It’ll be easy to sum up whether or not Far Cry 6 is for you; did you like FC5, 4, 3, or indeed any of the spin offs? Well, then FC6 is for you. Did you not like them? It’s unlikely this one will change your mind. Ubisoft have honed their open world adventure games to a fine art of collectibles, quests, and things to do almost to a fault, and FC6 follows the company’s tradition to the letter. I happen to very much enjoy this style of theirs, at least in this series, and so have found myself having a great time in Yara.
Other than headline star Giancarlo Esposito as the big bad this time, this is a modern day Far Cry game through and through; from the massive open world to the random encounters, over the top characters, and explosive stealth combat, returning fans will feel right at home here.
The land of Yara is packed with things to do and see, sometimes to an overwhelming degree. There’s the usual splurge of consumables to collect along with treasure chests, notes, FND boxes and more. Then we get into the constant Libertad fighters to help, checkpoints to overrun, enemy trucks to destroy, bases to sneak in and out of, fish to catch, weapons to upgrade, AI Amigos to find, cars to steal and… it’s fair to say that anyone saying they’ve run out of things to do here are missing something. And that’s before we even get to the missions which are more of the same still, but feature much bigger set pieces and use all of the land to have us travelling back and forth almost constantly. It’s, as to be expected, a dense feature set aimed at keeping players in the world. This could put some off, but there’s something about the way it’s executed in Far Cry, and specifically 6, that keeps me enjoying every moment.
The constant distractions on previous games could eventually grate as yet another random patrol would start fighting me on the way to a main mission, usually just after I fought off one or two others. Ubi Montreal have clearly heard some of the feedback though, as now we’re able to put our gun away for a much smoother time exploring the land. It’s not only possible but encouraged to just bypass patrols and enemies by putting the weapon down and walking on past. This means that most of the time the only shit being started was by me – or a random group of friendly AI that got brave as I got near. Enemies will still look at us suspiciously if we get too close, but this small change makes moving from place to place a much more enjoyable experience.
Which in turn means we can enjoy the rest of the game without being hounded constantly; handy, and there’s a lot to like here. As above, there are a tonne of things to do and find, and all of it is a fun to do thanks to the same excellent movement as always paired with much earlier access to things like the parachute, glider, or grapple hook. There’s always been a real kinetic sense of being in the world in Far Cry, and this entry only makes that sense stronger thanks to great animations and effects work.
Combat is as punchy as ever, enemies putting up a good fight and going down in spectacular fashion. My favourite aspect, the stealth, is here and correct too. Dani (our playable character, this time fully voiced as either male or female) is a capable Sam Fisher fan, being able to drop assassinate, sneak, distract and nail a guard with a knife from across the room with ease. Unlike previous entries, there’s no skill tree per se. Instead, perks come from gear that is equipped. This allows us to change our set up on the fly, and as long as we look for those FND boxes when they pop up on the map there are plentiful options to go for. I’m not usually one for gear-based systems such as this, but it’s done here in a much more streamlined and readable way so as to make it easy to understand.
Rounding out the standard weapons and abilities are the Supremo attacks. You’ve likely seen in the trailer this big, back pack-type affair that fires rockets out of it. Well, we get this fairly early on, and it add a splash of over the top Far Cry-ness to the game. It governs our throwables (Molotov’s, grenades, baseballs etc) but also has its own charge that once full fires out a barrage of rockets to home in on anyone unlucky enough to be nearby. It’s hectic and highly unrealistic, but damn if it isn’t fun to use.
All this adds up to a game that is not going to break any mould, or change any dissenting voices, but is a lot of fun to just be in and play. Even when it goes spectacularly wrong – those friendly AI can cause a right scene when they want to, and sometime the enemy AI are very good at appearing out of nowhere – it rarely feels anything but fun. The island of Yara is also one of the prettiest and most enjoyable to explore, up there with Far Cry 3’s Rook Island as one of the best in the series for me. The Series X certainly helps this of course, but the denseness of the environment as well as the effects, lighting, and detail makes it a joy to explore.
The story has always been the weak point in these games, even with the charismatic villains of the past. Here is no different. The characters are enjoyable enough but are always just on the side of too annoying to care about, while the villains are clearly there just to be dicks and get shot in the face. Of course, President of Yara Giancarlo Esposito (perhaps it shows how little I was invested that I can’t even recall his in game name on my own) is the stand out here, but his infectious bad guy energy can’t quite prop up the rest of the tale for me. For the first time we also get to see our character Dani in third person, both in the games cutscenes and in the various home bases in Yara. This adds a little to the cinematic style, but even then I found myself caring very little abuot her plight and that of the Libertads, instead just wanting to get back to the gameplay as quick as possible. One concession Ubi have made over FC5 and New Dawn in particular is it is now possible to skip the dialoge when a character is giving us a mission! I lost count of the amount of times I shot Bean in the face in New Dawn because I got bored of listening to him drone on while we waited for the mission marker to pop up. Now, we can accept the mission straight away and skip all that. It does come with the trade off that we’re presented with a very odd looking mission screen rather than staying immersed in the world, but I’m happy to take that trade any day.
Far Cry 6 is as Far Cry as Far Cry gets. It may be cut from the same cloth as previous entries almost identically, but when the action is this fun and the world is this expansive and full of things to do, I’m not going to complain. The title alone will let you know if that’s for you, but if it is, you’re in for one hell of a ride.Become a Patron!
This game was reviewed based on Xbox S|X review code, using an Xbox S|X console. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.