Anybody that knows me is well aware of the fact that I’m not really into first-person shooters. The only games that have that distinction that I truly enjoy are Overwatch and Halo, so it’s gotta make you wonder why I of all people am reviewing Far Cry 6. Josh or Jon are probably better people on the SmashPad staff to review this one.
I’ll be honest–it’s because I’m a Giancarlo Esposito stan. I love just about every project he’s been in. Whether it’s the “Chicken Man” Gus Fring in Breaking Bad or Better Call Saul, Moff Gideon in The Mandalorian, or even the Magic Mirror in Once Upon a Time, the guy is the ultimate villain, and so far into my playthrough, he hasn’t disappointed.
In Far Cry 6, Esposito plays Anton Castillo, El Presidente of the fictional province of Yara–a “paradise” being victimized by Viviro, their highly sought after export that’s used to effectively treat cancer. What’s so bad about that? Well, for one thing, Castillo is forcing those not part of his regime to harvest Viviro, a job that essentially works people to death because of how toxic it is before it’s harvested. Throw in the fact that he’s trying to teach his son Diego about his methods of leading Yara so he can one day succeed him, and you have quite the complicated antagonist.
You play as Dani Rojas (either as a male or female), not to be confused with Danny Rojas from Ted Lasso, a military dropout. After seeing the treachery that Castillo has done to a town you’re hunkered down in, you eventually are out on your own recruiting people to join your revolution and overthrow Castillo once and for all.
That’s where everything opens up.
If I didn’t make it obvious, this is my first Far Cry game and I’m about 18 hours into my playthrough, but I still feel overwhelmed by all the stuff there is to do in the game. The open world of Yara is as vast as it is beautiful, but as good as it all looks — it isn’t nearly as fun or straightforward to explore as the open worlds in Ghost of Tsushima and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. In both games, you know what the end goal is. It’s the same case in Far Cry 6, but save for the characters really suggesting you handle business and recruit in the northern territory of Madrugada first, there isn’t much it tells you. I don’t know if it’s because they want you to eventually figure everything out yourself, or they’re assuming you’ve played a Far Cry game before. Again, as someone that hasn’t and even switched difficulty from Action Mode to Story Mode — I still wish the golden path was better defined.
Exploration in the game also starts off a little dull. For the most part, you’ll either be on foot through the grassy terrain, or driving a car through the non-busy Yaran streets. Eventually, you’ll have the ability to fast travel and drop into certain areas Fortnite style, and the ability so sort of glide through areas in combination with other items you might find will make traversal for more interesting, but the bottom line here is the world is huge with plenty of stuff to do.
Again, I’m not big on shooters, but there’s a lot to like with Far Cry 6. While the loadout UI is a lot at first, you eventually learn how all the upgrades work and how to equip each weapon to parts of your weapon wheel for easy access, and ammunition is easy to understand too. The controls are nothing new to anybody into the genre, so as far as its polish, it’s all good.
I’m not usually a Review in Progress guy, as I usually pride myself on taking early copies and having a full review as soon as the embargo lifts, but this game is huge. Like I said, I’m 18 hours in, and I don’t really know if I’ve even gotten through half of the game’s story. I want to roll credits before deciding on a final verdict, but unfortunately I have a weekend trip at the end of the week, so if I can’t do that by this Thursday, it’ll delay my review even longer.
That said, I’m hoping to have a full review of the game as it is by no later than next Friday, August 15th. Until then, you can find me on Twitter sporadically talking about my experience with it… among other things.