|Platforms||PC, PS4, PS5 (Reviewed), Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S|
In Far Cry 6, you play as Dani Rojas in the politically volatile nation of Yara. Antón Castillo, El Presidente of Yara, is a ruthless dictator who enslaves political dissidents and forces them to produce a cancer drug called Viviro, at the cost of using chemicals that cause cancer in the workers. Libertad, a guerilla force that recruits Dani, fights to free Yara from Castillo’s regime.
Violence: Killing an enemy with any kind of explosive weapon produces gory results. Other than that, the combat is primarily shooting enemies, running them over with vehicles, or killing them with a machete, all with bloody results. Off-screen deaths are creative at times, and it is heavily implied that some people were killed by being doused with molten metal. Some places are the sites of massacres, and dozens of corpses are left all over the area to rot.
Sexual content: Two characters kiss. Some NPCs talk about their same-sex marriages. There are occasional references and jokes that are sexual in nature.
Spiritual Content: There is a scene where Antón talks to Diego about how Antón’s father loved Jesus, albeit from a political perspective. The native religion of Yara involves worship of deities called the Oluwas. A spirit panther is an unlockable companion. Some of the collectibles scattered throughout the game map are idols.
Language: There is an almost constant stream of profanity—in both English and Spanish—from almost every character. Everything one can expect from an M-rated title is here.
Alcohol/drugs: Many characters are often seen drinking and smoking. One character is a heavy alcoholic. A couple of missions involve Dani getting drunk. There are references to drugs such as cocaine.
Other negative themes: Thematically, the game is grim. One side mission involves destroying a compound where “fake Yarans”—citizens of Yara politically opposed to the regime—are put in cages and experimented on in horrific ways, with manners of gruesome death written out in various spots. Additionally, there are themes and depictions of suicide, torture, corruption, human trafficking, violence toward children and animals, and slavery.
Positive themes: Some characters show mercy to their enemies, and they also risk their lives to save others. Despite the bleak setting, plenty of characters are intent on finding light and humor to keep a positive attitude even in difficult situations.
This game is rated M for Mature
Far Cry 6’s plot follows the same basic formula as the rest: protagonist teams up with a local resistance group to defeat the oppressive regime. However, the story itself stands apart from the rest of the franchise that I’ve played and may be the best one to date. It is certainly the darkest.
Antón Castillo is an excellent villain. Giancarlo Esposito was an outstanding casting choice; his acting brilliantly encapsulates the machiavellian dictator, portraying him as both a caring father and ruler bent on achieving his goals by any means. While Far Cry 4’s Pagan Min is still my favorite Far Cry villain, Castillo is a close second.
Most of the protagonists are a joy to have on-screen as well. El Tigre and Juan Cortez are my personal favorites. The former is a veteran guerilla from the last revolution, and Juan acts as a sort of mentor/drunk uncle to Dani. Unfortunately, there are no human companions to take alongside you on missions.
There are five unlockable companions, aptly named amigos. The first two are a crocodile named Guapo and a disabled weiner dog named Chorizo. I’ve never seen a video game dog as adorable as Chorizo, but he’s not the most useful amigo. One amigo—but unfortunately only one—even hops into your car with you when you drive.
There are a few things in the game that require you to wait for a certain amount of time before you can go back to it. If you call your vehicle to your location, you can refill your ammo from the trunk. The catch is you then have to wait a half hour before you can refill again, so you must plan accordingly.
Another time-dependent feature is the Los Bandidos operations. In a camp, you can find a corkboard that lists available missions for your NPC recruits. Each one requires a leader, several of whom you unlock by doing specific side missions. Once you activate a mission, you have to wait a certain amount of time before moving on to the next step, usually two hours. Thankfully, you can do whatever you want until then, including turning off the game. Once the time elapses, you then progress through three phases of the mission. For each phase, you are given three choices, each of which comes with a cost, reward, and chance of success. If you pass two of the three phases, the mission is a success and you receive whatever reward the mission offers, including guns, money, and crafting supplies.
Usually situated near the Los Bandidos board is a woman named Lola. She offers you special missions that will earn you moneda, a special currency that you use to buy from the black market she runs. Her missions can last up to an hour, but the rewards are typically worth it.
Crafting plays a major role when it comes to weapons. Almost everything in the game is customizable. When at a workbench, you can use the supplies you’ve collected to craft different kinds of ammo, silencers, and new sights, among other mods. Each mod affects the gun’s stats in some way. Additionally, you can change the gun’s appearance by using spray cans that you find in supply chests.
Item descriptions are one of my favorite things about Far Cry games. They’re often witty and occasionally have genius pop culture references, and this game is no exception. Some references are more obscure than others, such as a reference to Guy Fieri, so it’s worth looking everywhere to find them all.
The resolver weapons are outrageous and fun. The Pyrotechno, for one, launches a dozen fireworks and is particularly effective against enemy tanks. Another one I like is El Muro, a small revolver shotgun that comes with a small shield when you aim down the sights.
There are plenty of little things that give the world life. One example is that NPCs react to your amigos. Soldiers are afraid of Guapo, and tell you to keep him away from them. If you have one of the canine amigos with you, civilians will talk about them and sometimes pet them.
If you need a break from the stress of overthrowing a dictatorship, there are plenty of diversions. Scattered throughout Yara are races and treasure hunts. Treasure hunts will give you rewards such as guns and supplies, while successful races give you vehicle parts to customize your car.
Cockfighting is one grisly aside, but if you can get past how horrible it is on principle, it’s a fun minigame. It’s basically a full fighting game, complete with HP bars, special attack gauges, and indicators of who won a round. Throughout Yara, you’ll occasionally find more roosters to use in a fight.
Despite the serious subject matter, there are countless comedic relief moments. Several characters, both major and side, will often have something funny to say. Those moments combined with the game simply being fun to play make for a great experience on their own, and the storytelling serves to make it even better.
This game is massive. There are so many side quests to do, places to explore, and weapons to unlock, it’s almost overwhelming. The story alone is roughly forty hours, and I suspect it would take triple that to do everything else. Additionally, once you complete the story, there are new post-game missions every week. It’s easy to stay with the game, however, if for no other reason than that it is gorgeous to look at.
Despite all of these great things going for it, there are some flaws that are hard to overlook. The game contains a number of bugs that range from funny to frustrating. Examples of the former include NPCs holding invisible guns or suspended in midair. To me, those are quirks and don’t affect my opinion of the game at all.
The more serious issues are another story. There were times I had to exit to the main menu in order to fix a bug that was preventing me from progressing. I also encountered a save-breaking bug in the opening sequence. Getting too far ahead of your companion seems to trigger it, and when it happens, you end up stuck on a fire escape and need to start a new save file. The autosave will reload you to a point after the bug is triggered, so simply exiting the game isn’t enough to fix it.
One thing that I found incredibly annoying is that the game relies solely on autosave. I prefer manual saving in general, but especially when I want to experiment with a weapon mod to see if I want to use rare materials to get that one or something else. But autosave negates that opportunity, and you’re out of luck—not to mention hard-to-get materials—if you don’t like the mod. I don’t know if Ubisoft plans to add a manual save feature in the future, but at the time of this review, there is none.
Far Cry 6 is the best entry in the franchise yet. Ubisoft took all of the best parts of the series’ history and improved them. The gameplay is more refined than ever, and the story is gripping. There are plenty of references to previous games for veterans to enjoy, but not so many to damage a newcomer’s experience. This is a great starting point if you are interested in the series but don’t know where to begin. Similarly, if New Dawn‘s mediocrity burned you, you might—as I did—find this entry redeems the franchise.
The Bottom Line
This is Far Cry at its best.