- Developer: Ubisoft
- Publisher: Ubisoft
- Release date: 7th October 2021
- Genre: FPS, Action adventure
- Platforms: Xbox One/ Series XS, PlayStation 4/5, Luna, Stadia, Windows PC
- Reviewed on: Xbox Series X
- Game Supplied by: Publisher
Far Cry 6 Review
Over the past few years, there has been a distinct lack of epic, engaging and exciting single-player FPS games. If there’s one thing you can rely on, though, it’s the arrival of a new Far Cry game every few years to remind us that there is still a place for a compelling narrative, over-the-top set pieces, well-executed stealth mechanics, a sprawling sandbox map to explore, and outstanding gunplay.
Ubisoft’s newest entry into the Far Cry franchise isn’t without a few minor flaws, but I really appreciate how they haven’t just copy-pasted the gameplay mechanics and slapped on a fresh coat of paint. At its heart, it still looks and plays just like the rest of the games in the series, but they have refined and polished the experience, as well as changed a few significant core gameplay features (for better and worse).
Far Cry 6 still follows the simple and classic formula – a maniacal dictator needs stopping, and you’re the person for the job. This time, though, rather than playing the role of a character unwittingly caught up in the action, your character, Dani Rojas, is indigenous to the country of Yara; Dani has suffered first-hand under the rule of Anton Castillo (brilliantly portrayed by Giancarlo Esposito). To me, this makes a lot more sense in the context of the game. These are her people and her lands (I played with a female Dani), so her involvement feels more natural and plays into the narrative well.
If you’ve played any Far Cry games before, you know exactly what to expect. The main driving force behind the game is completing story missions, and if you only focus on this, you could probably rush through to the end in around 20-30 hours. After the opening scenes (which we won’t spoil, but which have a brilliant monologue by Giancarlo Esposito), you join up with the Libertad (resistance). Before taking down Anton Castillo, you need to recruit the resistance groups of Yara to Libertad and overthrow Anton’s commanders in the three main regions of Yara.
Much like the rest of Ubi’s open-world games, though, there is a huge amount of side content to get through. Yaran stories are more in-depth side missions with a bit of story attached to them linking into the main quest-line. Additionally, there are loads of quick-play activities to mix up the action: Dotted around the map are treasure hunts, exotic animals to hunt, fishing spots (fishing is pretty basic, like in Red Dead Redemption 2, but still relaxing and enjoyable), Gran Premios (checkpoint races in various vehicles), checkpoints to capture, military bases to overthrow (basically kill everyone, then find a keycard or similar to access the rewards) and more.
Considering this is such a big map, it could have been a bit of a chore to navigate, but Ubisoft has made it extremely easy to get around. There’s a large variety of cars, trucks, horses, boats, planes and helicopters that you can commandeer, and if you take these to the call-in points they’ll be available whenever you need them. The handling of the vehicles, especially the planes and helicopters, has been simplified so that you can get on with driving or piloting them with ease, and most have passenger and/or gunner seats, so you can take a co-op friend along for the ride. I like how Ubisoft has added a toggleable on-screen controls pop-up for the vehicles, so you can quickly check the controls without having to pause and open up the menus.
In addition to vehicles, one of the guerilla camp upgrades unlocks a wingsuit. Along with being super-handy for flying around in general, you can also air-drop in from above a fast-travel point and activate your wingsuit (or parachute). From here, you can cover vast distances with ease; simply drop-in, wingsuit-up, and away you go.
If you want to unlock more fast-travel points, you can explore the map and take down FND bases, checkpoints and AA defences, but you can also use a guerilla base perk to reveal the locations of guerilla hideouts around the map. Once discovered, you can fast-travel directly to these points, regardless of whether you’ve been to that part of the map before.
In comparison to something like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, where you spend an inordinate amount of time riding your horse from location to location, Far Cry 6 makes it incredibly easy to get where you need to go, fast.
This all adds up to making Far Cry 6 feel much more focussed and accessible than some of Ubisoft’s other sprawling sandbox games. Yes, there’s a huge map filled with loads of side quests (called Yaran Stories), scenic landmarks, bases to capture, and a plethora of objective markers vying for your attention, but the ease with which you can travel between these means you can spend less time laboriously moving from location to location and more time doing the fun stuff, like shooting copious amounts of bad guys and enjoying the beautiful landscapes.
Thunder in paradise
There’s no mistaking it, Far Cry 6 is a beautiful looking game. If I have one complaint, it’s that the colour palette is oversaturated. There’s a lot of neon glow going on, and although it’s a vibrant world to explore, if they had toned it down just a bit it could look a lot more natural and realistic. Even so, there are some truly stunning locations to explore.
There are breathtaking archipelagos to cruise around, towering mountains and cliffs to throw yourself from with your wingsuit, picturesque towns and villages to wander, and dense undergrowth and trees to stalk your prey from. One of the things that I love about the Far Cry series is that the worlds look like somewhere you’d want to go on holiday, and Far Cry 6 is no exception. I love a dystopian future sci-fi setting or war-torn country as much as the next person, but the luscious landscapes of the Far Cry games are always a welcome respite.
The viewpoint is way too affected for my liking, though. The head-bob is fine when you are running or jumping, but the camera has an annoying habit of moving around when you are climbing or mantling. When you climb onto a ladder, it tilts your view upwards and briefly looks down when you reach the top, and it’s the same when you jump up onto a ledge. Yes, it helps convey your actions, but I’m sure many people, like me, instinctively point the camera up as you climb a ladder anyway, so having the game try to do this at the same time has you fighting against the camera unnecessarily. It’s a minor bugbear, but annoying nonetheless.
On the Series X, Far Cry 6 stays true to its 60fps target very consistently. Although I don’t have any Digital Foundry level analysis tools at my disposal, I detected no slowdown or screen tear. Although I anecdotally know it uses a dynamic resolution to keep that frame rate smooth, the graphics never looked anything other than pin-sharp on my 4k monitor, even during the most intense moments, with particles flying around everywhere from explosions and hordes of enemies around me.
It’s not just the graphics that impress, though, as the sound mix is superb. Everywhere you go is accompanied by a vibrant soundscape that brings Yara to life, from the subdued hubbub of the populated areas to the rushing of waterfalls and sounds of animals as you venture off the beaten path. That is until all hell breaks loose, and the peaceful ambience is replaced with booming explosions and the crackling report of gunfire as you engage the enemy (or the quiet thump of a suppressed weapon and a squelchy, satisfying sound as you nail a headshot, followed by panicked guards wondering what the heck just happened).
The voice actors do an excellent job of delivering their lines, and Giancarlo Esposito, as you’d expect, does a fantastic job at portraying an intelligent yet intimidating monster of a man. The music as you explore Yara fits the setting very well, too, accompanied by samba, Spanish-language hip-hop, folksy sounding ditties and uptempo music playing from radios dotted around the map, and some well crafted incidental music when you enter combat or start one of the timed missions where you have to steal supplies.
Muchas armas (Lots of guns)
No FPS is complete without a large and eclectic collection of firepower at your disposal. Far Cry 6 has a superb selection of weaponry, most of which can be modified and upgraded with resources to further improve its killing ability. You can switch to armour-piercing rounds to deal with heavies, blast rounds for taking out vehicles, poison rounds to turn your enemies against each other or incendiary rounds if arson is your jam. Numerous sights and scopes can be fitted, silencers, mods that reduce weapon sway – whatever your playstyle, there’s an upgrade and weapon combo that suits.
The best part is just how good the weapons feel to use. Even the lowliest handgun still feels effective, but when you ramp it up to powerful sniper rifles and rocket launchers it gives you the satisfying sense of power at your fingertips. Automatic weapons kick and spray if you just keep firing, so you need to be a bit more judicial in your application of the “make things be dead” trigger. The aiming can be a little flighty, but there’s an unintrusive soft-lock that can keep your aim in check, and with a bit of fine-tuning to the aim sensitivity (default was a bit too fast for my taste) you’ll be collecting scalps in no time.
In addition to the standard upgradeable weapons, there’s a large number of bespoke weapons to find in FND caches, be rewarded with or purchase, which have various specialities, along with the Resolver weapons, which have been jerry-rigged from unassuming household objects – CD player that launches exploding discs, anyone?
Having such a huge and varied selection of weapons at your disposal makes Far Cry 6 constantly feel fresh, even when you’re 60 hours in. I spend a lot of my time stealthing about the place, popping out to nail headshots on unassuming guards. But if my plan goes pear-shaped or I just fancy a change of pace, all it takes is a quick loadout swap and I can go Rambo, whipping out my M60 and mowing down enemies with glee.
Speaking of loadouts, in previous Far Cry games, there were unlockable skills and perks that you could assign as you wished to suit your style of play, and unlocking these skills gradually built you up into the ultimate badass. In Far Cry 6, these have been replaced with perks that are bound to your clothing, and I’m not sure I like this method. Having to constantly pause and swap your clothes to suit what you are doing takes you out of the moment somewhat.
I can see what they were going for, and there are combinations of outfits that suit certain styles of play. For example, you can have an outfit that reduces the impact of armour piercing rounds, one that protects against fire, one that’s designed to increase your movement speed, and hundreds of combinations thereof. By scanning the enemies you are going to be facing with your phone, it will tell you what weapons they have, and you can choose the right tools for the job.
It’s a pain in the ass, though. You can’t save custom loadouts so you can quick-switch, so you have to go through your arsenal and equip each piece every time. When you’ve got so many options and combinations in your inventory, it becomes a bit of a chore, so I ended up settling with a more general-purpose build, which meant I never felt quite as powerful as I could have.
One piece of equipment that I do change frequently, however, is the Supremo backpack. This is a death-dealing weapon with multiple configurations. The first variant you receive launches a salvo of high explosives in front of you, as well as kitting you out with hand-grenades and dynamite. Other variants come with EMP power-sapping potential for neutralising tanks and vehicles (which you can then hijack), Geneva convention-defying napalm spreaders, poison cloud scattering launchers and more, with a variety of thrown weaponry tied to each one and mods and upgrades you can apply.
Hola, mi amigos
The Far Cry games have routinely had handy helpers that you can call upon to give you assistance. In Far Cry 6, these are called Amigos (friends), and in a welcome twist, your amigos are all animals. The first couple of amigos are found via story missions, and you’ll need to do a couple of minor loyalty missions to recruit them.
Chorizo has already proven to be a fan favourite; He’s a cute little puppy, who uses one of those doggy-wheelchair things to get around on, and he’s absolutely adorable (you can pet him and get some puppy love if you want). You can send him in to distract enemies, allowing you to sneak past, but can also latch onto an arm or leg, occupying enemies while you line up your shot.
Personally, I like sending in Guapo. Guapo is an endearing(?) crocodile who wears a t-shirt (good to see Far Cry still has a sense of humour) and likes nothing more than running around chomping your enemies (he also likes to be petted). There’s also an angry rooster called Chicharron, Boom Boom (basically Boomer, the dog from Far Cry 5), and a panther named Oluso. There are also a couple of DLC exclusive amigos for those who purchased the ultimate edition. All of your amigos have abilities and buffs that are upgraded by using them.
As I mentioned earlier, though, I prefer the stealthy approach, and I found that my amigos frequently alerted the enemies to my presence, even the amigos that are supposed to be stealthy. As such, I didn’t use them as much as I otherwise might have, but they are certainly another feather in Far Cry 6’s heftily adorned cap.
Back to square one
Compared to some of Ubisoft’s other games I encountered very little in the way of glitches or problems. There are occasional moments where your buddies or NPC’s will levitate above the terrain in rocky areas, and I encountered a hilarious moment when I mounted a horse and it catapulted 50 feet into the air for no apparent reason, but I had no issues with objective markers not being where they should be or quest items not spawning.
I did, however, encounter one far more worrying issue. When I was about an hour into the game, an error message popped up when loading back into the game, and my save data was inaccessible. Because Far Cry 6 only has an autosave and doesn’t support manual saves at all, there was no way to go back and recover the gameplay I had lost, so I had to restart the game. With no way of knowing what caused this problem, it left me worried every time I reloaded that this might happen again. It hasn’t happened since, and I was fortunate this happened right near the start, but if this were to have happened when I was much further into Far Cry 6 I’d have been devastated.
Another pretty serious bug related to the autosave is that there have been reports of people encountering an autosave while falling to their death – this results in them loading back in mid-fall, unable to break out the parachute or wingsuit, and with not enough time to fast-travel to safety. Ubisoft is aware of this and is working on a fix, but in the meantime, it seems that having a co-op partner join your game can solve the problem.
That said, in comparison to other games that have far more frequent game-breaking issues, I’ve only encountered one severe issue (which seems to be extremely rare, especially on consoles), and the rest of the game has been smooth sailing.
As usual, Ubisoft is leading the way when it comes to accessibility. Far Cry 6 has a huge amount of options to support gamers who need assistance or that can be overwhelmed or disoriented by certain effects. There are aim assists, colour adjustments, audio enhancements, subtitles that can transcribe sound effects, motion reduction settings, options to turn press and hold inputs to single button presses and much more.
At Total Gaming Addicts, we strongly support the ideology that gaming should be for everyone, and Ubisoft deserves recognition for doing everything they can to make Far Cry 6 accessible to all gamers.
In addition to the gameplay assists, you can also change the game difficulty to either Action Mode or Story Mode:
Action Mode is classic Far Cry, and you’ll need to be pretty skilful to survive – if you make a mistake and alert an enemy base, you can swiftly become overwhelmed and killed. It strikes a good balance, though, and if you choose your equipable weapons, perks and resolver backpack well, you can still blast through Far Cry 6 without too much trouble. There are a couple of “Boss” fights against helicopter gunships that can be challenging, especially if you don’t have any explosive weapons or blast rounds to take them down. This is mainly because they are bullet sponges without the right equipment, and it feels at odds with the typical encounters you face. Later in the game, though, when you have a more robust arsenal, there’s not much you can’t handle.
Story Mode is significantly easier – enemies have less health, and you can take a huge amount of damage before dying (although fall damage can still kill you pretty easily if you miss a jump or wander off a cliff). While I’d recommend Action Mode for the majority of players, you can switch to Story Mode at any point without affecting progress or achievements/trophies. If you find you are getting stuck or want to channel your inner Schwarzenneger for a bit, you can bounce between the difficulties at any point in the game.
Better with friends
What’s better than playing through all of this great content by yourself? Taking a friend along for the ride, of course (quite literally, with the vehicles)!
You can play through the entire game with a co-op buddy, with the same drop-in, drop-out flexibility we had with Far Cry 5. Progress is only made on the host’s playthrough, but any resources, XP or upgrades collected will be kept by the joining player. You’ll both need to play through the opening missions and tutorial sections first, but this should only take an hour or so of gameplay. Once this is done, you’re free to join together for the rest of the game.
Far Cry 6 has been designed to work just as well in co-op as it does alone. The vast majority of the vehicles have multiple seats for passengers with gun turrets they can use or they can use their normal guns from a motorbike sidecar, for example. Outside of the main game, there aren’t any versus modes to choose from, but you can matchmake the quick-bite Special Operations missions, which allow you to earn Monedas which can be used to purchase items from the black market vendor.
In our testing, the connection was very robust, and I had so much fun playing with both friends and random people. It provides some excellent opportunities for emergent sandbox gameplay (and trolling your buddies) and you’ll quickly have some memorable moments. I was playing with a random and thought it would be funny to drive straight at a tank, diving out of my vehicle and leaving them sitting in the passenger seat. By the time they knew what was happening, they’d been blown to kingdom come. Oh, how I laughed – they got their own back on me, though, by turning me into an unwitting kamikaze pilot when they jumped out of the plane as it dived towards a checkpoint.
You can have some ridiculous fun, and it adds even more reason to keep coming back to the game long after you’ve finished the story on your own save.
At its core, Far Cry 6 doesn’t bring anything substantially new to the table, and a large amount of the content is repetitive activities like capturing checkpoints and bases, but it’s easy to overlook when the gameplay is this good. If it wasn’t so satisfying running, flying or driving around and shooting people, then having such a cookie-cutter experience for large parts of the game may have left a sour taste. Thankfully, the core mechanics are so good that it works in Far Cry 6’s favour, giving you a reason to try out your new weapons or romp around in a tank for an hour or two.
There’s so much to see and do, and I’ve barely even touched on the exotic animal hunts or the Guerilla Camps, which have facilities that can be bought and upgraded, unlocking things like a Cantina that can give you timed buffs, and Los Bandidos operations where you can send your people out on missions and earn weapons and resources.
Far Cry 6 uses a formula we’ve seen a lot over the past years, but it has that hook that keeps you coming back for more. I’ve captured dozens of bases and checkpoints, but you know what? If there’s an option to reset all the checkpoints at the end of the game, I’ll gladly do it, and gleefully storm around the map smashing up everything in sight. Once I’ve had my fill of that, I’ll probably start a new playthrough in Story Mode, and play through it like an ’80s action movie.
We were a little late in publishing this review because I wanted to wait for the new game rush to wear off and see if I still wanted to dive back when I was deep into the campaign. I can confidently say that not only have I not tired of the gameplay yet, the further I get the more I want to get back into it. Far Cry 6 may only be slightly different from its forebears and shares the same basic gameplay elements, but if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.
Far Cry 6 has excellent graphics, top-notch audio, a brilliant story with a memorable antagonist, and outstanding gunplay. If you like the previous Far Cry games, you’ll love this one. It doesn’t take too many risks, but it doesn’t need to. Everything just works, and aside from a couple of (admittedly potentially game-breaking) bugs, there’s very little not to like.
With a solid 60+ hours of content if you tackle all the side quests, and a very interesting suite of DLC on the way, Far Cry 6 is a great way to invest your cash if you like engaging, entertaining and beautiful looking single-player FPS games. Throw in the excellent accessibility options and this is a game that can and should be played by everyone.