Far Cry 6 Preview – Stoking The Flames
Ever since its announcement last summer, Far Cry 6 has been one of the most highly anticipated games on the horizon. With a revolution against a murderous dictator on the fictional Caribbean Island of Yara serving as the backdrop, the stakes are high in this latest entry. While everything has looked promising to this point, I was excited to finally get my hands on the new game to see for myself how it’s turning out.
The opening moments of Far Cry 6 feature celebratory tones, but they don’t last long. You play Dani Rojas (who can be male or female), a former soldier looking towards a better life. You’re on the roof of your home having a drink with your friends Alejo and Lita, excited to leave Yara behind. The plan is drinks in Mexico, then dinner in Miami. A commotion on the ground draws your attention as soldiers in President Antón Castillo’s army start shooting civilians. Lita pleads with Alejo not to draw attention, but his hatred for Castillo is too much; he throws his beer at the soldiers, yelling, “F— Castillo!” Unfortunately, the soldiers spot him and put a bullet in his head.
All hell breaks loose as Lita and Dani make a break for it, evading soldiers and racing to the docks. They board a fishing vessel, but the sense of relief is short-lived as the boat suddenly stops and Castillo walks down the steps. Actor Giancarlo Esposito of Breaking Bad and The Mandalorian fame plays Castillo. From this scene, he appears to one-up the already sterling roster of menacing antagonists from Far Cry’s history.
After his bodyguard murders one of the refugees who yells in Castillo’s face, the President turns his attention to a small, hooded child in the back, who turns out to be his son, Diego. Diego was also attempting to escape, and he pleads with his father to let the others go. Castillo doesn’t listen. He whisks his son away, and his forces open fire on the ship.
Dani awakens on Isla Santuario next to Lita, who is bleeding out on the beach. She hangs on long enough to pass Dani her phone with information on finding rebels on the island. In an emotional moment, Lita dies, and Dani grabs her machete and embarks on the journey to escape from Yara.
Dani soon seeks out the camp in Lita’s phone and finds Clara, the leader of the resistance group Libertad. Dani asks for help getting out, but Clara runs down Libertad’s mission, convincing Dani to stay and fight. Dani’s first mission is to track down a former double agent named Juan Cortez.
Juan is known for his love of booze but also his resourcefulness and eccentricity. Naturally, I find him at the bar in a small, beachside town. Castillo’s FND military forces are also looking for him, and it turns out the barman sold him out. After Juan pays the bartender back for that favor, he and his pet alligator, Guapo, jump into action, fighting off the soldiers alongside Dani. Guapo likes Dani and becomes the first Amigo – animal companions that fight alongside you – that you add to your roster.
Before heading back to camp, Juan says he wants to make a stop at a recent FND supply drop. Along with Guapo, I take out the soldiers and scavenge the supplies. Once back at camp, I use those supplies to craft two special bullet types for enemies with and without armor, respectively.
Juan then tells me my next mission: Steal uranium from one of Castillo’s forts. On my way there, I encounter a checkpoint that blocks traffic with a spike strip. I decide to take out the soldiers and destroy the FND billboard to claim the checkpoint as my own, which posts guerrilla fighters there instead of Castillo’s forces. Shortly after, I arrive at my destination.
The fort is full of guards, but I notice multiple ways to approach the situation after scoping it out from a nearby viewpoint. Do I equip my armor-piercing rounds and go in guns blazing? Or do I take a sneakier route to make my approach easier? I see vines on the exterior that I could climb, and there is a way to swim under the fort and enter through the cellar. I could also go to the substation on the cliffside and zipline into the window. I decide to scale the vines and take out the patrolling soldiers one by one. After killing the officer, retrieving the key, and finding the uranium, I head back to Juan at Clara’s camp.
Once back, Juan hands me my first Supremo – an ultimate weapon that operates on a cooldown. The Exterminador is a multi-rocket launcher that locks onto enemies and wipes them from existence; it’s the definition of “overkill” against foot soldiers but is also effective against tanks. Other Supremos you unlock include the Volta, an EMP pulse that knocks enemies over, disables security systems, and hijacks vehicles, and the Médico, which lets you self-revive and heal allies. My personal favorite is El Muro, a revolver with a ton of stopping power that you use with a handheld shield.
After blowing up two of Castillo’s ships and escaping Isla Santuario, I land on El Este, where I meet a whole new cast of characters, fight alongside different resistance groups, and open a ton of new missions. Yara seems vast in its explorable area, and I can’t wait to dig into the final product.
Far Cry 6 starts with a bang from both narrative and action standpoints. I’m curious if Ubisoft can carry forward with these emotional gut-punches without falling victim to the cognitive dissonance for which Far Cry is often known. Hopefully, the enjoyment we get from flying around in our wingsuits, firing over-the-top weapons, and fighting alongside a cute wiener dog named Chorizo doesn’t contrast too harshly with the story of an island in political peril. Only time will tell if Ubisoft can balance these disparate tones, but in my time playing, I had a blast and still felt the weight of the dark narrative beats.
Far Cry 6 comes to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, Luna, and PC on October 7.
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