After multiple delays, Far Cry is back with Ubisoft Toronto’s Far Cry 6. With star actor Giancarlo Esposito at the center, next-generation graphics and gameplay, and a story that is the best the series has seen in years, Far Cry 6 lives up to the Far Cry name in a big way. While Far Cry 6 certainly doesn’t reinvent the wheel, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with it during my 20-hour playthrough.
Far Cry 6 plunges you into the fictional country of Yara, which is kneedeep in the middle of a modern-day guerilla revolution. Ruthless dictator Antón Castillo (played by Esposito) has struck gold, in the form of a miraculous cancer cure, made from Yara’s world famous tobacco leaves. Castillo’s mission is to build his country into an empire, and to use this miracle drug to turn his country into “Paradise” — by any means necessary. Unfortunately for Yarans, paradise for him means undying loyalty and servitude.
The Lion and the Lamb
It just wouldn’t be a Far Cry game without a strong antagonist. From the very start of the game, it’s clear that this is going to be the Anton Castillo show. He immediately makes a strong impression, and Esposito’s performance remains stellar throughout the entirety of the roughly 20-hour campaign.
Somewhat surprisingly, Anton’s son Diego actually plays a major role as well. There’s an interesting duality at play between Anton and Diego throughout the game. On the one hand you have Anton; always portraying strength, teaching his son the tough lessons about ruling that his father never taught him. “There are lions and there are lambs,” Anton tells him. “Rule or be ruled.” 13- year old Diego is consistently shown atrocities, and challenged by his father for one reason – Anton wants his son to become a lion.
In an effort to prove himself to his father, at different points in the story, Diego’s hands have to get dirty as well. I went into Far Cry 6 with the impression that Anton Castillo was going to be the main antagonist. And while he definitely is, I think a better description would be that Anton and Diego together are the antagonists of Far Cry 6. Rarely will you see one without the other. Anton and Diego Castillo are two sides of the same coin – the lion and the lamb.
The main character in Far Cry 6, Dani Rojas, grew up as an orphan. At the start of the game, Dani has resigned herself to fleeing Yara, in order to find work in the United States. But when President Castillo declares martial law in her hometown, you and your friends must escape. Needless to say, things don’t quite go that smoothly, and before long Dani forgets her dreams of coming to America and becomes an official member of Yara’s largest rebel group Libertad, vowing to take down the dictator, and free their people.
Libertad needs help, however. Its leader Clara will ask you to travel to the country’s three main regions to gain the support of the local rebel groups there, before you can mount an attack on the capital city of Esperanza, and the heart of Castillo’s army.
The story in Far Cry 6 is surprisingly compelling. There are countless parallels to dictatorships throughout history, most comparably with the country of Cuba. Each of the three regions has its own semi-standalone story. The rebel groups there all have their own issues, and their leaders are going to need Dani to provide solutions for them before they’ll agree to help Libertad. But throughout your time, they will also raise questions about poverty, discrimination, and social unrest.
Ubisoft wastes no time dropping you into the action. The story starts off at full tilt and manages to keep up that pace for the first several hours of the game. Unfortunately, for a story with this type of plot structure, some parts are bound to be stronger than others. While none of the story arcs were outright bad, some of the regions drag on for a little bit too long, and the main story as a whole could have done with some trimming.
The first opportunity you’ll really get to go out and explore is on Isla Santuario, which basically amounts to the game’s tutorial island. You’ll spend the first couple of hours of the game here, going on missions for Libertad’s leaders Clara and Juan Cortez here, experimenting with the game’s different combat mechanics, and getting a taste of the open world exploration. Eventually, you will set off to Yara proper, to rally the assistance of the rest of the countries’ guerilla factions.
While you can explore the regions in any order you choose to, Ubisoft recommends starting with the Madrugada region. This is where the tobacco leaves required for Viviro are farmed, and starting here will make the most sense in terms of the narrative. Plus, you get a cute dog named Chorizo here.
Far Cry 6 puts an increased emphasis on story and characters. For the first time ever in a Far Cry game, the main character is fully voice acted, and plays an integral role in the game’s narrative. You’ll see Dani in third-person during the game’s cutscenes, and while exploring the settlements in the game’s three primary regions. Voice acting is solid across the board, and the writing is solid too. There’s a large cast of characters here, and Ubisoft has done well to make them all unique and interesting in their own ways.
Sadly, what is probably the game’s best character doesn’t appear as much as I would have hoped. Anton Castillo’s appearances are few and far between, and with such a high-profile actor playing him, I would’ve loved to interact with him more. He is by far the game’s most memorable character, although his son Diego does an impressive job and more than holds his own, even stealing the show at times.
The other antagonists, however, aren’t so memorable. Unlike in Far Cry 5, where each of the game’s antagonists were memorable in their own ways, Castillo is the head honcho, and the antagonists you’ll fight in each of the game’s regions are simply another avenue to weaken his army.
Overall though, I enjoyed the story in Far Cry 6 substantially more than I did in Far Cry 5. The added emphasis on the protagonist does a good job of putting you in their shoes, and the voice acting is great across the board. Anton Castillo is an excellent villain, partly because of Esposito’s performance, and partly because of the relationship with his son. There are plenty of twists along the way, and while I won’t spoil too much, make sure you stick around for the post-credits scene.
Graphics and Performance
Simply put — Far Cry 6 is a gorgeous game. I played on a PC and was consistently impressed by the visuals. Yara is a beautiful setting, and while the jungle environment is certainly something the Far Cry series has used before, each region features a slightly different climate and terrain, while still feeling cohesive and part of the same country.
With the dense jungle foliage, white, sandy beaches and tall hills and mountains, Far Cry 6 can look almost photorealistic at times – especially with the optional HD Texture pack installed. It’s clear Ubisoft Toronto have done some photogrammetry work here. On PC, there are also optional settings for ray traced reflections and shadows, along with AMD’s FSR upscaling technology for better performance at minimal cost to visuals.
Frame rates are also solid. With a 3080/5900X combo, I averaged about 90fps at 1440p with the settings cranked to the max and ray tracing on. With ray tracing off, the game ran upwards of 120fps regularly, on my (admittedly beefy) rig. You’re going to need a powerful machine to run this at 4K however, as Ubisoft’s own recommendations are pretty much top of the line.
Unfortunately, Far Cry 6 suffers from the same issue many previous entries have on PC — a consistent stuttering problem. This is especially bad with ray tracing turned on. The stutters were so frustrating, I eventually gave up and disabled ray tracing for good just a few hours into the game. Luckily, it’s a lot smoother without the ray tracing, although the issue didn’t completely go away. Ubisoft have promised a day one patch that will hopefully alleviate this problem.
While there’s no ray tracing on consoles, the game does boast a 60fps frame rate on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S, at either a dynamic 4K, or 1440p. The HD Texture pack is also available on console, which I highly suggest using.
After six Far Cry entries, and countless spin-offs and DLC packs, some longtime fans of the franchise have been hoping Ubisoft would do for Far Cry what they did for Assassin’s Creed in Assassin’s Creed: Origins. Sadly, that isn’t the case. Far Cry 6 is still a Far Cry game through and through, with a gameplay loop that will feel very familiar if you’ve played any of the previous entries.
With that said, that loop feels better than it has in years. Ubisoft have introduced some new mechanics in Far Cry 6 that shake things up, and that stealth or shoot gameplay loop feels as great as it ever has.
The first major new mechanic is the introduction of Supremo Weapons. These are basically an ultimate ability Dani can use to take out large groups of enemies in one go. You can unlock everything from missiles that automatically lock-on to enemies, to massive EMP blasts that can take out vehicles and security gadgets throughout an entire base. These abilities felt great to use, and while they never felt too overpowered, they do charge relatively quickly so feel free to use them liberally.
Also new to Far Cry 6 are Amigos. These are AI animal companions that will assist you in combat. There are several to unlock, each with their own unique abilities and personalities.
I enjoyed the combat in Far Cry 6. Gunplay is excellent, and the controls feel smooth on both controller and keyboard and mouse.
Weapons now have special ammo types you can use, with every enemy in the game being particularly weak to one of them. There are several different ammo types, and it’s important to always keep a versatile loadout. Enemies in the same camp can have different resistances and weaknesses. For example, one enemy might be weak to soft-target rounds, but the guard next to him that is decked out in a full SWAT suit, may require AP rounds. This adds an interesting dynamic to the standard base clearing scenarios you’re used to and requires you to plan your loadouts ahead just a little bit more.
There are workbenches littered throughout the map where you can swap ammo types in and out of your weapons at no charge, and you can equip any weapon you’ve unlocked from the menu at any time. There’s a good amount of weapon customization here as well, as far as attachments and appearance go as well. Every weapon has multiple skins and camos to unlock using spray cans found throughout the world. There are even weapon charms you can find by doing quests and side activities.
Perk bonuses have also been modified in Far Cry 6. Ubisoft have gotten rid of any sort of skill tree and have instead decided to attach perk bonuses to your armor. Each piece of gear has a predetermined perk on it, and you can mix and match them however you want. The decision paid off in my opinion, as there is now a lot more freedom to perfectly craft your build to your playstyle, without having to worry about respecting or earning more XP.
On the stealth side of things, the usual Far Cry stealth system is here. In all honesty, stealth felt pretty weak early on, but as the game progresses, and you start unlocking things like suppressors, or even weapons that are completely silent when you fire them, stealth starts to become a viable option.
Disappointingly, enemy AI does not seem to have improved at all. While dumb AI is always good for some mindless fun, it is a bit unfortunate that Ubisoft have made no real improvements to Far Cry’s enemy AI in a decade. On the bright side, there is plenty of opportunity for creativity and choice when it comes to stealth. I am eagerly awaiting the Far Cry 6 stealth kill montages, which I’m sure will be coming in spades after launch.
One final thing I want to highlight is the excellent soundtrack in this game. The fully original songs by Pedro Bromfman really add to the immersion, and the Latin American tunes you’ll hear throughout the countryside are full of bangers — so much so that your main character Dani will occasionally start singing along when she hops in a vehicle. The music in this game is really, really great.
While Far Cry 6 is not the huge revamp many have been asking for, it is a great time nonetheless. The extensive weapon customization, and new additions like the Supremo weapons and Amigos add even more flexibility to the tried and true formula. The story starts off excellent, and remains solid throughout, although it does start to overstay its welcome towards the latter half of the game. There’s a huge cast of characters, highlighted by yet another iconic Far Cry villain in Anton Castillo. It’s not going to win over any Far Cry naysayers, but fans of the series should thoroughly enjoy what Ubisoft have done here. It is, in my opinion, the best Far Cry title since 2012’s Far Cry 3.
- Good story, with a good cast of characters, and strong antagonists.
- Great setting with beautiful graphics and solid performance.
- Excellent original soundtrack which adds to the immersion.
- Enjoyable combat, with even more variety thanks to new additions like Supremo weapons.
- Story drags a bit at times.
- No improvements to stealth and AI.
- Frustrating stuttering issue on PC.
- Still feels like another repackaged Far Cry with the same formula in a different setting. I hope to see more experimentation from Ubisoft in the future.
A Far Cry 6 review code was provided by the publisher. Game tested primarily on PC. You can read SP1st and MP1st’s review and scoring policy right here