Ubisoft’s new open-world shooter is like a big city snack bar: pizza, kebab, and schnitzel taste OK in the same place. But next to the highlight dish called Gunplay, there is a bland aftertaste: Far Cry 6 wants to be too much at once. Is that enough for a heavenly rating?
Far Cry 6’s entry is convincing
The beginning of Far Cry 6 reminded me of the beginning of Metal Gear Solid 5 – The Phantom Pain: a linear, varied, and untypical introduction to the series including cutscenes.
You collect your first pistol on the beach in the fictional Caribbean region of Yara and feel the brutal and precise gunplay during the following shots and kills. Aiming and firing is a pleasure, especially on the PS5 with adaptive triggers.
As a result, the assault rifle, machine gun, and improvised weapons (like a nail cannon) become the real protagonists of Far Cry 6. Based on Just Cause 4, there are also crazy weapons such as a rocket launcher in a backpack design, which can wreak havoc on tanks and helicopters. The guns also look classy, you want to touch them.
In your warehouses, you can upgrade your weapons on workbenches with attachments such as telescopic sights and different types of ammunition. The only drawback: the effect of the attachments is low.
Real actors, pale characters in Far Cry 6
As in the predecessors, there is a polarizing top villain. This time he goes by the name of Antón Castillo. And the brilliant US actor Giancarlo Esposito is fully absorbed in this role. He is unscrupulous, even towards his 13-year-old son Diego.
As befits a clichéd dictator with a penchant for nationalism, he exploits the residents of Yara with coldness: Every disgraced citizen has to serve for the production of his cancer drug Vivaro. The irony of the story: those involved in the production develops cancer themselves.
The developer literally throws you into this hostile environment: You are stranded on the island of Yara, optionally as the female or male protagonist Dani. You just wanted to go back to Miami, now you are a tragic hero as a resistance fighter and part of the rebel group Libertad.
Why the story of Far Cry 6 fails
A permanent problem in the story: Castillo doesn’t get enough airtime, which rarely makes him seem threatening. Every now and then you sympathize with his pitiful son, but all other characters on the evil side remain pale and interchangeable.
The latter also applies to the camp of guerrilla fighters, whose behavior, unfortunately, does not match the seriousness of the situation with the many innocent victims: Here a cockfight held in the best Tekken manner, there a colorful bird in the form of the ex-KGB spy Juan Cortez, including a Hawaiian shirt, excessive alcohol consumption and overly deliberate but uncomfortable one-liners in every conversation situation.
It all feels too fake, too trying, and too over the top. The main consequence of this: It is difficult for you to identify with the freedom fighters, let alone empathize with them. The interspersed shock moments à la Call of Duty: Modern Warfare don’t help either.
Two playful approaches with the same result
In terms of play, Far Cry 6 remains true to the concept of its predecessors: In almost every mission you have to free a base from enemies, deactivate alarms or destroy something. Getting a military truck in advance is the big exception.
In addition, in the long run, it is a challenge to get involved in a tactical approach. Because experience shows: sooner or later someone will discover you.
Then it doesn’t matter how well you marked the opponents, alarms, and cameras with your mobile phone camera. Roused adversaries are also not interested in the fact that you have already killed five out of nine enemies with silent machete kills or which ammunition you have produced for your mission. A quick load function would do the game good here.
If you parachute to the same base, play the driving soundtrack, and shoot Rambo-style, it’s faster and it’s no less fun. This in turn castrates the game’s stealth approach. Sooner or later that culminates in an “I don’t care” attitude. Meticulous scouting and clever procedures wither into successive waves of opponents that you mow down.
Getting around in a pretty open world
You may know from the previous one: You sneak up on an enemy on a mission and suddenly a wild animal attacks you. Man, that was annoying. That no longer happens to you in the colorful Caribbean open world.
Annoying walks on foot are no longer necessary, as there is an oversupply of means of transport: At the push of a button you can call up your customizable car or you can grab an abandoned horse and ride towards the sun from the first person’s perspective.