Hands-on with Far Cry 6 — Yara Island, do not even cry for me
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With the way things are going in the globe, it may be a long time before I get to visit a Caribbean island. At the very least, Far Cry 6 provides us with a beautiful virtual environment to explore, although one that is a little overrun by Nazis.
On October 7, Far Cry 6 will be released on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Stadia.
I got a hands-on peek of this game earlier this month using Parsec, software that utilises cloud streaming technology to allow you to visit other PCs (in this case, a Ubisoft PC that was running Far Cry 6).
This did mean that my experience was hampered by input latency and poor picture quality, but I was able to gain a good initial impression of the game.
I was a fan of the Far Cry series, especially Blood Dragon in 2012, but after playing Primal in 2016, I felt burned out on the usual Far Cry concept.
That’s why I didn’t bother with Far Cry V or its single expansion, New Dawn. I was curious to see how the series had evolved without me in Far Cry 6.
Well, it turns out, not all that much. Far Cry 6 still sees you exploring an open environment while destroying enemy strongholds, either stealthily or with weapons blazing.
It’s difficult to berate it too harshly for its lack of originality. Far Cry 5 did quite well without my help, becoming the series’ fastest-selling game. It’s not like the franchise’s fans are clamouring for a remake.
Even if it’s simply Far Cry in a new location, it’s a beautiful one. Far Cry 6 is set on the fictitious island of Yara, which is based in Cuba.
Here, you’ll join guerrilla warriors fighting against the tyranny of “El Presidente” Antón Castillo, portrayed by Giancarlo Esposito of Breaking Bad and The Mandalorian.
He does a fantastic job as a charming but frightening commander, but this is old ground for the series. Since Far Cry 3, the series has emphasised memorable, unstable villains.
Yara is a lovely sandbox in which to play. It’s a Caribbean island with lush vegetation and a clear sky.
It’s the sort of location where you’d like to spend your vacation if it weren’t for the fascist government. At the very least, you get to have fun annihilating all of those Nazis, as long as their faulty AI doesn’t get in the way.
I frequently struggled to locate the final troops while wiping out enemy strongholds. I could hear them spewing their voice lines out in the distance, but it would take me a while to track them down.
So I’d just retrace my ways through the enemy camp, visiting the same structures and bunkers until I came upon the final meat packages. This was an issue even while I was playing co-op with a friend. Finding those stragglers required a lot of effort, even between the two of us.
Far Cry 6 follows a similar pattern in terms of plot. At first, you simply want to get out of the nation, but you end yourself joining the resistance.
The storey is kept interesting by a likeable ensemble of characters, including a bunch of ex-revolutionaries who may be beyond their prime.
I had to deal with some tonal whiplash issues. I was witnessing a brutal fire squad murder people one minute. Later on, I saw someone using a pet alligator to take down an opposing soldier.
Perhaps it was a crocodile. Those things frighten me. I’m not sure what the distinction is, and I’m not interested in learning.
But the point is that it was a comedic moment at a time when I was still trying to figure out how I would feel if my government went door-to-door killing people. Don’t be upset. I’m definitely coming off as a bit of a jerk when it comes to Far Cry 6. That’s mainly due to my personal dissatisfaction with the fact that it’s not doing anything new.
This will no longer be an issue for the millions of fans who still enjoy the series in its current form. However, if you’re anything like me, you may not be able to find anything here to entice you back.
Its size continues to astound me. Even after a few hours, I had only seen a small part of Yara and had only heard a small part of its narrative.
And, if you want to go deep, I think Far Cry 6 will keep you occupied for months as you hunt down enemy settlements and attempt to improve every weapon. Here, too, co-op provides some value.
I had a wonderful time flying helicopters with a new acquaintance from the preview event. In co-op with a buddy, I’m sure I’d have an even better fun.
Far Cry 6 seems to be a massive, visually stunning game. Unless you’ve never played a Far Cry game before, I don’t think it’ll surprise you. In that scenario, Far Cry 6 may be a good place to start.