Things were going very well for Far Cry 6 as it’s the first entry in the franchise where I knew following its announcement that I would definitely play it, as Far Cry 4 and 5 had failed to interest me in the slightest. The positivity continued when I got my hands on it for PlayStation 5 as I burned through the introductory island and landed in the first story region of the main game. Ten hours of gameplay rolled by and I was having a great time unlocking new combat options and meeting new guerillas to aid in the liberation mission, when suddenly the fun just.. Stopped..
Set in a fictional Caribbean island heavily based on Cuba, Far Cry 6’s Yara is a stunning environment to look at, from a distance. I found distant vistas looked impeccable but just became the same boring rolling environment I had just left in a bid to get somewhere prettier. Whilst this entry does boast the largest map the franchise has ever seen it doesn’t appear like it wants to do much with it.
Moment to moment gameplay comprises of as little driving as I can get away with, as every other motorist either wants to run me off the road, or at the very least aggressively honk their horns at me as I drove passed. Even after ten hours in the game, I’m still not sure what I’ve done to attract such directly antagonistic behaviour from the locals but it certainly doesn’t get any less irritating. I also had difficulty with the games helicopters as whenever I wanted to bail out to wingsuit down to my destination I’d always end up chopped to pieces by the blades, even when beneath them. This meant I would have to be a responsible pilot and actually land every time in order to survive the journey. No thanks, I’ll just fast travel instead.
Gunplay is Far Cry 6’s strongest mechanic, but can be thwarted by the animal amigos who follow you around. I occasionally found myself being beaten to kills by my white panther, Champagne (constantly referred to by me as Champaggun in-game, ten points if you get where that’s from), who would spot where I’m shooting and swoop in, if cats can swoop, to finish off every enemy I was about to kill. You can switch off amigo assistance but this led to new frustrations where I’d get surrounded by enemies and not have any back-up to help turn the tide.
I was constantly irritated by how you can’t pick up any resources or ammo until you are close enough to quite literally press your face right into them, but the helpful player accessibility option to make all pick-ups glow luminous pink certainly meant I only missed the ones I couldn’t be bothered to get.
By far my favourite mechanic is the Supremos, which you might know as the ‘backpack weapons’ shown off in the promotion of the game. While I did try experimenting with others you can unlock, I found myself sticking with the one you’re given first which fires multiple rockets at random enemies around you. I got frustrated very quickly when it transpired a full barrage will rarely take out a tank, meaning I would then have to run around shooting low level enemies for a while to allow the Supremo metre to recharge so I could use it again.
I know I’m not the first to mention this but I love how Dani occasionally sings along with the radio, and this is such a good example of how simple ideas can greatly humanise protagonists. It doesn’t matter that her solo performance took place within a couple minutes of her butchering soldiers with a machete, as it still made me like her a lot more.
Anton Castillo is definitely my favourite Far Cry villain so far, though that’s largely helped by the fact he’s actually in the game as opposed to previous frontrunners Vaas and Pagan Min! Superbly portrayed by Giancarlo Esposito, Castillo effortlessly terrifies an entire nation with his grandiose plans for the future whilst raising his son, Diego, to mirror him and his ideals, all the while Diego is determined to be nothing like his father.
The best experiences I had in Far Cry 6 were played during co-op sessions with Will, but going back to solo play afterwards meant I found I had a lot less patience with some of the afore mentioned gripes.
In summary, Far Cry 6 is a shamefully under-realised game, with Ubisoft far too comfortable to lounge in their usual sandbox comfort zone. The removal of a skill tree has annoyed a large percentage of the fanbase, particularly of long-term franchise players (that I’ve read anyway as I can’t refer to myself as such) and if they hope to continue with a Far Cry 7 then a dramatic shake-up is required. I did enjoy most of my time spent with it entirely but to find myself bored to the point I can’t continue at such an early point in the story is very disappointing.
There was so much potential but it was not meant to be for Far Cry 6. The combat, Dani and Castillo are great but there’s not enough else to keep me engaged or intrigued as to what will happen next in the story. Yara is pretty enough but not to the incredible level Assassin’s Creed games have been over the last four years and I truly hope any future instalments try to do something fresh and daring instead of treading the same ground we’ve seen throughout the last three mainline series games.
Better luck next time, in the meantime I score Far Cry 6
6 / 10
Game code provided by publisher.