Monday, November 15, 2021

Far Cry 6 review

Anton Castillo calls all true Yaryans to reject the cause of Libertad and to embrace the peaceful reign of El Presidente!

    The Far Cry franchise hit its zenith with Far Cry 3 and Michael Mando's legendary Vaas character in the same way that Fallout 3 changed the Fallout franchise. It made an open world environment, gave us an interesting story about people degenerating into savagery, and also critiqued the savior narrative of video games by making it clear the protagonist is deluding himself that he's making things better by killing people. Since then, I've enjoyed most of the subsequent installments with the sole exceptions of Far Cry Primal and Far Cry: New Dawn.

    Unfortunately, Far Cry was starting to run out of gas awhile ago. While it had some genuinely innovative ideas like the spectacular cyberpunk hilarity of Far Cry: Blood Dragon, the repetitive gameplay as well as confused storytelling annoyed some gamers. Far Cry 5 had a lot of interesting elements, taking the franchise to the United States for example, but its weirdly racially integrated apocalyptic cult, the constant capturing of the protagonist, and cruel twist ending put a lot of gamers off it.

    Far Cry 6 had a lot to overcome in order to get gamers back into the saddle. I will admit, despite generally liking the franchise, I was uninterested in continuing. Even the stunt casting of Giancarlo Esposito as a Caribbean island dictator seemed a poor reason to pick the game. I've overthrown a lot of island dictators in my gaming history with the Just Cause franchise having more than satisfied any urges there. Still, I found myself itching to game after finishing Resident Evil: Village and decided to give it a go. What are my feelings? Mixed. But mostly positive.

    Gameplay-wise, Far Cry 6 is more Far Cry and the only changes are not ones that I am particularly interested in. The sixth entry into the franchise removes perks and replaces them with modifications you can do to your equipment. I'm actually okay with getting rid of leveling up in the franchise as there's nothing to be gained from it as the best way to play the game is New Game+ when you have all the options to play the game as you wish. Unfortunately, I really didn't like the crafting system and just wished they'd given a simplified game system.

    Improvements are extremely minor with the addition of horses as a means of transport and a new device called the Supremo, which is basically a gadget-filled backpack. I hate the Supremo and its ridiculousness. However, it's pretty much necessary whenever you face helicopters or tanks. The game also has gotten rid of human companions and I felt this was a mistake as they were a favorite part of previous games. I also didn't care for the fact some enemy types are vulnerable to regular ammunition, fire ammunition, and armor-piercing ammunition. Aren't all enemies going to be more vulnerable to armor piercing ammunition? It's a little too Borderlands for me.

   The combat is also unfortunately slow. When you want to kill someone with a machete from behind or even during combat, the animations are painfully slow. It can also be hard to get into the vehicles that you're trying to steal. For an open world game that takes so much from Grand Theft Auto, it's irritating that you can't move swift enough to engage in the mayhem that is the game's primary selling point. That isn't to say it isn't fun. I actually turned up the difficulty on the combat despite normally being a casual because I wanted to experience a harder more furious experience. So it had that going for it.

    You basically follow the same gameplay loop you always do. You are a soldier of the plucky but morally compromised resistance, Dani Rojas. You can play as either a male or female version of the character, much like Assassins Creed: Odyssey or Valhalla, but I feel the female version is far more interesting as well as better acted. Indeed, if there is anything that Far Cry 6 has going for it, it is the fact the characters are far better written than in previous installments. The cast is likable and entertaining throughout but this is the first game since Far Cry 3 where I felt the protagonist had any sense of personality.

   The graphics of the game are exceptional and Yara is a beautiful country to live in. Honestly, I'd probably want to move there if it wasn't a cruel and oppressive dictatorship. Giancarlo Esposito does a fantastic job as President Castillo and is probably my favorite villain alongside Vaas. The game also manages to retcon away the ending of Far Cry 5, which is deserving of its own acknowledgement. I actually cared about Yara's freedom to an extent and was impressed by the ending. Good job, writers.

    The biggest problem I can think of with the game is the fact Ubisoft really went out of their way to try to drain the customers. The Season Pass doesn't include any of the skins that are sale for Ubisoft points (that cost real money) or other material traditionally included with it. They also have things like the Breaking Bad bundles cost something akin to ten dollars each. That's just ridiculous and the only reason to get the Season Pass is an updated version of Far Cry: Blood Dragon. I think the "Villain Campaign" won't prove to be worth the money.

    In conclusion, Far Cry 6 is a game with a lot going for it. The core of the gameplay is as entertaining as it was in Far Cry 3 and removing a lot of the excess leveling up was good. Unfortunately, I really don't like the Supremo and the Crafting focus didn't wow me. The protagonist is the most likable in the series yet and the villain is fantastic. The supporting cast is also fun and the game beautiful. Sadly, it's biggest merit and flaw is it's just more Far Cry. Now with horses!

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