If you've played any one of Far Cry 3, Far Cry 4, Far Cry 5, or Far Cry: New Dawn, then you already know exactly what to expect from Far Cry 6. Ubisoft is back with yet another course of comfort food in its exotic open world FPS franchise, and this review feels almost inconsequential in its effort to explain what's what for a fifth time; the formula really hasn't changed for almost 10 years. What we will say then is we think Far Cry 6 is the best game in the series yet. However, whether that actually means anything to you or not depends entirely on your tolerance for the franchise's blueprint.
You see, if Far Cry 6 is your first exposure to the Ubisoft formula in this sort of setting, then we think you're in for a genuinely excellent time. It's why we think this is the greatest entry yet: Far Cry 6 has the best open world map of the lot, the best weapon variety, and one of the best villains in Anton Castillo. Played by Giancarlo Esposito of Breaking Bad and The Mandalorian fame, he's a bad guy through and through.
Those looking for even more Far Cry can feel safe in a purchase too; this sixth mainline instalment is packed to the rafters with checklist-style activities to complete and a huge map to explore. The series' trademark style of chaotic action makes a comeback and so too do the charismatic characters and AI companions. Plain sailing for anyone in need of more of the same, then.
It's the fans burnt out on the current formula who can close this web page and start the search for another game to play for Far Cry 6 makes no attempt to subvert expectations. The game is exactly how you picture it, with the usual bases to take over and menial main tasks to tick off. If you had your fill with previous entries, Far Cry 6 should be avoided like the plague. Only boredom awaits if this loop has already grown stale. That creates quite the contrast to our claim Far Cry 6 is the best game in the series to date, but we believe the declarations can co-exist.
What the game gets right first and foremost is its open world. Set across the island of Yara (loosely based on Cuba), the lush and beautiful setting finally allows you to breathe. After Far Cry 5 tried its best to force you into confrontation at every other turn, it's refreshing to simply mark a location on the map and travel there without any conflict. It all feels so much more freeing, and combined with the new weapon holstering system, it makes the world your oyster — even if another mechanic introduces a ranking system to each region.
The title actually rewards putting your gun away by marking enemies on the map that can be bribed for information, while exploring a high-level area is much more manageable if patrolling goons assume you're a civilian rather than a guerilla fighter plotting to take their regime down. It may sound like a minor alteration of the gameplay loop, but it offers you another way of tackling objectives alongside the usual stealth and all guns blazing tactics.
Should you still choose the path of most resistance, though, solid gunplay assures intense and enjoyable shoot-outs that can change on the fly thanks to an enormous weapon roster. Ubisoft has really gone to town in this regard; unique guns can be found throughout the open world along with standard firearms, fleshing out loadout possibilities with special perks and distinct paint jobs. Then there are the Resolver weapons, which border on absurdity. A contraption that fires CDs at enemies? Check. A device acting as an EMP to immediately take down tanks? You got it. A sniper rifle capable of blowing up targets? Oh, go on then. Rounding out your active arsenal with one of these things is far too tempting of an offer, and you should absolutely take up the chance to do so.
They help to bring further fun to the deluge of activities littered across the map, of which many you're likely to be very familiar with. Take over bases to unlock fast travel points, win races in various unwieldy vehicles to score unlocks, and race the enemy to supply drops and cop some resources to upgrade your homesteads. This is once again the aspect that can either make or break the game for so many. There's a sort of mindless entertainment to the tasks, allowing you to sit back with a podcast and clear up any outstanding jobs in your journal. But then too much of that is exactly what turns so many potential buyers off. Only you know if you can stomach much more of it.
Then there's the story, which feels a little more involved than past entries. It's the typical tale of overthrowing a dictator by kick-starting a revolution on their doorstep, but the characters you soon come to call allies are at least memorable and engaging. Far Cry 6 takes time to give its most important faces a bit of an arc, instantly elevating them above the one-note personalities of titles past. Third-person cutscenes also allow you to get to know protagonist Dani Rojas much better, with his or her (you choose at the start of the game) reactions and speeches placed on display for both yourself and NPCs.
Giancarlo Esposito receives a decent amount of screen time as antagonist Anton Castillo, accompanied by his son Diego. The heir isn't quite as on board with ruling Yara with an iron fist, creating some interesting scenes and narrative threads the further you progress. It's not like the plot will win any awards, but the game's effort to embrace cutscenes, dialogue, and story more than previous instalments is most welcomed.
Perhaps the biggest overhaul compared to past Far Cry titles is the new gear system, which replaces skill trees entirely and instead attaches perks to the armour pieces you collect. It's not necessarily a bad change; it's just sort of there. The game wants you to be chopping and changing your loadout constantly to suit the situation, but doing so never really feels warranted. The perks are fairly minor and don't hold enough weight to convince you into pausing the game and deliberately equipping a certain gear piece just to help you out in a tight spot. You'll get by just fine selecting the armour pieces with the best stats and then forgetting about the feature altogether.
There's a knock-on, however, and it's the annoying ammo system. It's a rock paper scissors scenario where three different types of ammunition are strong and weak to specific enemy types, and it doesn't gel particularly well with how Far Cry is played. You're forced to scope out enemy bases and adjust your guns to suit the type of foes there, bringing the flow to a standstill as you search for a nearby workbench in order to make the necessary changes. And if you don't bother tweaking your weaponry and happen to come up against an enemy resistant to your slugs, then you've got a bullet sponge on your hands. Engaging with the system isn't enjoyable and ignoring it makes combat harder — nobody wins.
But those moments of frustration feel somewhat few and far between as the sheer amount of content serves up something new to do every time. Again, you may be burnt out on this sort of stuff, but Special Operations transport you and another online player to unique missions designed around new environments. The camps can be upgraded with resources found out in the field, new amigos try — but always fail — to convince you to use anything other than the adorable Chorizo, and different types of collectibles provide something else to seek. Rest assured there's so much to do beyond the main campaign.
You could even extend your playtime further by simply taking in the view every so often because Far Cry 6 can be a visually stunning title. Detailed character models and spectacular vistas make the game easily one of the best looking available on PlayStation 5 to date, coupled with a lush and vibrant open world filled with colour. Capturing a glimpse of the sunset beaming through foliage as you explore the more mountainous regions of Yara is a real treat.
A solid 60 frames-per-second ensures the game can keep up with both moments of blistering action and quieter periods roaming through the forest, but strangely enough, the cutscenes run at half the speed. It creates a rather bizarre disconnect as the game looks really quite poor when it's running at 30 frames-per-second during these scenes; why Ubisoft decided to take this route beats us. The publisher's trademark technical flaw also makes a return with a fair amount of screen tearing. It's by no means an immersion breaker, but we admit we noticed the problem much more than in past Ubisoft games.
Far Cry 6 is the best version of Ubisoft's open world formula to date, but whether that's still a selling point to you is up for debate. The few advancements and new mechanics won't be enough to convince those burnt out to return for one more exotic trip, but if you're down for another lengthy checklist to complete, then the series has never been better. It's another healthy serving of comfort food; one that sticks to what it knows best while slightly iterating positively.