From its early beginnings as a gorgeous glorified tech demo, Far Cry has long been the standard for how to make a beautiful shooter. Far Cry 6 continues the trend of welcoming you to a glorious tropical nation that’s wracked by a deep political war. However, beauty only proves to be skin deep as Far Cry 6 feels the most foreign in the franchise.
Starting off, FarCry 6 opens with a video that serves as an introductory credit roll to let you know who all of the actors who perform in the game are. This makes sense, considering at face value, Far Cry 6 is pretty solid as a popcorn action flick. Set in a modern-day reimagination of Cuba, Yara starts off with quite a few parallels to its real-world counterpart. Where Far Cry 4’s Kyrat stayed a little closer to its source (Nepal) and dabbled in more drug-induced hallucinations than Far Cry 3, Far Cry 6 decided to try and make some sort of a political point by continually reminding the player that Yarans know that the “American dream” wasn’t meant for them.
As a person who has friends who are Cuban, this is an insulting stance to take as not a sentiment that seems to be widely accepted among Cuban migrants. Those people came here to escape a tyrannical government, and using their struggle as fodder for some Canadian developers to make veiled statements is embarrassing and Ubisoft as a company should know better. Someone in quality assurance should have caught this and realized it probably wasn’t a good look – but then again, what should I expect from a company who thought putting in a CD Launcher gun that plays Los Del Rio’s Macarena was a clever idea? Oh, right – it’s funny ’cause it’s Spanish and people won’t care that all Latin American countries are the same. This is a shame because a lot of the other music feels rather fitting – including a shameless helping of everyone’s favorite Spanglish rapper, Cuban icon Mr. Worldwide, Mr. 305, Dale Supreme, Pitbull.
If you completely ignore the sociopolitical aspects (which is difficult considering some of the characters and how heavy-handed things are forcefully included) and just rate Far Cry 6 on the gameplay mechanics, you’ll find yourself even more confused as to what the hell was going on during the development in this game. Enemies are weak to certain bullet types, but having the wrong ammo type means you won’t do much of anything to them damage-wise. This creates an awkward Paper/Rock/Scissors situation, and the game often likes to mix up enemies of multiple types which means defending against them is considerably harder than it should be. Normally this would be manageable by earned perks, but for whatever reason, Far Cry 6 chose to put passive bonuses you’d normally unlock as you level up on gear instead of on you as the player. The result? You never know what to wear until you get to your mission objective. Need fire protection from dudes with flamethrowers? Hope you weren’t trying to clear the farm with stealth cause you’re gonna get melted the moment they spot you.
Speaking of which, the enemies seemingly never stop coming in this game. Even when you clear out a fort or a stronghold, one or two stragglers manage to show up out of nowhere and will alert everyone immediately. Remember when you could pick off someone who would sound the alarms if you were spotted? Not now. It’s instant If not a straggler, a random patrol vehicle happens to drive by and notice bodies at the most inopportune times. Trying to move around the map quickly? You can buy camps that allow you to unlock guerilla hideouts across the map for fast travel, but if you wanna fly to a destination that’s 1500km away? Nope, not without going around and finding all of the obnoxiously pointless anti-air guns stationed all over the island. Did you bring a weapon that’s meant for soft targets only to find that everyone is wearing armor? Too bad bitch, go back to a workbench cause while you can swap every weapon you’re carrying on you, you can’t swap the ammo out on the fly. That would actually make sense, and we can’t be having any of that up in here.
Multiplayer missions reward a cash currency that allows you to buy items off the black market – but it’s relegated to inviting friends without online matchmaking. We also still have achievements/trophies that only unlock for the host but not the partner. How has this still not been fixed? We’ve been complaining about that since Far Cry 4.
All that said, there are a few things that I like in Far Cry 6. I like the addition of adding resources to camps in order to generate new things. Build a hunting lodge and you’ll be able to see where to go to look for certain animals. Build a guerilla camp and you can buy the locations of safe houses around the map which help out tremendously when trying to move between regions. I also really enjoy the cast of the animal companions. Chorizo is a handicapped puppy who helps mark resources on the map and uses his adorable cute face to provide a distraction so you can pick off enemies that are overwhelmed by his snuggle ability. Getting your ass beat in combat and finding a momentary break to hide behind a wall? Petting Chorizo provides you with a healing boost to get you back into action. The other Amigos are pretty useful too depending on your playstyle. Chicharron is an angry chicken who will mercilessly slice anyone with razor-sharp talons of fury, while K-9000 is a Terminator-style metal dog that explodes if he’s killed.
I’m not really sure what this game is supposed to be. It says it’s Far Cry, but it’s so removed from being FarCry that I’m still partially convinced it was meant to be an original IP that they slapped the name on for fear of bad sales. Playing Far Cry 6 is like sitting inside the dying husk of something that was formerly great. Whatever this amalgamation is, it’s barely recognizable as Far Cry to me. There are mentions and nods to previous games in the franchise – like the coming DLC missions where you get to play as Vaas, Pagan Min, and Joseph Seed – and finding Hurk’s dog inside a shipping container. In fact, the DLC for Far Cry 5 was more enjoyable than the main game, and I suspect that’ll be the case here as well. While Giancarlo Esposito from Breaking Bad does a fine job as totally-not-Castro dictator Anton Castillo, his son goes from being kind-hearted and refusing to hurt innocent people to cold-blooded without any character development at all. Wax a ship full of immigrants trying to leave for America? Nah. Shoot your Uncle with a shotgun as he runs away because he failed your Dad? Zero hesitation. BOOM. Speaking of characters, Paolo is completely out of place in this world, but needless to say the details about him being trans and his transition come across horribly forced and awkward. If you want to see an example of a well-written trans character, look at Claire from Cyberpunk 2077.
Map exploration is an absolute chore in this game. You can literally pay real money to buy credits to uncover things on the map that normally would have been uncovered had you gone back to the Assassin’s Creed lookout tower-style exploration system, or trying to find maps randomly placed in smaller camps/locations across the island is about as much fun as slamming your hand in a car door. Far Cry 6 is a flying leap backward in comparison to my grievances with Far Cry 5. There are a billion little charms for your guns (Rainbow Six style) and other random crap to find, but Far Cry 6 feels like the bare framework was laid down to create an online service for the next game while sprinkling in a small amount of flavor so they could get away with using the name. It’s a shame, because while I wasn’t crazy about Far Cry 5 feeling like it was three smaller games weirdly stitched together, whatever Far Cry 6 is supposed to be feels like they made a cake and forgot the butter, flour, eggs, or to actually bake it. The more I played, the less I wanted to, and that’s not a good sign for a FarCry fan.
FarCry 6 was played on the PlayStation 5 and was provided for review by Ubisoft.