Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X (Reviewed), Xbox One, PC
Release Date: October 7, 2021
Price: $59.99 USD – Available Here $99.95 AUD – Available Here
Of the many series that Ubisoft handles, Far Cry has often had the biggest swings in focus throughout the years. Mainline entries have seen players tackle military leaders, drug lords, cult leaders, and more while the series’ spin-offs have taken us back to the stone-age and the cybernetic neon filled future. Throughout all of these entries the titles have always tried to strike a balance between survival and chaotic fun to various degrees of success. Now with Far Cry 6, Ubisoft has once again taken a slightly different approach to telling the player’s story against a dictator’s regime. The question is, have these various adjustments been for the better?
This time around players will find themselves in Yara, a tropical paradise that has found itself caught in endless turmoil as its current dictator, President Anton Castillo now rules the islands with an iron fist. Castillo wishes to see Yara reach its former glory and has discovered a way to do such a thing, a miracle drug for treating cancer by the name of Viviro grown from modified tobacco plants. Although this may seem like something great for humanity, it is the exact opposite for the people of Yara as the production of Viviro is near deadly for those growing it and Castillo has enforced a strict military draft on any able bodied people or face enslavement and most likely, death through incredibly torturous means.
Players take on the role of Dani Rojas (who can be either male or female at the player’s choosing) who is an orphan that is looking to escape to America on the next boat out of Yara to avoid being drafted into the military. Upon a chaotic opening that results in horrific events unfolding right before her eyes, Dani chooses to step onto the path of revolution and join the Libertard guerilla movement.
The horrible nature of what is happening in Yara is visible almost everywhere the player looks when traveling through what should be a picturesque island, be it a zoo where dissodents are tortured and fed to the animals, a metal smithing plant where writhing bodies are entombed in molten steel, and more. Far Cry 6 isn’t afraid to show players the horrors that Castillo has visited upon his people in his quest for a “True Yara” and while these environmental clues alone are disturbing, there are plenty of other side-quests and main elements that explore these elements even further, perhaps the furthest the series has gone so far.
Though the themes presented in Far Cry 6 are incredibly dark, that doesn’t mean that the game isn’t afraid to let players have fun and enjoy some ridiculous moments from time to time with Yaran stories and side-quests featuring plenty of humorous moments. There are still a number of more mystical elements scattered throughout Yara as well though they do appear in a far smaller number than anything found in recent entries. The aforementioned levity is helped by the fact that Far Cry 6’s cast of characters is far stronger than what many have come to expect from the series as it’s charismatic villain isn’t the only strength it has going for it.
Instead Far Cry 6 now features a great cast of colorful allies that will help Dani in her fight to free Yara. These range from the eccentric Legends of ’67, the risk taking Maximas Mantanzas, vengeful Monteros, and more. These characters often join Dani in direct story missions and have far more dialogue than most other allies and it also helps that Dani herself is actually treated like a proper character this time around. Gone is the silent protagonist or simplistic hero, instead Dani now has a character path of their own that develops throughout the game and the story is all the better for it. That isn’t to say that Giancarlo Esposito’s portrayal of President Anton Castillo is bad by any means, in fact bringing in such a talented actor to handle the villain this time around has made the character’s unfortunately rather small appearances still feel incredibly impactful as a result.
It is worth noting that although there are some twists here and there, most of the actual plot developments for Far Cry 6 are a bit predictable so the story relies heavily on its setting and characters and thankfully still holds up incredibly well, despite the fact that things don’t wrap up quite as well as one may hope considering what is being tackled here which may leave players a bit disappointed even as they continue to clean up side missions and the countless other side activities that are scattered throughout Yara.
As usual with a Far Cry title, Far Cry 6 gives players a small, at least relative to the whole map, starting area that serves as a tutorial for the game’s many open world activities and a slow introduction to the various combat mechanics. Once players complete the story missions limiting them to this island nearly every element of the world opens up to them with three main missions designating the various camps of rebel guerillas that players will be able to meet up with at any time and take on various missions from. Exploration is handled simply enough with players able to run, climb, parachute (eventually with a wingsuit), and ride horses while of course driving and flying though it is worth noting that the handling of vehicles is a bit floaty this time around compared to the previous entry.
These camps are placed in different, mostly distinct, regions of Yara that all have a number of different side activities to take part in, ranging from taking down enemy Checkpoints and Bases that can then be served as fast travel points, anti-aircraft batteries to destroy, numerous races, treasure hunts that involve solving puzzles, rooster fighting, fishing, and more. Many of these activities aren’t exclusive to any specific region so players are immediately encouraged to head any direction they prefer. It is interesting to note that instead of climbing towers, players now hear about enemy and side activity locations from other guerilla fighters or flyers scattered around the map. That being said, there are various “levels” for each area that designate the strength of enemy forces per region and while the starting area for each of these three groups is low, the closer players get to Castillo’s primary city the more dangerous things become.
Combat in Far Cry 6 remains as solid as ever though there are a number of caveats this time around that may be a bit hit and miss for some players. Players can still take advantage of some solid first person shooting and stealth mechanics that give them a large number of ways to tackle most problems. Feel like taking that base over? Players can roll in their with a tank and blow up everything that moves, or mark enemy locations with Dani’s cellphone and sneak in stealthily eliminating enemies one at a time and everything in-between. There is no right way to really take on most of the open challenges in Far Cry 6 and even most story missions give some wriggle room to work with.
Doing things the player’s way is at the center of Far Cry 6 and as a result it offers the most customization in the series so far. Not only can players locate countless weapons from crates in the open world, including some special harder to obtain weapons, as well as purchase them from NPCs but powerful improvised weaponry also comes into play here. “Resolver” weapons and “Supremo” backpacks serve as modified weaponry that all have unique properties that make them uniquely suited for many circumstances while the Supremo’s are rechargable super styled attacks that vary depending on what the player has equipped. These can vary from launching a missile barrage at a target, creating a massive blast of fire that shoots Dani skyward, to even being a self-revive kit should she fall in combat. That being said, this focus on customization has come with its share of downsides and part of this comes into play with the way weapon damage and healing is handled.
Although a “headshot is always a headshot” and stealth takedowns can still instantly eliminate enemies, now foes will have various types of ammunition that they have immunities to such as soft target, armor piercing, explosive, etc. and at the same time they will also be able to deal various types of damage to the player at the same time. While players can grow stronger and a bit more resistant as they level, there are no longer skills of any kind that can be unlocked and often players are limited to only one slow recharging heal at a time, with additional healing requiring a Supremo mod slot, of which there are only two customizable available, for syringes. Instead players are meant to mitigate damage and deal extra damage by managing what they have equipped at any given moment.
This means swapping out headgear, gloves, bodywear, lowerwear, etc. that can provide extra resistance to certain types of damage and weaponry that is meant to deal certain types of damage to foes. This also means that various skills, such as the ability to use an enemy’s sidearm after a takedown, can now only be used if a player has that piece of equipment equipped. Having to try and do this for multiple fights often becomes too much of a hassle as there is no way to favorite equipment sets and as a result it often becomes easier to simply aim for the head whenever possible or focus on explosives.
Fighting alongside the player can often be an “Amigo” of their choosing though this time around players can only bring one with them at a time and they all happen to be animals. The Amigos in Far Cry 6 each have their unique uses, some more than others, and often feel like they still bring a lot to a firefight, especially when used correctly. Of course if players want to fight alongside another human the option is there for them to either bring someone or join someone in co-op mode which works quite well and there are even some co-op missions that players can choose to take on as well though the rewards for these are mostly cosmetic.
Visuals & Audio
It must be said that Ubisoft’s team has went all out in making sure that Yara feels like a breathtaking place to explore. The lush vegetation of the jungle and swamps is gorgeously detailed and even the more open areas and city locations still have a lot of life to them. It is also nice to note that a realistic looking weather as well as a day and night cycle come into play as players explore the land, offering some amazing looking locations. The character models in Far Cry 6 are as stellar as one could expect and players can even choose to cosmetically wear their favorite pieces of gear on Dani over something that may end up looking ridiculous instead.
The voice work for the cast is handled perfectly fine and while they may not be able to quite match the acting that Esposito can put into Castillo the rest of the voice actors fit their roles well enough. The soundtrack also happens to feature a wide variety of music with players eventually being able to unlock additional tracks as collectibles scattered throughout Yara.
Far Cry 6 gives players a strong cast of characters to work with that goes beyond just a charismatic villain for once and wraps them up with a mostly enjoyable, albeit a bit predictable, storyline. Offering the most customization available in the series so far truly gives players the chance to take on nearly any challenge however they want in some great gunplay but poor inventory management and removal of various skills does drag the action down a bit. That being said, this gorgeously designed island makes for a guerilla paradise with plenty of content to explore and blood to be spilled to see Yara free from tyranny.
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