Far Cry 6: Without arcade mode and map editor - Ubisoft breaks with tradition

Far Cry 6: Without arcade mode and map editor - Ubisoft breaks with tradition

Far Cry 6

A current question and answer session on Reddit brings new information about Far Cry 6 to the light of the game world. As can be seen from the AMA, the new first person shooter comes without an arcade mode. Therefore, neither a map editor nor tools for creating your own missions are included in Far Cry 6. Ubisoft breaks with a tradition: Since Far Cry 2, all of the main games in the series have been provided with such features - even on consoles. "No, Arcade is not coming back," commented Game Director Alexandre Letendre.

"It was a difficult decision to remove this mode from our plans," the developer continues, adding that it will ultimately do more Can invest time in the campaign. It remains to be seen whether Arcade for Far Cry 6 (buy now € 59.99) is completely off the table or the features will be submitted at a later date. As usual, we will keep you up to date on our website. In our news area you won't miss any news about the upcoming first-person shooter.

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We shouldn’t need Ubisoft to tell us that ‘Far Cry 6’ is political

a person holding a plant in front of a palm tree © The Washington Post illustration; Ubisoft, iStock

On Monday, Navid Khavari, narrative director on the Ubisoft title “Far Cry 6,” shared a statement about the game that began simply: “Our story is political.”

Khavari’s statement came after a weekend of jokes at his and “Far Cry 6” publisher Ubisoft’s expense. In a Friday interview, Khavari said that “our game doesn’t want to make a political statement about what’s happening in Cuba specifically,” referring to research the team had conducted speaking with guerrilla fighters. But many read that quote in light of Ubisoft’s history of making overtures to complicated themes in promotional materials, only to balk at the implication that their games took political stances.

Khavari cut straight to the point in his own post.

“A story about a modern revolution must be [political],” Khavari’s statement read. “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. … But if anyone is seeking a simplified, binary political statement specifically on the current political climate in Cuba, they won’t find it.”

a tall building in a city: "Far Cry 6" deals with the political climate of Yara, a fictional island in the Caribbean. 'Far Cry 6' deals with the political climate of Yara, a fictional island in the Caribbean.

The trouble with conversations about politics in games, I think, comes down to competing definitions of the term “politics.” The people tasked with marketing games seem to view politics in terms of proper nouns: A real country; Politicians employed by that country; The United States Capitol; A specific, controversial piece of legislation.

Writers and audiences on social media, however, tend to think of politics differently. “Politics” is a historical force that concerns how people live. It can flow from the aforementioned proper nouns, but it often has to do with decisions, systems and trends that are harder to name or grasp.

Let’s take Ubisoft’s “The Division 2,” which puts the player in control of an armed government agent tasked with restoring order in a post-pandemic Washington D.C., as an example. It may have been strictly true, in Ubisoft’s view, that the game was not political. The game, though set in a near 1:1 version of D.C., doesn’t name specific political figures. The game’s script has little to say about the political questions of the day. As a player, your primary concern is virtual pest control — shooing enemies away from famous landmarks.

To players and critics, however, the game was brimming with politics. Criticism is about excavating meaning. Games are limited simulations. They can’t possibly simulate every detail to bring you fully into a world. (Here’s a very basic example: when you reach an invisible wall in a game, but there’s more stuff rendered beyond that wall, the game is saying “there is in fact a world out there, even if we can’t let you in.”) People who play games are always reading a world that cannot fully reveal itself. That’s where a game’s “politics” come out.

a group of people wearing military uniforms: “The Division 2,” puts the player in control of an armed government agent tasked with restoring order in a post-pandemic Washington D.C. “The Division 2,” puts the player in control of an armed government agent tasked with restoring order in a post-pandemic Washington D.C.

Let’s return to “The Division 2,” an example that is near and dear to me. The game creates a close replica of Washington D.C.'s Federal core — the National Mall, the White House, the Capitol complex and so on. Most of the game’s action takes place there, as resistance groups made of D.C. citizens set up camp in famous buildings in the city’s downtown.

Because of the nature of Federal work — with administrations changing every 4 to 8 years — a good percentage of D.C.'s population is transitory. Most of the people who work in the Federal core are temporary residents, who filter in and out based on who is in power at the time. The fact that the non-player characters of “The Division 2” are so preoccupied with the downtown area and protecting the Federal code doesn’t actually make sense. D.C. residents mostly don’t live there.

When I think about the politics of “The Division 2,” I think about the fact that it values symbols — the Washington Monument, the White House, etc. — over people. The game’s conception of what is worth fighting for is skewed. That can’t be pinned to a proper noun. But the choice of whether an armed government agent protects the Washington Monument or Wards 7 and 8 is a political one.

Criticism isn’t an accusation. What I’ve written above about “The Division 2” is a personal observation — and you’re welcome to take it or leave it. But ultimately, there’s little reason to focus on a developer’s statement about politics.

Every time a Ubisoft game comes out, some smart critic writes a long review about what the game’s politics really are. Moreover, games aren’t made by one person. Teams and individuals at a range of levels are deputized to make choices that can change how a game is read in numerous little ways. One person may be briefed on how a game should be marketed. But the politics of a game come out after release — not before.

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