Far Cry 6 Review – A shallow, uninspiring open world slog

A shallow, uninspiring open world slog

It has not been a good year for the gaming industry. Beyond the tepid dribble of big games over the past 12 months to the more serious allegations levelled against different gaming companies, 2021 has been a nasty black cloud hanging over this industry.

At the center of this sits Ubisoft, and I’m sure there will be some people reading this wondering just why I’m bringing the abuse up in a game review. Well, given Ubisoft have made minimal changes to their workplace since those allegations, it’s perhaps a sick sense of irony that nothing has really changed between Far Cry 5 and 6.

Uninspiring and grindy, Ubisoft’s shooter is basically the same game it’s been since Far Cry 3, with very little changes beyond aesthetic paint jobs or story overhauls. While I’m not advocating for a huge change with the game mechanics here, little tweaks to gunplay, AI and level design would not have gone amiss – but you’ll be hard-pressed to find much in the way of creative juices flowing through this one.

The story of Far Cry 6 takes place on the island of Yara. Gabriel Castillo is elected president and promises stability with the creation of a new cancer treatment drug called “Viviro.” Seven years later and workers are enslaved to work on the tobacco fields and the country’s armed forces (known as the FND) begin rounding up citizens in the capital of Esperanza.

In the wake of this, Dani Rojas, who lives in the middle of Esperanza, plans to escape to Miami. Unfortunately things go awry and Dani finds herself in a desperate struggle to topple Castillo, uniting with the anti-Castillo forces under the flag of Libertad. In order to take back control, it’s up to Dani to recruit several different factions to join her cause and strike back against this maniacal war criminal.

For anyone who has played a Far Cry game before, the gameplay is pretty much exactly the same as what you’ve come to expect. The island you’re inhabiting is broken up into different territories inhabited by military leaders (just like Far Cry 5) with the intention here on recruiting rebels in each area before storming Esperanza, which holds Castillo and his cronies.

Only…it’s pointless. I won’t go into spoiler territory but honestly the faction recruitment is simply busywork. It doesn’t have any meaningful effect on the end-result, with the final fight just sorta ends so abruptly without much aplomb.

The missions range from your conventional firefights, ambushes and getaway driving through to more egregious and grindy fetch quests. There are even a few pointless missions that see you get drunk, deface posters and party. Yay? Given the fact Dani is on a tight schedule to try and take back Yara, these main missions do absolutely nothing to help with the story or pacing.

To be fair though, some of the missions are brilliant. A few of the treasure hunts, and a hunt for relics are imaginatively designed while a couple of the story missions, including storming a fort, are great fun.

The aesthetic is admittedly slick and there’s definitely some variation to the different terrains and areas. Swamps, forests, big cityscapes and shantytowns are plentiful, and these locales pop nicely on the Playstation 5. There is a noticeable different between PS4 and PS5 versions, with the former plagued with some pretty horrendous load times.

Of course, in true Far Cry fashion you’ve got your usual array of busywork checklists to work through too, ranging from collectibles like USB sticks and roosters, right the way through to taking back checkpoints and FND bases from enemies.

The guns here are all largely the same; variations we’ve seen from previous games including shotguns, grenade launchers, pistols and machine guns, to name a few. They’re all plentiful and strewn out across the landscape, allowing you to play the way you want. To be honest, I kept my silenced rifle obtained at the start almost the entirety of the game, such is the effectiveness of hitting a well-aimed headshot.

There are lots of opportunities to collect “unique weapons” too, which are found in different chests, treasure hunts or side quests. While these do offer a bit of incentive to go searching, given how woeful the AI actually is (more on that in a bit), there’s not much incentive to hunt around, unless you want to grab the illusive platinum trophy of course.

And this is a problem for balancing of weapons. Given I was able to blast through this game with relative ease after upgrading my starter weapon with a silencer and armour piercing bullets, finding any other weapons is simply not needed – especially as you can’t upgrade the unique weapons the way you want.

Spicing things up a bit is the inclusion of “resolver” weapons and Supremo backpacks. Each of these serve to tinker your equipment load-out in a specific way. They also allow an opportunity for a special move of sorts when fully loaded. It’s a nice idea but between this and the “amigos” (animal sidekicks that help you in battle) there’s very little else that’s original here.

The sense of Deja vu in this game is just too great to ignore. We’ve done this before, we’ve taken these areas back from enemies before and we’ve seen these same tired, unskippable cutscenes of liberated areas before. Even the animations are the same this time around, with animal attacks almost identical to previous Far Cry games. On the plus side, it’s better than Call Of Duty: Vanguard, which doesn’t even bother to animate this in, but it still feels disappointing, especially given the 3 year wait between titles.

Enemies in this game are absolutely atrocious. Soldiers run into walls, find themselves stuck on scenery, throw grenades aimlessly and move unimaginatively across the battlefield. Oh, and that’s before mentioning the four different enemy designs. There’s generic female soldier 1, generic female soldier 2, generic male soldier 1 and generic male soldier 2. Slap some armour onto those bad boys, switch up the weapons and we’ve got ourselves an army!

Whether it be “Action Mode” or “Story Mode”, the generic visual design and the woeful AI really breaks the immersion in the game. Take, as an example, Killzone 2. Guerrilla’s masterful shooter came out in 2009 and that AI is leaps and bounds above what’s here.

The final point I’d like to make about Far Cry 6 is its microtransactions. Yes, they’re optional and cosmetic but the game plays a few particularly nasty little tricks to try and entice you to buy items from the shop. Glowing TVs and an accompanying icon in each of the camps allows you to jump straight in and buy the Vaas Insanity DLC. The game’s load-up screen also promotes this, as does the first time you boot the game up, with a big splash screen you need to navigate past.

And if that wasn’t enough, before you leave the first island you’re given 300 Far Cry Credits. This is enough to unlock a few icons on the map (highly recommended to do for the USB Stick locations) but nowhere near enough to buy anything decent. Then again, it does the trick and gets you onto the shop, which is Ubi’s aim here. However, it does feel particularly forceful here, in a game that lacks polish and finesse.

The end-game is the best example to show how little care has been put into this. After toppling Castillo and his forces, the world is largely unchanged. The only difference now is that things grow harder and enemies are a bit more beefed up. Insurgency leaders spring up and you’re given special missions to take them out. All good so far, right? Well, when things get hot and heavy, a screen flashes up telling you that “Castillo’s Special Forces” are after you… even those Castillo and his special forces are gone.

I mentioned in my last review for Far Cry 5 that this franchise was in desperate need of an overhaul. And much like Ubisoft execs haven’t listened to its workforce to cut out the abuse, Far Cry 6 hasn’t listened to its fanbase to make meaningful changes to push this franchise forward. This is a shallow, uninspiring open world slog.

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  • Verdict - 5/10

3 thoughts on “Far Cry 6 Review – A shallow, uninspiring open world slog”

  1. I have FC2 thru 5 and it is a shame reading about 6 being sold unpolished, I have the view there is a real problem in the core design with the cut-scenes that you cannot avoid which are designed to seriously annoy customers who have to kill against the clock again and again like this is a psycho training exercise that does seem to coincide with real-world stupidity. I actually half broke the left mouse button getting past some stupidity in the game and went on to accidentally buy shares by volume rather than cash which luckily made me loads of money in a speedy trade so I will not be too harsh however, I’m not buying fc6. One good point to make, when winter starts and the long cold nights draw-in, fire-up FC3 for the tropical island open-world which is nice to explore once a year and the thing I want with hi-res graphics and detail from FC7 and no more distractions!

  2. After buying Far Cry 6 and playing partway through it, I have had my fill 9o Ubisoft. I have never seen a company that has such naked contempt for their customers. My compl;ains about Far Cry 6are:

    * Can’t save games, so that the game picks up in the exact place where it left off. There is no reason for this failure of features, not in today’s programming. What this means, (aside from not being able to continue the game where you left off, it also means that every time you die, you have to start all over with the mission. The people who wrote these games should take a lesson from other software houses, like Bethesda, which allows players to saves, so that they can continue play exactly where they left off.

    * There is no or insufficient ammo to be found from traveling vendors, and you have to replenish amo from kills. Which…means that every battle there is not enough ammo, and players are left only to get killed. Because their is no save function, you have to start the mission over.

    * They don’t allow the players to increase the amount of ammo they carry, not in any way that makes a difference. This results in lost fights and excessive deaths, starting over each time.

    * after dining, it seems to take an inordinate amount of time to load the game. The people who wrote this game don’t seem to appreciate or give a happy damn that every time a player dies, it completely halts all game playing momentum..

    * The character can’t lie prone in snipping positions or in any other scenario. This result in more player death with the interminable reload times, which only destroys playing momentum.

    * The game is full of bugs, one of the most annoying being ihow, when playing on a Play Station,, the the switch to 3rd person (I hate playing 3rd person – for myself, if no first person perspective is available, that is reason enough to toss the game in the trash). More, that third person perspective always walks backward, and it becomes necessary to continue forward pressure on the joystick just to keep the Dani character from walking away from wherever it is that the character is supposed to be playing. That , alone, makes the game to annoying to continue playing. Ubisoft apparently doersn’t care enough about its product to fix stupid bugs like this before releasing a game, and indicates that they care little to nothing about customer satisfaction. Seems clear that the accountants are in charge instead of programming directors and software engineers.

    * The last straw for me was when getting into the battle to take the despot’s island, they take away all of the the weapons that the player worked so hard to obtain, and their is precious little to no ammo available to rerm with. And, because their is no save function, every time the player dies, the entire mission has to be started over again from the very beginning. Who do these sociopathic Ubisoft employees think they are, do they have that much raw contempt for their customers that they are willing to subject them to unending frustration. How long do these people think that they are going to have customers when they treat their customers so shabbily? Ubisoft needs to institute psychological testing to weed out patholgical personalities before they get hired, starting at the very top of the company. tf they don’t they won’t survive, I’ve seen first hande what sociopaths and psychopaths do to companys when they put on their best programming t-shirts, business casual or suits. If ubisoft doesn’t clean up its act, it’s heded for the pink sheets…where it belongs. I’m willing to bet that the company is losing employees left and right because of the toxic conditions that these personalities invariably instill in any organization in which they are present.

    * I could write an epistle about what’s wrong with this game and with Ubisoft, Instead I will just say this: Ubisoft took a great idea and turned it into a study of indiffernt mediocrity and naked contempt for their customers. This is the last straw for me and Ubisoft, I will never again buy or play any game they produce, not until they establish a reputation for excellence. I am DONE with thieclown act,that is ubisoft. and would dvise prospective customers to save their money for a different software/gaming house. Gaming should be fun not annoying, frustrating or an exercise in self-spiting aggravation. What a waste! Save your money for a game that is fun, and where the gaming company shows some respect for it customers. Ubisoft is doomed, if they don’t get rid of the patholigicl personalities (starting with the board room and working down), take the accountants out of the driver’s seat and clean up their act. Again, what a waste!

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