Of the numerous ongoing Ubisoft franchises, Far Cry appears like it’s the only one that hasn’t seen too many massive changes. Assassin’s Creed’s recent entries doubled down on the RPG aspects and revitalized the series, Watch Dogs tried an innovative new “play as anyone” mechanic with Legion, and Ghost Recon is actually a different series now (for better as well as for worse). Far Cry, though, has stuck to the core tenants since Far Cry 3, that is almost ten years old at this time. Far Cry 6 feels like an attempt to push the series in a new direction, but it ultimately does not add anything meaningful to the formula. It attempts to be both a significant drama as well as an action-packed open-world sandbox, spreading itself way too thin along the way.
You play as Dani Rojas, a guerilla fighter who gets trapped having a bunch of revolutionaries attempting to overthrow Anton Castillo, the oppressive dictator from the fictional island of Yara. It’s basically a stand-in for Cuba, borrowing just about everything however the name. Castillo rose to power because of his promise to restore the area to its former glory using a miracle drug called Viviro. All who oppose Castillo’s regime are deemed “fake Yarans” and therefore are instructed to act as slaves to produce Viviro. Through propaganda, military power, and fearmongering, Castillo has assumed total control over the area of Yara.
It’s arguably the most serious subject material the series has ever tackled, and Ubisoft attempts to give the story the gravitas it deserves. There’s an expensive opening credits sequence that plays any time you boot up the game that feels like it had been lifted completely from an HBO show, and Anton Castillo is played by Giancarlo Esposito of Breaking Bad fame. From the marketing prior to launch, it really appeared like Long way away 6 would be a significant step-up within the storytelling department.
Unfortunately, it’s all mostly for show, and also the game never really explores any of its themes beyond a surface-level examination. Long way away 5 appeared like it would discuss heavy topics like religion and also the current state of the usa, only to end up saying hardly any at all. Far Cry 6 falls victim towards the same problem, adopting the aesthetics of a revolution without taking the chance to explore those themes with any depth. A-list actors along with a slick presentation can only do so much to hide shallow writing.
In typical Long way away fashion, the only real areas of the storyline that are compelling are the scenes that involve the large bad. Despite a mediocre script, Giancarlo Esposito still offers a fantastic performance as Anton Castillo. Castillo’s son, Diego, however, is the core from the story. Watching the young boy wrestle with his loyalty to his father but additionally his desire not to follow in the footsteps is the real narrative hook of Long way away 6, and that i wish the game featured more scenes using the father-son duo. Most of the time, you’re tied to the different guerilla groups on the island, and they’re nowhere near as compelling as the Castillo family.
Far Cry 6 is a game having a serious identity crisis. The game feels like it really wants to be a gritty, realistic shooter where you’re only just scraping by as with Far Cry 2, however it won’t let those restrictions obstruct of the over-the-top action the series has become known for since Far Cry 3. For example, most of Yara’s airspace is fixed, preventing you from flying unless you take out anti-aircraft installations first. Your initial group of weapons is weak, recoil is hard to control, and your attachments are made from spares. Horses are suggested so you can stay off the main roads, and you have to understand more about for supplies to construct custom gear called “Resolver” weapons. These things stop being problems after a couple of hours though. The game would like you to definitely seem like you’re a resourceful, outgunned guerilla fighter but nonetheless wants to allow you to wear silly hats and hunt alligators with grenade launchers.
In the opening hours, the game keeps continually beats you within the head using the idea of while using right tool for the right job, and Far Cry 6 will be a far better game whether it actually committed to this concept. Much like most things, the game plasters the guerilla aesthetic over everything without actually investing in any interesting gameplay ideas that originate from it. After a few hours, you’ll be designed with military-grade weapons, a Supremo backpack that serves a number of purposes from explosives to EMP blasts, and more tools than you know what to do with. At that time, there’s nothing special about the setting or premise. It’s just another Long way away game set in an exotic location with lots of stuff to blow up.
That’s not saying there aren’t any new additions to the gameplay loop in Far Cry 6. The most important change is the inclusion of multiple ammo types. You’ll have to equip armor-piercing rounds to efficiently take down armored enemies, soft target rounds to shred through unarmored targets, and special ammo types like incendiary for everything else among. You can also equip different pieces of clothing which have various perks and bonuses, but they’re relatively minor buffs. The ammo addition is a fairly touch, but like the majority of from the supposed guerilla struggles in Far Cry 6, it stops being an issue since you can carry three weapons and a sidearm all the time.
The divide between its overly serious story and over-the-top gameplay is what hurts Far Cry 6 probably the most. These two aspects constantly clash together, and it’s hard to escape that feeling that the game would have been a lot better if it really leaned into one of these within the other. That’s not saying games can’t balance silly gameplay and melodramatic cutscenes (begin to see the Yakuza series), but Far Cry 6 is not among those games.
The setting and premise aren’t entirely wasted, however. Yara features multiple dense urban settings, a first for that series. Yara’s capital of Esperanza is heavily guarded and you’ll need to make utilization of secret guerilla pathways to pass through safely. Other towns and villages over the island have collectibles and caches hidden in alleyways and on rooftops, creating some exciting exploration. Anton’s regime also offers a powerful military, so you’ll frequently be in combat with tanks and helicopters. There’s even a heat meter, which sends powerful Special Forces enemies to your location should you cause too much trouble. Anton’s military forces permit a substantial amount of enemy variety, and also the new urban zones provide a nice change of pace in the jungles, forests, and beaches of Yara.
Yara is another ridiculously beautiful island, especially on next-gen consoles. On Xbox Series X, the game’s vistas which always managed to stun even toward the tail end from the game. There’s an impressive degree of detail everywhere, and also the skyboxes are the best I’ve ever seen. It’s just a very pleasant spot to explore (not counting the oppressive fascist regime). While you’re exploring, you’ll come across caches that require small puzzles to unlock, unique animal hunting spots, fishing spots, and all the usual Far Cry side content. It’s just as engaging as ever, even if it’s still a little formulaic. When you include a full co-op campaign, there’s a lot of fun available.
The weapons feel good than ever before too. Your first few weapons are intentionally weak and hard to control, but when you either purchase or find new gear, you won’t have problems aiming and shooting. New traversal options like horses are appreciated too, and the new Supremo backpacks add a new layer of technique to the combat loop by essentially giving you a rechargeable ultimate ability. If you’re solely looking to play Long way away 6 to ride a horse and shoot some fascists, you’ll have a good enough time.
At the end of your day, Far Cry 6 is a beautiful playground full of stuff to shoot and items to blow up. That’s all it really is though: a playground. It really feels like Long way away doesn’t understand what it wants to be at this point. The road to Far Cry 6 and also the game’s first couple of hours suggested a grittier, more grounded take on the open-world formula the series is renowned for. Playing the game through to completion, it’s now abundantly clear that all the talk of guerilla warfare and Resolver weaponry was just that: talk. Long way away 6 is simply another Long way away game, one that desperately wants to utilize the imagery of the revolution without having anything meaningful to say of one.