ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Far Cry: Rite of Passage,’ Issue #1

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Far Cry: rite of Passage #1

With the anticipated release of Far Cry 6, we’re given some insight on some of the focal characters of this upcoming game through a first for Ubisoft and Dark Horse Comics—a Far Cry comic series. Far Cry: Rite of Passage #1 is written by Bryan Edward Hill and published by Dark Horse Comics, with art by Geraldo Borges, colors by Michael Atiyeh, and letters by Richard Starkings and Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt.

Diego, the son of President Antón Castillo, has just turned thirteen. On this momentous day, his father takes him on a journey. Where or to do what? Diego doesn’t know. But along the way, Antón begins to retell the tale of a well-known character from the Far Cry series, Vaas Montenegro. Diego slowly begins to understand that this journey is about teaching him an important lesson about his future. But can he handle it?

With the few insights players have obtained about Far Cry 6, we at least know what the characters are going to look like. And while the characters in Far Cry: Rite of Passage #1 look a little off from their game counterparts—probably just due to a difference in art style—they look close enough to identify at first glance. So there is no need for any introductions for gamers who have been keeping an eye on Far Cry 6 or have ever played Far Cry 3.

While the identity of the characters isn’t confusing, the dialogue adopts some uncertainty. As Antón retells the tale of Vaas, it’s baffling just what Diego is supposed to get out of this story. If you’ve ever played Far Cry 3, you’ll understand Vaas’s character and his slow dissolution into madness and chaos that eventually led to his downfall. This certainly feels like part of the lesson Antón is trying to tell, but there’s more to it than that. Part of this confusion simply stems from the purposeful withholding of information. With how this first issue sets up the series, with Diego being kept in the dark just as much as the readers, I expect things will become clearer in future issues. 

Additionally, it’s hard to tell just why Vaas is being used as an example in this circumstance. Is there some sort of connection between Vaas, Diego, and Antón? What this example does cement, however, is that the fan-favorite theory that Far Cry 6 is a Far Cry 3 prequel is dead in the water.

The artwork is well-done, representing the characters and the tone of the dialogue effortlessly. There were a few panels where objects looked a bit flat due to the lack of shading, but overall, many of the intense panels made use of deep shadows to imbed more emotion. In addition, the colorwork compliments the artwork; I particularly enjoyed the shades of reds and oranges in many of Vaas’s panels to reflect his anger and inner turmoil while the more morose panels were painted in blues.

With this dialogue-dense issue, there are a lot of speech bubbles to juggle. But Starkings and Betancourt keep them from overcrowding the panels and make sure the speaker is always clear using different speech balloons.

It’s hard to say if this first issue sets this series up for success. The confusing dialogue left me wondering what the point of this outing really was and why Vaas was used as a specific example for Diego. But the rest of the creative team did well to bolster the story, and the next issue will likely determine if this series is worth the read.

Far Cry: Rite of Passage #1 will be available on May 19th, wherever comics are sold.

Far Cry: Rite of Passage #1
3.5

TL;DR

It’s hard to say if this first issue sets this series up for success. The confusing dialogue left me wondering what the point of this outing really was and why Vaas was used as a specific example in this case. But the rest of the creative team did well to bolster the story and the next issue will likely determine if this series is worth the read.