Depending on your history with Far Cry, the newest iteration in the long-running series can prove to send you on a roller-coaster of mixed emotions. On the one hand, it’s Far Cry at it’s best and most explosive. On the other hand, it’s Far Cry at it’s best and most explosive. How you interpret that will determine how much enjoyment you will get out of Far Cry 6.
Since Far Cry 3 back in 2012, the series has more or less released an entry every 2 years, and every 2 years brings with it minimal change; climb towers to unfog the map, charismatic villain to fight and kill, outposts to take over, etc. The series is the pinnacle of the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality, except that with Far Cry 6, the cracks are about to burst at the seams. The newest entry has all of the standard series’ fare almost to a T, and my first few hours with the game proved to be quite the slog. As the various Far Cry-isms were thrown in my face, like taking over certain parts of the map and taking down outpost-type arenas, I found myself rolling my eyes and thinking “Why do I put myself through this every time?” The answer is: because I am always wrong. Almost without fail, a new Far Cry entry comes out, I don’t give it enough time to simmer and am quickly bored with it, and then out of nowhere I am sucked into the characters and story.
This time around the player takes control of Dani Rojas (either male or female), and are given the unenviable task of igniting and directing a revolution. The fake country of Yara is meant to resemble Cuba, and does so, with sweeping vistas, and gorgeous mountain views overlooking vast swathes of ocean. Far Cry 6 is one of, if not the, most beautiful game Ubisoft has ever made, and while their facial animations have yet to impress me, their work on environments are top class. Running in a sublime 4k, 60 fps on PS5, Yara comes alive with lighting and texture work that made me stop and take in my surroundings more than once, even while on the verge of death. There were dips in frames from time to time, but considering how explosive the environments can get, it is still impressive nonetheless. Also, Ubisoft made a strange decision to leave the cutscenes in 30 fps creating a jarring transition between cutscene and gameplay that it was difficult to shake myself out of. I imagine this was maybe because of last-gen consoles, but regardless, that is something I hope is remedied in the future.
Leading a revolucion requires heavy firepower and Far Cry 6 has it in spades, with new Resolver weapons that the player essentially finds in chests all over Yara and which are outfitted with perks that you are unable to change at a workbench. Workbenches allow players to fine tune average weapons with perks and attachments and while I tinkered around with these, it was mostly to add suppressors to my weapons that weren’t Resolver guns because, yes, the best way to take down outposts is still to go in stealthy and try to come out stealthy. When I had to go in hot however, my Resolver weapons were the way to go as they were usually the more powerful option.
Dani meets Libertad guerrilla fighter Juan Cortez early on, and it is with him that you will acquire the game’s best new feature: The Supremos. Essentially a super attack that is on a cooldown, Dani can pick from a handful of these supers (provided he/she has the necessary materials to craft them); these range from huge EMP blasts that fry machinery and send foes on their backs, to my personal favourite, one that fire rockets from your back and locks in on enemies. I found myself mysteriously without an RPG the entire game, so these were my best option for taking down helicopters, and *chef’s kiss* they worked like a charm.
The story of newly-minted guerilla fighter Dani Rojas joining the Libertad cause to take down fascist dictator Anton Castillo (played by the always wonderful and fierce Giancarlo Esposito), at first didn’t hit me as hard as I thought. As I warmed up to the story and got connected to certain characters, I was slowly drawn in, more than I have ever been in a Far Cry game up until this point. The aforementioned cutscenes also helped, as they take the players out of the first-person perspective to give a better point of view not just on the characters but on Dani him/herself. With missions that hit hard and fast, and an explosive finale, Far Cry’s story never really gives the chance to breathe, which can be to it’s detriment at times, though I suppose that’s what the car drives to objectives are for.
That being said, while I encountered few bugs and glitches in the open-world compared to past Ubisoft games—which is an achievement in and of itself—the constant harrassment by side-of-the-road objectives and armored vehicles passing by while trying to escape or head to the next objective needs to be re-worked as it is just as annoying here as it has ever been. In fact, while I actually had a great time getting lost in the Far Cry formula in 6, it is a formula that has far outstayed its welcome. I would love to see the series get the Assassin’s Creed treatment, and return to the oven for a few years to come back and surprise us all, as I believe the series is in desperate need of reinvention.
As mentioned previously, your mileage with the Far Cry series as a whole will inform your feelings on the sixth game. While the formula proves to still provide hours of entertaining gunplay, adventure, and giant map unfogging, the motions have grown more than stale and prove that Ubisoft can’t sustain this type of gameplay for much longer. However, Ubisoft has created what is, in my opinion, the best Far Cry experience to date, and made it a point to put more focus on the characters and narrative. While the side missions are plentiful, they don’t get in the way of the main story and if that was the biggest accomplishment Ubisoft made here, then I would consider Far Cry 6 a win for them and the series. If you consider the Far Cry formula to be your comfort food, or have no self control like me and must see each entry through to the bitter end, Far Cry 6 is the way to go. Here’s hoping next time the series receives its own revolucion.