Far Cry games have always been renowned for their ability to keep gamers entertained, and Far Cry 6 is no exception. Yara seems to be larger than most open-world playgrounds and is jam-packed with things to do, but, sadly for completionists, many of those activities are seldom rewarding enough to warrant further exploration or participation. Although a fantastic villain, made even more special by the fact that Far Cry has a prestigious roster of antagonists, and plenty of mind-numbing quests keep Far Cry 6 engaging, it does feel as though the Far Cry formula has now been stretched to its limits. Far Cry 6 is available now on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
Even before the credits rolled, Far Cry 6’s charm began to fade, with cracks starting to appear after the first of three areas had been completed. When I’d finished practically every side quest and treasure hunt in that area of the map, and had crossed off every collectible, I found myself wondering, “Do I have to do it all over again for the other two regions?” That meant dumping more airdrops on more idols and hunting grounds, more convoys, and more people in need, all of whom were pulling our protagonist, Dani, in every way he could possibly imagine.
You are under no need to seek out these goodies, but Far Cry 6 is particularly adept at diverting gamers. Finding an idol to honor grants a little amount of experience as compared to performing an operation, but when one idol becomes two and two become three, the experience accrues quickly and accumulates significantly. Why should you bother stopping them if they’re already on their way to your destination? The temptation of glittering things at the edge of your compass isn’t unique to Far Cry games, but once you’ve done a region’s worth of Far Cry 6 activities, the prospect of doing so two more times seems tiresome and unnecessary. This is made much more irritating by the fact that there are no notable rewards for your accomplishments.
Treasure hunts, for example, often provide players with unique weapons that have been pre-equipped with attachments that would otherwise be required to be crafted. The result of this is that they’re inherently more suited for the early stages of Far Cry 6, and they become much more ineffective after you’ve established your playstyles with one or two go-to loadouts. The treasure hunts are basically large riddles, which at the very least adds to their allure. However, what’s the purpose of wishing for an unknown prize that isn’t going to be much better than something you can create yourself?
The assumption is that you’ll be able to construct anything you want given the paucity of resources in Far Cry 6. A surplus of crafting supplies is simple to come by, but only after you’ve hunted down every rabbit you come across and rifled through every container in a complex, turning a 5-minute task into a 20-minute treasure hunt. When you combine this with the game’s open-world setting, you may accomplish a great deal in Far Cry 6 without ever feeling like you’ve accomplished anything.
Aside from providing disappointing prizes, Far Cry 6 finds additional methods to make players feel that the game isn’t living up to its promise on a regular basis. This time around, Far Cry 6’s reluctance to accept responsibility for any repercussions imposed on its protagonist and the player themselves is more apparent than in previous editions in the series. Through torturous, life-altering, and traumatic occurrences, Dani and the other characters suffer a crippling amount of torture, yet they’re protected by so much narrative armor that you’d think they were superhuman after emerging from these situations with no mental or physical wounds.
When it comes to choosing the appropriate tool for the right job, Dani’s tutor, Juan, is always preaching about it, but the ability to draw weapons from a deep-pocketed backpack means that you don’t really have to prepare for various situations beyond being stocked with choices.
Far Cry 6 encourages players to consider their choices carefully, but, like a caretaker who is unable to follow through, the game has no meaningful penalties to impose on them other than a brief respawn outside of a complex.
Despite its flaws, Far Cry 6 manages to capture the essence of the Far Cry series. Some of them are massive in scope, while others are more modest in scale. One example is flying over the city of Yara in what seems to be a guerrilla-constructed vehicle that appears to be holding on by a thread. Players will be reminded of one of Ubisoft’s major themes with this entry, which is that Dani is a person first and a protagonist second, as they hear Dani not only sing along with the songs on the radio but also continue to sing them after leaving a car.
Antón Castillo, the tyrant portrayed by actor Giancarlo Esposito, reigns supreme over these large and little events, and he has a slew of each to his credit. The performance of Esposito as one of the most iconic villains in the Far Cry series is outstanding when the cutscenes on the Xbox Series X aren’t jittery. This is a difficult dichotomy to reconcile between his love and care for his kid, Diego, and his disdain for almost everyone else. Although the Far Cry villains are often crazy or unpredictable, Castillo, despite his calm appearance, is often the most enigmatic of them all.
The game manages to screw up even the biggest moments, such as the sequences in which Castillo appears, and take players out of the action, even if you ignore the jerky animations and focus on the gameplay. When you’re told to leave a character alone at the end of a region’s narrative, murdering them instead results in no repercussions or censure from the person who’d ordered you otherwise. In another boss encounter, the combat concluded not with a chopper exploding but with the helicopter entirely vanishing while the whirring effects and lights were still visible. In the midst of completing the last objective, I became sidetracked by a chest that had a two-star rarity weapon in what would’ve been anticipated to be the game’s most high-leveled and loot-rich location. Far Cry 6 has a disclaimer attached to every high point it achieves.
However, the “6” in “Far Cry 6” indicates that you already know what you’re getting, so none of this should come as a surprise. Although some long-time fans were concerned about things like limited personalization options for Dani and the first-person cutscenes, the main problem here is that the model seems less sustainable today than it has ever been. Far Cry staples wasted the opportunity to explore the vast, gorgeous nation of Yara, and it would be a pity if the same thing happened in whichever world comes next.