First Look at Far Cry 4 Protagonist Ajay Ghale

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

First Look at Far Cry 4 Protagonist Ajay Ghale

Ubisoft is taking a different narrative direction with Far Cry 4 from its predecessor, especially in its protagonist.

Ubisoft posted a picture on Twitter last night of its Far Cry 4 protagonist, Ajay Ghale. Seeing as how Far Cry 4 is a first-person game, players will rarely see Ajay, but his appearance is important to the game's story.

Far Cry 4 take place in Kyrat, his home region of the Himalayas. The game's preview trailer from E3 gave us all a good sense of antagonist Pagan Min, a man who has appointed himself a despot of the region, as well as a small, brief look at Ajay in the form of an in-game selfie. Even more interesting is that Pagan Min and Ajay have some history together. Ajay encounters him as he returns to Kyrat to scatter his mother's ashes, and the game will take off from there.

When Ubisoft revealed Far Cry 4 and the game's box art, centering on Pagan Min, people were upset with the framing of the character, placing him on top of a statue and his hand condescendingly on top of the head of a darker-skinned character. Ubisoft later revealed the character in center was not the protagonist.

Pagan Min is a foreigner to Kyrat whereas Ajay's home is in Kyrat, which he left as a child due to civil war. Seeing the character's face should put some worries to rest in light of Far Cry 3's protagonist, Jason Brody, a white American who essentially becomes "the white savior." Far Cry 4's narrative director Mark Thompson is looking to improve the narrative of Far Cry 4 over its predecessor and avoid cultural insensitivity.

Source: Far Cry 4 Twitter

Permalink

Is he...Asain? Holy shit he is. I was not expecting this. I am pleasantly surprised.

Well he's already an improvement over Jason Brody. If there's any character type I can't connect with it's spoilt frat-boys on extreme sports holidays. Yeah, it was interesting to see that sort of character in that environment, but I wouldn't want a repeat of that.

Ubisoft, couldn't you have unveiled this during E3 and quelled some of the "white-dudebro" accusations leveled against you?

Well well the protagonist is Asian. So, who will dare to cry out "racist" after this seeing as many who looked at previous Far Cry 4 poster did the very same thing. Asian protagonist, Asian antagonist, set in Asian. Good news all round to be honest as we have a bit more diversity. Its not much but its growing.

The World Famous:
Ubisoft, couldn't you have unveiled this during E3 and quelled some of the "white-dudebro" accusations leveled against you?

I think this is a good point to bring up Jim's Cloak and Dagger video where he talks for a great deal about companies doing stuff like this.

Holy god it's not a white guy, my sensitive white guy values!
/endsarcasm

Awesome, now maybe all the inane pointless accusations of racism can fade away and we can move forward with our lives.

Paradox SuXcess:
So, who will dare to cry out "racist" after this seeing as many who looked at previous Far Cry 4 poster did the very same thing

Don't worry, they will find a way to call the game and Ubisoft racist.

'You control an Asian guy like he is nothing more than a lowly puppet. How racist of you Ubisoft. HOW VERY RACIST!'

The World Famous:
Ubisoft, couldn't you have unveiled this during E3 and quelled some of the "white-dudebro" accusations leveled against you?

They could have, except that I'd bet that he was originally white (and was intended to stay white), and they quickly made him a different race in order to quell some of the controversy that's been going on since E3.

WHY ISN'T THE CHARACTER FEMALE, THIS IS AN OUTRAGE BLAH BLAH BLAH

INSERT SEXIST OUTCRY HERE WHINE WHINE WHINE

Looks neat, the history between the characters could be interesting aswell. Provided it's not horribly cliched in some way xD

Huh. Good to know. Based on the photo the villain took in the trailer I really thought our main character was going to be basically Jason Brody Mk.2: "Wasn't Far Cry 3 Great?" and the whole game was basically just going to be identical to FC3 in terms of both characters and plot, just in a different location.

Here's hoping hoping Ajay has more than just a slightly different skin tone to set him apart from Jason.

CriticalMiss:

Paradox SuXcess:
So, who will dare to cry out "racist" after this seeing as many who looked at previous Far Cry 4 poster did the very same thing

Don't worry, they will find a way to call the game and Ubisoft racist.

'You control an Asian guy like he is nothing more than a lowly puppet. How racist of you Ubisoft. HOW VERY RACIST!'

Oh don't worry, I'm waiting for it. It's the internet we are talking about here. The train is never late for that station.

WhiteTigerShiro:

The World Famous:
Ubisoft, couldn't you have unveiled this during E3 and quelled some of the "white-dudebro" accusations leveled against you?

They could have, except that I'd bet that he was originally white (and was intended to stay white), and they quickly made him a different race in order to quell some of the controversy that's been going on since E3.

Oh yeah I bet the Asian character from an Asian territory coming back to said location to scatter the ashes of his relative from the same place and then being intercepted by an Asian mentally unstable antagonist with whom he has had history was going to be white the whole fucking time. Did he meet him in a sushi place in the U.S. before (you know, before he took over as a regent ruler because of shitty working conditions), and suddenly happen to meet again? Is he just here to be exercised upon with vengeance for being a shitty customer?

Come on :P Even disregarding the development-side issues with that train of thought, it's just so ludicrous sounding.

EDIT:
Oh right, the topic. I'm guessing Ubisoft didn't reveal his race at E3 because it's a show on a stage. All they showed were trailers or gameplay trailers, and given its first person nature, I doubt they could do a whole lot besides that. Good move on their part to show this after the whole AC:U thing. Must be funny to be at the center of a non-troversy and (probably) having no clue as to why everyone is up in arms.

This almost confirms my theory that Ajay (which is a weird way to spell A.J...) is Min's son.

Calling it now. Just saying.

OT - It's kinda funny that a mug shot for a character from a first person game is a press release...

Imperius:
Wow. So much racism in that last paragraph. So a narrative is improved when you cut out all the white people? Golf clap, OP, Golf Clap.

Not necessarily, but wouldn't you think its odd that a character from a very isolated region in Asia would be inexplicibly white. Its almost like they're changing the character's race solely to placate some people who couldn't sympathize with an asian character, implying that there's something wrong with people who aren't white. Hmmmmmmmmmmm, I wonder why some people would be upset with that.

Granted, I think its entirely done for financial motive, not malicious racism, but that doesn't make it any less offensive. Hell, I'm white myself and the implications that I couldn't sympathize with a protagonist who isn't white, and that they have to white-wash everything or else I would have some sort of aversion to the story, insults my intelligence and my humanity. They're telling me that I'm mentally and/or emotionally incapable of seeing a certain vision of the world that doesn't always involve somebody like myself, which, is, well, bullshit. If 2012 could get me to identity with a black man from Georgia who is a professor and a convicted killer and some coloured quadrilaterals, then I think I can handle not playing a white person when there's no real reason, in terms of realism or narrative relevance, for the person to be white.

I long for the day when the fact that a protagonist is not a White Male is no longer news worthy.

Sadly, we're not there yet.

So, credit where it's due. Thanks Ubi.

Paradox SuXcess:
Well well the protagonist is Asian. So, who will dare to cry out "racist" after this seeing as many who looked at previous Far Cry 4 poster did the very same thing. Asian protagonist, Asian antagonist, set in Asian. Good news all round to be honest as we have a bit more diversity. Its not much but its growing.

Oh, it's begun already. The first I heard of this guy was from a Tumblr post saying the game's still racist because he's light-skinned and stubbled, so he might as well be white. *Sigh* Thankfully very few were jumping aboard that crazy train.

But in other news, hot damn this Ajay guy is really freakin' attractive. Certainly an improvement over Jason "I look like a college douchebag" Brody. Hopefully he's got a personality to match.

Ferisar:
Snip

Considering that the last game was about a white boy being the best warrior on an island filled with with brown people it's hardly a baseless assumption. And I liked Far Cry 3 it's just...the main character being a white man in gaming has pretty much become an unspoken rule. Surely the point of story telling is that the sky is the limit isn't it? Then how come we play it safe so much? And was this information about him scattering his mother's ashes revealed before now? We had very little to go on about who the main character was.

Look, I liked far cry 3, any unfortunate implications come off more as someone with a lot of creative ideas mishandling them rather than genuine hatred, but Far Cry 3 did sorta stay in video games' safe zone and Ubisoft didn't give us much reason to believe that it would go in this direction. Overall a positive move though.

MarsAtlas:

Its almost like they're changing the character's race solely to placate some people who couldn't sympathize with an asian character, implying that there's something wrong with people who aren't white. Hmmmmmmmmmmm, I wonder why some people would be upset with that.

As I said in the comment thread. I don't take issue with Ubisoft's choice to have the protagonist as a central asian character. I'm interested in this title, and want to see if they can pull off the story as well as they did with Farcry 4. The issue I take is with the suggestion that a title is instantly improved when you take white people out of the protagonist position in a game.

It's funny really, I never hear any complaints when those European/American whitebread types are on the receiving end of the gun/knife/bombs/etc.

Isn't that culturally insensitive?

erttheking:

Ferisar:
Snip

Considering that the last game was about a white boy being the best warrior on an island filled with with brown people it's hardly a baseless assumption. And I liked Far Cry 3 it's just...the main character being a white man in gaming has pretty much become an unspoken rule. Surely the point of story telling is that the sky is the limit isn't it? Then how come we play it safe so much? And was this information about him scattering his mother's ashes revealed before now? We had very little to go on about who the main character was.

Look, I liked far cry 3, any unfortunate implications come off more as someone with a lot of creative ideas mishandling them rather than genuine hatred, but Far Cry 3 did sorta stay in video games' safe zone and Ubisoft didn't give us much reason to believe that it would go in this direction. Overall a positive move though.

The main character was shown during the E3 intro video. And he looks just the same as he does now.

NLS:
Snip

Huh, he was? Didn't really watch E3, couldn't be bothered. This is why I tend to keep my mouth shut on some of these subject matters, but I do blurt out something stupid every once in awhile. I have to say though that was rather cool. I'm not gonna lie, I was particularly interesting in Far Cry 4, but this has captured my attention.

Imperius:
Snip

The article didn't say the game was improved by a lack of white characters, it said it was improved by avoiding the "white savior" cliche, which I think we can all agree is a little groan worthy.

Imperius:
The issue I take is with the suggestion that a title is instantly improved when you take white people out of the protagonist position in a game.

Better? I don't see anybody saying its "better" because the character isn't white. I do see a lot of people saying that it could be better because this is a sign that they're not aiming to "play it safe" with the story. As errtheking said in the post right above the post of your's that I'm quoting, its the unspoken rule, and that stories tend to suffer when you play it safe.

It's funny really, I never hear any complaints when those European/American whitebread types are on the receiving end of the gun/knife/bombs/etc.

I do, all the time actually, though usually only from a select few people. It seems that people tend to be more upset when characters are whitewashed then when an enemy happens to be of a certain race, unless there's some sort of implicity racism behind it, like what has popped up quite often in the Call of Duty games, or when its just explicit, like the tribals in Resident Evil 5.

Imperius:
Wow. So much racism in that last paragraph. So a narrative is improved when you cut out all the white people? Golf clap, OP, Golf Clap.

image

It's less "the game had a white guy in it, so the story sucked," and more, "the game fully and unabashedly embodied the centuries-old, time-honored, seriously-the-historical-significance-of-this-storyline-cannot-be-overstated 'white guy stumbles into brown people conflict, becomes the mythical hero of legend that it turns out none of them could, saves them all when they were totally incapable of saving themselves, and that's why we should get involved in as many foreign countries and set up as many empires as possible folks who's with me' trope. Also, on a more personal note, the story fucking sucked."

Nobody, but nobody, is saying changing a protagonist's race regardless of any other context or consideration improves a story. That's an absurd claim. But it's promising to see Ubisoft's crack team of storytellers discover they had the fucking option.

Don't get me wrong, I'm pretty sure FarCry 4's narrative is going to be terrible. But given all the context of the conflict and scenario they're portraying--and ONLY given that context--yeah, I think a non-native white guy would be inappropriate. Some dude on vacation is not going to have the same stakes as a guy from the region, which I am assuming this guy is.

Does this mean that another random non-white ethnicity would be equally odd and probably unsuited? Well. Yeah, probably. Although if they made him, like, a black guy, at least we'd have some faith they made that uncharacteristic move for a reason besides "it's the default," and pay attention to see what it was.

Imperius:

MarsAtlas:

Its almost like they're changing the character's race solely to placate some people who couldn't sympathize with an asian character, implying that there's something wrong with people who aren't white. Hmmmmmmmmmmm, I wonder why some people would be upset with that.

As I said in the comment thread. I don't take issue with Ubisoft's choice to have the protagonist as a central asian character. I'm interested in this title, and want to see if they can pull off the story as well as they did with Farcry 4. The issue I take is with the suggestion that a title is instantly improved when you take white people out of the protagonist position in a game.

It's funny really, I never hear any complaints when those European/American whitebread types are on the receiving end of the gun/knife/bombs/etc.

Isn't that culturally insensitive?

No suggestion of the sort was made. The apt casting of an asian protagonist creates a narrative consistency given that the character is from the actual place, not a hapless American who happens to save everyone because he's magically superior. I think you're missing the allusion here :P

I must say, I am highly offended by this choice of protagonist.

This is clearly a highly stylized and idealized version of an Asian, perpetuating the "Model Minority" stereotype. Furthermore, since this game was written by white people, this is a problematic example of cultural appropriation.

And that's not even going into the fact of how age-ist it is to have him be young.

roseofbattle:

Seeing the character's face should put some worries to rest in light of Far Cry 3's protagonist, Jason Brody, a white American who essentially becomes "the white savior." Far Cry 4's narrative director Mark Thompson is looking to improve the narrative of Far Cry 4 over its predecessor and avoid cultural insensitivity.

It seems to me that the writer is suggesting that having a white person as the protagonist degenerates the quality of the story. At best, the paragraph is poorly worded, and at worst, is racist towards white people.

By the way, Jason ended up fighting white mercs on the Rook islands as well, so wouldn't that cancel out that cultural insensitivity?

And for the most part, video games are designed to make you the player feel larger-than-life or otherwise superior in skills or courage than the npc's around you. Since you adopt the role of Jason Brody, it is not unnatural to assume you will be "the chosen one" in the game.

Same in Farcry 4. I except Ajay to end up being as equally competent.

I mean, its cool we're not a white person for once...but I heard his voice and i'm pretty sure he's from the U.S, or at the very least, Canada. He is still going to have the personality that is going to be similar to Jason Brody, just probably less frat-boyish. The fact that he is of Asian descent is completely superficial.

Imperius:

roseofbattle:

Seeing the character's face should put some worries to rest in light of Far Cry 3's protagonist, Jason Brody, a white American who essentially becomes "the white savior." Far Cry 4's narrative director Mark Thompson is looking to improve the narrative of Far Cry 4 over its predecessor and avoid cultural insensitivity.

It seems to me that the writer is suggesting that having a white person as the protagonist degenerates the quality of the story. At best, the paragraph is poorly worded, and at worst, is racist towards white people.

By the way, Jason ended up fighting white mercs on the Rook islands as well, so wouldn't that cancel out that cultural insensitivity?

And for the most part, video games are designed to make you the player feel larger-than-life or otherwise superior in skills or courage than the npc's around you. Since you adopt the role of Jason Brody, it is not unnatural to assume you will be "the chosen one" in the game.

Same in Farcry 4. I except Ajay to end up being as equally competent.

That's the thing. You're giving the focal point of the story to a white male protagonist, how he got there is irrelevant from that point. If it was written in a book from his perspective, the complaint is the same: it's a hilariously stereotypical (and kind of ancient) trope. Why is Jason Brody, (borderline anagram for frat boy nicknaming; doubly so given his background) suspended into onto an island with almost no prior experience and given mysticism via its natives, BETTER at it than literally -everyone else-. Being the focal point doesn't excuse using really crappy narrative choices. No one's doubting their capability: it's the PC, they're going to be capable because they control the progression of the story. How that impacts said story is a whole other matter.

And no, it isn't an insult toward white people, it's a jab at the status quo of our current-day triple-A industry state. We're already swimming in white male protagonists, the last thing we need are white male protagonists who perpetuate, even if not outright racism, an extremely dated race-related idea. Intention obviously plays a part in this, and I sincerely doubt the guys at Ubi just sat down and decided "let's make racism!", but it needed to receive some criticism. They're obviously set on making games in exotic regions of the world, and they need to account as to how the characters they create work within them.

freakonaleash:
I mean, its cool we're not a white person for once...but I heard his voice and i'm pretty sure he's from the U.S, or at the very least, Canada. He is still going to have the personality that is going to be similar to Jason Brody, just probably less frat-boyish. The fact that he is of Asian descent is completely superficial.

considering the article states that he lived in the region in which the game takes place and moved because of civil war, I doubt it's going to be that superficial.

freakonaleash:
I mean, its cool we're not a white person for once...but I heard his voice and i'm pretty sure he's from the U.S, or at the very least, Canada. He is still going to have the personality that is going to be similar to Jason Brody, just probably less frat-boyish. The fact that he is of Asian descent is completely superficial.

Um, the article itself says that his home region is in the Himalayas, which is where the game takes place.

As an Asian-American, I'm pretty happy to play a game with an Asian-American protagonist. (The intro to game shows him with an American passport so even though he was born in Kyrat he was probably raised in the United States)

Although if his voice actor is white, I'm sure there'll inevitably be an article bitching about it.

freakonaleash:
I mean, its cool we're not a white person for once...but I heard his voice and i'm pretty sure he's from the U.S, or at the very least, Canada. He is still going to have the personality that is going to be similar to Jason Brody, just probably less frat-boyish. The fact that he is of Asian descent is completely superficial.

And race as we all know, is more than just superficial.

No but I get what you´re saying. It´s fun that we´re playing as someone else than well built european dude for once, even if it is just so we can play as attractive asian dude but the focus on diversity should be on more than just superficial qualities so we don´t just end up as playing as the dudebro rainbow.

He's actually pretty cool looking, and his backstory is interesting. Good stuff.

"Hey katie, I'm going to steal names from your bad twilight fanfiction. Say nothing if you're cool with that."

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here