Welcome to Yara, a tropical paradise frozen in time. FarCry 6 thrusts players into a modern-day guerrilla revolution. Dictator Castillo dreams of his country returning to its former glory, even if it means dragging his citizens through a living hell to do it. His son Diego has a moral compass and disagrees. You don’t play as either of them, instead being a random person driven to incredible violence by sheer circumstance.
Ah, FarCry. I’ve missed you.
So you want a Yaran revolution?
OK, this is a FarCry game, and it’s a more serious setting than ‘doomsday cult‘ of 5, but still not as engaging as ‘tourists land on drug island by accident’ of FarCry 3. The Yaran revolution (second revolution, really, which goes to show how well the first one went) is a compelling fight. I mean, give me any excuse to join a revolution and I’m there.
The Yaran military are almost cartoonishly fascist. Occasionally you meet a bribeable official, but never a soldier torn over committing atrocities in the name of progress. This works, as you don’t even feel a little bad melting these drones with a flamethrower, poisonthrower, hyper-powered crossbow, or any other delightful flavour of steaming hot death.
FarCry has always (since 3) been known for its stellar gunplay, and I can’t fault FarCry 6 either. Assault rifles feel assaulty, missile launchers feel bulky, and the nail gun is annoying; just like in real life. The level of customisation is also much appreciated. Why yes, Ubisoft, I do want a silenced armour piercing MP7 in matte black that I can use to clear a roadblock in 45 seconds without being noticed. Yes, I do want a compound bow to snipe with in retro style. And yes, I certainly do want an improvised weapon that fires deadly CDs at enemies.
You know me so well.
How Far can you Cry?
FarCry 6’s Yara is a beautiful archipelago, with a rich history full of caves, mysticism, and inexplicably advanced guns hidden in these caves surrounded by mystic symbols. And that’s one of the more beautiful aspects of a FarCry game; the suspension of disbelief is needed, true, but it’s a damn romp.
The driving isn’t great. Never has been in FarCry, really, so nothing hugely surprising. Helicopters, planes, dune buggies, tanks, and a weird hovercraft that handles like a lawnmower (and may have at one point actually been a lawnmower) are all available, but there is only one way to travel in Yara.
Seriously, airdropping to a fast travel point and gliding your way to the nearest objecting is now and forever will be the height (ha) of mobility. Yeah your clothing can give you neat bonuses for speed, which of course I use too, but the wingsuit is king, queen, and the whole royal court. Mobility and traversal are how you get me, y’all, and I love the freedom here.
A wheely good dog
I regret that joke. But Chorizo is now the main character of FarCry 6, and I think that’s glorious.
For the last several games, animal companions have been the best part of a FarCry game. And while nothing compares to the wonders of snuggling Primal’s saber-toothed tiger, when you have adorable wheelchair dog and ghost jaguar on your side, you’re still gonna have a good time. Does the ludicrous nature of distracting a fascist military with a special needs sausage dog undermine the seriousness of the revolution you’re a part of?
Yes. Yes it does.
And that’s where we hit a wall. This story may just cut closer for me due to being a bit of a history nerd and recently learning an awful lot about actual horrors that went down in real-life banana republics, but it certainly puts a damper on the fun when the human rights abuses you’re fighting are interspersed with some wicked cool dubstep.
That’s what FarCry does, right? Push the envelope, make things uncomfortable and then cut the tension with a weirdly coloured gun or a crocodile in a jacket. I dunno; fun as it is, are we calling time on good taste here?
FarCry 6 my ass, it’s probably Millhouse
Don’t get me wrong, FarCry6 is a solid game. It hits all the marks of the previous entries, with the trademark humour and a decent dose of absurdity. But it isn’t sharp, or new, and it certainly doesn’t push any boundaries. As a shooter it’s a solid win, but I expected more from FarCry.
I’m an Irish immigrant living in New Zealand, so I’m not the right person to judge how accurate the depiction of a Carribean dictatorship. But it does feel believable, in the “oh hell this couldn’t happen but also it definitely does” kind of way.
There comes a time in every game’s life when it’s gone as far as it will go. FarCry 6 isn’t there yet, but this iteration might be writing on the wall.
Still fun though.