Far Cry is an Ubisoft series that has long thrived by mixing absurdity with political situations—even if the publisher swears things aren’t political. While Far Cry 5 looked into cultic elements and racist driven right ideologies, Far Cry 6 is going where many games based in a Latin American country (fictional or otherwise) have gone before: fighting a dictatorship.
In Far Cry 6, you play as Dani Rojas (who can be male or female) and are plunged into a revolution set in the modern-day on the island of Yara, a fictional Latin American country that is heavily and overtly inspired by Cuba and its political climate. In the game, you’re a guerrilla fighting against President Antón Castillo played by Giancarlo Esposito. A megalomaniac, he promises to restore his country to its former glory, regardless of who hurts, kills, or exploits them for labor. But where do you come in? Well, as Dani, you are pulled into the cause to liberate Yara. A local military dropout pushing for a better life and a way out of Yara by way of Miami, you find yourself becoming a guerrilla and a part of the revolutionary group, Libertad.
To be clear, I’ve been worried about how Far Cry 6 would tackle the Latin American elements of the game since it was revealed that Esposito would be the game’s antagonist. Because despite having a filmography filled with Latino roles, Esposito is not, in fact, Latino. Additionally, the marketing of the game led with the stereotype laden elements of Far Cry 6 that, while they fit with the theme of the franchise, aren’t the right call in a climate where Latinx and Latin American communities of the United States are still dealing with the ramifications of an overtly racist president. That said, I entered Far Cry 6 with hesitation, and found myself walking away with a few eyerolls but an overall enjoyment and satisfaction.
From varied traversal mechanics, a stunning environment, and exciting combat, to compelling voice acting, cinematics, and companions to help you on your mission, there is honestly a lot to love about Far Cry 6. While the overuse of coño moves it from authentic to forced, and Esposito rocking his comically bad but iconic Spanish accent, I have to give credit where credit is due, and it’s due here. While there are too many mechanics in Far Cry 6 to dig into every one, I can break down the elements of the game that will make it well worth your time come launch day.
Customization that isn’t Just Aesthetics
Far Cry 6 is a first-person shooter that embodies the games in the series that came before it. Truthfully, the game hits the Far Cry notes perfectly and ultimately still makes for an experience that is easy to pick up whether it’s number six or number one in the series for you. But perhaps the most fun element is the amount of choice you have when it comes to outfitting your character. There is a wide array of weaponry that suits every playstyle, including the “Supremo” weapons that take that signature Far Cry flare to equipment and have a direct impact on how you play. The sheer amount choices in Far Cry 6 makes for a customizable experience and ensures that no two players will complete the game in the same way.
With a wide array of ridiculous Supremos that do everything from shoot nails to torch everything in sight, there is a lot of fun to have with experimenting as you collect materials across the island. These weapons are not only just zany, but they pack a huge punch while also pushing you to find everything you can in the environment to build and improve them. Outside of weapons though, each piece of gear interacts with Dani in some way. Some increase stamina, others increase attack damage, and others still pretty much offer buffs to just about every skill you can think of, to healing and beyond. Now, the one drawback here is that if you’re a player like me who finds joy in customizing fashion, the need to match your gear to your playstyle does cause a restriction. That said, the addition of stat boosts makes customization have an impact on the gameplay.
Amigos with Impact
Far Cry 6 rewards experimenting with different loadouts and presents options for all kinds of players. You can play stealthy, run and gun, or you know, straight into the middle causing as much havoc as you want. This is impacted by your weapons choices and gear, and it’s also impacted by which “amigo” you choose. Guapo, for example, was my trusty amigo. Sure, that was partly due to his little jacket, but it’s also because he made the most impact when on a mission. He’s brash, tears up the enemy, and works well to push a target. On the opposite side, Chorizo is a perfect baby that distracts enemies without alerting them to aggression in most situations. While I wanted to use Chorizo on the cuteness alone, he didn’t fit my playstyle and I found myself moving back to Guapo.
That said, your amigo can die in battle which, if you’re not heartless, will make you stop what you’re doing and resuscitate them. Sure, you can choose not to, but keeping your amigo alive is to your benefit and I couldn’t help but stop what I was doing to save my new best boi companion. Additionally, you can choose to leave them in one area and you can guide them by setting markers as well. In fact, setting markers is important as you attack targets since a chonk like Guapo is fairly aggro at all times. That said, it all works, and it’s extremely refreshing to play a game where your AI companion has an impact on gameplay—especially when they’re adorable.
Co-Op…But Make it Save
While Far Cry 6 is most definitely not the first in the series to have cooperative play. it is the first that allows each co-op player to save their progress. Now, there are some hiccups, like the fact that if you’re not the host you can’t see the mission screens to accept quests or pick up quests yourself. That said, you can trigger cinematics, resources picked up by one player are also received by the other, and of course, you can take the progress with you from your co-op session. How this looks when it comes to narrative progression we’ll have to see, but the ability to save makes playing co-op worth it, while also showing an improvement from player feedback given for Far Cry 5’s co-op mode.
Beautiful Environment with More Beautiful Traversal
Yara is breathtaking. Its natural environments are complicated and gorgeous. From the noises in the distance to the flora and fauna, Yara is a breathtaking island. What makes it even more stunning is the seamless way that the level design has worked in natural elements to denote quest mechanics, like blue flowers marking the path to a Libertad hideout. Additionally, when the game requires the player to traverse an environment in a different way—like say, climbing up a waterfall, platforms and al—it provides hints that don’t disrupt immersion. But platforming is just one way you move through Yara. Additionally, Dani uses horses and cars to make their way through the island.
Horses present a way to travel through the jungle while the car can be summoned to take you on any road. In fact, the developers at Ubisoft have managed to showcase both the natural and the modern parts of Yara with a balance that doesn’t place one over the other. Instead, you’re given the tools to embrace each landscapes and traverse it to the fullest. You can also pilot a helicopter and plane, which both come with the same issues that flying the vehicles in other Ubisoft games come with.
That said, there is one more way to get around. And that’s getting up somewhere really high, jumping off, pulling your parachute, and then converting it to a glider. This is one of the most fun ways to travel the island, specifically in the more natural areas—but hit a tree and you’re done.
Far Cry 6 is going to give fans of the series something to fall in love with. It embraces the mechanical elements that make the series a favorite while also working to add new elements that have wide-ranging impact on gameplay. Even though, I’m still hesitant about the overall story beats and how it will continue to portray Yara, guerrillas, and what Latin America is like in general. But having played through multiple hours, I can safely say it’s a fun game.
More is still to be seen on the representation front, but elements like having various guerrilla forces like Libertad and beyond led by women point the story in the right direction. Women have often been at the front and behind revolutions in Latin America, and in a prominent way. That said, other pieces of latinidad cause me to question – more specifically the prominence of Afro-Latinos as the antagonists you fight, and of course the main bad guy. While the story is aiming to tell a complex story of revolution, only the full game will tell if it can execute the nuances needed. But if that’s not what you’re worried about, Far Cry 6 is shaping up to be an entry to the franchise that will get people talking, playing, and having a great time.