With an emphasis on guerrilla warfare, makeshift weaponry and an exotic location, Far Cry 6 returns the series to its roots, with a handful of steps forwards which hint at the series evolving. However, despite the entertaining action on the fictional Caribbean island of Yara, Far Cry 6 is feeling a little stale.
That’s not to say Far Cry 6 isn’t enjoyable and well-crafted, there’s a huge amount to explore on Yara, with its towns, jungles and mountainous areas offering a rich tapestry of missions and characters to enjoy. Meanwhile, the ruthless dictator Antón Castillo is an exceptionally good villain for the piece, it’s just that some of the charms the series has enjoyed for a good decade now are getting old and tired.
Once again, you’re an underdog fighting against an all-powerful presence. Castillo’s control of Yara is strong and vast and only small groups of freedom fighters have taken up arms to revolt against the injustices suffered by the people. It’s undeniably satisfying taking away Castillo’s control and turning those red points on the map blue, but it’s a mammoth task in a huge environment.
Indeed, this is a Ubisoft open-world, one absolutely full of things to do, and it’s overwhelming. There’s some variety in the first half-dozen hours of playtime but afterwards the repetition sets in. Fortunately, the AI has stepped things up a bit and keeps you on your toes. Assaulting or sneaking into a location is made all the more interesting by the enemy flushing you out of encroached positions with things like airstrikes, and reviving their fallen comrades if they come across them. It means you have to adapt and consider your next move a little more carefully and make use of your weapons and tools more efficiently.
Far Cry 6 certainly has some neat toys for you to play with. The usual array of weapons are, of course, available, ranging from simple handguns and rifles to flamethrowers and rocket launchers, all of which can be modified and enhanced. Meanwhile, Resolver and Supremo weapons offer makeshift weapons, smashed together with everyday objects you find lying around for the former, and devastatingly powerful backpacks which act as an ultimate ability, and recharge over time after use, or by killing more enemies, as the latter. Supremos offer things like firing a salvo of homing rockets, generating healing fields, EMP blasts and can help turn the tide of battle when things get hairy.
Stealth is also a viable option and can be an enjoyable challenge, but your vast arsenal of weapons certainly feels like they are encouraging you to be noisy. This is also the feeling you get from the vehicles you can use; these can be outfitted with various turrets, countermeasures, and defensive options to give you an edge against anything that come up against. Furthermore, you have your Amigos, unlockable animal friends that can help you out in battle. Chorizo the sausage dog can distract enemies, allowing you to get close and take them down. Meanwhile, Guapo the alligator is a little bit more direct, chomping down on your enemies, and a few more can be unlocked as you progress through the story.
Far Cry 6 has done away with the RPG-like ability tree and instead has equipment that grants passive abilities and buffs. You can equip gear to your head, chest, arms, legs and feet, with each providing unique perks. Managing your gear and their perks to suit the situation you find yourself can become frustrating, especially as there no favouriting pieces of gear, or creating multiple loadouts, but at least you can change the appearance of your gear to your liking, you know, to avoid any embarrassing fashion upsets, or to make the third-person perspective cutscene less silly.
Indeed, Far Cry 6 gives your character, Dani Rojas, much more screentime than in previous titles, thanks to cut scenes having a third-person perspective, fleshing out Dani and giving them more personality. In fact, Far Cry 6 attempts to do a little more with the story than previous titles, mentioning social and political issues, including a transgender issue with a transgender actor lending their voice. It is, however, only an attempt, and the tone still shifts quite jarringly between serious discussion and emotion, and ridiculous cartoon violence and silliness.
The supporting cast are nicely fleshed out at least, giving you more investment in their stories. This can’t be said for Castillo’s team of goons, who are one-dimensional, cliched villains with less convincing motivation. This is in sharp contrast to the much more well-realized Antón Castillo, who is a splendidly vile, calculating, and menacing antagonist.
Antón Castillo is less eccentric than antagonists from the series past, and whose motivation of noble ends justify horrendously evil means is more realistic and relatable. Of course, Giancarlo Esposito’s (Breaking Bad, The Mandalorian) performance is terrific, really selling the character. It’s especially fun to witness the distain Castillo has for most people and yet the love he has for his son, although there’s malice enough between them as well. There are layers here, and the voice acting, as well as the wonderful facial animations, do a great job portraying it all.
Treasure Hunts, collectables, animal hunting, fishing and cockfighting minigames and more, try to entice you back into the island paradise after the story has wrapped, and for some this will be a treat, but it’s very much a Ubisoft level of endless exploration that struggles to shake the repetition. The story is where the fun is, exploring the revolution and guerrilla warfare with an interesting cast of characters. It’s compelling story within an attractive location with some interesting themes, but it’s not wildly different from other titles in the series and it feel like a big shake up is what the series needs to evolve.
Far Cry 6
Intense, zany action
- Interesting characters
- Excellent villain
Fundamentally, more of the same
- Ubisoft’s special brand of collectathon