Far Cry 6 is basically a playground for blowing things up. It’s easily the most aggressive Far Cry in the series, giving you tools to be a one-man fascist-killing machine with a pet Crocodile.
I’ll confess I’m not that familiar with the Far Cry series as a whole, save for its laughably camp spinoff Blood Dragon. But the general image of Far Cry has always been one of sneaking around tropical locales, taking down outposts and stealth-killing enemy soldiers to get more materials.
Far Cry 6 is thankfully not too far a departure from that- that’s all very much still a part of the game. But with 6, it definitely feels like Ubisoft has allowed the game to absorb a sillier approach, with the caveat that it has to lead to better gameplay.
Storming enemy outposts is more fun than ever with new tools, such as the new Resolver Weapons and Supremo backpacks. While it’s definitely more RPG-like than previous Far Cry entries it’s also more dialed back than Assassin’s Creed Valhalla- that is to say it’s not so much of a departure you’d wonder why it kept the same name.
Hey It’s That Dude From The Mandalorian
You play as Dani Rojas- an ex-soldier turned Guerilla fighter out to topple the Castillo regime after you get pulled into the resistance group Libertad. While Dani has some personality, it’s not much- they’re mostly just a vehicle for you to start
Obviously, one of the big stars of the game’s marketing is Giancarlo Esposito, who plays the game’s villain Anton Castillo. He’s a great character, being both incredibly chilling in how scary he is while also seeming familiar enough to anyone familiar with dictatorships.
That being said he’s not a particularly in-your-face villain- it feels like your character loses their personal beef with him pretty fast, and the game is more about just overthrowing his regime instead of a mad quest to put a bullet in his head.
For the most part I’m glad with how the story is treated in Far Cry 6 – it’s more of a justification for your wacky antics than a serious drama about rebellion. Honestly I’d be pissed too- Castillo has apparently spent all of Yara’s money on rocket launcher patrols, tanks and anti-aircraft guns all while promising he’ll make his money back on a new Cancer drug backed by the power of slavery.
On the good side of the cast, the show is absolutely stolen by Juan Cortez- your mentor of the Guerilla ways. With a whole book of rules and warcrimes under his belt, he is the portal to everything ridiculous about Far Cry 6. He’s backed up by Clara- your boss in Libertad, who describes him as some walking War God. There’s a lot of other really interesting characters, but they all seem to fall short of ever being too interesting.
Each of the game’s 3 islands you go to have their own localized stories, such as the drama with the Monteros on one island, as well as the Legends of ’67 on another. While they’re all interesting enough none of the characters are particularly show-stealing.
If you’re looking for a grand narrative, Far Cry 6 probably isn’t it. What it does do, though, is give you a means to double down on your murdering urges by giving you a story that makes you feel like you’re in the right, always. I’m glad for this, really: so many games keep trying to ask you questions about if you’re doing the right thing, it’s nice for a game to hand you a super glock and tell you the world had it coming.
Like A Yaran Space Marine
The gunplay in Far Cry 6 is definitely one of the most fun in a shooter this year, with the game having a huge library of firearms for you to commit the game’s self-described “High-velocity war crimes”.
And when I say lots of guns, I actually mean it- Far Cry 6 has steered clear of tiered loot, with each gun actually being its own gun instead of stats shuffled along and assigned a color. Some guns will function similarly but as the game obsessively tells you, there’s a right tool for the right job.
You can also customize these guns with various upgrades, such as better sights, different rounds and the like. These are interestingly enough, Far Cry’s solution to the problems of over-RPG-ing your game: every enemy is weak to a specific type of ammo, but that ammo will do basically nothing against other enemy types. For example blast weapons have terrible damage compared to standard rounds- but will absolutely shred targets like tanks and helicopters.
There’s three main ammo types- Soft target, Armor Piercing and Blast, and three weapon slots, so it pays to do a little Pokemon prep and have one of each for better type coverage.
There’s also other special ammo types with additional effects- Incendiary ammo lights your enemies on fire faster than telling them their favorite gacha character sucks, and poison ammo can turn enemies against each other in a drugged up stupor.
I really like this solution to the problems many games that adopt RPG mechanics has, but I’m sure it has its detractors too. For one, there’s no “best weapon”, but there are weapons that excel with certain weapon types. The LMG is a beast with Blast ammo, shredding any vehicle before you run out bullets, while an armor-piercing sniper means you can easily kill high-ranking officials once you’re in range. It’s not a DPS race, it’s about countering the enemy’s defences.
Of course, we haven’t even gotten to Resolver weapons yet. These are special weapons that you can build from scraps, with a big tradeoff- while the regular weapons can typically use most ammo types, Resolver Weapons have their own upgrade options.
The tradeoff though, is some of the most fun you’ll have in a Far Cry game. A lot of the sillier weapons are justified through the Resolver system, such as a flamethrower called El Tostador or my personal favorite- El Muro, a shield-and-hand-cannon combination that lets you throw cover to the wind as you charge forwards like a glorious Yaran Space Marine, knowing no fear.
In a way it really feels like gunplay was the core focus of Far Cry 6- there’s just so many options, able to suit a plethora of playstyles. The Resolver weapons feel like they were made for people like me who abhor realistic looking weapons, with equally grounded gameplay. It’s not a total power fantasy either- some of the weapons include stealth picks like a nailgun, so the crazy meter can be used either way.
The best part is the no-tiered-loot system also applies to your gear, too. Dani can equip different pieces of clothing, all of which shows up on their body, which all have really good abilities. These are a great way to tailor your build to suit your playstyle, so you’ll really want to go looking for the best gear.
The fact these are pre-generated loot really helps too, so you never get the Diablo problem of some gear just not being good. Every piece of gear is useful in some way, though not every piece works with every playstyle.
Best Friends Can Be Pets Or Weapons Of Mass Destruction
The other new thing they’ve added is the Supremos- powered backpacks that give Dani an ult-like attack. Just like the Resolver Weapons there’s a Supremo for every playstyle, such as the EMP Supremo which disables vehicles and machinery around you, the Jetpack Supremo which creates a ring of fire around you while also letting you have an airdash at no charge, as well as the most straightforward Supremo which turns you into a mech committing the Macross Missile Massacre.
I like to call these watercooler-talk-generators. The Supremos activations are extremely flashy, with every single one having dramatic enough effects that it’s going to create an interesting moment. Later on in the game once the spectacle has worn off they’re not that important, unless they’re a key part of your playstyle such as with the EMP Supremo.
Supremos are also tied to your gadget loadout- that is to say, which throwable items you can use. These range from the distracting baseball to molotov cocktails and dynamite, so you’ll want to use the right ones to compliment your Supremo’s playstyle.
Overall, while not being too big of a gameplay shake-up, Supremos definitely play up the tone of Far Cry 6 way more than you’d expect. With Supremos, every mission now has a zany occurrence, some grand agent of chaos to keep the missions exciting. The jetpack in particular is great for this since it’s so hard to control the spread of fire- I thought I’d use it to get rid of some demon chickens but instead all I ended up with was injuries from the now flaming demon chickens.
Right along side them are the new Amigos, which are animal sidekicks you can recruit. There’s a variety of different Amigos you can get, from more combat-oriented ones a la Guapo the Crocodile to ones that are more stealth oriented like Chorizo. The game even tells you where to unlock each companion as well as their playstyle, so it never feels like any of them are too far out of reach.
I really like the Amigos system, but they can also feel bloated when added to the already great combat system. Summoning your Amigo can be a bit of a hassle, and if you forget it’s not like they’re total game changers that you’d suffer for very long. Instead, the Amigo adds to the watercooler talk generator, where you can tell your friends stories about how the crocodile solo’d 3 soldiers at the same time while you looted the military base.
One other way they’ve improved the Far Cry formula is expanding the types of vehicles you have available. You can now pilot helicopters, tanks and planes, assuming you can get to them without destroying them first.
Better yet, parking the stolen vehicles in your garage GTA-style permanently adds them to your collection, meaning conquering every base with a tank like you were an angry Dalek is entirely likely.
A lot of the vehicles are also designed for the game’s Co-Op play, having second seats for co-pilots and/or gunners. This includes your own custom car, which can be summoned at any roadside for maximum chaos.
While vehicular chaos itself is fun, I feel like driving is the worst part about the vehicles. The game forces you into a first-person perspective, and a lot of the cars handle a little too realistically that you’re just pulling your stick to the left praying your car will eventually turn.
Funnily enough the only time it doesn’t feel like this is the tank. I’m not kidding when I say it handles the best out of every vehicle in the game- only further cementing it as one of the best additions to your theatre of chaos.
The Usual Ubisoft Grind
Probably the biggest gripe with Far Cry 6 is that for all that it does to its combat, it doesn’t fix the usual grind associated with Ubisoft titles. Yara is huge, with lots to do across the map. The thing is there’s nothing that makes you want to do most of these things, only reasons that you have to to do them, such as with hunting animals.
Some of the military targets are fun side missions, like breaking into a Tobacco plant and then loudly murdering every guard while you wait to download some data. But at the end of the day a lot of the missions can feel samey, and if you go hard on it over the course of a few days it’s hard to not burn out on them.
Worse yet, traversal itself isn’t that great in the game. For all its size the most efficient way to get across Yara is to just grab a helicopter and book it, which is just holding forwards until you reach your waypoint. The only thing stopping you is the Castillo’s Anti-Aircraft guns, which you’ll need to infiltrate the base to destroy to clear your way.
If you’re going by road you can literally just set the cars to go auto-drive there following the roads, which I highly recommend since the forced first person perspective can really do a number on you if you’re vulnerable to motion sickness. Of course the problem with this is that it’s actual downtime in the game, letting you do immersion breaking things like get ghosted on Tinder or make horrible impulse purchases before you get to your destination.
While Ubisoft’s huge open worlds sound great on paper it’s always been a gripe of mine- I wouldn’t mind if the map was half the size if there were more interesting things to do. Even if the encounters *are* designed they certainly don’t feel it, instead just feeling like the game is rolling the dice on which flavor of soldier it throws at you.
On top of that there’s just so much busy work to do- your HQ can be upgraded to have different facilities, which can be used to enhance things like fishing, or reveal more hideouts for you to go to. If you’re just a fan of shooting things and blowing up, it can all seem daunting, but thankfully it’s skippable if you don’t mind being short of upgrade materials every now and again.
It’s not a problem unique to Far Cry either, since a lot of these problems persist across Ubisoft games. I guess the disappointment comes from the fact that Far Cry 6 does fix a lot of other problems people have with the Ubisoft Formula, that seeing some remain unchanged just gets on your nerves.
It’s not all bad though- one benefit of the “lots of small things to do” approach is the minigames. While racing was a given for any game featuring cars, where they really excelled is the cockfighting minigame, which is literally just Tekken. These use the collectable roosters you’ll find all across the game, with each one unlocking another slot as you wage your quest to be the number one cockfighter. A bunch of the roster also have fun names such as El Dragon who looks an awful lot like Ryu from Street Fighter, and Rival, who’s just El Dragon but red.
Gripes aside, there’s a lot to love in Far Cry 6. It’s a solid shooter that runs excellently on the PS5, with a plot that’s just there to tell you it’s okay to commit acts of domestic terrorism so you don’t feel so bad about welding a super gun and blowing up military bases.
It definitely feels like the most fun-oriented Ubisoft title in a while. While it doesn’t do any radical shake-ups to its formula a la Watch Dogs: Legion and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, it does double down on the best parts of the Far Cry series- causing chaos- and give you more tools to do just that.
If you’re not bugged by a deluge of things to do, you’ll really enjoy Far Cry 6- it’s a top-class game, and blowing up the military in the name of revolution is a lot of fun.
Or, you know. Blowing all your Pesos trying to beat a Rooster with Heihachi eyebrows.
Game reviewed on PS5. Review copy provided by Ubisoft
Far Cry 6
- Amazing gunplay
- Resolver weapons are a fun addition to the mix
- When this game's good, it's great
- You will never be free of gathering materials and busywork
- I wish the "Fun first" mentality extended to the driving too
Far Cry 6