Far Cry 6, the latest iteration of the tried-and-true Far Cry franchise, takes the player to the island nation of Yara. Playing as a fierce guerrilla fighter, the objective is to bring down a dictator willing to do anything to restore his island to its former glory.
While the first two Far Cry titles were great games in their own right, Far Cry 3 cemented the franchise’s identity and gameplay loop. Far Cry 4 refined the formula, while Far Cry 5, changed it up to take the franchise more towards an RPG route.
Far Cry 6 takes the player to the beautiful tropical country of Yara, where they assume the role of Dani Rojas, a guerrilla fighter revolting against El Presidente Anton Castillo.
Far Cry 6 review: "Truth or Lies?"
Far Cry 6, developed by Ubisoft Toronto, is the sixth mainline entry to the acclaimed franchise. Upon booting the game, the first thing to catch the player’s eye is the opening credits. The red smoke of Viviro with psychedelic shapes morphing into tiers is certainly reminiscent of a James Bond movie title sequence.
The stunning visuals are carried over to the game, as the lush vegetation contrasted with the colorful people of Yara makes for an amazing visual benchmark.
When starting a new game in Far Cry 6, players will be given the option to choose between Action Mode and Story Mode. Action Mode is recommended for the full Far Cry experience unless the player just wants to just relax and enjoy the story.
Soon after the game launches, players will be prompted to choose between male and female Dani, both of whom are the same character, the only difference being the gender. For the review playthrough, the female Dani was chosen as she was suggested to be the canonical choice.
The protagonist of Far Cry 6, Dani Rojas, isn’t someone coming to Yara for the first time or returning after a long hiatus, like Jason Brody or Ajay Ghale. Instead, she is a citizen of Yara by birth and has stayed there her entire life.
However, Dani isn’t eager to fight for her country and lead a revolution. She becomes part of it rather reluctantly.
The game kicks off with Dani and her two friends Alejo and Lita on a rooftop discussing their future plans. While Alejo and Dani are planning to escape the country and make their way to America, Lita urges her friends to join the revolution against Anton Castillo.
However, the discussion is cut short as the trio gets ambushed by FND soldiers, leading to the tragic death of Alejo. The game then puts the player in charge and guides them through a linear sequence through the city. Passing through rooftops and sewers, Dani and Lita finally make their way to the boat.
This opening sequence brilliantly establishes the current situation of Yara and Dani’s eagerness to escape from it. The developers follow the policy of “show, don’t tell” and introduce Dani to the players while presenting the two opposing views through Alejo and Lita.
Dani is, without a doubt, one of the best Far Cry protagonists. The characterization through her interaction with the Libertad and citizens of Yara slowly builds up and evolves Dani from the person wanting to escape Yara to the person leading the charge.
Like Ajay refusing to leave Pagan’s table or the Deputy not arresting Joseph Seed, Dani is also presented with an opportunity to escape Yara and make her way to America, but the option is in the hands of the players. It’s the player’s decision if Dani stays with Libertad or makes her way to America.
El Presidente and Viviro
Far Cry titles are known for their antagonists. Vaas, the beloved Far Cry 3 villain, set the bar high for video game antagonists by uttering the line, “Have I told you the definition of Insanity?”. Pagan Min in Far Cry 4 and Joseph Seed in Far Cry 5 were also some of the best antagonists in video game history. Far Cry 6, fortunately, continues the tradition.
The primary antagonist of Far Cry 6 is El Presidente, Anton Castillo, portrayed by the legendary actor Giancarlo Esposito. The actor is known for portraying the calm and calculative Gustavo "Gus" Fring in Breaking Bad and its prequel series Better Call Saul, as well as Moff Gideon in The Mandalorian.
The 1967 Revolution led to a trade blockade around the island of Yara, cutting it off from most of the outside world. Yara has since been led by Santos Espinosa, a guerrilla legend. Following his death, the country fell into collapse and national elections were called for a new leader.
Anton Castillo, whose family once controlled Yara as his father was the El Presidente prior to the ‘67 Revolution, was elected with a promise to return the nation to its former glory.
Anton represents a dramatic shift for the island nation and the rise of intense nationalism. He dreams of taking Yara back 50 years to when his father was in power. When the revolution of '67 stole it from the country. When things were better, money was flowing, rum was everywhere.
To achieve his "dream", Anton relies on Viviro, a drug that can cure cancer and is ironically derived from the tobacco leaf that is iconic to Yara. Pharmaceuticals are “The new oil” and everyone wants their hand on the latest drugs and patents. They are willing to pay through the nose to get them, and this is how Antón plans to “Bring Yara back to the Glory” of his regime.
Making Viviro comes at a great cost: its production and harvest are extremely toxic. To optimize production, Antón has forced any and every “Fake Yaran”, a slave workforce or outcast, to work in those fields at the expense of their life. Viviro is poisoning the people and destroying Yara.
Despite the brutality of his methods, he fundamentally believes that everything he does is for the greater good. He wants to save his country and he wants to do it as efficiently as possible. He loves his son and wants to give Diego the future that he himself was denied.
In many ways, Anton is a powerful but broken man doing what he believes - with his own twisted logic - is right. Antón asks those before him a repeated question, " Truth or Lies?" If anyone wishes for him to lie, he will. But if that person is courageous enough to hear his truth, he may be able to justify his motivations.
In Far Cry 6, Anton Castillo weaponizes nationalism and one’s patriotic love to drive people towards certain death. However, Anton is far from a one-note villain, and players learn more about him as they progress in-game.
República de Yara
Yara, the jewel of the Caribbean, is a lush and diverse inland nation. The open world of YARA is made of 5 distinct regions:
- Isla Santuario - Where Dani meets Clara Garcia and joins the Libertad.
- Madrugada - the land of tobacco farmers, now forced to produce Viviro.
- Valle De Oro - the swamps that shelter the turbulent youth of Yara, incarnated by the rap crew Maximas Matanzas.
- El Este - where generations collide, between the revolt of the Yaran students and the heritage of the Legends from past revolutions.
- Esperanza - the capital city, which is under a heavy military lockdown.
The player will begin his Far Cry 6 adventure at the Isla Santuario, and after completing the region, is free to explore any corners of Yara. Even though players can attempt to lay siege to the capital city of Esperanza as soon as they’re done with Isla Santuario, it is better to let the story progression take Dani there.
The world of Far Cry 6 is a living breathing world with interactive NPCs, and for the first time ever, players are able to blend in and walk past guards with holstered weapons. The game takes it to the next level by allowing players to interact with double-agent guards and bribe them for sensitive information.
After elephants in Far Cry 4 and sabretooth tigers in Far Cry Primal, players have the option to ride horses in Far Cry 6. Horses provide certain advantages over regular vehicles, such as travel on guerrilla paths and pass through an FND checkpoint, which otherwise would stop the vehicle with spikes.
The sheer size of Yara may feel daunting to some players, but the rich activities, from Yaran stories to Los Banditos Operations to Treasure hunt, keep the players engaged. Also, Far Cry 6 has a cock-fighting ring where the player can participate.
The Resolver way
“Time you learned about Resolver, Dani, to take down Castillo, a right tool for the right job.” - Juan Cortez
The best way to describe resolvers is by making everything out of nothing. From modding weapons to modding cars, Dani can make and unlock modifications out of resources collected from exploring. This method of weapon modification is a welcome change in Far Cry 6, especially in the context of New Dawn’s tiered weapon mechanics.
The developers of Far Cry 6 have expanded the weapon modification system by introducing different types of bullets, and different enemies are weak to specific types of bullets. This provides a balance between making enemies too easy or a bullet sponge.
The player cannot always just rush into a fight; they'll have to scan individual enemies with the phone camera to find out which bullet to use when. The different types of bullets in Far Cry 6 are:
- STANDARD ROUNDS - Standard military-grade ammo.
- SOFT TARGET ROUNDS - Deals heavy damage against unarmored targets.
- ARMOR PIERCING ROUNDS - Round that holds straight lines, penetrates helmets and body armor.
- POISON ROUNDS - Deals poison damage over time. Could cause poisoned enemies to turn against them.
- BLAST ROUNDS - Deals blast damage within an area, greatly effective against vehicles.
- INCENDIARY ROUNDS - Deals fire damage in a small area. Spreads fire that deals damage over time.
One of the newest additions to Far Cry 6 is the supremo backpack. Supremo backpacks are best described as the ultimate attack. It can do one massive attack but is limited and takes a while to cool down.
There are quite a few supremo backpacks, and they work differently. For example, The Exterminador can fire a barrage of rockets, while The Furioso spreads fire around Dani. They are a great addition to the Far Cry 6 arsenal and perfect for the chaotic assignments Dani partakes in.
Amigos of Far Cry 6
While Guns for Hire does not make a comeback in Far Cry 6, Fangs for Hire aka Amigos does return. Dani will be assisted by different animal friends throughout her journey. The Amigos belong to one of the two categories - Stealth and Attack.
It is crucial to choose the right amigo at the right moment. Why unleash Chicharron on a single guard and alert the base when he can be easily distracted by Chorizo and taken out stealthily?
The first Amigo to join Dani is Guapo, who is a beast. Dani first meets Guapo when she goes to find Juan Cortez. However, they’re soon ambushed by FND soldiers. That is when Guapo unleashes his beast mode.
Soon after, the player has to infiltrate a restricted location to gather supplies. In situations like this, it is better to deselect Guapo, as he’ll attack the guards and alert everyone. It is more satisfying and tactful to sneak in and take down each opponent one by one.
Each Amigo has 3 skills, and they can be unlocked by performing a pre-requisite action a certain number of times. All in all, the Amigos in Far Cry 6 are really great and work as an extension of the player.
The Gears, Yaran Pesos, and Far Cry Credits
The primary currency of Yara is the Yaran Pesos, which can be used to acquire supplies, upgrade hideouts, and many other items. Instead of a traditional skill tree like the previous Far Cry games, Far Cry 6 has opted for a gear-based system. As such, the skills are associated with individual gear instead of progressing and unlocking a skill permanently.
While Far Cry 6 is a really good game worthy of high praise, unfortunately, it has one of the worst particles in modern video games. Forced microtransactions in a AAA full-priced, primarily single-player title is certainly an unfair practice where players are encouraged to spend extra over the full price.
Performance of Far Cry 6
The Far Cry 6 pre-release press copy provided by Ubisoft is played on the following configuration systems:
- CPU: i5 8300H
- GPU: GTX 1060
- RAM: 8 GB
- Resolution: 1920 x 1080
- Preset: Mid
- Framerates: average 45 fps
- CPU: Ryzen 5 3600
- GPU: RTX 2060s
- RAM: 16 GB
- Resolution: 1920 x 1080
- Preset: High (RTX on)
- Framerates: average 60 fps
It should be mentioned that, at present, Far Cry 6 has some issues regarding single thread performance. however, that is expected to be fixed soon.
Far Cry 6 builds upon the tried-and-tested formula to deliver a solid experience. The narrative flow binds the multi-dimensional characters with the beautiful yet dangerous world of Yara. Far Cry 6 has the potential to be one of the best in the series, and as such, it is highly recommended for a solid story-driven game.
Far Cry 6
Reviewed on: PC (code provided by Ubisoft)
Platforms: PC (Steam, Epic Games Store, Ubisoft Connect), PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Stadia
Developer: Ubisoft Milan, Ubisoft Toronto
Publisher: Ubisoft, Ubisoft Milan
Release: September 23, 2021