REVIEW: ‘Far Cry 6’ Brings Zany Gameplay and Great Characters (Xbox One)

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Far Cry 6

Riding in on the coattails of the last phenomenal game in the Far Cry series, Far Cry 6 has a lot to live up to but also needs a new setting to keep long-time fans around. But while the last game was a novel glimpse at prevailing political sentiments and the dangers of cultist ideologies in a fictional Montana county, Far Cry 6 focuses on fighting the dictator of a fictitious Latin American country—a setting that has been used many times before. But I’m glad to say that even though I’m not crazy about the antagonist, especially when compared to many of the other great antagonists the Far Cry series has to offer, I really adore how Ubisoft has used the setting to bring plenty of humor and loveable characters to the table while building upon the best parts of Far Cry 5. Far Cry 6 is an adventure, first-person shooter developed by Ubisoft Toronto and published by Ubisoft.

Imagine a tropical Caribbean Island frozen in time. Add in a dictator, a guerilla faction fighting for liberty, and a whole host of endearing characters and zany gameplay, and you’ve got the setup for Far Cry 6. Inspired by Cuba and the largest Far Cry playground to date, the fictional island of Yara is ruled by a fascist dictator, El Presidente Antón Castillo. Castillo is training his son Diego to follow in his footsteps to ensure another lifetime under Castillo rule. But Yara is in the middle of a revolution, with a rebel guerilla group called Libertad fighting for a better future.

Amidst this revolutionary atmosphere, players control Dani Rojas, a former soldier in the Yaran armed forces. But after being drafted to work as little more than a slave on Viviro plantations—a type of tobacco being utilized as a treatment for cancer and the main income for Castillo—the players have little choice but to enlist the help of Libertad to get off the island. But you may wind up fighting for a bigger cause than yourself.

To help the guerillas, players will have to take over checkpoints, capture military targets, destroy and steal military supplies and resources, bribe FND soldiers, destroy billboards, and just rain hell down on your enemies. Tried and true, the map is separated into different regions, each with its own missions and people to interact with. As you take over each area, you’ll get closer and closer to ending Castillo’s reign. You’ll even get some amigos to help you along the way. Unfortunately, while Far Cry 5 had the options of both human and animal companions, Far Cry 6 only offers animals. While they’re all a useful bunch with some great perks, I do kind of miss having a human companion talk my ear off and yell the oddest things when going into battle—I’m looking at you Sharky.  

Far Cry 6 brings a very familiar setup to the narrative. You meet the main antagonist and get thrown into the action pretty immediately. You meet new characters, both minor and major, throughout the map and take on a variety of different missions ranging from wacky (like commandeering a tank for a graffiti artist) to serious (like saving people from being executed). But whether minor or major, I guarantee you’ll fall in love with the diverse cast of characters. And like the past two games, there’s an alternative ending close to the beginning of the game. While it’s probably not as obvious an option as the one in Far Cry 5, it does provide some interesting information about the game’s timing. With Far Cry 5 utilizing some very real elements of America at the time of release, it’s not surprising we’d see something similar in this game.

Far Cry 6

But while the familiarities are immediately apparent, so are the dissimilarities, primarily the way perks and gear are handled. While Far Cry 5 focused on a perk tree, Far Cry 6 gets rid of that entirely. Instead, you’ll find and buy gear that comes with perks. For example, you can obtain equipment that protects against poison or fire or that improves your speed after taking damage. And while there’s a decent helping of gear to find, the weapons are where it’s at. Each weapon has a multitude of mods you can add along with bullet types like incendiary ammo. And a lot of your gear also works hand in hand with these weapon mods. It makes building your gear and weapons to fit different play styles a breeze. Modification is the name of the game; now, you can even mod your rides!

Even the enemies have gotten an upgrade. Enemies come in many different shapes and sizes, such as medics, which can pick up downed enemies, and armored enemies. Scouting has also been updated; instead of using a set of binoculars, you use a smartphone to get a better look at your enemies—which is a smart change, in my opinion. Scouting lets you determine what an enemy’s weakness might be, and you’ll likely want to adjust your gear based on that knowledge. The gameplay is very dynamic, but Resolver weapons and Supremo backpacks are really where the gameplay gets insane (and fun).

The perks of a Supremo can only be used once a player fills up a gauge which can be done by killing enemies and getting experience. The first one you’re given allows you to launch rockets that lock onto enemies. But by finding depleted uranium around the map and reaching higher ranks, you’ll be able to unlock even wackier Supremos such as ones that allow you to self-revive, shoot through walls, launch poison gas, or make you fly into a rage that boosts both your speed and health.

Resolver weapons can be acquired similarly and also have really fun perks—a handgun that fires silent nail rounds, an EMP cannon, a harpoon crossbow, or an explosive sniper rifle, to name a few. While some of the guns you’ll find in the wild are useful, Resolver weapons are probably the most powerful in the game but also the most fun.

Beyond this massive change with weapons and gear, some minor mechanics have improved from the Far Cry 5 experience. Things like: bodies no longer need to be looted, multiplayer has been updated so that both players save progress instead of just the host, and you can call for a ride wherever you are. Ubisoft has fixed a lot of the mechanics that made the last game slower while keeping everything to adore about the Far Cry experience.

Far Cry 6

But beyond the change in mechanics, the other great part about Far Cry 6 is Yara itself. The island and the islets around it are gorgeous. Even on an Xbox One, the fantastic graphics come through. And with this new setting also comes new ways to travel like via airboat. Even the smallest of details about the game just add that much more to the experience—like how your character sings along to the radio at times and all the many things to discover amongst the islets and cays such as new treasure hunts, many of which are more puzzle orientated. All these elements come together to make Yara a wonderful place to explore.

Because I am white and not Latinx I can’t properly ruminate on the authenticity of all the depictions. That said, I did live in Texas for over a decade and the large amount of Spanish used in this game makes me a very happy camper reflecting the way I saw others talk around me. But not only does the language bring Yara to life, so does the music. Similar to the gospel music that played over the radio in Far Cry 5, every time you hop in a vehicle, a broad range of Latino music plays in the background, serving to really solidify where you’re at.

While a large part of the game that stood out to me was the dynamic and zany gameplay and the great time I had exploring the huge island of Yara, the main narrative does have its ups and downs. Some of the serious notes feel like they fail simply because the antagonist is a bit of a walking stereotype; I guarantee you’ve seen this character more than once before. Nevertheless, it’s challenging to weigh the serious moments against the fun, wacky gameplay and characters. But the fact that interacting with the characters is heartwarming, and the missions are plenty of fun, getting attached to the characters makes some of the heavy-handed violence against them that much more impactful. While I’m still not 100% on board with the antagonist, it’s nevertheless easy and fun to hate the “True Yarans” and easy to get on board with helping the guerillas and becoming one yourself.

Overall, Far Cry 6 has done a great job tweaking the mechanics typical of the series and creating some extremely fun and chaotic gameplay. While the main antagonist doesn’t shine like some of the past baddies in the Far Cry series, you’ll fall in love with the diverse cast of characters and the island of Yara.

Far Cry 6 is available October 7, 2021 on PC, PlayStation 4|5, Xbox Series S|X, Xbox One, and Stadia.


Far Cry 6
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

Far Cry 6 has done a great job tweaking the mechanics typical of the series and creating some extremely fun and chaotic gameplay. While the main antagonist doesn’t shine like some of the past baddies in the Far Cry series, you’ll fall in love with the diverse cast of characters and the island of Yara.