After playing “Far Cry 6,” I found myself troubled that “Ubisoft” needs to start implementing new gameplay but stick to the story and direction.
One flaw that held the game back was the lack of depth and antagonists to be a foil for the player and the non-playable characters(NPC) we encounter. Now, by all means, the campaign isn’t bad. It just felt contrived and straightforward, lacking a solid script, especially with the sponsor of a Hollywood icon such as Giancarlo Esposito, that has a magical allure with every role offered and just makes the product feel unique and fresh.
For example, his work on “The Mandalorian” as Moff Gideon was ingenious and, even though he showed up towards the end of the first season, the audience could feel his presence. In “Far Cry 6,” Esposito plays a socialist dictator named Anton Castillo, a vicious and blood-thirsty monarch who believes he saves this once war-ridden nature.
Still, his terror has never been felt. Instead, the subordinates below him are terrifying, and that’s underwhelming. Though it’s clear the hubris of personal connection clouds his consequences and judgment, invoking the old plot device of the villain is the hero in their perception and story.
Of course, mature themes could be found in this experience, such as the corruption of a government, socialism, liberty, and the cost of guerilla warfare. Still, it’s conveyed to the player in a simplistic style that never overstays its welcome. The narrative, at times, can feel reminiscent of a 1970’s war film from the gameplay utilizing the balance of shadows and color temperature to express mood and tone. Leading to moments of monologue and side story exposition from Castillo after the player progresses far enough in the title.
The confessional side chapters are interesting because Ubisoft peels back the layers of who our antagonist truly is. At times, I felt confused if I made the correct story decision. In a way, “Far Cry 6” could be best summed up as the moral consequence of direction.
Due to the fact, on the one hand. We are introduced to the protagonist of Dani Rojas, who is a soldier of war trying to escape from the clutches of tyranny. Castillo is the enemy in the eyes of the Yaran people due to the atrocities. Leaving the country with false hope for the future either silences this dictator or perishes under his fist. The premise seems simple, but it’s not that easy to commit.
However, later down the line, the story goes in a different direction, making the player reflect if what they were doing the entire time was justified. To note, Ubisoft does leave the option to declare gender up to the player, but from playing both perspectives, the only difference I could find was the range of voice acting. I chose to go with the female version of the character because it felt organic and flowed with the story better. I noticed for a majority of the narrative. It’s clear to see the gameplay will evolve with your choices.
The gameplay wasn’t anything revolutionary or introduced anything new to the franchise. I was hoping for something new, but it just followed the blueprint of past titles. The campaign lasted around 25-30 hours and could reach up to a max of 60 for the avid collector. The landscape of Yara was magnificent, but it was also massive and had a variety of enemies to encounter. The further you advance in the story, the game will increase in difficulty to almost reflect the anger and disdain Castillo harbors toward the player.
One story decision I want to commend Ubisoft for is reintroducing a buddy or amigo system last seen in “Far Cry 5” (2018). Of course, it is still pretty crazy to admit that I stormed an enemy base with a crocodile named Guapo, a pure tank from taking all the action, and wore a baseball jersey along with a solid gold tooth. A few others who joined my cause for liberty were a little dog named Chorizo, suitable for a much silent approach; Chicharron, a rooster with a blood-thirsty attitude towards violence. The rest are too good to spoil because it would ruin the wacky zany allure of this franchise.
Of course, it’s hard to emulate true perfection, which at the time was “Far Cry 3.” I remember when the 3rd installment first premiered and opened up the realm of gaming to a level of production and ability from the innovative gameplay of being open-world and letting the player explore the beautiful imagery of the Caribbean. Only to be whisked away and thrust into a world of pure survival reinforced by a brilliant foil to the player known as Vaas. He would show up at any time.
I was hoping for Ubisoft to deliver, but Castillo felt like a mix of Pagan Min’s strengths as a ruler and a hindrance of involvement from Joseph Seed. For a long-time fan, you might be disappointed to know skill trees that were once a staple of the iconic series are nowhere to be found.
The only redeeming factor of an open-world RPG(Role Playing Game) allowed players to build their character however they wanted and rewarded creativity. The motive for exploration was to acquire new gear of higher quality instead of taking the pay-to-win route commonly found in a live service title.
One thing I found odd was how most of the game took place in a fictionalized country called Yara which felt like a modern-day Cuba, and a lot of the billboards and characters would speak in Spanish but then transition to English. To be honest I would have preferred that the title actually allow the player to play in the native language because it felt the story was trying to implement that change, but it felt something was in the way.
Simply, the “Far Cry” series has always been built upon the survival of tragedy but this latest installment felt fresh and different and showed the raw reality of what war truly encompasses from both sides. I do wonder what the future of this franchise will consist of and where the story will travel. Until that day comes I will be exploring every corner of this world because the map is not only expansive but full of opportunity and easter eggs.
“Far Cry 6” gets an eight out of 10 because of the twists and turns of the story unfolding through choice but the experience is similar to the past titles, and that weighs down the potential of this latest title before it can take off into something special.