I’m going to begin this review with a football analogy, but bear with me; I promise it makes sense. In the world of football, or just about any team sport for that matter, you have generational teams that dominate the landscape of the sport.
Teams like Guardiola’s Barcelona or the Chicago Bulls in the mid-nineties. However, as these teams and their stars get older or get picked off by other teams with deep pockets.
The teams lose their sparkle, and while they can still go through the motions and do a lot of things well, it doesn’t feel the same. This phenomenon within the world sport, for me, is Ubisoft in a nutshell. I told you I would bring it back around.
This company has been responsible for many amazing games, one of which being the immaculate Farcry III. However, ever since this feat, the team has been chasing the heights brought about by this and the incredible gaming villain, .
Yet, despite decent outings with villains like Joesph Seed and leading the charge, things have felt very stilted and formulaic with this series.
So it seems that Farcry 6 represents the last chance to pull out all the stops, bring on a big name in the form of the , and try to recapture the magic of the earlier outings in the series.
However, despite some shining moments within this title, it seems that this may be the natural end to a series that has run out of ideas. This is our .
Pros and Cons, Upfront
- A beautiful tropical setting with lots of interesting areas to explore
- A wealth of combat options, weapons, and companions that allow players to create their own fun
- Great co-op functionality in spite of the bugginess
- Good accessibility features
- Great performances from voice actors and fun, wacky characters sprinkled throughout Yara.
- The Setting, the overall themes, and the missions within the story all seem a little too familiar
- The ‘deep’ combat system is undone by inconsistent design and braindead AI
- The game does nothing to stray away from the typical Farcry formula
- A lack of consequence for player choices and actions
- The game is still rather buggy months after release.
Welcome to Yara, Libertad
Let’s begin proceedings by discussing the visuals and the setting within this . We reviewed this title while playing the PS5 version of this title, so we had HDR in full effect, and we have to say, Yara is a beautiful place.
This tropical setting, clearly based on the real-world location of Cuba, is a beautiful paradise. Or at least it would be if not for the oppression of El Presidente.
The is filled with small details that help make each setting and location feel alive. Plus, the dynamic weather, incredible textures, and day/night cycle are just some of the things that make Yara feel unique.
However, the cynic in me can’t help but compare this landscape to the one we experienced in Farcry 3. This almost seems like a reimagining of this title in terms of setting, having players explore rich tropical jungles, fight off the wildlife of Yara and gradually break down the militant order one camp at a time.
The only exception is when you enter built-up areas where you encounter residents of Yara, the unique architecture of the region, which is where the ‘s setting really shines.
A Twist On Cuban History
Farcry as a series has always been known for its chaotic combat and fast-paced action. However, the games often have a plotline that takes a region or particular culture, then satirizes this to offer a unique brand of wackiness and chaos, mixed with a storyline that offers one central figure to aim all your anger and bullets at.
Farcry 6 doesn’t stray too far from the tried and tested formula, this time taking the history of and Cuba specifically, and tweaking it to fit their needs.
This doesn’t do this with any nuance or subtlety, using just about all the cliches and stereotypes out there to create their characters, and basing the story of this around the oppression of Cuba by the U.S, leading to vast areas of the population being impoverished as a result.
Then tweaks one little thing. They add an evil, maniacal dictator into the mix who pushes his agenda on the nation, asking them to create Viviro, a tobacco crop said to be the ticket to this nation getting back on its feet financially.
However, in true dictator fashion, he’s been pocketing the riches for himself. So it becomes the job of one man and war machine, Dani Rojas, to take on the and restore order and democracy to Yara.
While it isn’t the most creative of plots within the medium, we can’t fault it too much. The writing is solid for the most part, the attention to detail when it comes to satirizing the nation of Cuba is clear to see, and while the combat and chaos eventually take over, to overshadow the story, it’s a decent vehicle for the gunplay and the explosions we guess.
We Need a Big Name
The big-ticket item that represents all the eggs in Ubisoft’s basket is obviously the employment of . Now, on paper, this seems like a great appointment. When it comes to playing villains, the man has a great pedigree.
After all, playing Gus Fring in , one of the most beloved TV shows of all time, is a brilliant thing to stick on your CV. However, bringing on an actor of this caliber to play a role within a comes with its drawbacks.
Unlike the popular industry names like Troy Baker or Nolan North, for example. An actor of Esposito’s caliber doesn’t base his success on roles like this. Therefore, they will prioritize roles within Tv and film, which leads to actors that can only offer so much to the role.
This is very much the case with Farcry 6, as while El Presidente is present in the early , some of the mid- and constantly can be heard over tannoys over the island.
It all feels a little bit hollow, and we can’t help but feel that with a dedicated gaming voice actor who was suited for the role, we could have seen a more complete, more consistently engaging plot.
That being said, when is present, the performances ooze class. Plus, other characters that you encounter throughout your adventure are also great.
Characters like in the early offer some humor and , who offers a motive for the player, then as the progresses, you encounter other nuanced characters like Diego Castillo, Maria Marquessa, Talia, Carlos Montero, and many more that only add to the adventure.
In short, while Esposito is the marquee character, it’s the supporting cast that keeps the player engaged.
Can I Copy Your Homework?
Okay, so I already discussed the fact that this to some extent with the repeated tropical setting. However, the bone I have to pick here is that this is just a drop in the ocean when you look beyond Ubisoft’s own works. is guilty of copying work from
Can you think of any series out there that has found success offering gameplay that is the epitome of chaotic fun within a setting that is oppressed by an evil dictator? Oh, and also is heavily influenced by Cuban culture.
That’s right; this is basically Just Cause. Only its been given the usual Farcry treatment and offers some of the bells and whistles that fans of the series enjoy. We only wish that the grappling hook allowed you to traverse the entire land faster than any vehicle.
However, the wingsuit on offer within this does act as a fairly suitable substitute. We just can’t help but see the similarities and feel like it’s lazy on the part of Ubisoft here.
We know that Just Cause doesn’t have a monopoly on satirical Cuban-inspired settings but with an established AAA already out there, why try to re-create the wheel?
You might think that this is the only example of this. However, if you even consider some of the content on offer here, it’s far from original. Take the early mission in this where you go and burn down a plantation.
Doesn’t it remind you of II’s scene, which asks you to do the same thing? However, with much less nuance when compared to Rockstar’s offering. Basically, this isn’t afraid to copy the homework of other titles, and it isn’t all that subtle about it.
The Right Tool For The Right Job
Now, let’s move on to the combat within this , and more specifically, the phrase that keeps getting rammed down your throat in the early , ‘the right tool for the right job.’
This is the ‘s way of pushing the core principles of combat. Farcry 6 presents Itself as a nuanced and multi-faceted platform where each loadout choice is key to success, and scouting out each camp is essential for success. In some cases, this can be beneficial, but overall, this isn’t all that necessary.
The offers tonnes of armor classes, perks, , attachments, ammo types, and other extras, which give the impression of a detailed combat system.
However, for the most part, you can get through almost all encounters so long as you have a silencer, two types of ammo, and a decent selection of bog-standard weapons. In fact, you can get through the vast majority of the , never changing your gun loadouts at all.
However, what I will say is that when the does ask you to infiltrate huge compounds throughout the main mission and throw in lots of ways to infiltrate with stealth, lots of varieties with various weaknesses and strengths and tonnes of little extras dotted around, which allow you to use your surroundings to your advantage. We have to give credit where it’s due; it really does work.
It’s not Dishonored in terms of its open-ended level design and problem-solving options. However, due to the added options and the varied combat strategies, however unnecessary they may be, but it is fun, and it works. We just wish that the was more consistent in this regard.
An AI Oversight
While on the topic of the flaws with the combat within this and the unnecessary strategy options. We have to talk about AI within this .
To have a complex combat system, you need to have that know how to strategize against you, make you adapt to situations, and plan accordingly before you even engage in a firefight. The AI in F.E.A.R. is normally my go-to example.
However, the problem with the AI in Farcry 6 is that they are about as smart as a big bag of rocks. The stand out in the open, telegraph their attacks, they don’t flank the player, they don’t change up their attack pattern, and if you go for the stealthy route, the chances are that no one is going to catch you in the act.
This leads to a rather repetitive process of clearing out camps, and once you find a method that works, there isn’t much motivation to change it up. So unless you can make your own fun, this can be a real issue for some players.
Plus, it’s worth mentioning that there is a clear lack of consequences within this at times. On a number of occasions, I infiltrated an area, rushed past enemies, grabbed the item I came there for, and then inevitably got rushed by enemies.
However, upon dying, all the enemies were gone, and I was free to leave the area with no consequence whatsoever. So, in short, sometimes it’s easier and more convenient to die, which isn’t exactly conducive to a quality .
Cathartic Carnage and Chaos
We have ragged on this quite a lot here and not without reason. However, despite all of its flaws, this really shines when you look past the areas that are rough around the edges and just enjoy the carnage.
This offers so much over-the-top silliness, so many brutally over-the-top weapons, a laundry list of ways to get around, and tonnes of content to get through.
You can use the Supremo to let off a flurry of bombs, you can use your trusty flamethrower, you can use a wide variety of projectiles, or you can get your hands on any of the unique weapons like Sharkbite or Com.Pew.Ter.
Then if that wasn’t enough madness, you could also employ the use of Amigos, which is the spiritual successor to the popular Fangs for Hire feature from previous titles in the series. This allows you to employ the help of a selection of Yara’s most fearsome animal pals.
You can take on partners like the gruesome croc killer, Guapo. You can have the cutest dog in modern gaming, Chorizo, help you out.
Or you could seek out the services of Oluso, the elusive Black Panther with piercing blue eyes. It’s a fun addition to the and one that will certainly appeal to the animal lovers out there. I mean, just look at Chorizo’s little face; it’s precious.
Teamwork Makes the Dreamwork
This may falter at times as a single-player experience. However, we cannot argue against this being an excellent co-op experience for reasons both intentional and humorous.
Firstly, due to the fun combat, the heightened rewards when in co-op, and the ‘s ability to shine when creating your own fun, this lends itself to a co-op setup.
Then on the humourous side, the , when in co-op mode, is littered with bugs, more so than the single-player version.
There are features of the that were clearly made with a first-person point of view in mind, leading to hilarious co-op sights. Plus, the bugs are easier to condone when your pal gets a kick out of it. This may seem like a weak defense, but I urge you to give it a try, and I promise you, you’ll see what I mean.
An Accessible Experience
Then lastly, we think it would be amiss if we didn’t commend Ubisoft for their continued support for a number of accessibility features.
This includes excellent voice control features, text to speech, colorblind support, highlight features for collectible and interactive items within the , and this by no means an exhaustive list of accessibility features.
Seeing as my wife works in UX, I have learned to appreciate those who include others, and while Ubisoft games aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, they allow for just about anyone to play them, and that is commendable.
This game is perfect for players that love constant action, a cause to fight for, an incredible open world to explore and a seemingly endless stream of content to work through.
However, you may have played this game and seen all that Yara has to offer. Well, not panic as there are a handful of great alternatives that you be perfect for you. Check them out:
- Dying Light
- Just Cause
- Bioshock Infinite
Answer: This is really a subjective question as while many will immediately say that Farcry 3 is the best. Many players who have played the series from the beginning have a lot of love for the second in the series.
Plus, a good amount of players have enjoyed the new locales and modern mechanics added in the fourth, fifth, and of course, sixth iteration.
However, going off the Metacritic score alone, Farcry 3 is considered the best by critics with an amalgamated score of 88% and closely followed by both Farcry 2 and Farcry 4 on 85%.
Answer: You may be scratching your head, wondering why everyone is making a big deal about the guy that plays Anton Castillo in this game. Well, it’s because he’s quite a big deal in the world of TV and film. If you don’t believe us, here is a quick list of some of the things he has appeared in over the course of his career:
• Breaking Bad
• The Maze Runner
• The Jungle Book
• The Mandalorian
• Better Call Saul
• Do the Right Thing
• The Boys
• Once Upon a Time
Answer: If you have already played this one and want a list of some of the games out there that you might enjoy. Well, boy, have you come to the right place. Here is a quick list down below:
• Just Cause
• Halo Infinite
• Resident Evil
• Dying Light
• Assasin’s Creed
Overall, I have to say that Farcry is a flawed , not only because of some of the chances that it takes but also for the chances that it doesn’t.
On the positive side, this provides a quintessential Farcry experience that fans of the series will appreciate, with chaotic combat, fun traversal, interesting gimmicks like the Amigos feature, for example, and also, while not amazing, the story is engaging enough and holds the player’s attention throughout, which is a credit not only to Giancarlo’s limited appearances in this , but also the strong performances across the board.
However, drawbacks like the brain dead AI, the clear lack of ideas from the creative team at Ubisoft, the lack of depth with the combat system, and an overall concept that isn’t too far removed from both AAA games on the market and games within this games own catalog.
This put all its eggs in one basket, hoping that a big name will pedigree would bring back the magic of .
However, in the end, the best thing we can say about this is that it’s no better or worse than the last two games in the series, and if that sounds like an endorsement, then you are exactly who will enjoy this .
We would also like to say a huge thanks to Ubisoft for providing a review code for this title, and we wish them every success with their future endeavors.
Farcry 6 is out now and available on PS4, PS5, , and PC.