Far Cry 6 is the first Far Cry FULL GAME that (to me) feels like it’s just more Far Cry. Now, that’s not entirely a bad thing, as the games are a lot of dumb fun these days, just running around and blowing stuff up, but after Far Cry 5 I was ready to see them build something new, something that would be series defining again, rather than, well, just more Far Cry.
Before you continue reading, I’m not going to try and spoil the game, but I will be getting into the details with what I experienced, just so you’re aware.
Well, I’m not really sure where to start because my thoughts about this game are all over the place. I guess I’ll start with the character, as typically that’s a key part to the Far Cry series (minus 5 and New Dawn which decided to go a silent protagonist route). Dani, male or female option, was a bag of mixed signals for me. At times they would really be there, in the moment, and it felt like MAYBE there was a spark of soul behind them, but in the end they would just feel so empty. Bland. A character that could be easily replaced and forgotten. In previous titles, the characters created served purpose, there was heaps of thought and effort into creating someone meaningful to the story, but also someone with opinions and emotions. You didn’t play some instantly battle-hardened warrior, you played someone who was in no way prepared for the events they would endure. You grew with them, whether you agreed or disagreed with their motives or opinions.
However, in Far Cry 6, Dani has already done their fair share of combat, someone already used to seeing violence and understands the risks of situations. Dani is a very entertaining character, well-rounded and with good personality, but is absolutely wasted on a world where (ALMOST) every character is either incredibly selfish OR wasted as a side-character to the main ones. I say almost because there are fun characters you encounter, but they are washed away amidst the ones that are frustrating to do quests for. In that, I feel like Dani loses a lot of their personality, because they don’t really GROW with other characters, they already understand these situations and they just help OTHER characters grow, or in some case, you don’t and they remain frustrating and selfish.
The other thing that kinda breaks the immersion of playing Dani is the series implementing third person mode while you’re in safe-havens AND having pretty much every cutscene from an “out-of-body-experience” angle. I just might be being picky here, but Far Cry has always been about maintaining an immersive first person angle, where you experience everything from the perspective of the character, even in cutscenes and safe areas. You still stay first person for MOST of the game, during combat or driving vehicles, but there are moments of the game where it’ll pull you right out to third person OR have cutscenes go from first person and swap halfway through.
To me, this mechanic just felt bad. Not just because it pulled you out of the immersive perspective, but because the world doesn’t FEEL like it should be experienced in that way. Dani in third person feels like you’re a walking brick, you literally do not blink and if you talk, sometimes your mouth doesn’t even move. Hopefully that’s just a bug or something, but if I ever had to do third person stuff, I ran in, did the thing, and booked it out of there.
Then, for the cutscenes, sure you’re now able to see things happening elsewhere, as everything is not just focused on your character’s experience anymore (cutscenes happen that don’t even involve Dani whatsoever so you’re always kept in the loop I guess), but once again, that ruins the immersion. The whole POINT of first person cutscenes was to add an element of mystery to what was happening elsewhere. Small spoiler here, but one of your friends gets captured, and at FIRST someone mentions “They never made it back”, which made me think, “Well it’s time to go find out what happened!” but no. It shows them tortured and then murdered in a cutscene IMMEDIATELY afterwards, and then no one talks about them again like they never existed, no one cares anymore. In Far Cry 3 (yes, I will compare it a bit here) your friends are missing, and you ONLY hear about them through the grape-vine, so to speak. You’re left in a constant panic of “Are they okay? Are they alive?” and that adds so much to the experience, for both your character AND you.
But this also made cutscenes involving Dani feel watered down… well, not in the sense of “that didn’t look painful”, but rather you don’t SHARE Dani’s pain from that perspective. Another spoiler, Dani gets some teeth pulled. This is one of the first times in a Far Cry game just didn’t really pull me into that painful and sad moment. You’re not seeing the pliers go right under the camera to then a gory and brutal tooth being shown to you. You’re seeing it happen TO your character. This is every major cutscene, and it just didn’t capture the usual Far Cry experience. It waters down how menacing big enemies feel, because you’re NOT Dani. You’re just OBSERVING Dani.
Man, I pretty much just wrote a review on the perspective, I could just call it here.
Just gonna wrap this part up quick, haha. Don’t expect the same level of depth in Dani as you felt with previous characters, they tried something new here, and as much as I give props to innovating in game franchises, this just felt sloppy and immersion breaking to me.
Fun but similar gameplay
Lets move over to gameplay, something good just to mix that in. Far Cry gunplay has always been fantastic, and Far Cry 6 is absolutely the best yet, because it nullifies how good you can be. Not sure about you, but Far Cry 5 and New Dawn felt like they immediately handed you great weaponry and you just mowed enemies down like they were nothing. Far Cry 6 ramps up how combat feels, the amount of control you have over certain weapons, and the aggressive nature of the enemies. So many combat situations are heightened by how wanted you are (there IS a threat level system in this game, which is awesome), so if you decide to be loud and violent, so will the enemies. This isn’t to say you’re entering dark souls or something, they’ve just made it feel more realistic.
The fights are incredibly fun because of this. Recoil, range, overheating silencers, enemies taking strategic cover, and cover pushing enemies just add so much to Far Cry 6. You’re not in some empty forsaken location, you’re fighting on an insane island filled with heaps of soldiers ready to take you down whenever you cause chaos. It’s very fun and well-rounded combat. As far as guns go they CAN be overpowered, but the enemies can be incredibly aggressive and come at you with a variety of tactics. There’s also a fun new system of basically “Ultimate” abilities, where your backpack can be turned into a heap of different powerful weapons. You can fire homing rockets out of it, give off a massive EMP, poison bombs, etc. It’s a fun way to help you out when you’ve got way too many enemies to deal with.
The one form of combat that has been BEYOND watered down (to the point where they should honestly just take it out) is the hunting. The animal variety is kind of pathetic and limited, you DO NOT feel threatened by predators whatsoever, and just like in 5, they removed the skinning animation, so instead of killing and then skinning a leopard, you just instantly pick up its hide. There’s no panic to try and skin your kill while in a dangerous location. I get that Far Cry 6 is not some sort of survival game, but with this latest installment they’ve now COMPLETELY removed harvesting plants, and the animal hunting feels like an afterthought.
SPOILER: The only other comment I have on combat is that some of the big named bad guys are killed in cutscenes rather than going face to face with you. It stays relevant to the story and how certain characters develop, but it definitely takes away from THEIR stories, and sure makes them feel pathetic. That and the fact you’re tearing this island to pieces yet they have absolutely no idea who you are. You literally stand in an audience of about 5 other people with one of the bad guys giving a presentation, yet they have no idea who you are… just feels lame.
Which brings me to my next part: The Story.
A generic story with an interesting enemy
Far Cry 3 had definitely the most memorable story, with Far Cry 4 pretty close behind. Far Cry 5 had a fantastic plot, great characters, and a very interesting enemy, but fell a bit short due to your personal character being a silent-protagonist (but since the other characters were so awesome the game carried along well).
Far Cry 6 returns to having a main character with a name and a voice, but they’re thrown into a world with so many characters that were just annoying, immature to the POINT of annoying, or just not good. The personality of “Tough, rough, rude, and no funny business” seemed to be the theme of most characters, and the few characters that ARE fun to interact with are usually drowned out by them. The comic relief of the game, kind of the “crazy uncle” character, definitely gives off the vibe of past Far Cry characters, but this time… without the funny. It’s like they designed him to be insanely crude, drunk, and full of himself the entire time, but that’s it. Other than that, there were a couple interesting characters that I enjoyed, specifically a band of warfare battered old folks that were hilarious and fun to interact with, and a faction of family-focused community members who are careful, but ready to help you.
The main villain, Anton, is a good one. He’s got that charismatic and almost likable side to him, and then that sadistic snap side to him. Like a ticking time bomb, every part of the game involving him keeps you on edge, wondering what he might do, what would happen if he DID snap in that moment. He’s well written, alongside his conflicted son Diego, who obviously respects his father, but is also scared to death of him. It keeps you interested in how Diego will react to his fathers actions, because of Dani’s actions. It’s this interesting cycle to watch.
Other than that, there’s a couple of “side-enemies” I suppose, sort of the same system of Far Cry 5 with Joseph on the top, with his siblings underneath him, but this time they feel a lot less important. You hear their names brought up in certain regions, but that’s about it. Each side villain has their area to rule, but you don’t really hear about their impact in other regions in Yara.
Well, the main story itself is fairly generic, with the characters definitely carrying the plot. Yara has fallen under a brutal dictatorship, which now has the Guerilla forces (a.k.a. you) fighting for a better future. The game is pretty political and touches on a HEAP of various subjects that’ll get you thinking, perhaps even get you frustrated or forming opinions. It’s quite a different approach from the other games in the series, as those focused much more on a specific issue somewhere, with cults, religion, or terrorists, typically forced into those situations not by choice but by unfortunate events. In this game, you’re there to overthrow a corrupt political system ruining Yara, and it’s entirely your choice. There’s this weird moment where they give you a boat and a chance to leave Yara and go to Miami, but the boat is this run down piece of garbage that would never make it. Dani decides against leaving in that boat… which must have been her deciding to stay because then you immediately get WAY better boats.
The open world
The final thing I’ll touch on is the open world. Far Cry has always seemed to feature absolutely stunning open worlds, with memorable environments, immersive nature, and typically some towns and cities. This time, however, I felt myself AT TIMES looking at how amazing the sunset is, or the scenic mountain view, but most of the time it just felt repetitive or “more of the same”… the theme of the review here I suppose. Far Cry 3 was deep jungles, Far Cry 4 was Himalayan mountains, Far Cry 5 was Montana, but this game goes back to the Jungle look without really innovating or building onto it.
The world is absolutely massive, with LOTS of locations to explore, secret caverns, and interesting sights, so don’t let my previous statement take away from the whimsical exploration that the Far Cry games DO manage to fit in well. I suppose it’s just my personal opinion that the world around you feels bland, unimaginative, and recycled. I figured that since the world is very large, it’d have diverse landscapes and terrain, but nope. It’s the same jungle from one end to the other. It’s not like Skyrim or New World, where it changes as you run across it, there’s just not a whole lot to it.
In Far Cry 5, even though it felt like I was playing a game that took place in a land I used to live in, they did it so well where the exploration, hunting, fishing, driving, everything felt so real and unique. Far Cry 6 just feels like the world has so much potential, but in the end it’s just the same stretch of land from one side to the next, where I don’t really care much about what’s in between other than the quest locations.
My final thoughts
I’m gonna stop rambling on here…
Far Cry 6 is fun, there’s no doubt about that. It’s the same crazy chaos induced shooter with heaps of weapons and vehicles in a massive open world, but this time without the innovation. Obviously there’s new stuff in the game, but this isn’t a reimagining of the series, it’s just revisiting the jungle locale with a new kind of bad guy. The story is very average (nothing that you feel like you would miss out on if you didn’t play the game), and the emotional connections and growth of characters seemed stunted by the lack of perspective and lack of interesting characters outside some select few.
Ubisoft played it way too safe with this game and in the end it’s almost like it’s TRYING to be hardcore and edgy, but the pacing feels off. Like I mentioned at the beginning, this game is just simply more Far Cry, nothing more, nothing less. It’s not an experience that you’re missing out on if you don’t play it, but it does scratch that itch of: “I wanna kill a bunch of bad guys in a crazy amount of ways”.
If you felt differently, I’d love to hear your thoughts over in my discord or wherever you can share them. To me, however, this was a big miss for the Far Cry series, and I’m starting to doubt the magic of previous titles can be recreated, as this game doesn’t have the same innovation, nor the imagination.