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Far Cry 6 Review

Far Cry 6 Review

Perhaps there is no better way for me to start off this review than by giving you a look at my Far Cry passport. From a small state in Central Africa to the mountains of Kyrat, my history with Ubisoft's open-world first-person shooter franchise is almost as long as the series itself. I have played Far Cry 2, Far Cry 3, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, Far Cry 4, and Far Cry Primal. And, despite their flaws, I enjoyed my stay in all of them. Now comes Yara, a new setting with a new bad guy. With that also comes one very important question, can Far Cry 6 stand tall as its own game or will it collapse under the weight of trying to outdo its predecessors.

Far Cry 6 tells the story of Dani Rojas and the Cuba-inspired island of Yara. The island, and its people, live under the brutal regime of Anton Castillo. After a failed revolution froze the island in time, Anton Castillo has been ruling the nation with an iron fist, promising to make Yara a paradise while forcing enemies of the state to work in slave labor camps, or worse. Dani, who originally wanted to be on the first boat out of Yara, ends up in the middle of the Libertad movement. From their small island headquarters Dani, Clara, and Juan set out to recruit small but significant guerilla groups from across Yara to reignite the revolution. Far Cry 6 has a large cast of memorable characters, backed by strong performances, that embody the sense of humor the Far Cry series is known for. But perhaps the most impressive thing about Far Cry 6 is the tight rope walk it does between being a fun romp across a lively island and being a harsh look at the brutalities of a dictatorship and the guerillas that oppose them. Though there are moments where some of the Far Cry quirks undercut serious scenes, on the whole, the execution is great.

While previous Far Cry games have had memorable villains, some might say it's even a series staple, none, in my controversial opinion, are as great as Anton Castillo. Where other villains are presented as larger than life and written to be menacing foes, Anton is complex and his scenes can often make you question if he really is the antagonist. He doesn't do crazy gestures or deliver quotable lines, but Giancarlo Esposito's performance brings the character to life in a captivating way. While messed-up settings are not new to Far Cry, after all, Far Cry 4 was inspired by the Nepalese civil war, they didn't present them quite as seriously as they do in Far Cry 6. This is due in large part to deliberate storytelling which removes the "shoot person a for the good ending and person b for the bad ending" style moments. Additionally, hallucination sequences, which were significant to the story in the last few games, are not laced throughout the narrative here either, though that isn't to say they are gone entirely. The Far Cry 6 campaign is a fascinating look into the life, and sometimes death, of a guerilla more so than a criticism of Cuban politics, and the game is all the better for it.

Far Cry 6 Yara

Another big change to the Far Cry formula is the introduction of camps. In these specified areas where guerilla groups are located, the game switches to a third-person view. Along with going there to take up main story quests, you can explore, take up side-missions, and compete in mini-games like cockfighting and dominos. There is also a foreman in the camps who uses resources you collect around the map to build and upgrade new parts of the camp that come with their own boosts and benefits. Also at camps, and scattered throughout the map, are workbenches that let you customize your weapons, supremos, and rides to be more effective against enemies and more fitting to your playstyle.

To ensure a successful revolution, you have to take down anti-air cannons, free checkpoints, save hostages, and more. As you play through the campaign, your end objective may change, from blowup this thing to defend that person, but you'll mostly be infiltrating enemy-filled areas the best way you see fit. With a wide array of weapons and gadgets, Far Cry 6 offers you a lot of options on how you want to tackle familiar situations. Whether you want to barge in through the front gate with your Amigo or find a hole in the fence to stealth your way in, the choice is yours. It's no secret that the Far Cry series has stuck with the same gameplay loop over its last few iterations and that will ultimately be the make or break for most players. If you felt the gameplay was repetitive in the last Far Cry game you played, the sights of Yara can only keep the fatigue at bay for so long. However, for players who like that loop, like myself, Far Cry 6 offers more of it than ever before, though that does come with a caveat.

Yara is easily the biggest sandbox in the Far Cry series, but bigger doesn't always mean better. The beauty and scale of the world in the opening hours of the game start to fade when the size of the map really dawns on you. Unlike previous games, where you can go clear a tower to unlock a chunk of the map, Yara is only revealed as you explore it. This means that even after you finish the campaign missions in a given section of the map, you will still have lots left to see. This can be great if you're playing through the game in co-op with a friend, but when playing solo it can be a lot to process when playing for extended periods of time. This goes to say that Far Cry 6 isn't meant to be binged. Take your time with it and soak it all in. As a side note to this, while you're taking your time, be sure to do some side-missions as they can be very amusing.

Far Cry 6 Gameplay

Far Cry 6 is the biggest Far Cry yet in more ways than one. Along with the impressive map, there's also the game's length. When I played Far Cry 4 last year it took me about fifteen hours to beat the campaign. This was with my main focus being on the story with a random dose of side-missions along the way. Though I haven't finished Far Cry 5, according to How Long To Beat, it takes about eighteen hours to beat the main story in that game. Meanwhile, when I was eighteen and a half hours into Far Cry 6, the Ubisoft Connect stat tracker said I was just 63% through the story. And by the time I reached rolled credits I was nearing the thirty-hour mark. For most of the game, the increased length isn't that noticeable, but due to reasons that I won't go into the details of in this spoiler-free review, one of the three storylines does slow the pace of the game a bit too much compared to the others.

Before I talk about the gameplay, I think it's important to mention that I played the game on the PlayStation 5 with the DualSense controller. Far Cry 6 controls much the same way as the other games in the series, but thanks to the good utilization of the DualSense capabilities, it immerses you into the game in small but meaningful ways. The feel of the R2 trigger button changes based on the type of gun you fire and firing a full-auto weapon will cause the trigger to kickback. When you get into a vehicle, L2 and R2 buttons stiffen up to mimic the resistance of a gas pedal, and if you choose to explore Yara on horseback, the vibrations of the DualSense motors sync up with the beat of the hooves. This isn't to say the experience is bad on Xbox or PC. Our other team member, Alexa, had a great time with the game on her Xbox Series S, but this extra touch helped the familiar gameplay feel a bit newer during my time with the game.

I can't speak for how Far Cry 6 looks by itself but with the added HD texture pack, the game looks great. Yara is a vibrant setting and exploring its diverse regions is fun and full of surprises. Cars, characters, and guns have a lot of detail packed into them and though you can see some less than life-like textures occasionally if you stop and stare, the game often doesn't give you the time to. The notable problems visually are objects which are supposed to be on the ground floating a few inches above it and random pop-ins, mainly with planes and helicopters in the sky. Accompanying the visuals is a top-notch sound design, which makes me very strongly recommend that you play the game with good headphones as the experience will be much better for it. Not only will headphones give you great 3D sound, but they will also let you listen to the game's fitting score from Narcos' composer Pedro Bromfman.

Far Cry 6 Graphics and Sound

Now, as with any large open-world sandbox game, bugs are to be expected and Far Cry 6 is no exception. In my time with the game, I have come across a handful of oddities. One instance with a grappling hook I was launched into the sky for no apparent reason. Another had me unable to start the next story mission until I reloaded the save file. The game even crashed once while I was driving around Yara. But none of these were game-breaking and the small glitches I came across while playing did little more than amuse me. And, except for one moment where a weird visual glitch ruined a story beat for me, everything else was unobtrusive. That being said, the A.I. for civilian NPCs in Far Cry 6 is ridiculous and it was quite common that I'd walk onto the main road and find them running into each other. It's also important to note that there is a Day 1 patch that could eliminate some or all of the bugs I came across.

This review is long enough already, but I just couldn't end this review without talking about the photo mode. If you know me, you'll know that I am a sucker for a good photo mode and Far Cry 6 has one of the most intuitive photo modes I have ever used. This meant that quite often as I walked, drove, and glided across Yara, I would pause to get out the camera, make Dani strike a nice pose, and pull focus for a stunning shot. And perhaps the best compliment I could give the game's photo mode is that when I shared some of my shots with Austin, he said they were so good he was going to make it his phone background.

Far Cry 6 is the most ambitious game in the series and that comes with its drawbacks. Simply put, it's more Far Cry, and for players who are not in love with the gameplay loop, that means the game's daunting map size will only give you more of what you don't like. But for players like me, who have long since been fans of the familiar gameplay loop at the heart of Far Cry, the memorable cast of characters and its vibrant new setting, which combines the tropical backdrop of the Rook Islands with the culture of Kyrat, makes Far Cry 6 an entertaining journey that's worth experiencing. Plus with a robust rollout of post-game DLC on the horizon, the fun is not over after the story is completed. Far Cry 6 is out tomorrow on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC. A big thank you to Ubisoft for giving us an early review code. If you plan on picking up Far Cry 6, be sure to check out our beginner's guide to a successful revolution with tips and tricks for the game. And if you would like to hear Alexa and I chat about Far Cry 6, then click here to check out the latest episode of the Respawn Station podcast.

Far Cry 6 | 8 | Great

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2 Comments

OneSidedCircle said…
Great review! I'm excited to play this game. Far Cry is one of my most favorite game series!
Unknown said…
thanks for such a great review
cant wait to buy it ASAP