Far Cry 6 — releasing Thursday worldwide — is not a great game. It often retreads what have become Ubisoft clichés. But at times, it’s a really fun game. Far Cry 6 has moments of genuine inspiration where its combination of tropical paradise, co-op support, and new ideas fuse together to deliver something memorable. But between those admittedly enjoyable adventures, Far Cry 6 will also make you do a series of things that aren’t too different from one another. That sameness is pervasive. It feels like padding, though it’s nowhere near as bad as on Ubisoft’s other major franchise, Assassin’s Creed. That said, the world of Far Cry 6, Yara — a fictional Caribbean island that is heavily based on Cuba in many aspects — is the biggest you’ll ever see in a Far Cry game.
Yara is ruled by Antón Castillo, played by Breaking Bad and The Mandalorian’s Giancarlo Esposito, who was essentially elected on the promise to “Make Yara Great Again”. Castillo believes sacrifices are necessary to achieve that dream, so he begins ruling Yara with an iron fist. His 300,000-strong armed force Fuerzas Nacionales de Defensa (FND) controls the land, the skies, and the waters. No can get out, no can get in. The protagonist, a former FND officer Dani Rojas — playable as a woman (Nisa Gunduz) or a man (Sean Rey) — wants to do exactly that in the beginning. They just want to leave Yara for good. But after witnessing Anton’s horrors first hand, Dani joins the guerrilla movement Libertad that is trying to free Yara. It’s time for a revolution.
This is where the new ideas start to come in. After being a support studio on previous entries, and co-developing Far Cry 5 with Ubisoft Montréal, Ubisoft Toronto finally takes the lead on a Far Cry game for the first time. And for the first time since the first-person shooter franchise began, the protagonist in Far Cry 6 has a face. Not only do you see them in cutscenes, you also see them in third-person view at friendly camps. Given that Ubisoft took the pain of designing third-person view, I would have loved it if they allowed you to switch between first and third-person view in combat and driving too.
Since I’m on the topic of bias, personally I would’ve also loved it if Ubisoft put a bigger emphasis on Spanish casting. There’s too much English here, clearly because Far Cry 6 is designed primarily for English-speaking audiences. Yes, there is a Spanish dub option in the settings, but it doesn’t involve any of the main cast, including Esposito. I spent some time with the Spanish version, and though it feels more authentic and immersive — as with Japanese on Ghost of Tsushima — I ended up reverting to English because a) lip-sync and b) I can’t spoil Esposito’s face and acting with a dubbed voice.
Far Cry 6 combat
The goal on Far Cry 6 is to overthrow Castillo and his friends who control various parts of Yara. Along the way, you will to have form alliances aka do the bidding of three major factions that have a lot of influence among the commoners of Yara. Far Cry 6 narrative director Navid Khavari noted that this was a deliberate story choice, how in a revolution every side doesn’t want the same thing and their approaches don’t always align.
As for your combat approach, Far Cry 6 allows you to choose between the quiet stealth way or go out all guns blazing. I’m glad that it allows the user to pick and doesn’t force you into one or the other. You can make your way into mission area in a variety of ways too. You can take a boat and sneak in from under a fort. Zip line and swing in from the sides. Rappel and climb from another front. Or just drive through the front gates.
That said, Far Cry 6 encourages you to scout from high ground before bursting in. Using your phone, you can mark enemies and get a sense of what you’re up against. There are new enemy types in Far Cry 6, drawn from the fact that you’re not dealing with rogues like before but a full-fledged armed force at Castillo’s disposal. In addition to the standard riflemen and snipers, there are FND officers with varying ranks who can boost morale (read: stats), bring in reinforcements, and even call in airstrikes. Medics can help injured soldiers and revive them if they are bleeding to death. And engineers will plant turrets or trigger EMPs that will disable your vehicle. You know, they work like a unit. The FND also use shields, animals, tanks, alarm systems, and trip wires — by scouting, you know what can be disabled.
Far Cry 6 weapons
To deal with all these threats, Far Cry 6 gives you access to special weapons in addition to a range of standard weapons. At any point, you can have four weapons in the weapon wheel: a sidearm and three primary weapons. For the latter, you can pick between rifles, snipers, shotguns, and Resolver weapons.
Drawn from Cuba’s make-do-with-what-you-have Resolver way of life, Far Cry 6 lets you unlock a bunch of unique handcrafted guns: a flamethrower, a crossbow, a riot shield, silent nail gun, and a poison gun that turns enemies on each other. On top of all that, Far Cry 6 has “Supremo” backpacks that are like an additional super weapon. They offer guided missiles, an explosive ring, EMP pulse generator, or a rage booster that turns you into a mini-Hulk. It all feels very Just Cause-y, though it’s going even further with the zaniness, I must admit.
When you use Supremos, Far Cry 6 briefly switches into third-person view to show you how the backpack functions. But that’s the only time you’ll see third-person during combat on Far Cry 6. More importantly, I would’ve appreciated a bit of manual control for Supremos. On one occasion, when there was a plane flying across in the sky, the backpack automatically locked onto the plane rather than the anti-aircraft installation that I was trying to target.
Gunplay is quite satisfying on Far Cry 6. You will grow into it, I believe, because you start off with weak weapons that give you the feeling you’re not entirely in control. But it gets better fairly quickly, as you unlock more powerful rifles with better scopes and other weapon mods.
All this equipment and weapon variety is important to Far Cry 6 because Ubisoft Toronto has ditched the RPG-style skill trees that were present in some of its predecessors. Though you still earn XP and level up, you won’t get any points that unlock new abilities. Those buffs have been transferred to the armour and clothing you put on. As you make your way across Yara, you will find new gloves, trousers, masks, and chest pieces that will dictate what kind of benefits you get. Weapon modding allows you to pick between various ammo choices — some are good against others but poor elsewhere. You can discover this when you’re scouting. Of course, headshots are headshots as always though (I had a lot of fun with this). You can also insta-kill by using a bow, or sneaking up to them.
Far Cry 6 vehicles and amigos
You can also kill enemies using the vehicles available in Far Cry 6. You’ve tanks, helicopters, planes, and cars and boats with turrets. (You can use all of them to get from point A to point B as well, in addition to horses which are back in Far Cry 6 and quite enjoyable.) Though you’ve to be careful how and where you use them. The FND has anti-aircraft installations across Yara. Wade into an area with one and you will invariably be shot down. If you jump out in time, you can deploy a parachute or wingsuit — the latter is especially fun — to land safely.
You can destroy the anti-aircraft guns. But as you cause chaos in Far Cry 6, your “heat” meter will rise. The maximum heat level is “wanted”, which brings in the FND special forces. But during my playtime, they didn’t pose a bigger threat or anything weirdly. My Xbox game stats tell me I shot down a bunch of special forces, but I don’t recall anything different or tougher from the ones I was already killing.
To participate in the mayhem, you can also bring in an animal companion. The Fangs for Hire system returns as “Amigos” on Far Cry 6. Amigo choices include an alligator, dogs, and even a rooster. They will help you in combat by attacking or distracting enemies — this also feeds into the stealth or all-out approach. Amigos aren’t that helpful though honestly, and they seem like a thing that exists to sell toys and generate buzz on social media. I mean, that’s already happening with Chorizo, the wheelchair weiner dog that’s one of the Amigo options.
Since Amigos follow you everywhere, it results in hilarious scenarios at times. While dogs can get in alongside you in cars, alligators will follow your vehicle endlessly. They become weirdly inaccessible at times — not reappearing even after you try to call them back.
Far Cry 6 co-op
Far Cry 6 currencies
There are four in-game currencies in Far Cry 6: depleted uranium, Yaran pesos, Moneda, and Far Cry Credits.
Depleted uranium is found at army bases and anti-aircraft installations. It is needed to unlock more Supremo backpacks and Resolver weapons.
Yaran pesos is found on dead soldiers and in loot. You can use it to buy gear, weapons, and intel from double agents.
Moneda can be used to purchase unique weapons at a store.
Far Cry Credits come with pre-orders and special editions. You can also buy it with real money, an egregious practice that Ubisoft continues despite charging Rs. 4,000 or more for games upfront. Far Cry Credits can be used on the in-game store to buy cosmetics and more.
But dogs don’t fit in always too, depending on the vehicle and the number of amigos. That brings me to co-op.
Like previous entries, Far Cry 6 supports co-op across the entirety of its campaign. I wish Ubisoft also provided this opportunity with its other major franchises, Assassin’s Creed and Watch Dogs. Every game is more fun with friends, naturally. You get support during missions — I loved taking down a pair of soldiers at the same time with a friend — but you can also just have a good time around Yara. In a car, one can drive and the other can handle the turret. Jump into a helicopter, with one person flying and firing missiles, and the other as a gunner. Or heck, you can even get into a motorbike with a sidecar and have your own Sholay moment in Far Cry 6.
Playing co-op also helps you earn Moneda, an in-game currency that you can only get via co-op and special operations. There are a couple of niggles with co-op support though. You can’t access a vehicle’s additional controls like the radio or missiles. Additionally, you can’t go too far from your partner in co-op — unlike The Division 2 (also from Ubisoft) where there were no limitations. And sadly, there’s no support for cross-platform play. But it does offer cross-gen co-op support, on par with Watch Dogs: Legion and The Division 2.
Far Cry 6 missions and more
Thanks to the largest Far Cry map ever, Far Cry 6 has a lot of story missions to offer. As I pointed out earlier, some feel repetitive: travel to a place, kill everyone there, and you’re done. Some missions also quickly fell behind my rank. Though initially my level seemed to be falling behind what was required, eventually it was ahead of the missions available to me. I would’ve liked a The Division-type mechanic that ensured some quests were always at my level. Being level 7 and doing a level 3 mission is not very appealing.
But there are other missions in Far Cry 6 that put a smile on your face. An early mission called Fire and Fury is scored to the famous revolution song “Bella Ciao”. No, it’s not called ‘that Money Heist song’. There’s another mission that feels like it belongs in a Bond film, except it would have been perfect if Ubisoft had the right sense to make it take place at night.
If you’re not in the mood for missions, Far Cry 6 has side activities on offer too. You can spend your time and money fishing, buying bait and reeling in the cash with the fish you catch. You can go hunting for treasure or big game. There’s also time trial racing that involves everything from horses to hovercraft. Neither of them are particularly special though — and I ended up being drawn back into the story missions.
If you’re not in the mood for any conflict, Far Cry 6 also allows you to holster your weapon and just roam around Yara. You can overhear conversations between local Yarans and even FND soldiers. Although the latter won’t work if you get too close to the military. Holstering also doesn’t save you from heat on your back, or if you decide to venture into a restricted area — of which Yara has endless.
What makes the last bit separately annoying is that certain restricted areas can seemingly never be cleared of enemies. I would kill a bunch and move to a different section, only to return and discover that new ones had somehow apparated in. I eventually got frustrated and just carried on to my destination. In other restricted areas, if you don’t hit the objective, enemies will respawn the moment you walk away. I cleared out an anti-aircraft installation and a poison gas camp of all humans, but when I turned out and walked a feet away, they all came back, because I hadn’t destroyed the anti-aircraft gun and some barrels of poison gas.
Staying in the Ubi groove
In co-op, there were a couple of other annoyances. Enemies would teleport small distances, making it difficult to aim. At times, the other player would seem to be floating in the air when walking or running. At friendly camp, clothing changes weren’t visible with Far Cry 6 reverting to the original clothes the protagonist wears. And on one occasion, my partner couldn’t see their own gloves although I could. A common factor was that all this happened for the co-op partner, never the co-op host. Ubisoft has acknowledged a series of co-op issues, including latency troubles, and says that these will be fixed with the day-1 patch.
Graphically and performance-wise, Far Cry 6 was solid for me. It looked and ran well on my Xbox One X, and naturally did even better on my friend’s Xbox Series X. On PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series S/X, there’s an additional 20–37GB texture pack that you can download for higher quality visuals. This is in addition to the base game that takes between 40–60GB to install.
Beyond all that, the trouble with Far Cry 6 is that it’s a Ubisoft game. The video game giant has made a habit of making the same games over and over — and just repainting the exterior. Like The Division 2 and others, Far Cry 6 has checkpoints to clear. Once you do, you will unlock a store room that will have a bunch of loot for you to collect. Just like with Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and others, you can upgrade your home bases and add new functionality. Meanwhile, the animal companions and the scouting are reminiscent of Watch Dogs: Legion to me.
Ubisoft Toronto does have some new ideas for the franchise that has evolved with each new chapter — but none of them are innovative let alone ground-breaking. But Far Cry 6 is not trying to be revolutionary. It’s happy in its groove, delivering a fun and immersive Latin American experience, an open world sandbox you can mess around in, and giving you the tools to do what you want. Better yet, it lets you enjoy all of that with a friend. Muy bueno!
- Pick stealth or guns blazing
- Varied mission approaches
- Satisfying gunplay
- Headshots are fun
- Co-op is fun
- Supremos, Resolver weapons
- New enemy types
- Gun holstering system
- Vehicular variety
- Bit of padding
- Useless enemy respawning
- Special forces are meh
- Can’t go too far in co-op
- Side activities are okay
- Could be more authentic
- Amigos are more for flair
- In-game store uses real money
- No cross-play support
Rating (out of 10): 8
Far Cry 6 is out October 7 on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, Stadia, and Amazon Luna.
You can also get Far Cry 6 on PC with Ubisoft+ subscription that costs €15 (about Rs. 1,300) per month.
With inputs from Saad Rashid, especially in the co-op department.
PS5 vs Xbox Series X: Which is the best “next-gen” console in India? We discussed this on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and wherever you get your podcasts.