Long before there was Rainbow Six: Siege, there was a story-driven Rainbow Six game in the works that would see your group of operatives combating homegrown terrorism on United States soil. Several things have changed for the now multiplayer-centric Siege and yet some things still remain the same- the urban environments and methods of engagement are very similar to what was proposed at times during the development. However, this particular post isn’t to talk about Siege coming from the ashes of Patriots but rather the interesting similarities that can be drawn between two completely different franchises.
Far Cry 5 is technically not the fifth game in the series but canonically it is being hailed as the fifth such installment chronologically speaking. In fact, it is in many ways as much of a departure for the series as Primal or Blood Dragon have been. Instead of being in a fictional country or taking place on a distant and possibly irrelevant island, it takes place in the American midwest. What some people would deign to call ‘God’s Country.’ Ironic, considering the majority of enemies you will find yourself facing seem to be god-fearing, sinner-hating cultists out for your blood. But the most intriguing thing to me is that there are several similarities between the breed of homegrown terrorism shown off in what would’ve been Patriots and the cultist lifestyle and aspect of Far Cry 5.
Far Cry is no stranger to craziness nor crazy people- look no further than the first game features mutants, the third several insane mercenaries, and the fourth a tyrannical and questionably challenged dictator. So it seems only fair that the next step in the process of embracing such insanity and gameplay be to up the ante and throw an entire cult your way. What strikes me as more interesting even than the real-world setting and the interesting questions risen by having such a depiction of American society or lack thereof is the fact that these cultists aren’t just crazy or dogmatic followers but also a different breed of terrorism. They may not necessarily be blowing things up or sacrificing themselves for the sake of zealotry alone but I can’t quite shake the feeling that they wouldn’t if given the chance, or should they expand on a greater scale.
What interests me pertaining to this connection between Patriots and Far Cry 5 is the fact that terrorism is such a terrifying and unique ideology to explore especially as far as games are concerned. We’ve gotten some glimpses of it before in games such as Call of Duty or Red Faction and even Watch Dogs, yet we’ve never really had it so uniquely broken down or vividly shown up close as the newest Far Cry seeks to do. A lot of what I’ve seen so far reminds me of Vaas and his not so charming yet unpredictable cunning and actions. Video gaming is a pretty expressive medium when it comes to being able to both tell/show and allow a player to experience firsthand a situation or story through someone or something else. We can put ourselves in situations both realistic and out of this world without actively harming our minds or bodies and can also see things that portray hyper-realistic scenarios or made-up ideas.
Being able to look through the eyes of an operative on the hunt of the murderous and calamitous cult that rocks Far Cry 5’s Montana should be an intriguing experience and certainly one of the most interesting thus far in Far Cry’s undeniably original characters and plots. To some degree there hasn’t been too much to add in both Far Cry 4 and now perhaps even arguably in Far Cry 5 since the base experience of the excellently balanced and well-thought out Far Cry 3, and yet for all of that the narrative and gameplay has progressed so far and been only enjoyable along the way. Far Cry 5 might be the most excited I’ve been for a game in the series in some time and I do think it will fare really well but also more importantly be a word to the wise of the terrors of evils out there in the world that are merely the other side of a coin such as religion, emotion, and ideology. When taken to such extremes as zealotry or immense ambition, some people alone can watch the world burn.
Patriots was an interesting concept and a sort of push for modernizing the Rainbow Six franchise a little bit more but I like the same application being put towards Far Cry’s formula. The core savage experience is there and the gritty action and tense stalking of your prey and yet there is also this refreshingly believable setting that isn’t in some distant Nepalese fortress or on some pirate infested island or another. In going mundane Ubisoft may actually be choreographing the greatest leaps and bounds the series has survived to date and I’m interested to see where that takes us from a story standpoint especially. Terrorism is undeniably a terrible concept and yet it is effective and has been so for hundreds of years- from guerrilla warfare in uprisings and rebellions to propaganda campaigns to keep a crown. Understanding it a bit better through the eyes of soldiers combating it in a pseudo-American setting should be an interesting task for Ubisoft in their storytelling and design.
This has been a little bit shorter than some of my typical posts and yet it was a thought I spontaneously had and figured I’d best share with you all. If you have your own comments or questions about such things as the games mentioned in this post or the real-world issues brought about by speaking on them, feel more than free to drop comments. Cheers.