Far Cry 6 is the latest instalment in the hugely popular action-adventure first-person shooter series, and by now there's a good chance you will have some idea what it comprises of. A big open-world ran by a tyrannical leader, a plucky protagonist with an arsenal of weapons, vehicles and companions to aid along the way, as well as an inordinate amount of beautiful chaos.
This time, we are graced by Breaking Bad star Giancarlo Esposito as Antón Castillo, the game's antagonist and newly elected President of Yara, who promises to return the country to its former glory. Basically, bad guy stuff. You know the drill. There's also his 13-year-old son, Diego, who is learning what it takes to become a leader, although has complicated feelings on the matter.
Meanwhile, you play as Dani Rojas (not the footballer from Ted Lasso), a key component of the Libertad revolutionary movement and already the most compelling protagonist I've played in the series to date.
At the time of writing, I've clocked just over 10 hours with Far Cry 6 on PlayStation 5 and have to say I'm really enjoying it, albeit a few bugs that need ironing out. Let's dive a little deeper into some of the standouts from my playthrough so far.
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Dani Rojas and a deeper story
Born an orphan and looking for any excuse to escape Yara, Dani Rojas gets entangled into the world of the Libertads and acts as the catalyst for the group, doing whatever is needed to take down Castillo. Ubisoft has clearly listened to feedback concerning the lead character, after the lifeless 'Rookie' in Far Cry 5.
Having cutscenes showing Dani's face and being able to wander around certain camps in third-person do wonders for making me care that little bit extra. Additionally, it's worth pointing out that I opted for female Dani, as from my perspective it always seemed that this version was the true interpretation of the character, having been put at the forefront of all trailers alongside starting on that particular gender in-game. It helps that Dani feels more well rounded than most, having lost friends along the way but understanding that the ends justify the means.
While Far Cry 6 is again built on the setup of taking down the leader's subordinates before moving onto the main man himself, there is more of an effort placed upon your actions. Missions feel more consequential. Its tone is all over the place, however. Going more gritty is great but when you have Guapo the crocodile or a weiner dog on wheels following you around, it does take away from the immersion somewhat.
If you've played any of the more modern Far Crys (think Far Cry 3 onwards), you'll be very comfortable with the first-person gameplay presented here. It's easy to get to grips with and the adaptive triggers work really well when switching to the bigger weapons.
Besides this, it's great to see lots of accessibility options put front and centre from the beginning – more of this. Even having a Story Mode option can go a long way for someone like my partner that wants to experience the narrative without having to assassinate hundreds of goons.
Nothing has wowed me from a weapons perspective yet, but I've opted for the stealth route and the game simply doesn't feel built to support this method. If you want me to go all guns blazing make that the only option. Holstering weapons is a neat inclusion that allows you to blend into towns. Again though, it's a shame that outside of the mechanic's introduction it's felt wasted.
On the other hand, the introduction of horses into the world of Far Cry is a welcome one. It's something that's hard to nail but the animals carry enough speed that I haven't felt tempted to order a car.
How Yara compares to other open-worlds
Split into five regions – Isla Santuario, Madrugada, Valle De Oro, El Este, and Esperanza – the opening few hours take place on the former before the whole country is made available. Madrugada is heavily suggested as your first point of call but the choice is yours. It's a huge open space and sometimes can feel quite lifeless.
It's not until you reach its Cuba-inspired cities that this world feels live in. Yara itself is gorgeous, replicating what a Caribbean island would look like if frozen in time amazingly. Little crabs crawling out of the glistening blue sea, watching the palm trees sway in the breeze, and experiencing vistas in this war-torn nation is really something.
Of course, there are stacks of side-missions to get lost in. Mainlining Far Cry 5 equated to around 20 hours of gameplay, while Far Cry 6 has upped this, with my playtime easily feeling like it could reach over 30 if I don't get too distracted. Those distractions are fun, though
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Far Cry 6 continues the same path originally laid out by Far Cry 3 back in 2012. Ubisoft has created its biggest map to date in the form of Yara, and while its environments are stunning, a lot of areas feel lifeless. Unexpectedly, it's the narrative that has me most invested with Nisa Gunduz as Dani Rojas elevating the Far Cry protagonist to the next level. Overall, I'm excited to play more and that's never a bad thing.