Far Cry 5 is set in present-day Montana. That’s a first for the series, which has until now been set in quote-unquote “exotic” locales like Nepal, the Pacific Islands, and central Africa, or time periods like the dawn of humankind or the dystopian future. As a result, Far Cry 5 is also the first game in the franchise where the villains are American - a distinction whose weird controversy reveals the racism tainting many parts of gaming culture.
Yes, alt-right types got up in arms (probably literally, given these people’s predilections) over Far Cry 5’s religious-cult villains. Shooting brown people in various jungles and forests is one thing, they say, but white folks? In America? Come now, you can’t be serious. For its part, Ubisoft has mostly stuck by its guns, pointing out that these are fictitious characters - and not very pleasant ones, at that. The game looks super interesting, and accidentally timely as hell to boot.
Ubisoft announced the game’s three DLC packs today, however, and they seem to represent an unwitting concession to American gamers comfortable with shooting anything as long as it doesn’t resemble themselves.
Two of the packs are straight-up fantasy, echoing the Blood Dragon spinoff to Far Cry 3. “Dead Living Zombies” pits players against the undead in “multiple B-movie scenarios,” while “Lost On Mars” has players fighting spiders from Mars, in what is surely the most unexpected Bowie reference in gaming. The third DLC pack, however, “Hours of Darkness,” will see players “travel back in time to Vietnam to battle against Viet Cong soldiers.” And if that wasn’t enough, the Far Cry 5 Season Pass will also include a current-gen version of Far Cry 3 in its entirety.
It’s unclear whether that’s a case of literal time travel or it’s simply Far Cry in Vietnam, but either way, racist gamers can rest assured they’ll get a chance to kill some foreigners after all. Without the Vietnam pack, this announcement would just be another zombie/alien expansion to another game that has nothing to do with zombies or aliens. But Ubisoft will have to do something really out of the ordinary to make a “battle against Viet Cong soldiers” taste like anything but Agent Orange-tinged ash in many mouths.
Far Cry 5 launches March 27th on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.