The Far Cry series is unique in the sense that it combines a couple of gameplay nuances in first-person shooting and an open world pretty flawlessly. Considering the fact that Ubisoft is known for both, thanks to critically acclaimed titles like the Tom Clancy series and Assassin’s Creed, you have pretty much everything you need for an awesome AAA title. Throw in one of the most iconic Hollywood actors as the villain, and awesome is exactly what you get, but Far Cry 6 might be a little too awesome.
What Is It?
Far Cry 6 is an open world first-person shooter not unlike its last few entries. In fact, aside from the obvious generational facelift, it really hasn’t changed much at all—more on that later.
The game takes place in the Cuban-inspired fictional country of Yara, a country going through political turmoil surrounding the world’s hottest export, Viviro—a drug used to treat cancer. The production of such a drug is a dangerous process, ensuring that any farmers who help harvest the crop to create Viviro are guaranteed to become seriously ill. Yara’s dictator, El Presidente Juan Castillo (played by Giancarlo Esposito of Breaking Bad and The Mandalorian fame) forces “fake Yarans,” — those that oppose the President, into forced labor harvesting the export and therefore receiving a bunch of criticism from international authorities.
You play as Dani Rojas: an ex-military guerrilla eventually tasked with recruiting people to Libertad, a group of revolutionaries with the goal of overthrowing Castillo and taking back Yara. As you recruit people to your cause, you’ll bond with the various leaders and you’ll learn about Castillo’s subordinates. Seeing what makes each of these characters tick makes Far Cry 6 a significantly memorable narrative.
Why Should I Care?
If you’re a diehard fan of Far Cry, you’ll feel right at home with Far Cry 6. The open world of Yara is absolutely enormous. Whether you’re sliding down hills, swimming near waterfalls, or trudging through sand dunes, the amount of variety and beauty definitely make you think of what Cuba actually looks like, whether or not you think of it as a tourist destination.
Getting nitty gritty with the gameplay, again, it’s Far Cry. Not only do you have the huge open world, you also have a plethora of weapons and vehicles at your disposal that all have a unique feel. The problem is that the game maintains the same first-person view throughout the entire experience unless you’re at a Libertad hub. That may not seem like a big deal, but with all the running and gunning, and you’ll often find yourself taking control of various vehicles, and even then the game still stays in-first person while still giving forcing you full control of the game’s camera. This makes driving cars and flying planes harder than it should be because the controls don’t adjust to where you’re facing. You can argue that this makes the experience more realistic, but when the game segues to third person when you’re at a camp—it makes you wonder why the developers did it this way.
The main new feature in the game is the Supremo, a backpack that Dani uses to give him/herself sort of superhuman abilities. It’s essentially an “ultimate” weapon. One Supremo allow you to hover around leaving poison everywhere, while another fires an onslaught of missiles at a target, and it’s cool switching them around to see what works. At that, it’s also an annoyance to have to go back to a hub in order to change your Supremo, so you might even find yourself using one throughout the entire game and not even really making any changes to them (something that I did), and that’s it becomes too common of a theme.
There were only a few instances in the game where I felt like I needed a different loadout. Each weapon you unlock has customizable options from suppressing the sound to installing armor-piercing rounds, or bullets that do a better job when enemies aren’t wearing such armor and in the 30 hours I spent playing the game, the only times I really felt like messing around with my arsenal was when I needed a rocket launcher to take down choppers or a sniper rifle to handle enemies from a distance. But if you simply wanted to run and gun using a firearm or SMG, you have the freedom to do that, but doing so gives you no real incentives to strategize at all.
If you’ve read our Review in Progress or heard about my time with the game on the Day 0 Update, you’d know that this is my first Far Cry game and the main thing that piqued my interest with it is the fact that I’m a huge fan of the “chicken man,” Giancarlo Esposito. So if you’re that weird person like I am and are wondering if he delivers, it’s a hard question to answer because he does and he doesn’t.
Esposito is a fantastic actor and there’s no denying that, especially as a villain, and he definitely brought a solid performance as the dictator in Juan Castillo. That said, being Italian and African-American, the few times he speaks Spanish in the game can come off a bit awkward, but that also was the case in Breaking Bad. This doesn’t matter much to me, but I’m sure it does to others, so I thought I’d mention it. My issue with his performance is the fact that there really isn’t enough of it as his scenes are too few and far between which is weird considering he’s on the game’s cover.
Part of the reason it feels this way is because the game, very much like other Ubisoft games, is awfully bloated. It’s no secret that Ubisoft is a master of the open world checklist, but there are just too many missions of barely any consequence to what’s happening in the game. While the game does have a golden path, you have to do a bunch of trivial missions in order to make that path appear, and the result is what can easily be a 15-hour game taking over 30 hours for me to first roll credits.
To further put it to perspective, Ubisoft sent me the game a few days before release and I expected to have this review out by day one (I’ve beaten 100-hour JRPGs before in two weeks), but I couldn’t do that just because of how much you HAVE to do in it. With so much non-stop action, breaks are necessary, whereas with a JRPG like Trails of Cold Steel IV–it’s pretty chill the whole time.
All that said, Far Cry 6 is the longest game in the series, and while it probably deserved to with the budget it had, it wasn’t entirely necessary.
What Makes It Worth My Time And Money?
If you’re a fan of Far Cry that’s been looking forward to this experience, this game is undoubtedly worth the money just for the content alone and the fact that it’s not unlike any Far Cry game out there. I personally would’ve preferred a more concise experience, especially when I played the game only interested in completing the main campaign, but I can’t fault any consumer that’ll make their purchase based on a gamer’s longer length and amount of stuff to do.
The bottom line is while Far Cry 6 doesn’t do enough to separate itself from the series, the sheer amount of content alone and the solid narrative make it a worthy purchase. It looks great (though the jury’s out on the current-gen character design after what we’ve seen Naughty Dog do with The Last of Us Part II), it runs snappy, and there’s a whole lot of stuff to do. Just don’t be surprised to if you suffer from burnout early.