The Far Cry series reminds me of a playground, but with that comes its limitations. For starters, playgrounds need to be maintained and updated to stay appealing, and that’s where the series has tripped up for me in recent entries. So the gameplay relied heavily on reused ideas from when “Far Cry was good” that it forgot to take a chance on making it better. After playing many, many hours of Far Cry 6, I’m glad to finally have a brand new playground to explore.
Far Cry 6 doesn’t overlook its narrative. Instead, the entire structure of the gameplay is built on it. Players assume the role of Dani Rojas, a character who can be either male or female, who has just found themselves face to face with the dictator of Yara, Antón Castillo. In an attempt to escape, Dani loses her only friends and washes ashore what will soon be her fate as a member of the guerrilla revolution to liberate Yara.
Dani is ex-military, and I played a female, so I’ll refer to her as such from now on. She is full of clever retorts and ideas to be a valuable member of this group. She understands the need for it but does push back when she feels like she is being used or treated poorly. The story’s writing doesn’t limit the protagonist to be an empty shell. Dani is full of emotion and personality that makes her actions believable.
The supporting cast of guerrilla revolutionists is just as complex, if not more so, as Dani must unit them to take down Antón and free these people. Standout story moments aren’t exclusive to cinematic scenes. Character dialogue between missions and over the radio is essential in providing a powerful message of overcoming tyranny. One interesting bit of lore is how the people were the ones to elect Antón in the first place and what his message of supporting Yara was during that campaign.
Antón isn’t left to being a mear antagonist you defeat at the end of the game. It seems like everywhere you go, you hear his voice on the speakers or television. He’s everywhere, and his web of followers is vast. The story of him and his son, Diego, is also vital to the narrative and one that I’d hate to spoil for those looking forward to this standout narrative performance.
Far Cry is known for its in-game maps filled with treasure and loot, making it difficult to complete missions because of a crate just off the road. That returns in some ways here, but players have a more direct impact on the details. Often, the best points of interest are provided through interacting with guerrilla members or reading notes. It makes treasure hunts and enemy stronghold takeovers more rewarding because you earned that intel through gameplay.
There’s no real shortage of things to do either. You can fish, hunt, spray paint over propaganda, or just go for a nice horseback ride. As hard as it is sometimes to keep focused on missions, I enjoyed my time simply exploring and making my own discoveries in this huge environment. Honestly, I can’t begin to explain how significant this map is, and it just keeps growing.
You’ll have a base in these areas that you can customize and upgrade for additional bonuses. This requires materials found in the environment, but nothing is too difficult to come by as long as you spend a little bit of time collecting resources. However, it’s not completely necessary unless it’s story-based, and even weapon customization is ultimately up to you.
The regions are distinct with their own architecture and negative affect caused by the government. There’s a root cause of the issue, which you will need to handle before moving on, but that comes after gaining the trust of the other guerrilla. Missions are fun and vary enough not to become repetitive. I noticed that there is less handholding in some missions that simply give you the area where you’ll need to find intel or blow up something. The missions become more complex in later environments, too, especially once you get to the city.
A lot of your time will be spent fighting, and the developers have created some great ways to take on combat. Weapons are just insane in this game, and some are entirely customizable with new bullet types, scopes, and silencers. It’s not overwhelming and only requires some materials, but it isn’t needed if you simply enjoy breaking down the door and rushing in. The stealth mechanics are present, but I felt like I cheesed through many battles by sniping enemies from a distance without alerting them.
Enemies are dumb, but they have their moments. I’d say more often than not, they will do some ridiculous stuff that acts in your favor. In a group, they can be deadly but expect moments of seeing them acting oddly in a way that most Ubisoft enemies do.
If you make enough noise, powerful soldiers appear along with helicopters and tanks. This creates moments back to the playground where you get to dive into your equipment and utilize everything you’ve got, including the most remarkable piece of tech, the Supremo. This backpack acts as a loadout but can be switched at any point. It’s on a charge and capable of EMP blasts that can take down helicopters or missile strikes that hone in on enemies. It’s basically a lifesaver.
Far Cry 6 has plenty of glitches and environmental oddities that occur during gameplay. It’s more visual, though, so it doesn’t affect the experience; it’s clear that updates will surely be on the way. Also, frame dips only seem to occur during cinematic scenes, which I found strange. Still, the developers have done some really cool things with this experience, such as having Dani sing to a song on the radio or add an amigo to your party who you can command to distract the enemies while you flank. It’s this open world where you can really push the gaming freedom that I felt the series needed.
Far Cry 6 brings us back to the playground as you’re encouraged to enjoy this game however you want. Those here for the story will witness some brilliant performances from the cast that weaves in the guerrilla approach to combat and overthrowing a dictator. On the other hand, this is one of the most diverse in-game environments that I have seen from the developer, with plenty of high action and optional means of losing yourself in this intense experience.
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