Far Cry 6 - Review

Far Cry 6 - dani rojas

The Far Cry series has long experienced something of an identity crisis. The answer has usually been a bit of both, and Far Cry 6 definitely doesn't buck this trend. It does, however, smooth out a lot of the bumps that have cropped up over the past few games and, in doing so, becomes the best the series has been in years.

It also misses some steps, especially with its new inventory system, and that creates some new problems along the way. Truth or lies, they could be good workers. They could help rebuild paradise. But if you wanted them to live, you would have never set foot on this shitboat. Far Cry 6 once again sees you trapped in a huge open world controlled by a charismatic madman, this time on the fictional island nation of Yaro.

Even after so many games, the job of turning all the red dots on your map into blue ones is still a good time, whether by sneakily silencing every enemy guard or by going the less subtle route of throwing bullets and molotovs at them until nobody's left. It is modeled after Cuba's Yaro and is ruled by the fascistic dictator Anton Castello.

Far Cry 6 - far cry

His regime would be too preposterously evil to believe at times if not for its real-world South and Central American inspirations, but it's his unwavering devotion to his vision of a quote-unquote perfect yara, along with the gravitas and charm he projects to his still loyal subjects, that make him handily claim the top spot on my list of favorite Far Cry villains.

Yara did not elect me to do what's easy, but to do what's right. Every one of Esposito's scenes is captivating, particularly as you get deeper into the 30+ hour main story. That story can be a fairly predictable affair with all the psychotic bad guy lackeys, sudden but inevitable betrayals, and tragic yet motivational character deaths you'd expect from a big budget popcorn flick.

It does manage to balance its more sombra moments with the more ridiculous aspects of its gunplay better than any recent Far Cry game, though it also leans a little too heavily on the grizzled get-it-done trope of resistance fighters. I wasn't wild about how it eventually wrapped itself up either, but again, the journey as a whole was mostly enjoyable.

Far Cry 6 - first-person

Can you whistle? What, nah, you can't listen? I did notice some minor frame rate issues during cutscenes on Xbox One, but the decision to return to third person for them is a good one, especially if you choose the female version of main character Danny Rojas. That's thanks to an earnest performance by actress Nissa Gunduz, who in no way feels like she's playing second fiddle to the big name celebrity on the box art.

That's not what people see shit, it is, no, they see this. That's it but I'm okay with that. Far Cry 6 clearly wants to be a more socially responsible game than its predecessors, too, and to its credit, it does make an effort to tackle some social issues, even if the script might stumble a little over the reality of some of those moments.

That said, it still feels trapped between presenting an authentic representation of Latin American culture and a gonzoed-up version designed to please mainstream Western audiences. The world itself seems like a gorgeous rendition of South and Central American life, but the script sometimes relies so heavily on specific colloquialities that it feels like it borders on caricature.

Far Cry 6 - game

Or more egregiously, there's the cockfighting mini-game that's basically mortal kombat with chickens. I know it's technically legal in Cuba, but come on, guys. While previous Far Cry games have mostly pitted us against pirates, mercenaries, and cultists, not to mention evil cavemen and cyber commandos.

Far Cry 6 gives its bad guys a properly organized and equipped army. It's a little straight-laced given the series' origins, but it also provides more diverse and engaging encounters. Enemy captains can call in reinforcements or airstrikes to flush you out of a sniper nest, while medics will revive wounded comrades, and that gives you interesting reasons to prioritize your targets beyond who might see or shoot at you.

Far Cry 6 - gameplay

On top of that, Far Cry 6 is the strongest the series has ever been when it comes to turning fleets of trucks, helicopters, and tanks into fiery metal scrap. I've spent a lot of my playtime clearing out checkpoints without raising an alarm, but there's a very special brand of joy that comes when you're speeding down a highway trashing a convoy with mounted machine guns while blasting Ricky Martin.

There are also a handful of similarly jerry-rigged vehicles to be found around the world whose multi-function designs make them invaluable. You've really got to love a dune buggy that hot swaps into a paraglider. Rounding out your arsenal are sopremos, which are effectively ultimate abilities duct taped to a backpack along with a bunch of depleted uranium.

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Each one has a unique function, be it a rocket barrage or a salvaged poison bomb that can turn soldiers against each other. I primarily swapped between the rocket pack and one that lets me see enemies through walls, though others, like the self-reviving medic pack, were equally helpful when I chose not to have one of the animal amigos at my side.

Far Cry 6 - giancarlo esposito

Changing up your arsenal is a lot more important this time around too, as enemies now have unique resistances and vulnerabilities to certain types of ammo. It took a few hours to amass enough weapons to feel ready for anything, but the careful balancing of Far Cry 6's increasing power level versus my own meant taking someone down rarely felt tedious, and while that's a welcome new idea, it's the moments where you have to switch from stealth to action on the fly where the biggest change to the Far Cry formula simultaneously It shines and stumbles pretty hard.

Abilities that were unlocked through rpg style skill trees in previous games are now attached to armor and weapon mods. It's satisfying to use the wide variety of gadgets to create playstyle-specific loadouts for each supremo, and moving perks and bonuses to gear really leans into six's emphasis on crafting and customization.

Even if some of the armor bonuses feel like they should be permanently unlockable but your armor and weapons lack a similarly easy loadout system, the constant need to shuffle my inventory was, at the best of times, a brief dip into a clunky UI, and at worst, well, here's what it looks like in real time.

Far Cry 6 - ign

There are a handful of other relatively minor technical issues, but this was far and away its biggest mechanical flaw, and it's even more of a pain in two-player co-op when you can't pause. However, teaming up to stealthily take out military installations or complete special operations is still a good time.

Far Cry 6 reviewed by Jon Ryan on Xbox Series X. Also available on Xbox One, PlayStation, PC, and Stadia. Far Cry 6 is some of the most fun I've had with this series in nearly a decade. Its cast delivers strong performances across an enjoyable story, even if it's also a fairly predictable one that doesn't always land the bigger swings it tries to take.
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