It’s been a little while between drinks for the Far Cry series, the last one being New Dawn which really wasn’t a full release by the series’ standards. I’ll stop short of saying that I was looking forward to it, more that it provides a known good experience so it’s usually a nice surprise when a new one finally drops. This latest instalment in the series continues the series streamlining of the overall experience whilst also slapping on a ton more activities for you to do. The result? An experience that’s not too far from what you’d expect as most of the ancillary mechanics are well…just that. That’s good news for both players like myself, interested mostly in the core campaign, and those who like to make a game their second job for a period. There are, as there always seems to be, some missteps that mar the otherwise very enjoyable experience. But I did ask myself this whilst I was playing: isn’t that kind of what you sign up for with a Far Cry game?

You are Dani Rojas (no, not that one, although a crossover would be amazing), a born and bred Yaran native who’s decided it’s time to leave this dictatorship for greener pastures in the great old US of A. However, just as your boat is about to leave the country for good, the dictator himself Antón Castillo graces you with his presences, not because you’re someone he knows oh no, it’s because his son Diego has stolen away on the boat with you. After leaving with his son, and guaranteeing your safety to his son, he orders his ships to fire on yours before he leaves. You somehow survive, waking up on a nearby beach where the local resistance, Libertad, brings you under their wings. This is how your journey to bringing down the dictatorship of Yara begins.

Now being the old and crotchety gamer that I am I’ve begun to rely heavily on the default settings selected by games or the use of the Geforce Experience tuner to give me the best visual experience possible. For the most part this works extremely well, often giving me the cutting edge visuals I crave whilst balancing enough of the less impactful settings to keep the frame rates up. However for Far Cry 6, both the game and Geforce Experience, chose settings that were honestly awful. I played it in this state for a good long time before seeing if others shared my opinion and no one, at least no one with my level of rig, was. So I went in there and started ramping up all the settings and yeah, the game looks stunning without any major performance impacts. Whilst I’ll stop short of calling it one of the best looking games I’ve seen this year it’s definitely up there when everything is tuned right.

I doubt anyone is coming into Far Cry cold these days but, as we’ve come to expect from the series, it’s an open world sandbox with a cornucopia of things to do in it. The Far Cry basics are there as always: capturing bases, hunting down game for upgrade materials, a suppressed population for you to liberate, you know the usual. The differences for Far Cry 6 are below the surface, coming in the form of a revamped inventory system and a shift from denying you flight until the mid/late game to giving it to you right off the bat with a heavy catch. Your character now also has some wild and wacky abilities thanks to your Resolver backpack, basically an ultimate ability that you can only use sparingly. There’s also Resolver weapons to augment your arsenal, usually doing something highly specific really well but only having a limited number of uses. The progression system has also seen a rework, now being less RPG like and more akin to a looter shooter style. Overall I’m happy with the core game loop as I ever was but I’m not a fan of some of the overhauls, mostly because it takes away from the main power fantasy I’d come to enjoy.

Combat feels identical to basically every other Far Cry game, tuned mostly towards a middle ground of stealth and all out firefights where neither are done particularly well but also not terribly either. Being a good shot with a silenced gun trivialises most encounters and, given you can get a silencer right from the get go, there’s no reason to try and make do with a bow or stealthing around to get kills in the early days like you used to do. Whilst Ubisoft might market the game as having an escalating difficulty level based on your rank it really doesn’t feel like it, more it seems like that just means you get more enemies thrown at you, all of which still share the common weakness of being able to be taken down with a single headshot (even if they’re armored). Further most of them don’t have any abilities you need to neutralise or be aware of either, meaning once you’ve got a solid gearset together there’s not much reason to change it.

Indeed for the bulk of the game I ran with the same build: LMG with anti-vehicle spec, a silenced rifle (not a sniper) to headshot enemies, and a resolver weapon I was experimenting with (settling on either the one that disables vehicles or the chain gun that destroys them). That, coupled with a few different bits of gear to improve my quality of life were really all I needed. All those other weapons I kept picking up? Worthless, especially considering I was able to stumble across a 4 star rifle early on which most other guns just couldn’t compare to. If this was a looter shooter then I’d probably have something to say about build diversity but, realistically, this is a single player game. Once you’ve found the thing that works there’s really no reason to change.

Which brings me to the progression system, my least favourite shakeup in this Far Cry game. Instead of a talent tree and perks to level up everything is instead fobbed off into gear, meaning you only get to choose 4 perks total Whilst it’s nice to be able to craft and swap your abilities at will it detracts heavily from the emergent narrative that Far Cry always had: you start off useless and eventually become nigh on unstoppable. That was also part of the fun I found in it too, becoming utterly broken to the point where I could take out an entire base of enemies using nothing but throwing knives and chaining takedowns for minutes at a time. Again, taking the looter shooter example, this would be an example of min/maxing your build for an encounter but since your perks matter far less than whatever guns you’re running it’s really not worth changing much once you’ve got yourself comfortable.

Now I know I said you already should know what you’re getting into when playing a Far Cry game but honestly I wasn’t expecting it to be so janky, especially almost 2 months after its release. I had no shortage of crashes, glitches and bugs in the opening hours of my playthrough. Granted some of those crashes seemed to be caused by Ubisoft Connect as taking a screenshot with F12 would trigger it every so often but even then, there were still a handful of other crashes that I couldn’t explain. Then there’s the glitches that continued to happen throughout my playthrough like enemies hiding in walls, vehicles going absolutely bananas if they contacted another physics object in the wrong way or the utter chaos that seemed to happen whenever you left a vehicle in the middle of the road for more than a minute.

I spent a good chunk of the game not really caring about the narrative, something which is a bit strange considering I’d quite enjoyed the story of the previous USA based ones. However at some point I started to get a bit more invested in the story and that is what kept me playing (and will likely do so for a little while longer). I couldn’t quite put my finger on it but I think the game’s second third feels a lot more thought out an interesting than the first, introducing a bunch of characters that, whilst still horribly stereotyped in some regards, were still interesting enough to make me care ever so slightly. I’ll have to reserve my full opinion on it until I actually finish the main campaign, something I wasn’t able to do in the 14 hours I’ve sunk in so far.

Far Cry 6 then represents an acknowledgement of the core fundamentals that make the series good, whilst the iterations on top of that are a step in the wrong direction (at least for the power fantasy I want to get out of it). Really at this point you already know if you’re going to play it or not and your decision is likely more based around external factors, like whether or not you want to continue to support Ubisoft or not, than the game itself. For me I’ve been glad to have the distraction for the past couple weeks as its saved me from getting sucked back into the Destiny 2 hole that I found myself in.

Rating: 8.0/10

Far Cry 6 is available on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S for $49. Game was played on the PC with a total of 14 hours playtime and 65% completion.

About the Author

David Klemke

David is an avid gamer and technology enthusiast in Australia. He got his first taste for both of those passions when his father, a radio engineer from the University of Melbourne, gave him an old DOS box to play games on.

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