After a bit of a delay, we have yet another Far Cry on our hands. Ubisoft’s Far Cry 6 follows the same formula that made the series popular. Give people a reason to fight, a huge open map, and the ability to do pretty much everything. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as you get exactly what you would expect from the game. With that in mind, there are a few things new and noteworthy in this sequel. It surely feels and looks more polished, but is it enough to make it worth it for players?
The game puts another despot in the spotlight, Antón Castillo, this time portrayed by Breaking Bad star Giancarlo Esposito. Esposito’s excellent acting arguably makes him the most compelling villain in the Far Cry series, and it’s a pleasure to see such a great actor in a game. Similar to Joseph Seed from Far Cry 5, or Pagan Min from Far Cry 4, Castillo took control over a region and he’s making every sacrifice to fulfill his dreams and ambitions. This time it’s all about Viviro, a drug made from harvesting tobacco plants that are poisonous and deadly for workers. Being the only effective cancer medicine out on the market, you can imagine the money people are willing to spend on it.
The story is kind of split into two major plots. A family struggle between the tyrant Antón Castillon and his son Diego, and the journey of restoring the beautiful tropical island of Yara to its former glory. Almost every cutscene from the game follows Antón’s attempts of “educating” his son in his ruthless ways. He’s not afraid to make Diego do the hard things, like shooting prisoners, and he often harms him physically.
On the other side of the fence, it’s you and the brave Guerillas. The island of Yara was gradually destroyed by greed and countless revolutions. This means it’s your job to stop Anton’s plans and teach the people of Yara that the country deserves more. The map in Far Cry 6 is one of the biggest from the series, and it’s comprised of multiple smaller regions. Completing the game will require players to visit each mini region of the island in order to convince other Guerrillas to join you in the final fight.
Each region has a level requirement. Some areas have enemies that are a lot tougher and better armed while starting regions allow players to get more accustomed to the game. The world scales according to the player’s level, so the easier zones in the game will also change in time. This means that returning to an already “conquered” zone is encouraged, and won’t make people feel like gods. The procedure in each zone will be pretty formulaic. Impress some tough resistance leader and make him fight for your cause. Sounds like a rinse and repeat situation, right? It is in some ways, but the fun in Far Cry 6 comes from the gameplay variety.
The gameplay is where Far Cry 6 truly shines. Let’s take vehicles for example, as Yara is a huge island, and traveling is a big part of this game. There’s a lot of options available, from horses to Cuban-themed cars, airplanes, and helicopters. By far the most convenient transportation method is the airplane, but some parts of the island are defended by anti-air turrets. In order to gain access those areas, players will have to conquer camps and destroy their rocket launchers. Thankfully, you have some heavy hitting weapons available as well.
Weapons are even more varied than vehicles in Yara, and they also feature plenty of upgrades and skins. You can pretty much play with every weapon style you can think of. But the most noteworthy addition in this section is the Supremo. A rugged-looking backpack that can launch rockets, poison, and even rings of fire. My main gripe with it is that it seems you can’t use it more than once during a fight because of the extensive cooldown. Setting that cooldown lower might’ve made players too overpowered, so I can understand why they made the decision. Regardless of the Supremo, the gunplay is still what you’ve come to expect from the series.
Amigos, AKA your pets, are also a big part of the game as well. Each pet has different traits and abilities, some dealing more damage, while others are more based on stealth and surprising the enemy. This means that players can choose a pet based on their gameplay style to fit their needs best. If you decide to mainly focus on stealth, you surely wouldn’t pick Guapo, a huge t-shirt wearing alligator that will make enemies run in fear. There are six available pets, and you can switch between them pretty easily based on your preferences after you unlock them. This of course includes the lovable Chorizo as well.
The AI can be very aggressive at times and will require players to use the in-game phone to scout camps before actually attacking. The smartphone is used to uncover enemy strengths and weaknesses, allowing you to form an effective strategy. Some of them are more resistant to some type of bullets, certain weapon types, among other things. Switching between weapons and pets is a must in Far Cry 6 if you want to survive. It requires a bit more planning, but it’s much more effective to use the right weapon instead of wasting tons of ammo.
There’s even a mini-game called Los Bandidos where you send your recruits on missions. It’s based on choices and will require players to choose between different approaches when assigning the missions. Choosing the right approach will yield more rewards, and will preserve more of the recruits’ lives. It’s not as complex as other mini-games like Gwent, but it’s a fun little addition to the game. Los Bandidos joins multiple other random games to kill time with, helping to further immerse you in Yara’s culture.
Overall, the storyline is good enough to make you care, and the gameplay is amazing and full of variety. Whether that’s enough to make players come back to the Far Cry series, that’s really up to you and your preferences. I’ve been playing Far Cry 6 for almost forty hours, and it was one of the most enjoyable experiences I had in a sandbox game in a while. Surely, you can argue that Ubisoft could take a riskier step towards changing the game formula, but that might ruin the essence of the game. Either way, there’s enough to keep you busy for a long time here.
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