I’ve been a fan of Far Cry for quite some time, having played the series from the second title through the current game. I’ve also obtained Platinums for all the main games in series available for the PS3 and PS4, including the spin-offs Primal and New Dawn. So I’ve seen my fair share of Far Cry, experiencing the games to their full extents. I feel 100% justified in saying Far Cry 6 isn’t really a Far Cry title.
It’s not that Far Cry 6 isn’t a good game, but Ubisoft has put this specific Far Cry title through drastic change, pushing it more into the vein of other Ubisoft games. Honestly, there is just so much fundamental adjustment, it literally should have been titled anything else but Far Cry.
As far as the story goes, Dani Rojas, who was previously in the Yaran military–and the main protagonist–is attempting to leave the island of Yara due to the “drafting”, which is just a political word for forcing slavery on the Yaran people. Antón Castillo, the president (more like dictator) had created Viviro, a cancer treatment drug that developed from Yara’s tobacco. Viviro was supposed to bring stability to Yara, which is what Castillo promised to the people. Unfortunately, treating the tobacco with the chemicals needed to create this drug causes serious damage to those who come in contact with it. Obviously, Antón needs workers to distribute the chemicals, which lead to the “draft.”
Dani decides to join Libertad, the guerrilla fighters trying to overthrow Antón Castillo to recreate a new Yara. But since I’m not one to ruin the whole story, you’ll have to play the game or read a full synopsis.
I do have some qualms with the story. It’s unlike other Far Cry games, where your interactions with the people are simple chats that bring on the next mission. A lot more time is spent on Dani dealing with many different locals, along with all of their problems. While this is not a bad aspect of the game, you hardly see the intriguing dealings within Antón Castillo’s regime. In previous titles, more is seen of the villain, as well as the affect they have on the country/region they control. This is what has always kept me on the main missions, because why stray away when another encounter with this monster could be on the horizon?
Seeing Antón Castillo (played by the spectacular actor Giancarlo Esposito) was absolutely the best part of this game. He plays this role so well, and seeing the mind of a dictator (and how it affects his son, Diego) is more on par to what Far Cry is all about. However, the time between seeing these beautiful performances is so long it truly undermines the whole experience. The first area takes over 20 missions just to come across that section’s head honcho. I saw three or four scenes with Antón Castillo throughout that whole time.
The biggest issue is most of these missions are just unnecessary. It artificially adds playtime, but doesn’t actually add anything to the storyline.That being said, I feel most of Far Cry 6 is just a bunch of artificial additions that have no purpose other than to keep players in the game.
Far Cry 5 introduced the need to collect materials in order to upgrade weapons at a workbench. Well, Far Cry 6 took this a bit further and made the workbench an extremely irritating process. I love trying new weapons and having a setup for every occasion. Well, collecting materials to obtain that goal is frustrating. Certain materials can only be acquired from alpha animals (more on that later), while things like gun powder just means a lot of searching and killing to get. No to all of this.
I miss the days when upgrading a gun simply needed money and/or an animal skin. This current process just makes it more difficult to obtain the better mods, sights, silencers, and whatnot. Making these components is a necessary, since Ubisoft completely upended the combat system. Enemies now have weaknesses, like soft-target or armor piercing bullets. Vehicles that have shielded windows can only be blown out with weapons that have blast bullets. While these are not bad in their own right, they definitely fall more into the Ghost Recon category than Far Cry.
The only positive is once an item is unlocked, it’s available for all weapons within that class.
Another annoying aspect of Far Cry 6 is the removal of skills. In previous titles, players could level up and use skill points to tailor the game more to their own playstyles. These skills would include actions like takedowns from above–where players could silently melee an enemy from above–and passive abilities like movement noise reduction. This is still possible of course, but it requires you to have the appropriate gear to do so. Not only does this force the player to limit what they use while just roaming the countryside, but it also means a constant change of gear in the inventory for certain situations. I don’t like to use the word hate because it’s such a strong word, but…I hate this. I would have preferred a hybrid of skills and gear, since this would have negated the time spent in the game’s menus.
An interesting addition to Far Cry 6 is the Supremo. It’s a backpack-type weapon that’s made up of depleted uranium. There are several different types of Supremos, but they all require a specific premium material type–Supremo Bond–as well as another high-end material, Industrial Composite, to install mods. It’s just another layer of searching for items needed to upgrade another piece of equipment.
The Supremo also holds all the gadgets in the game. So grenades, molotovs, healing abilities, etc., are all attached to this weapon. If you want to change a gadget on the fly, you can’t, because you have to go to a workbench (this applies to every weapon though). However, any Supremo used can be seen on Dani’s back during cutscenes, which I dislike. It just looks silly.
All in all, this entire combat/gear system is just not for me, and this is just what I felt needed to be mentioned.
When it comes to Far Cry 6’s graphics, it’s a confusing topic. The cutscenes are extremely janky. Like, every scene includes some form of frame rate loss. This really breaks my immersion and makes it hard to enjoy what’s being going on in the scene. The character models are extremely detailed, especially when focusing on their faces. On the other hand, the entire island is gorgeous.
Yara has a heavy mix of the typical “tropic island feel” along with oddly placed highways, shantytowns, villas that play host to officers of the FND, as well as places like airports and farmland. Of course, Yara mostly resembles an island, with palm trees, an abundance of foliage, and water pretty much around every corner. But it also contains mountain ranges, gorges, caves, and waterfalls. I do believe the only geological structure that isn’t included in the game is a volcano (don’t quote me on that though).
Ubisoft also included dynamic weather. This is actually really special because few games include weather patterns like this. When there is a downpour of rain, lightening can often be seen off in the distance within the dark storm clouds. Sometimes it will be slightly overcast, or bright and sunny. I did find myself looking at the sky while in flying or just riding around in the mountains.
While all these unique biomes and weather patterns are great to see, I felt like animals were sparse. Previous game’s had so many annoying animal encounters that it was more of a burden running through the bush. Now that I’m looking for materials that can only come from Alpha animal meat and..yup..can’t find any. Where is the happy medium? It also seems that the animal diversity is far less as well. I think this is because there is a limited amount of materials and the meat that’s taken from the animals can only be exchanged for materials. Animal meat has no monetary value in this game, so if you feel you’ve collected enough materials for weapon adjustments, there is no reason to continue hunting. I mean, you can sell the materials but what is with the middle-man process?
Speaking of animals, my absolute favorite addition is the horse. I can’t believe it took Ubisoft so long to bring a horse into the game. Far Cry 4 had elephants. Far Cry Primal had several mounts, but the horse is something special. This majestic animal makes it so much easier to traverse through the tiny mountain trails, or just off road in general. I find myself looking for a horse spawning location more than I do a car. I’m less likely to hit a random person with a horse–since they are far more maneuverable–which is important when enemies and friendly NPCs are just walking about everywhere. I do wish there was an option to directly call a horse to you, like the option given for a car. I also wish random NPCs would stop sporadically ramming into my horse for literally no reason. But that’s a true Far Cry moment.
Another aspect of the Far Cry experience that fell flat is just the basic exploration. Previously, the entire map could be explored without any limitations. Map areas are now locked behind an arbitrary Rank number, which is tied to Dani’s current Rank and weapon level when combined. If you don’t do enough main missions or side missions, it would be advised to avoid a ranked location higher than your Rank–the enemies there are not exactly fun to deal with.
There is also the matter of flying. I used to thoroughly enjoy just buzzing around in a helicopter, dropping down on spots I wanted to check out or spotting locations I wished to come back to later. This isn’t possible in Far Cry 6. Anti-aircraft cannons are littered across the entire island of Yara and coming within the blast radius of these cannons will result in being shot down. Obviously these can be destroyed, but it’s just such an unneeded additive.
Far Cry 6 isn’t all bad. Its combat is just as smooth as previous titles, so it’s easy to transition from weapon to melee kills (or vice versa), or any gadget of choice. Same could be said for the driving, and it’s always fun to bomb it down the road and drift around corners. I enjoy the color customization options for the vehicles, horses, and weapons, since this is such a great part of a game for me. Yah know, freedom of expression and what not.
I know people like to “pet the dog,” but there is more than just the dog to pet. Every amigo (companion), friendly dog and horse can be pet. It’s not all the same animation for each animal either, so it’s quite nice. I do wish the developing team would have allowed players to pet the cows and goats, because they’re cute.
One slightly controversial addition to the game is cockfighting. It’s a mini-game were you play the role of a rooster, and you fight a CPU rooster. There are 19 roosters strewn about Yara and it’s fun to see how each dukes it out in the ring. Winning does net some Yaran Pesos.
Aside from how Far Cry 6 plays and looks, it does have some bugs and visual issues.
These can be funny, like a horse whose front legs are buried in the ground or rocks that float. I even had a visual tear in a cavern where it looked like shark fin in the water. That frightened me a bit. It’s the not so fun bugs that can be irritating.
Mounting a horse can randomly cause the two of you to rocket into the air. I’ve had a couple of horses die–as well as myself taking fall damage–because of it. When setting a waypoint, a blue line should appear on the map showing the best way to get there on the road system. Several times this feature simply hasn’t worked. Side note: when moving between named locations these pop up on the screen but take forever to go away. I’ve missed many turns because I can’t see the mini-map when these names pop up.
There was even one instance were I dove out of a moving vehicle and ending up underneath the map. I had to fast travel to free myself.
I’m all for innovation in a video game, but the amount of change (some of which I didn’t mention) was just too much at once. Plus, all of the adjustments Ubisoft did make really pushed Far Cry 6 more into the category of a soft Ghost Recon. It has the same gameplay elements, shares the same rank system, and contains anti-aircraft turrets–just to name a few. If they wanted to make a new Ghost Recon, that’s great, but don’t name it Far Cry and pretend it’s some brand-new experience within the series. It just a re-skinned Ghost Recon, with a few Far Cry themes thrown in.
I would have preferred a Far Cry that was more in-line with the other mainline entries. Ubisoft could have had much more fun with this game, because the technology is there for console players. Most of the story is so lackluster that it doesn’t push me to go for those main missions, because I’m not excited about them. I can’t understand why so many pointless missions are included into the main story.
If you’re into the kind of experience that Far Cry 6 is trying to offer, by all means, pick it up. If you’re someone like me who wants an explorative game that’s more similar to the games of the past, it’s gonna be a hard no.