Far Cry 6 is a game about a revolution born out of the burning anger of the people of Yara, oppressed, enslaved, and experimented on by dictator Antón Castillo. This is a game about dismantling one regime and replacing the status quo with something hopefully better.
It’s ironic, then, how a title focused on such a radical change heavily relies on the formula popularized by Far Cry 3, adding only subtle tweaks that, while noticeable, struggle to clearly set it apart from past entries in the series. Instead of pushing things forward, it finds itself mired in what’s becoming Ubisoft’s unnecessarily homogenized open-world game recipe.
Familiarity courses through the entirety of Dani Rojas’ journey to the point where it manages to feel tired, and, depending on where you stand on liberating outpost after outpost and turning red dots on the map into blue dots, you’ll either have a good time or find yourself wishing there was more to it.
Far Cry 6 is an open-world first-person shooter that puts you in the shoes of Dani Rojas, a military recruit turned guerilla fighter who aims to take down Antón Castillo, the despot who rules over the island of Yara with an iron fist, exploiting its people to create a drug that can cure cancer.
Much like its predecessors, Far Cry 6 spares no time before it puts a gun in your hand and throws you into the thick of it. You get to choose between a male and female version of protagonist Dani Rojas, and minutes later the people around you start insisting that you’re a guerilla (and that you’ll always be one).
After you get to grips with some vital introductory concepts like petting your pet crocodile, firing your weapons, using stealth to your advantage, and taking over checkpoints, you soon arrive on Yara’s mainland. There you spend 20+ hours dismantling Castillo’s regime by blowing up convoys, capturing bases, killing high amounts of witless soldiers, and taking out a forgettable cohort of lieutenants – the series’ usual fare.
You start with little to your name, then progressively unlock new weapons and gear as you find crates across the map, visit stores, and complete missions. That, however, doesn’t mean that Dani’s life as a guerilla fighter involves a lot of struggle. The protagonist is a veritable god of war from the get-go, as there’s no longer a skill tree to lock their abilities, and the opposition you face is rarely that much of a challenge, unlike the car, tank, and horse controls.
The villains have been one great source of appeal for the series, but while Antón Castillo is brought to life by Giancarlo Esposito, his character feels surprisingly absent for someone whose voice you constantly hear all over the island. You really only see him in a few cutscenes during key moments, this lack of presence failing to give any of his actions their implied gravity, even if certain missions and notes found throughout the world do reveal the horrifying things his regime does. While his voice acting is top-notch, everything else, from his motivation, to his disappointing relationship with his son falls flat by the end, marking a missed opportunity.
Far Cry 6 does not feature any PvP multiplayer modes, but you can play through the campaign in co-op alongside a friend. On top of that, Special Operations are missions taking place on themed maps with slightly more demanding objectives that can also be tackled alongside a friend or stranger through quickplay. They don’t amount to much else other than a neat distraction but remain, nonetheless, a welcome addition.
The latest entry in the series makes use of largely the same mechanics and systems as its predecessors but not without introducing a few tweaks of its own. The most notable one is arguably Dani’s Supremo backpack, which essentially acts as an ultimate ability of sorts. It charges up as you kill enemies then, depending on which one you have equipped, lets you unleash a devastating flurry of rockets, a ring of fire, EMP blast, and other useful powers that grant you the upper hand in combat.
The Supremo’s design taps into the whole guerilla aesthetic, being made from spare parts, which is also what happens with the Resolver Weapons you can unlock. These are literally put together using engines, fireworks, and whatever else Dani’s quasi-mentor Juan Cortez found lying around and are some of the most inventive pieces of gear you can use. The now-notorious Macarena-playing disc thrower is joined by the likes of the Pyrotechnico – a portable multiple rocket launcher made from a typewriter and fireworks –, a loud, engine-driven minigun, and a sniper rifle that fires a projectile that explodes after impact.
Workbenches allow you to improve these weapons and the more traditional firearms Dani can lug around and freely switch between using resources you find across the map. The regular weapons run the gamut from pistols to rifles, sniper rifles, SMGs, shotguns, LMGs, and rocket launchers. They use different types of ammo and feel pretty great in your hands. You can also customize them using different scopes, muzzle attachments, and ammo types. The latter determine their effectiveness against armored or unarmored targets, but also enable you to set opponents on fire, or poison them and turn them against their friends.
Snapping a suppressor and armor-piercing ammo onto your gun almost feels like a cheat when clearing out camps, but there is a certain thrill to trying out all the different guns, which is largely what kept us opening the FND crates strewn all across Yara that have a chance to grant a new random weapon.
You use these weapons when taking over checkpoints or bases that, once captured, become fast travel points. Anti-aircraft guns shoot you down if you attempt to fly – although not when you use your wingsuit –, so you’ll also want to add those to your list of things to explode. Doing so undetected grants you additional resources but even if the alarms sound off, that’s rarely an issue.
Castillo’s forces come in a few different varieties but not a single one stands out. Some deploy shields, others wield rocket launchers or flamethrowers, but they all die just as easily if you have the right type of bullet, aim for the head, and don’t venture near them when they vastly overlevel you.
Less emphasis is placed on hunting wildlife this time around but you can relax with a fishing minigame. Herb collecting has been replaced by scavenging for the aforementioned materials, also coming into play when upgrading your camps, an activity that feels shoehorned in and which you forget about after two or three interactions with each of the six available buildings.
Far Cry 6 also houses a few more distractions, like choose-your-own-adventure-style Bandido Missions which see you guiding the guerillas you can recruit from the open world – mostly by saving them from soldiers during spontaneous events –, dominoes, and rooster fights that play out as a rudimentary 2.5D fighting game. There are also animal companions that accompany you but we never really felt the need to use them.
As much as it’s an island that melds perceived paradise with horrible hidden realities, Yara can look both gorgeous and ugly at the same time. Running through its lush jungles, watching the sunset from the beach, or a storm raise hell in the distance at night are all screenshot-worthy moments. There’s a decent amount of environmental variation across its three territories, including tall mountain ranges, rundown villages, tobacco plantations, Esperanza - Yara’s urban jewel from a distance - and a capital suffocated by martial law and unnecessarily restricted level design from up close.
But not all of the texture work in Far Cry 6 is ideal. Explosions look a tad too blurry for their own good, you’ll see your fair share of muddy textures, and the draw distance is far from ideal, failing to hide how distant objects aren’t fully rendered to reduce hardware strain. There’s also quite a bit of NPC reuse that becomes evident as you interact with guerillas across Yara to get intel on new targets, while the main story cutscenes, locked at 30 FPS, jarringly pull you out of whatever it was that you were previously doing. There’s a certain scrappy feeling to some of Far Cry 6’s visuals but the game’s got its share of gorgeous vistas.
Audio & Music
Overthrowing a dictator involves lots of guns and explosions which, thankfully, all sound great in Far Cry 6. Headshots come with a satisfying pop, and keeping the finger on the trigger of a modded PPSH-41 is as satisfying as it needs to be.
The voice acting is fine for the most part with a few clear outliers, like Juan Cortez, Dani’s quasi-mentor, and Esposito as Castillo. The directional audio doesn’t always hit the mark, which makes it a tad tricky to know if enemies inside buildings are above or below you at all times, but with few fights actually forcing you into such scenarios, it’s not that big of an issue.
And, if you’re not too keen on hip-hop, reggaeton, and other exuberant varieties of Latin music, you’ll find very little to satisfy your ears when you’re driving across Yara. This is, obviously, as subjective as it gets, but we were thankful for the option to turn off the radio.
The most memorable moments involving Far Cry 6’s AI were those when it messed up in hilarious ways, like a determined tank driver running over two of his pals – who were already attacking us – before missing a shot, despite us being in clear view. Some drivers repeatedly hit bridge railings, despite having the entire road for themselves, others weren’t quite sure how to get around a destroyed vehicle, dooming themselves to an eternity of staring at its husk. The bigger issue is that when stuff like this doesn’t happen, Yara’s inhabitants are not just dull, but they don’t make the island feel like a lived-in place.
You rarely see more than a couple of NPCs on screen and battles are, for the most part, small-scale. There was a need to dial back the sheer chaos of Far Cry 5, where badgers, helicopters, and cultists attacked the NPC you had to talk to every 0.34 seconds, perpetually resetting conversations, but now the island feels empty a little too often.
The level scaling has all the weight on itself in terms of difficulty but, unless you purposefully venture outside of your level range, taking over the map is an effortless affair. Attach a suppressor to your weapon and you can eliminate enemies one by one as they go to investigate the corpses of their buddies. Their line of sight is woefully small and, even if you’re out in the open, it takes the AI a while before it finds you. If too many bodies pile up they do eventually rush the alarm, but by that time, you’re left with only a few foes anyway.
Far Cry 6 has a host of accessibility options, ranging from a colorblind mode, the ability to customize specific UI colors, and menu narration. There’s also aim assist alongside options that highlight enemies and pickups throughout the world.
On an Intel i7-8700K, 16 GB RAM, Nvidia RTX 3080@1080p, Far Cry 6 ran reasonably well on Ultra settings, with a few caveats. DXR reflections sliced about 20 frames per second for a disappointing visual payoff, so we kept them turned off.
Even so, more visually demanding portions of Yara did see the frame rate briefly dipping to as low as 50 FPS but, while noticeable, it never got to a point where it seriously impacted accuracy or other parts of the gameplay.
TOP GAME MOMENT
Unleashing a flurry of rockets from our Supremo backpack and blowing up a tank that never saw it coming.
FAR CRY 6 VERDICT
Far Cry 6 finds the series at its most complacent and stale, showing little desire to push things forward and missing the mark when it comes to its story and villain. And yet, despite the tired recipe, there’s still an adequately enjoyable first-person shooter underneath that manages to offer the freedom expected of it and make popping the heads of countless dumb opponents feel satisfying.
How much you’ll enjoy it really depends on where you’re approaching it from. As a new player, its world will keep you busy and show you a good chunk of what the series has to offer. If you’ve played previous entries in the series, you’re more likely to be left wishing there was more. Yara’s had its own revolution; perhaps it’s time for Far Cry to follow suit.
Freedom to juggle between the main story and optional content
Supremo backpack feels great to use, as do some of the makeshift Resolver weapons
Overly familiar recipe, if you're a newcomer or not looking for anything that's different
Disappointing villain and story
Blurry explosions, muddy textures
Mostly forgettable cast of secondary characters
Overly familiar recipe, if you're looking for something vastly different