different tasks just like the Peggies. The Davidians were nowhere as militant or organized as the CSA in that manner. The Feds attention was drawn to the Davidians by claims of weapon stashes and sexual abuse, not external violence. The Peggies have more in common with the CSA in how they actually operate than they do with even the Davidians right down to willing violence. Given that group was literally next door to Montanna and had some members in Montanna proper it is a pretty appreciable stretch to say the Peggies are mostly based off the Davidians when they have a lot more in common with a group next door to the games chosen location. I seriously doubt that the list of amazing similarities is accidental.
White Supremacist don't need airtime to thrive I don't know where you get that idea but history shows something quite different. They work just fine with or without airtime and deliberately making them the bad guys does wonders to take the wind out of their sails and help more of the public cement their image in a negative light. Especially when you can point to actual research done to make your bad guys and noting it comes from the real world. These groups pretty consistently do better when society and especially authority figures are not paying all that much attention to them. Its how they almost always shock everyone with how big and organized they seem to get out of the blue when the reality is they have been quietly building in the background because no one was looking. They even portray the Peggies as getting away with their early campaigns of growth and violence because no one outside of that region is paying attention to them in the game. I doubt that was an accidental plot point either.
Ubisoft deliberately chose a region known for its nutter anti-government groups, Christian wack job cults, anti-government militias, and the equally looney survivalists but left out the nasty racism and soft balled taking all but the most casual of look at the heaping host of issues these groups represent. The closest we get is Hurk's father who is treated more like a local isolated loon than a common occurrence in the region.
The article's author did their homework quite thoroughly and even offered up some really good alternatives that would have still worked quite well in the setting. No one went out of their way to paint all of Montanna as white racists but they did a pretty good job on Ubisoft missing a huge opportunity for commentary and as I noted earlier they have been less shy about it in the past.
Your opinion is still subject to scrutiny when shared and can still be pointed out for having flaws.
I picked this up as it was 75% off. Thought it best to wait. TBH I'm having a good amount of fun; I can see why the arbitrary kidnapping is a pain - I can also see WHY they did it. BUT they could've handled it a lot better. Like the capture teams being avoidable for a period if you are in stealth or them not spawning whilst you're in a base / in conversation.
Bliss bullets are still a cop out.
Also the rapey stuff with your female partner is... creepy. I can see why they did it but still pretty horrific (Considering how good the face animations and graphics are). I get a massive Vaz vibe off of John Seed.
The redeeming factor? CHUCK NIXON. Yes his missions are weird and tonally off. But the song alone redeems all that. I'd play a whole game with that level of bombast and tongue-in-cheekness.
So far the game is fun, but I can see the railroad plot does sit utterly at odds with the vibe of the game. The map design is pretty good though, the way the UI works.
Honestly, if they'd avoided the whole meta plot with the Seeds, you could actually makea solid "mini strategy" game out of these Ubisoft things - Cult has airplanes? Seize their airfields; Bliss troops? Take out the silos and manufacturing places. Want to stop patrols in areas? Capture the outposts.
If Freedom Fighters managed this stuff 10 years ago why can't these huge open world games? It'd certainly make it feel like your attacks had an impact beyond the plot. AND it'd tie in with your own bases - seize an old army base? Suddenly your patrols / forts have .50 cals aplenty. That same airfield? You get friendly air support.
It has some good gameplay to back it up.
Glad to hear I am not the only fan of Freedom Fighters. That was a fun game.
Whilst I love Hitman, I do wish IOI would resurrect that. H Ad some amazing mechanics that seem a no-brainer for open world games. Especially single player ones.
It was a great cover based shooter before cover based shooters kicked in.
I'm enjoying the gunplay in FC 5 - and the abundance of assistance in the allies you have. That is more reminiscent of FC 2, where you'd get rescued by friends which is what they're harking back to.
And LOVING the prepper stashes. They feel more fun. Though I got proper Half Life 2 vibes swinging under the bridge. Also, the haunted house was legitimately creepy.
They did resurrect hitman. It's had two modern games and they're both fantastic. Intensely dense sandboxes.
My phrasing meant to mean: "Whilst I do love hitman I wish they'd resurrect Freedom fighters" - in reference to the prior reply.
I have enjoyed the new Hitman games - a good return to form. But Freedom Fighters was so fun and had some fantastic mechanics that would work amazingly well in Far Cry.
gotcha. Sorry. Bad at parsing. Losing my literacy i think
Nah, think my grammar was also at fault there.
I've almost liberated John Seed's area - well, a few more missions to go but it isn't as horrifically daunting as Far Cry 4 felt at least.
Mainly I'm just playing this as Far Cry New Dawn just looks fun and I'd like context for that game.
Community Showcase More