By now you’ve seen the comments on social media. “If you’ve played one Far Cry game, you’ve played them all”. “It’s just the same game in a different location, sometimes with the same topography”. “It’s just Assassin’s Creed but with a different skin”. But do you know why Far Cry 6 is going to do so well? Because it is a winning formula. Much like Grand Theft Auto and The Elder Scrolls series, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Far Cry 6 – “Rule #1 – A Good Guerrilla is a Hidden Guerrilla”
Far Cry 6 is an ahem…far cry (I’m sorry) from its first game released in 2004 which was developed by Crytek who is more known for the Crysis series. Look out for the Crysis Trilogy Remastered review coming soon. The first game is the only one Ubisoft had nothing to do with. In total there have been six main entries and nine spin-offs in the Far Cry series. Some of these spin-offs are as good as the main games themselves such as Far Cry: Primal and Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. Ubisoft still uses a heavily modified version of CryEngine called Dunia.
Up until Far Cry 4, Ubisoft Montreal had developed all the games in the series. The game development has stayed in Canada with Ubisoft Toronto after the success of Far Cry 5 and Watch Dogs: Legion. As usual, Ubisoft is publishing and the game was released on October 7th, 2021 on all major platforms including the Google Stadia and Amazon Luna, but not on the Nintendo Switch. The PlayStation 4 version is upgradable to the PlayStation 5 version at no extra cost.
I recently reviewed Diablo II Resurrected here so feel free to check that out. But for now, let’s see what the land of Yara has to offer besides beautiful scenery.
Welcome to Yara! Yara is a fictional island in The Caribbean that is still stuck in its dictatorial past. The revolution in 1967 sparked a guerrilla uprising and caused the collapse of the economy as the president was overthrown. The former president’s son Antón Castillio is intent on restoring Yara to its former glory by any means necessary. His methods aren’t exactly savoury though. Enslaving workers to work in the tobacco fields to produce Viviro, a new cancer treatment that has sparked a new uprising and this is where our story begins.
Firstly, this is the most accessible Far Cry game to date. Before you start the game you have a whole host of options available to you to completely customise your experience. These can range from toggling your weapon wheel interaction to enabling an outline to highlight any hidden pickups. There are so many ways to adjust for hearing and vision including colourblind mode. Just take a look below.
The game starts in the city of Esperanza and you play as Dani, male or female, it’s your choice. This will be your tutorial for basic movement. The armed forces are rounding up people to enslave, so Dani and his friends make a run for it to board a boat to Miami. Castillo learns that his son Diego is on board that boat. As such, the President boards the boat to retrieve Diego and riddles the boat with bullets to kill everyone on board. Dani and his friend Lita wash up on the shore of Isla Santuario. Before she passes away, she tells Dani to seek out the guerrilla group called Libertad. Now Dani, as the sole survivor of the wreckage can’t let Castillo get away with this. Let the uprising begin!
One of the first things you will notice when you open up the map is how huge it is. It looks the be the biggest map in a Far Cry game yet. The game’s map is divided up into regions. As you progress through the main story the military presence will increase in the regions as Castillo becomes more aware of the actions of The Resistance. Basically, it depends on all the murdering and blowing stuff up that you do.
Before you can get to Castillo you will have to take out his underlings who have control over a specified region. If you want to take a break from the main story, then check your journal. There are tons of optional quests and tasks for you to take up. I mean, it wouldn’t be a Far Cry game without them would it? Taking over checkpoints and military installations will reward you with fast travel locations. While others like the treasure hunts and Yaran Stories not only flesh out your world and introduce you to some really fun characters, but you will be compensated for your efforts with guns and other fun blowy-up stuff.
Speaking of blowy-up stuff, your arsenal is massive. You can now carry three primary weapons, a sidearm, and your depleted uranium-fueled Supremo. Better still, you have all of these weapons available to you at any one time, and for good reason. Certain enemies have different resistances and vulnerabilities to certain types of ammo. Whip out your phone to scope out an area to learn more about your enemies so you can adapt your loadout to be better prepared for an assault.
One of these weapons can be a ‘Resolver’ weapon. These are made bespoke for you by Juan Cortez. If stealth is your thing, then the Discos Locos weapon is perfect for shooting your unwanted Ricky Martin CDs at unsuspecting enemies. Nail guns, flamethrowers, EMP rifles, pick your poison.
Your Supremo is kind of like your special ability that needs recharging. There are seven different Supremos and all have their own uses. Again these can be swapped out on the fly to suit your situation. Want to go all out on assault and rain down rockets on your foes? You need the Exterminador. Others are more for tactics or stealth while the Médico is great for reviving and helpful if one of you has it when playing in co-op.
Thankfully, the RPG-style skill tree has been done away with and replaced with armour sets equipped with abilities. Like your weapons, all this can be changed in the field which can also make for some really goofy-looking combinations.
Of course, you need to get around and there is no shortage of vehicle types. You will pick up specialised ones as part of the story and you can call someone to drop one of these off from your weapon wheel. These are customisable cosmetically but you can also add offensive and defensive items. Chuck a turret on your car with a grill capable of flipping other vehicles and you are in for a fun ride. Driving down the street, shooting all the people you meet, all to the tune of Livin’ La Vida Loca. Amazing!
Others you pick up while on the road and will have to be taken back to your camp to add to your collection. Alternatively, the game doesn’t tell you this, but if you whip out your phone and scan it with the camera it will also add it. Helicopters, planes, tanks, jetskis, horses, you name it, add as many as you can, you never know what you are going to need
Players can upgrade everything in the arsenal and all of the rides additions at the workbench.
It’s Dangerous to go Alone, Take an Amigo
Companions make a welcome return and thankfully they aren’t human. Human ‘help’ in Far Cry 5 was about as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike and more of a liability than anything. So much so I would just let them die. Taking cues from Far Cry: Primal (my favourite) our companions, known as Amigos are like our pets. And yes, they are a charismatic bunch and you can pet them all. We all know Chorizo, the adorable little pup with only two working legs. But what about Guapo, the self-reviving crocodile. Or my personal favorite, Chicharrón. Who doesn’t want a heavy metal, human-hating, murderous angry cock fighting by their side?! Even better with his Motherclucker outfit.
They mostly have stealth abilities (unlike Chicharrón) but they are all useful in and out of combat. Also helpful that you command them to go and do their thing, whether it is attacking or distracting enemies. They are found at specific locations in Yara and they are rewarded in either a side quest or part of the main mission. So it pays to go exploring. Although they’re fun to have around, they’re not always useful. They can be pretty useless now and again even with their upgrades. They might get one or two kills in before then need reviving and there are more than likely 20 enemies between the two of you. Just leave them to die, they will come back later.
Is Murder More Fun with a Friend?
Yes, yes it is. Playing the game in co-op can be a lot of fun. Friends can join you for the entire campaign, which adds a level of comradery to it. Being able to plan your attacks and strategize is a lot of fun. This is made available very early on in the game after one of the first quests. It doesn’t have to be a friend of course. You can open up your game to allow strangers to join or you could join someone else’s.
There are also Special Operations that are totally unrelated and have their own map. Go and speak to Lola at one of the camps and you are on your way.
Far Cry 6 is hands down the best game in the series since Far Cry 3. I’m not saying the last two main games were bad, but I was ready to be disappointed if the trend continued. It seems all the best bits have been taken from several Ubisoft games, not just Far Cry, and put into this huge world that is pleading to be explored. It’s not Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla big, it’s just right. Sure it touches on some political, diversity, and social issues which will irk some players (not me) but that doesn’t take away from what a fantastic game it is.
It looks like the Far Cry series has found itself again where previous entries maybe had a bit of an identity crisis. The world is brimming with content that never feels like a chore and characters that have real personality. Combat is explosive and playing stealthily can feel really threatening at times. But as I always say… fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
Graphics and Audio
While the game does look amazing, Ubisoft opted for 4K resolution at 60 frames per second over ray tracing. Ray tracing is however an option for PC players. It is an amazingly pretty game but if I was going to nitpick, you can see shadows are at a lower resolution, or the road surface lacks some detail on close inspection. The dynamic weather, lighting, vegetation, and time of day physics all work really well together to create a believable living and breathing environment. Naturally, there was the odd NPC glitch but it wouldn’t be a Ubisoft game without them and they are just comical more than anything. My only real complaint is the cut scenes, while they do look amazing, they do suffer from the occasional frame stutter.
Voice acting is brilliant, but Giancarlo Esposito (Malcolm X, The Usual Suspects, The Maze Runner) steals the show with his performance as Antón Castillo. He quickly became one of my favourite villains. His actions are so despicable, but I found myself kind of falling for him in a way that he believed all he was doing was justified. I didn’t agree with his methods, but I understood his desired outcome and I was even rooting for him at times.
In other areas, the sound design was spot on. Guns, explosions, car crashes, people dying all sound great.
If you were to do only the campaign, you could have this game done inside of 20 hours. But by doing that you are selling yourself short. There is so much to know about the nation of Yara and its inhabitants. Add in all the side quests, races, cockfights, Bandido missions, and a hell of a lot of collectibles then I think the completionist could make this game last 45-50 hours. I’m not a fan of replaying games. I’m also an antisocial person but I wouldn’t think twice about loading this up to do some missions with a friend.
Get the Season Pass and more treats will come your way. Ubisoft DLC in the past has usually been pretty expansive and there are three planned for this. Each one will have you playing as one of the villains from the previous three installments which I am very excited about. Also, you will get access to Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon which was a standalone expansion back in the day when it becomes available.
People will complain that it’s just another Far Cry game and it’s the same as all the rest. Well, the clue is in the title mate! If you like Far Cry games, you will LOVE Far Cry 6. If you don’t like them, then don’t buy the game. It’s that simple and it doesn’t give you the right to complain about them. I don’t like avocados, so I don’t eat them. That way I don’t complain about them. Same thing.
Anyway, the game is bloody brilliant so go and buy it now! The story is engaging throughout with a few twists. If you spot warning signs early on, it will keep you guessing and the twist will sometimes hit you when you least expect it. If you like explosive gameplay, great casting, and a vast world to explore then Far Cry 6 is a must. We have a winner of the Thumb Culture Platinum Award!
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.