The Far Cry series is one that has changed quite a bit from game to game. However, a few things remain constant: a near-criminally insane villain, a large open world to play around in, and having to survive against enemies and wildlife from that region. Far Cry 6 introduces us to a new villain in a new location, however, does it do enough to keep the experience fresh?
Far Cry 6 takes place in the fictional country of Yara, which lies in the heart of the Caribbean. A dictatorship, the country is ruled by a megalomaniac president by the name of Antón Castillo, who believes that he is restoring his home to its former glory and doesn’t care who gets hurt in the process. You play as Dani Rojas, a military dropout who wants to escape Yara and start anew in Miami. However, after an unfortunate run-in with Antón, of which they are the sole survivor, their plans change and Dani allies with the local resistance group, Libertad, which aims to put an end to Castillo’s regime.
In terms of story, Far Cry 6 changes up the Far Cry formula a bit, where your fight against Castillo feels like a real war instead of you just being a one-person army on your way to victory. Although yes, you are still a wrecking ball, your actions have consequences with some shocking losses at times, which is refreshing and helps further immerse you in the narrative.
Giancarlo Esposito is fantastic as the enigmatic villain, Anton Castillo (duh, he’s Giancarlo Esposito). Unlike previous games, where your interactions with the main villains were spread out and specific to you, here we actually get to see more of him outside just player interactions and missions. As you play, you get to see how cruel, cold, and manipulative he really is, especially as teaches his son, Diego, some very peculiar life lessons.
It’s also great that Far Cry 6 features a distinct protagonist in Dani Rojas since it’s not just a nameless protagonist like its predecessor. Dani has personality and we get to see this thanks cutscenes taking place from a third-person perspective; the first game to do this since the original Far Cry. Dani is also fully voiced, which really aids the storytelling experience.
Ubisoft Toronto has done a great job in fleshing out the world of Yara. As you play, you’ll learn about the past, present, and even get a glimpse of its future through missions and documents you’ll find throughout the island, and it’s a fascinating tale showing a decades-long fight for freedom and equality, and one that should leave you wondering if your actions will ultimately be for naught.
Far Cry 6’s gameplay is mostly the same as the last few games, but the game has taken a new route when it comes to skills. You no longer earn skill points, instead, some skills like various takedowns and such are inherent to your character, while other niche skills are tied to gear, which you’ll find all over the island doing various activities. Thankfully, you can change the look of your gear for free, meaning you can have whatever you have equipped looked like whatever other piece of gear you’ve already unlocked, so you don’t have to run around in a mismatched fashion nightmare.
Your mission to topple Castillo is a grim and dark one, but the game also has a large selection of side activities to distract you from all that. From simple things like taking over checkpoints and bases to indulging in nature by fishing, hunting, and racing, to really fun side missions involving the series’ signature cast of colourful characters, and even more fun: the treasure hunts.
These side missions range from the usual thing like go here and blow that up, to the more ridiculous, like taking down a farm filled with Teenage Mutant Angry Roided Up Fighting Cocks. I’m not even kidding. Even the treasure hunts are mini-stories, with a lot of creative platforming and puzzle-solving needed to overcome them, and although it might seem tedious on paper, these are really fun and super satisfying to finally figure out.
You play as a Guerrilla fighter in the game, and it shows in the equipment you’ll use. Although yes, you can get the usual slick weapons, you’ll find that weapons, armour, and even your rides are makeshift, like rifles using milk cartons for silencers, or cars using street signs as a battering ram grill. It’s a stark contrast to the high-tech armour and weapons Castillo’s army uses, and it helps in defining the “us versus them” theme of the game.
With the resistance, you’re never truly alone on your mission. Throughout the game, you’ll have a selection of Amigos to take with you on your adventure, such as Guapo the crocodile, Chorizo the Dachshund or Chicharron the punk rooster. Each Amigo is suited to either combat or stealth and is able to unlock additional perks by completing certain activities. More of them can also be unlocked as you progress through Yara and it’s always exciting to see what each Amigo is capable of.
There’s also a settlement management aspect in the game where you’re able to set up and improve your bases. Sending resistance members on missions, trading animal parts from your hunts or even eat meals to provide you with buffs. It’s nothing too in-depth, but it gives you a little more control over the facilities at your base of operations.
Far Cry 6 is arguably the loudest of the franchise in terms of gunplay because you get some pretty fun and devastating DIY weapons called Supremos and Resolvers. Supremos are backpacks with unique abilities, like firing a missile barrage, unleashing a ring of hot, fiery death, to even healing you and giving you the chance to self-revive. There are other more powerful versions I won’t spoil, but although these don’t radically change the game, they give you a fun new way of playing and can come in handy in a pinch.
Resolver weapons are fun DIY guns with various effects. Some are simple, shooting harpoons or nails, while others border on insane, like a DIY gatling gun, or one that fires tank-busting EMP blasts. There are even some funny ones like a gun that fires CDs, playing songs like Macarena when you aim it. And while these also don’t really make a massive difference, they’re incredibly fun to use.
These weapons are where a minor issue comes in though: this game, like others, rewards stealth, however, this time around you have this incredible arsenal of extremely cool, violent, explosive weapons you’re discouraged from using in the most densely enemy populated areas if you want all the bonuses you’d get with taking an outpost or base silently. Arguably, there’s nothing stopping you from going guns blazing on a base, but you’ll lose out on resources you could use to upgrade your own bases and weapons if you do.
Returning to Far Cry 6 is co-op. Almost the entire game can be played online with a friend, which is the best way to play it. Additionally, there are also special operations available which task you with stealing volatile chemicals from Anton Castillo. It’s incredibly fun and the final stand at the end of a mission is exciting.
In terms of the visuals and audio in Far Cry 6, the game shines. Yara is absolutely beautiful and a pleasure to explore, from the mountains and marshes to the beaches and countryside. It’s fantastic in 4K and ran really well without any performance issues. The voice acting is also superb and truly aids the storytelling. A little thing that I really liked is that sometimes when you’re driving, Dani will start singing along to the song that’s playing, which made the character feel slightly more authentic.
Far Cry 6 is fantastic. While it does deliver on an experience that will feel familiar, it does enough to set itself apart from previous games in the series. The storytelling is better and shines a bigger spotlight on Anton outside of his interaction with Dani or Libertad. The gameplay also feels larger thanks to varied missions and weapons that are just downright insane. It does feel a bit weird to be punished for using them to capture checkpoints and bases though. The game looks and sounds great though and experiencing all of what the game has to offer is a pleasure. Far Cry 6 is a fantastic new addition to the series and is sure to be a treat for fans and newcomers alike.
Far Cry 6 was reviewed on the PlayStation platform
You can also purchase Far Cry 6 on PC and Xbox
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