Far Cry games can be faulted for several things but creating iconic villains isn’t one of them.
With Far Cry 6 and Giancarlo Esposito, Ubisoft have done it again with Anton Castilo. Every moment he’s on screen, you’re captivated, engaged, fascinated, even horrified.
The sideways glances, the sinister smirks, deliberate movements and then there’s that chilling, bone-tingling tone. The virtual form of Gus Fring is a nightmare in action.
There’s no question Far Cry 6 sticks to what it knows and still does that really well, but El Presidente really leads the experience and sets the tone for everything that follows.
The story is also pretty intriguing, following the footsteps of Castillo, rallying leaders around you to help your cause and performing little sub-missions to chip away at the stranglehold El Presidento has on Yara.
But it’s fair to say if you’ve played a Far Cry game in the last few years, you’ll have a pretty solid idea of what to expect here. You’ll hunt down various targets, acquire territory, find tons of collectibles and get a buddy to help you along the way.
You’re running, gunning, hiding in bushes and foliage from the line of fire and sticking a cigar in your arm to stem the blood flow if you get caught in the crossfire. All familiar tropes and trademarks that’ll make you feel right at home.
The setting looks absolutely stunning in 4K, as well, and particularly through Dolby Vision on a Series X. This is one of the true benchmark, current-gen titles, really showing the power these new systems are capable of.
Cruising around Yara is a real delight. Animals hopping alongside the road, beautiful trees swaying with the wind, breathtaking landscapes coming up on the horizon. There’s even a nice selection of music to bop along to, and frankly, there’s not too many more endearing things I’ve encountered in a game this year than Dani singing along to Livin’ La Vida Loca.
Far Cry 6 undoubtedly sets the bar for a franchise that has always been seen as one of the most stunning releases out there. From its incredible weather effects to its epic firefights, it’s something to truly behold. And as the years go on and the franchise becomes more familiar with the hardware, you begin to think about the wider potential.
I’ve always appreciated the way Far Cry games let you explore, throwing grappling hooks to reach high ledges, and swimming down deep to get a close up view of life below ground. That’s often where you see the game at its best as well, and Ubisoft have undoubtedly gone all out to make a showcase game for this generation.
It certainly has its own version of Assassin’s Creed esque viewpoint synchronizations.
Far Cry 6 does suffer for familiarity, though, and ultimately a lot of it runs like it always has. Frankly, it’s hard not to feel like you’ve played this game 100 times before when you boot it up. It’s definitely a complaint you could throw at many games and perhaps there’s a bigger conversation to be had that games won’t really feel ‘next-gen’ until they overhaul some of these established systems, it just feels more apparent than ever with Far Cry 6.
In fact, the more time went on, the more the game just fell into its established patterns. Not that there’s anything especially wrong with the gameplay hook, it works exceptionally well. It flows, and it’s still incredibly easy to lose hours of your time exploring Yara top to bottom. I guess the question is, how much time do you intend to sink into this? Does the idea of a 60 hour game doing more of what you did in Far Cry 5 sound appealing right now?
There are marked changes, for sure. You can now customise all parts of Dani’s gear and each one has different properties, like being able to improve your accuracy and weapon sway. Guns also have attachment mods which can be customised on workbenches and you can adjust their appearance, as well as stick a lucky charm on them to make them feel a bit different and special.
Perhaps the best new addition is Supremos, though, which literally let you set off a bunch of rockets at unsuspecting enemies as a timed special. This is super useful in a pinch and feels incredibly satisfying when set off.
Another thing that is a little different this time is the game ventures into the third-person whenever you explore campsites and in its cutscenes. An interesting approach seeing as Far Cry has only really made its most important, established characters its villains. But shining the spotlight on the player character does make for a refreshing change.
It’s a nice touch that brings you a little closer to the character you spend hours controlling though the transitions between the two viewpoints sometimes feel a bit clunky and unnatural.
Far Cry 6 is a stunning game, with great acting and a few nice new touches, but ultimately you are playing a game that will feel incredibly familiar to you right from the get-go. You will absolutely know what you’re getting with Far Cry 6, for better or worse, and that’s either going to sound like a dream right now, or a complete turnoff.
+ Giancarlo Esposito is an absolute show-stealer
+ One of the most beautiful current gen games out there, especially in Dolby Vision
+ Supremos are a ton of fun
– It all feels incredibly familiar which will either work for you or won’t
Far Cry 6 is now available on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox
Played on Xbox Series X
Code Kindly Provided by Ubisoft