In memory of Australian documentary filmmaker Steve Irwin, I made friends with a crocodile and stuck with him through thick and thin in the latest installment in the Far Cry franchise. The scaly reptile was incredibly useful in the liberation of Yara, unceremoniously demoting dictator Antón Castillo’s troops to lunchtime. Far Cry 6 also offers other goodies – and some pretzel sticks. Here I tell you how my revolution with Dani Rojas and her guerrilla allies went.
Ubisoft once again has a new villain on its cover to overthrow. For this, the Canadian studio in Montreal recruited the actor Giancarlo Esposito, who you might know from the series highlights Breaking Bad or The Mandalorian . Esposito lends his face to dictator Antón Castillo and makes an excellent opponent for us freedom fighters who are trying to start a rebellion. Namely, Yara is plagued by oppression, disease, and slavery that finds its origins under the lash of capitalism.
History repeats itself
The small island state of Yara in the middle of the Caribbean is causing a worldwide sensation. Here, the government has been researching an extremely effective drug against cancer for a long time and is already producing large quantities of it: Viviro. A billion dollar business. Carried out on the backs of the working population, who receive starvation wages (if at all) for their hard, physical labor on the plantations. In addition, they come into daily contact with extremely harmful chemicals, which are urgently needed for the production of the product. But something stirs in the exploited public. Slowly but surely, a resistance is beginning to form that will soon be known as the Libertad. Hundreds of rebels and I in the middle.
A series of tragedies bring mestranded on an island I really wanted to get off, right in the heart of the guerrillas who have my help more than they need it. With Dani Rojas I control either a female or male character, whereby the dubbing voice of the assertive woman was a lot more pleasant for me. After brief instruction from rebel leader Clara Garcia, I learn that this is not the first time Yara has to assert herself against a cunning despot. A similar conflict already took place in 1967, in which the father of the current dictator was dethroned by the then guerrilla fighters, the “Legends of ’67”. Same shit, different day. So now it’s up to the new generation to emulate their ancestors.
The same can be said of the gameplay from this point on. Of course, I can’t just climb into Antón’s office and turn off the lights for him – Yara is divided into three large areas that first have to be pacified. Each of the regions of El Este, Valle de Oro and Madgrugada is home to production, security and transport facilities for the controversial drug and as a result numerous roadblocks, bases or convoys can be found here.
The checkpoints want to be taken, enemy bases smoked out and supply trucks plundered. All well-known techniques from previous Ubisoft open-world games in general and the Far Cry series in particular. You find your way around quickly, but you already know after 10 minutes what is on the to-do list for the next 20 hours. If you are looking for more variety and chaos, you can also do all the tasks in co-op with another player. As is well known, every title is more fun in a team.
At least I have to reveal the cardno more towers to climb. This Kraxelei has been outsourced to optional tasks. Exploring, flying over and traversing the flora lifts the fog of war and shows me camps, settlements and fast travel points. However, navigating the map proves to be unnecessarily cumbersome, it moves totally sluggishly and has at least one zoom level too little. Since I spend quite a bit of time here during my assignment planning, it gets really annoying in the long run.
Little new on offer
The backdrop for the asymmetrical war is the atoll based on Cuba, on which I can move freely on foot, in a car , in a boat, in an airplane or in a helicopter. The Latin American influences can be seen and heard around every corner. Beautiful vintage cars cruise along the coastal roads between palm trees, a small bar sells cool cocktails to beach guests and a three-piece band plays light merengue rhythms in the background. The developers have captured the Caribbean flair very well. Even if some textures load too late or are significantly scaled down and the graphics could generally appear a bit more modern, Far Cry 6 cuts a good figure. Especially in terms of colors and mood lightingconcerns. I like to linger a little longer, open the photo mode and arrange a nice snapshot . But I’m not here as a tourist. Once a guerrilla, always a guerrilla.
In order to get the people of the different territories to side with the freedom fighters, I do tasks for them and support where I can. The Familia Montero in the west wants to free an inmate from prison, Maximas Matanzas wants to establish a pirate radio station in central Yara, and in the east a second, independent revolution, La Moral, is preparing to overthrow the government. Unfortunately, the majority of the characters gathered there remain rather pale and do not imprint themselves in the memory.
Only the leader of the former rebel movement “Legendas ’67” is a well-voiced grater with a certain charm. In fact, I’ve never really been invested in Far Cry 6’s story at any time. With many conversations, missions and collection tasks, a feeling spreads that you have experienced it all before. The occasional dropouts in synchro further disrupt the immersion.
And OF COURSE there are quests where I first wipe out an entire factory without getting a scratch, only to get knocked out from behind or poisoned by one of the bad guys in the final room. Comemierda! Luckily they don’t tear me out of the game as much as they did in Far Cry 5 . That’s where I was at the time, while Iwhizzed down the mountain in the wingsuit , drugged and taken to one of the siblings. However, I would like to positively emphasize the treasure hunts, which are spread across the island and which I discover by chance, or I can listen to tips on their location from other rebels. These small puzzles offer a variety of challenges in great locations and always have useful loot ready at the end.
Share and pocket
Of course, opponents of the freedom movement don’t simply vacate their posts when politely asked to do so. You need a few powerful arguments . How fortunate that Juan Cortez is always at Libertad’s side. This wily ex-KGBer not only provides the resistance fighters with all sorts of conventional weapons such as SMGs, sniper rifles or shotguns, but also has some specialties in his luggage. This includes the Supremo, a kind of rocket backpack, which I immediately put on my shoulder. Available in different configurations, the Mobile Mortar becomes my “Oh Shit” button and can be used during combat to take down all enemies around me at once with grenades, fire, or poison.
In addition, all sorts of self-made shooters are part of the party. For example, the silent nail gun “El Susurro”, or a disk launcher that plays Macarena when CD-ROMs are fired. All of these opinion boosters can be upgraded with resources that I find in the game world or get as a reward for completing missions. Silencers, better sights or larger magazines – the usual suspects.
Not to be forgotten is Guapo, Juan’s animal friend, who he put by my side immediately after our first meeting. This stylishly dressed crocodile acts as my amigo and can be used in battle to eat enemies or serve as a bullet trap. Over time, I’ll unlock more companions who also like to focus on stealth gameplay. For example the cute badger pup Chorizo, he can distract opponents with his cuteness to give me a bigger window for shady actions.
The biggest change to the well-known Far Cry formula is the elimination of the skill tree. Classics such as chain takedowns, the ability to stab heavily armored opponents or the automatic looting of enemies is possible from minute one. I don’t need an RPG system in every action-adventure, but unlocking the various skills was a steady progression that made me feel stronger and more powerful with each level up. Since everything is immediately available, this development is gone and the first few hours in particular are much easier – a pity.
The guerrilla in me
Anyone who carries weapons openly, approaches Antóns Soldados without authorization or causes an accident on the street will certainly soon find themselves in a hail of bullets. The hundreds of guerrilla routes that criss-cross the country like a spider’s web can help here. Only like-minded people patrol these hidden paths, supplies and food can be found in many places and one or the other weapon is also deposited here. If you don’t get far enough on foot, you can saddle up a horse at one of the generously distributed drinking troughs in order to cover longer distances. These hidden routes and caches are not to be underestimated, they really give me the feeling of working underground. And by the way I explore the beautiful landscape .
However, I only have to fear open firefights if the enemy is clearly outnumbered, because the AI is stupid. The wayfinding for cover doesn’t fit, they run straight towards me like a chain while I mow down one after the other and friendly NPCs press in front of my fixed gun while they complain about the fire in the back . The auto-drive function for road cruisers can also be used as in Assassin’s Creedto be desired. Straight stretches are fine and Dani even overtakes slower vehicles on her own. But if someone comes towards me or if a curve has to be taken, I can drive down the cliff on my own. After all, savepoints are distributed very fairly and loading times are extremely short, which makes screen death and constant fast travel pleasant. Maybe not quite as fast as Ghost of Tsushima , but close.