In a turn out for the books, Far Cry 6 narrative director Navid Khavari has issued a statement stating that yes, Far Cry 6’s story is political. It follows a backlash to a quote he gave that seemingly dodged the political question, taken from interviews surrounding the Far Cry 6 gameplay reveal last week.
Our story is political.
A story about a modern revolution must be. There are hard, relevant discussions in Far Cry 6 about the conditions that lead to the rise of fascism in a nation, the costs of imperialism, forced labor, the need for free-and-fair elections, LGBTQ+ rights, and more within the context of Yara, a fictional island in the Caribbean. My goal was to empower our team to be fearless in the story we were telling, and we worked incredibly hard to do this over the last five years. We also tried to be very careful about how we approached our inspirations, which include Cuba, but also other countries around the world that have experienced political revolutions in their histories. […]
What players will find is a story that’s point-of-view attempts to capture the political complexity of a modern, present-day revolution within a fictional context. We have attempted to tell a story with action, adventure, and heart, but that also isn’t afraid to ask hard questions. Far Cry is a brand that in its DNA seeks to have mature, complex themes balanced with levity and humor. One doesn’t exist without the other, and we have attempted to achieve this balance with care. My only hope is that we are willing to let the story speak for itself first before forming hard opinions on its political reflections.
It was Khavari himself that put his foot in it last week when he suggested to TheGamer that Far Cry 6 was not trying to make a political statement, in particular through the heavy inspirations that it takes from the real world Cuba for its fictional island nation of Yara.
At the time, he said: “We realised it’s a complicated island and our game doesn’t want to make a political statement about what’s happening in Cuba specifically. Beyond that, we’re drawing inspiration from guerrilla movements around the world and throughout history.”
Clarity is important in such matters, and the general feeling was that this quote was trying to pull a familiar big publisher stunt to avoid admitting that a indelibly political game can have a political implication or message. Ubisoft itself has tried (and failed) to say that The Division 2 is not political, that Far Cry 5’s depiction of the American Midwest had nothing to say about the polarisation of American culture, and on and on.
It’s good to see that Ubisoft are finally prepared to admit that their stories can make a case for certain political positions, can be infused with its creators’ personal politics and opinions on the world. Yara is a fictionalised revolution that most heavily draws upon Cuba for its look and feel, but it can also use this as part of a broader collage of inspirations from around the world.