Way back in 2004, a first-person shooter known as Far Cry – from German studio Crytek – surprised the world. After that original game, the company moved on to other projects like Crysis, but the franchise lives on internally at Ubisoft. Today, it is stronger than ever with the release of Far Cry 6.
Starting with Far Cry 2, Ubisoft shifted to an open-world format. Although it looks and plays quite rough today, that game really set the standard for future games in the franchise much more so than the original. Far Cry 3 went even further with vastly improved graphics, cinematics, and audio.
I’d argue that Far Cry 3 is really the template that Ubisoft has been running with since it introduces a huge map with a ton of stuff to do. Basically, it’s a living world. Each respective game since then has been built on top of that formula. In that respect, Far Cry 6 is no different. It is a continuation rather than a groundbreaking new entry.
The game takes place on a series of Caribbean islands in Latin America. After getting elected as president on a promise to restore the island to its former glory, Antón Castillo now controls the island of Yara with an iron fist. Some will draw parallels to communist Cuba – and the game mentions an embargo in the 1960s that sounds a lot like Cuba – but Castillo is more of a fascist who is happy to sell out his countrymen for power and a quick buck.
You learn that he is doing business with an American corporation to grow tobacco utilizing toxic pesticides. In other words, he talks a good game about restoring the country’s prestige, but he’s happy to poison his own people if it makes him rich. The bottom line: he’s a corrupt dictator.
Of course, this doesn’t sit well with a lot of the Yarans who start to fight back as part of a guerrilla movement known as Libertad. This young movement hopes to end Castillo’s rule and shape the future of the country with a free and democratic government. (“Libertad” is Spanish for “liberty.”)
You play as Dani Rojas. The game starts with you wanting to flee Yara for Miami, but things do not go exactly to plan. Castillo cracks down on the resistance within the capital city, which sends you packing your bags. You end up on one of the country’s tiny islands where you get recruited into Libertad and plot to take down Castillo. But to do that, you need to secure alliances, expand the guerrilla’s territory, and take the fight to the fascists.
The game lets you choose between a male or female Dani Rojas. There is no customization of the character beyond that though. This is an open-world game, so how you advance is really up to you. After the initial island, there are three main missions areas where you’ll try to secure alliances to take down Castillo. The order that you do this is up to you, although I went with the Montero family to start things off since that’s what the game recommended.
Like most games in this series, the bulk of Far Cry 6 is found with side missions, mini-games, and random events. Exploring the map is another major aspect since you can just walk, run, drive, ride, fly, or swim around and you’ll run into random events, various supplies, and military checkpoints. The random events usually come in the form of Castillo’s thugs preparing to execute a guerrilla who you save from an untimely death. They then become a recruit that you can use in missions back at your camp.
Far Cry 6 has a lot of ways to get around and a fair bit of variety in its landscape (i.e. coastline, mountains, farms, countryside, etc.). You can ride horseback or drive cars, trucks, Humvees, and even tanks. You can also commandeer small planes, helicopters, and various boats.
Yara is vast. It’s hardly the biggest video game I’ve ever seen, but the scale combined with the level of detail is fairly impressive. It reminds me a lot of Just Cause 2. That being said, the level of detail is not exactly what I would expect from a next-gen game. However, playing on an Xbox Series X is a big step up from playing on an Xbox One.
Side missions vary from tasks like intercepting military convoys to destroying anti-aircraft cannons. Spread throughout the map are a number of small military bases and road checkpoints for you to clear out. There are also weapons caches that reward you with new weapons (of which there are many) and even treasure hunts.
Still the same formula
My main complaint here is that this does not really cover a lot of new ground. The Far Cry series has felt formulaic for a while now. At the same time, even if Far Cry 6 is not a particularly innovative title, it does what it does pretty well. So I do give them props for that.
Another issue that I had is that the game’s AI is not particularly intelligent. They tend to give up searching for you too easily. They also have a habit of running into walls and just generally fumbling around, giving you time to sneak behind them and executing them with your machete even after they’ve seen you. The challenge comes from overwhelming numbers and armored vehicles.
In past games, you could collect plants. You won’t be collecting plants, but you will collect things like gasoline, plastics, scrap metal, and other resources that you can use for base upgrades. Maybe it’s just me, but I found it more interesting to collect plants than to collect plastic and scrap metal.
Overall, my complaints are relatively minor. Ubisoft has a tried and true template that they use for these games, and people who are fans will continue to be fans. As someone who hasn’t beaten one since Far Cry 3 (which I still consider the best in the franchise), it’s nice to return to the series even if it would have been a better experience if they had made this exclusive to PC and next-gen consoles.
Despite the game’s theme, Far Cry 6 is hardly revolutionary. This is the same successful formula that Ubisoft has used for over a decade now. That being said, it’s still a lot of fun. Between the main story, the side missions, and exploring Yara, you’ll probably end up playing for a couple dozen hours or more. If you’re a completionist, there’s likely about 50 hours of content before the DLC even drops.
Game Freaks 365 received a review copy.