Console Corner: Far Cry 6 review
It is mad to think it has been 17 years since the Far Cry series started back in 2004.
It’s been a thrilling ride along the way, but is the appetite still there for more adventures in this once groundbreaking franchise with the release of Far Cry 6?
The action-adventure first-person shooter from Ubisoft Toronto is set on the fictional Caribbean island of Yara - which is loosely based on a modern-day Cuba - ruled as a dictatorship by "El Presidente" Antón Castillo (portrayed by Giancarlo Esposito who famously played Gus Fring in the hit TV series Breaking Bad).
Castillo is raising his son Diego to follow in his rule and you take on the role of guerilla fighter Dani Rojas in attempting to topple Castillo and his regime.
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To do that you must use makeshift weapons, vehicles, and hire Amigos - the new "Fangs for Hire" system - to topple the oppressive regime and emerge victorious.
We have seen pretty much everything in the Far Cry series from pet bears who attack on command in 10,000 BC to overthrowing a bizarre American cult.
The plot in Far Cry 6 could be taken from a Call of Duty or Ghost Recon game and is very much grounded in reality. That’s until the chaos begins and you start blowing stuff up like there’s no tomorrow.
For starters FC6 looks amazing and plays - as you would expect six games in - even better. The visuals are stunning - particularly on next gen - and the world-design in what is the biggest Far Cry world yet combines with some brilliant characters and acting to make for an engrossing affair.
Just an hour in and you’ll literally be having a blast - flying helicopters, starting fires and just generally causing pandemonium. It is an element of Far Cry - as with Grand Theft Auto - that simply never gets old or boring.
You are invited to tinker with loadouts to find the optimal selection for each mission and this adds another level of depth and satisfaction to the play - if that's your bag.
The characters are fantastic and some of the villainy is right up there with what you might expect from a James Bond or Indiana Jones movie.
You can’t fail but to find yourself completely engrossed in FC6 the further you delve into its madcap world.
But sometimes there’s simply too much to think about, too many weapons to tinker with and consider the pros and cons for when you just want to get on with things. And don’t even get me started on having your very own attack crocodile by your side.
The sheer number of missions and side missions became hugely distracting for me. And the main story arc is so good that I found myself desperate - but ultimately unable at times - to focus solely on that.
Missions generally have too obvious a formula and once you figure things out a template approach is more or less good for each one. FC6 wants you to plan meticulously for each mission, indeed it gives you the freedom and encouragement to do so.
But the reality is you simply don’t need to.
As a result, focusing on getting your hands on new weapons and taking time to customise them doesn't feel particularly necessary.
The Far Cry series has come a long way and that is clear to see in Far Cry 6. Yet some of it feels perhaps too well trodden and in danger of becoming jaded.
But make no mistake this is the most fun you will have had playing a Far Cry game in years. The lack of a stern challenge for even a moderate gamer is balanced by the enjoyment of playing which is in no small part down to the excellent storyline and acting performances.
Fun is the name of the game here. FC6 throws a hell of a lot your way and it’s about catching the bits you like and running with them. You don’t HAVE to get bogged down in the swathes of content packed into the game and that in itself should be praised because in gaming choice is everything.
It offers something for everyone. Whether you are the discerning gamer who wants to take their time, carefully choose a loadout to plot taking down an enemy encampment or someone who wants to pick the pad up and blow everything to kingdom come for an hour or so.
A thrill ride with just a little too much on the side but a worthy addition to a legendary series nonetheless.