I’m going to be honest; Far Cry isn’t one of my favourite series from Ubisoft. That honour belongs to The Division and Splinter Cell. I like Far Cry, but I don’t love it like some of their other series. Hell, I love the Raving Rabbids more than Far Cry. I wasn’t really hyped at all about Far Cry 6 (though I do love that Giancarlo Esposito is the main baddie in it).
After a couple of days playing the game non-stop, I think I have a good enough grasp of the game to come to a conclusion about it.
So…is it a positive one?
What is Far Cry 6?
Far Cry 6 is a first person (third person in come cases) shooter with RPG elements. It’s playable solo or coop, but there’s no competitive multiplayer mode. Developed by Ubisoft Toronto and Milan, and published by Ubisoft, it’s available on the Playstation and Xbox consoles, Google Stadia, Amazon Luna and the PC.
Our review codes were graciously provided to us by Ubisoft.
Far Cry 6 is set in Yara, a Spanish speaking island in the Caribbean. Anton Castillo (Giancarlo Esposito) is the dictator in control and it’s up to you (as Dani Rojas) to assist the guerrilla group Libertad in overthrowing El Presidente. Yeah, it’s a thinly disguised take on Cuba and the Castro regime but then again, the Far Cry games aren’t exactly known for their subtlety.
Compared to past Far Cry villains, Anton Castillo isn’t that memorable. He’s akin to your typical despot, with none of the charisma of past villains like Pagan Min or Vaas. While Giancarlo Esposito is still a gem whenever he’s onscreen, his character isn’t as interesting as it could be.
The whole Caribbean/Spanish speaking setting of the game also feels similar to Just Cause 3 which is also set in a similar locale, with a similar plot. Instead of Rico Rodriguez with his grappling hook, wingsuit and parachute, you have Dani Rojas with a grappling hook, wingsuit and parachute.
The music also reminds me (weirdly) of Tropico. It’s not an issue (since I love the Latin music), just something I thought I’d mention. Also, Ricky Martin’s Livin’ La Vida Loca is in the game, which automatically makes the soundtrack the best in the Far Cry series!
Here’s the good (or bad) news depending on how much you love Far Cry; Far Cry 6 is like every other Far Cry (other than Instincts) before it.
You get dropped into a wide open world, and can explore as you like after finishing the prologue. You take over territory (including military bases, checkpoints and other areas), gather parts to craft weapon accessories, steal vehicles so you can reuse them and slowly unlock bigger and better weapons as you progress.
There’s no character progression, but there is a Ranking system in play that allows you access to a better arsenal as progress. You gain rank experience from liberating territories and missions (main as well as optional) and other open world activities. The world itself isn’t gated, though some of the areas have higher ranking (thus more powerful) enemies to dissuade you from just venturing to the endgame directly.
While it’s possible to reach the final areas of the game right off the bat (after you finish the Prologue anyways), you won’t be able to beat it without uniting the various factions of Yara.
That’s what’s going to eat up the most of your time incidentally.
As a representative of Libertad, you’re tasked to make contact and unite the people of Yara to take on El Presidente and his army.
There are 3 distinct areas of Yara you can venture to, each with its own group of rebels and Castillo’s minions. It doesn’t really matter which area you head to (the game wants you to assist the Familia in the North part of Yara but I headed to the Eastern part to get the Legends of 67 instead), as the basic gameplay remains the same throughout.
Playing Far Cry 6, I kept getting a strong feeling of deja vu, as if I’ve done all this before.
That’s not pretty far off in a sense.
Despite the new Caribbean setting, the distinctive (some would say unoriginal) Far Cry feel is unmistakable. From the vehicles (and the vehicle handling) to the gunplay, to the mission mechanics…it’s nothing new. The grappling hook returns yet again, to assist in climbing (or swinging from) specially marked points. The wingsuit is back, which allows you to glide across the land. The parachute also makes another appearance.
If you’ve played Far Cry 4 or 5, you’ve pretty much played Far Cry 6.
What’s (kind of) new?
There are minor additions mind you.
You now have a chargeable ultimate attack via the new Supremos backpacks and there are now Resolver (jury-rigged) weapons that unlock as you rank up. Ultimate attacks from the Supremos backpacks can range from a rocket barrage to an EMP wave to take out vehicles and alarms. Resolver weapons are makeshift weapons that take the place of some of the more exotic arsenal from past Far Cry games. There’s a flame thrower, a harpoon gun and other, similarly eclectic weapons.
They’re fun to fool around with, but hardly groundbreaking or innovative.
There’s a bit of base building thrown in for good measure, as you can build up guerrilla camps with special buildings that give specific effects. You’re going to need a ton of resources to do so though, so it feels more like a grind than anything else. I like being able to send AI guerrillas on missions and the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure parts of those missions but there’s only a handful of them in the game.
You can also go on special co-op missions to get special currency you can redeem for exclusive rewards. You don’t need to be playing with another player to enable these (thankfully) and they are pretty cool. The problem is there’s not enough of them to hold your interest for long.
Apart from that, the game now also allows you to customize your looks. Your main character’s given equipment now, with gear you can equip to specific body parts.
While you can’t upgrade your gear (which you can find in chests or bought), they do come with various perks that you’ll need to switch out depending on the situation. Some might make you better resistant to armor piercing bullets, while other gear might give you the ability to automatically put out fires if you catch on fire.
You can pretty much keep wearing the same thing, but it’s much more efficient to swap out your equipment depending on the enemies you’re fighting.
In fact, that’s a big buzzkill and one of the main issues of the game; the constant swapping. Especially when it comes to shooting stuff as there are a couple of different ammo types in the game.
Standard, soft-flesh, armor piercing, explosive and poison. They just needlessly complicate matters. You’re constantly being forced to switch guns (as each gun can only be equipped with a single ammo type. The ammo you use affects the damage you do to the enemies.
While initially it’s not really an issue (you can just headshot people and they die no matter what ammo you use), once you get further into the game it becomes one. Enemies start to take reduced damage (even from headshots) and some guys (like the Special Forces) are insanely tough, even against the ammo that they’re supposed to be weak to.
It can make combat really frustrating, as not only are the baddies hard to kill, they also do considerable damage (even if you’re suitably equipped). That’d be fine if it was offset by a fast health regeneration system, but it’s not. Your health takes ages to recover, so you’re usually forced to hide and pick off your enemies one at a time instead of just going the Rambo route.
That’s fine if you’re into stealthy gameplay (like me), but a massive handicap for those who like action.
Ironically, while the missions can throw too much enemies at you, the open world sections can be the opposite.
Checkpoints and territories you can capture are almost always lightly manned, which makes taking them over a breeze.
I just scout them out with the phone (to mark enemies), snipe out the alarms (and exposed guards) with a silenced rifle, then infiltrate to murder those left. It’s always the same and the repetition does turn into a slog the further I get into the game.
Thankfully, the missions are much more fun to go on. I especially love the Yaran Stories. Doing these missions can also unlock new stuff, including Amigos. These are animal companions that follow you around and each of them have their own individual skills.
I especially love Chincharron, the murderous rooster. Its missions are the funniest and have the best lines. I still crack up at the ‘bloodbaths are Chincharron’s favourite types of bath’ line.
In fact, the Amigos have more personality than most of the cast of the game and are a highlight of the whole thing!
Far Cry 6 looks pretty damn good, there’s no disputing that. No matter on the Xbox Series X or the Playstation 5, the game’s lush foliage and beautiful beaches gives it a vibrant look that most games lack.
In fact, Far Cry 6 reminds me very much of the original Far Cry in looks, which is a complement. While dated by today’s standards, at the time, it was quite a looker! There’s a bit of object pop-in (mainly the foliage) but thankfully it’s not too obnoxious.
The loading is also pretty damn quick, with only a few seconds of loading when you fast travel or respawn from death.
Weirdly, I suspect that the frame rate might not be as stable as it looks because I get motion sickness playing the game. Either the massive amount of camera shake is the issue (I’ve toned it down to the bare minimum though) or the inconsistent framerate is playing havoc with my eyes….or it’s a combination of both.
I suspect it’s the latter though.
I can play an hour or so fine but more than that and I start to get motion sickness. If I continue, I’ll get headaches. I don’t have issues with most games, only those with tons of massive camera movement (like bobbing, camera shaking) coupled with an inconsistent framerate, which was what led me to think this might be one of them.
You might not even feel it depending on your sensitivity to stuff like this though.
The Bottom Line.
Far Cry 6 has all the trappings of a Far Cry game. A huge open world, relative freedom on how to tackle it, territories to capture, a ranking system to climb and customization up the wazoo. It’s great if you’re new to the series because everything is incredibly polished.
Unfortunately, for veterans that means that the game feels like every other recent Far Cry game. Other than the new setting, there’s no much (gameplay wise) that sets apart Far Cry 6 from past entries. If you’re still hungering for it, that’s fine. However, if you’re looking for an innovative and fresher entry to the series…this isn’t it.
Great polished game that’s fun for series beginners and veterans but the lack of innovation makes it seem all too similar to past games.
- Huge open world with lots to do.
- Solid gunplay.
- Open ended gameplay.
- Needlessly complicated ammo system.
- Too similar to past games.
- Tons of camera shake might give you motion sickness.