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Far Cry 6 Review (PS5)

Far Cry 6 Review: Viva La Revolución

Far Cry 6 review PS5

 

Far Cry 6 leaves behind the previous game’s setting of rural America, dropping players into the heart of a tropical paradise on the brink of violent revolution. Ruled by the autocratic leader, the fictional island nation of Yara is a land rich in history and racked by generations of violence. Immaculately maintained classic cars cruise the rolling hills. Guerilla fighters from revolutions past roam rugged mountain paths. And the new regime’s forces commit atrocities on the nation’s undesirables by forcing them to work in lethal conditions to harvest an innovative new cancer drug.

With a massive environment to explore and plenty of work to be done, it’s the perfect sandbox to fulfill all of your guerilla fantasies. But does Far Cry 6 deliver the revolution the long-running series needs to stay exciting?

 

 

Welcome To The Jungle

 

Far Cry 6 review

 

In Far Cry 6,  players control Dani Rojas, an orphan and former soldier in the Yaran military who, following the game’s chaotic opening moments, is recruited into the ranks of Libertad, a resistance group hell-bent on ending Castillo’s fascist rule. To do so, you’ll need to make your way across the island’s five regions and unite their various guerilla factions before taking the fight to the capital.

Revolution is a messy business. As it turns out, it’s pretty formulaic, too. So if you’ve played a Far Cry game since 2012’s Far Cry 3, you’ll know what you’re in for with the latest installment. You’ll capture dozens of enemy outposts, commandeer a wide variety of vehicles, and undertake missions for a colorful cast of characters. Ubisoft’s penchant for filling the map with countless activities to keep you busy is in full effect in Far Cry 6, so you’ll never have to go far before uncovering the next rare animal to hunt, treasure to scrounge up, or base to storm.

As someone who generally enjoys all of these distractions, I’m okay with this. However, things do start to become a bit repetitive after a while. Checkpoint raids are probably the worst offenders. These are the most plentiful outposts you’ll have to capture in Far Cry 6. The problem is that they’re not nearly as interesting as the ones found in previous games in the series, which all had diverse layouts that demanded some planning if you wanted to be victorious. Instead, checkpoints are usually just a couple of shacks with a single alarm which require little more than a sniper rifle and a decent perch to make short work of them.

Of course, there are highway checkpoints we’re talking about here, so I get that there isn’t a whole lot that you can do to make them stand out. Still, I did find myself missing the more ambitious outposts from the past few games, as capturing them with friends was always hugely entertaining.

The lack of variety when it comes to the outposts is a little disappointing. But it’s easy to forget about this issue when you’re strafing an oil rig with a heavily-armed attack helicopter or vandalizing a government building with the help of a bloodthirsty, punk rock rooster. It’s in these moments of pure, unadulterated chaos that Far Cry 6 shines its brightest. And lucky for us, they’re as plentiful as ever this time around.

 

Thunder In Paradise

 

 

When it comes to waging war, Far Cry 6 shoots to thrill. The shooting is punchy and responsive, which makes each gunfight feel incredibly gratifying. But that’s not to say it doesn’t do anything new. For example, there are now three different types of ammo to consider: standard, soft-target, and armor-piercing. As a result, you’ll need to carefully consider not only which ammo to use in any given situation but also which type of armor to wear so that you can better defend yourself against the kind of ammunition your enemies are packing.

As you explore discover FND caches scattered around the map and complete missions, you’ll amass a vast arsenal. These guns range from the kind of pistols, rocket launchers, rifles, and shotguns that you’d expect to get your hands on, along with more unique custom weapons. My favorite of which was the Com.Pew.Ter. It’s a funky, high-tech shotgun embellished with a splash of rainbow colors on its stock in a clear nod to the Sinclair ZX Spectrum 8-bit computer that was popular in the UK in the 1980s. But, of course, with so much weaponry to choose from and the ability to craft your own tools of destruction by upgrading your basic stuff, I’m sure you’ll find a few favorites as well.

Far Cry 6 also introduces Resolver gear that you can purchase with depleted uranium. Resolver gear includes some truly over-the-top guns that you’ll find in the game. These weapons range from a rocket launcher that lobs a volley of fireworks to create dazzling displays of destruction to a rather brutal crossbow that hurls three-foot-long harpoons at your enemies, reducing them to Yaran shish kabobs. But the real star of the show—at least when it comes to the Resolver gear—is your Supremo. It’s essentially a backpack of doom that can fire off barrages of missiles – perfect for taking out armored targets like tanks and choppers. Additionally, you can craft other Supremos for other purposes. For example, one turns you into a veritable force of destruction when using your machete, while another is healing-focused, making it ideal for co-op play.

When it comes to customization, this is just the tip of the iceberg. From decking out your vehicles with shields and turrets and accessorizing your character with a wide selection of gear, there’s plenty here to keep you busy during your time in Yara.

 

Co-op-cabana

 

Far Cry 6 review co-op

 

Speaking of co-op, you can play Far Cry 6‘s entire campaign with a friend. And, as you can imagine, this can create some pretty insane scenarios with two Supremo-wielding maniacs on the battlefield. I’m a big fan of co-op play, so this was a huge draw to me and something I hope the series continues to support in future installments.

In addition to the core campaign, Far Cry 6 features Special Operations designed with co-op in mind. These missions task you with locating and securing a chemical weapon. The catch is, the WMD is highly unstable and needs to be kept cool; otherwise, it will explode, killing both players. So the player who is carrying the WMD will have to keep in the shade to keep the device from overheating or cool it off in water sources scattered throughout the map. However, with shade sparse and enemies lurking all over the map, this is much easier said than done.

At the time of this writing, there are two Special Operations available. One takes place in a Jurassic Park-inspired theme park, while the other unfolds in a village nearly obliterated by a catastrophic mudslide. Ubisoft seems committed to growing this mode, as four more maps are coming before the end of the year.

I loved this mode. It’s tense, tactical, and will keep you on your toes as you race from cover to cover while avoiding being blown to bits. I can easily see Special Operations becoming popular with fans following the game’s release. However, I must admit that I wouldn’t mind seeing a few more objectives added in future missions to help keep things interesting.

 

Unusual Suspects

 

 

The Far Cry series has no shortage of memorable villains. With madmen like Vaas and Pagan Min considered by fans to be two of the most iconic ones to torment players over the past decade, Far Cry 6 certainly had some considerably large shoes to fill. Unfortunately, when it comes to its stony-faced despot, Anton Castillo (played by Breaking Bad and The Mandalorian bad guy Giancarlo Esposito), he doesn’t quite reach the level of the maniacs who came before him. Still, he puts on a solid performance all the same.

What made the utterly unhinged Vaas and the fabulously eccentric Pagan Min so exciting was their unpredictable personalities that made you look forward to each new encounter. Sadly, as far as villains go, Castillo is very much the opposite. I couldn’t help but shake the feeling I was peeking into an alternate timeline where Breaking Bad‘s Gustavo Fring decided to ditch the life of a chicken-slinging drug lord to try his hand at being a third-world dictator instead. That’s not to say Esposito fails to deliver in terms of his performance. On the contrary, his trademark calm intensity is on full display in Far Cry 6 and makes for some great moments. But you can always see his actions coming from a mile away. This predictability, combined with the fact you only see him but a few times throughout the campaign, keeps him from being as noteworthy a villain as he otherwise could have been.

Far Cry 6 deals with some heavy themes that may make some players uncomfortable. From slave labor to human trafficking to brutal executions where even children and the elderly are dispatched in gruesome ways, it’s not a game for the faint of heart. I’m all for games exploring mature subjects to create a more impactful narrative. Unfortunately, these themes aren’t always handled exceptionally well in Far Cry 6. For example, you’re forced to participate in an operation to smuggle people out of Yara to the United States in one mission. However, things take a very dark turn when some of your cargo is held against their will, presumably to begin their new lives as slaves.

You’d think your character, a self-professed freedom fighter, would take matters into his own hands. However, upon learning what was going on, he seemed pretty disinterested. Did this impact my enjoyment of the game? No, not really. However, it did feel like a bit of a missed opportunity to do something more with the game’s weighty subject matter.

 

Fantasy Island

 

 

Far Cry 6 may not be the most jaw-dropping piece of software in the PS5’s library—undoubtedly due to it being a cross-gen title—but it sure has its moments. From breathtaking vistas and lush forests to amazing undersea grottos lit by schools of bioluminescent jellyfish, Yara looks like it’d be perfect for a sightseeing vacation. That is if it wasn’t for all the carnage unfolding all around. This added visual fidelity comes at a cost, however. To enjoy these next-gen visuals, you’ll need to download an additional 30GB HD texture pack that brings the game’s file size up to a whopping 70 gigs. If you have ample storage space, this might not be a big deal. However, it’s something worth considering if you’re low on precious SSD space.

Speaking of SSD space, Far Cry 6 makes good use of the PS5’s hardware. Load times are nice and snappy when fast traveling across the map. Additionally, the game takes advantage of the PS5’s DualSense controller’s haptics and adaptive triggers. Whether it’s the varying trigger-tension of your guns to the feeling of waves beating into the hull of your boat, it’s all super immersive and does a great job of pulling you into the on-screen action.

Unfortunately, there are areas where the game suffers on Sony’s new console. The game runs buttery smooth when you’re in control. But that’s not the case during the in-engine cutscenes, where the frame rate plummets considerably. I also had the game crash to the PS5 dashboard on a couple of rare occasions during my review playthrough. But this isn’t uncommon for a pre-release code and could very well be resolved before you have the chance to play the game for yourself. It’s also worth noting that we didn’t experience these technical problems on our Xbox Series X build of the game. That said, here’s hoping the PS5 version receives a day-one patch to resolve these nagging issues.

 

A Guerilla Thrill Ride

 

Far Cry 6 is a must-play experience for fans of Ubisoft’s flagship first-person shooter series. New features, such as the Supremo and various ammo types, do a great job of spicing up a familiar formula. At the same time, the series’ rock-solid gunplay and exciting exploration are more inviting than ever. Even though it sometimes stumbles, both in terms of performance and tone, traversing the island nation of Yara is so fun that you probably won’t care all that much.

Whether smashing the system solo or teaming up with a fellow freedom fighter for some online co-op, Far Cry 6 is sure to give armchair guerillas something worth fighting for. Viva La Revolución!

 


Final Verdict: 4/5

Available on: PS5 (Reviewed), PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC; Publisher: Ubisoft; Developer: Ubisoft Toronto; Players: 1 – 2 (online); Released: October 7, 2021; ESRB: M for Mature; MSRP: $59.99

Editor’s note: The publisher provided a Far Cry 6 review copy.

 

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Frank has been the caffeine-fueled evil overlord of HeyPoorPlayer since 2008. He speaks loudly and carries a big stick to keep the staff of the HPP madhouse in check. A collector of all things that blip and beep, he has an extensive collection of retro consoles and arcade machines crammed into his house. Currently playing: Chorus (XSX), Battlefield 2042 (XSX), Xeno Crisis (Neo Geo)

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