I’ve been a big Far Cry fan ever since I played the original game on PC. Despite this, I haven’t spent as much time with Far Cry 5 or New Dawn for various reasons. That being said, as soon as Far Cry 6 was announced, I was excited to jump straight back into it for so many reasons. The first reason is that it takes place in a brand new setting – a fictional city called Yara modeled after the Carribean. The other, more obvious reason is the game’s antagonist Anton Castillo, played by none other than Giancarlo Esposito.
The first part of the preview took part in the earlier stages of the game. As I was set out into Yara, I knew that this felt like a return to some of Far Cry’s best locations. From what I got to see, Yara is made up of vast forests filled with little towns throughout. It provides the perfect balance between exploration and hunting down wildlife with towns filled with people, which you can expect to escalate pretty quickly. Something I noticed instantly was the dynamic weather, which means that the forest landscape is continually changing, with sun beaming through one second and clouds billowing over the next.
Something that’s totally new to the Far Cry franchise is the ability to ride a horse. This feels much like it does in other games such as Red Dead Redemption II and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. It’s a great way to get around the jungles, without needing to drive a car in places that no car should go.
That’s not the only gameplay mechanic that feels like it’s been brought over from the newer Assassin’s Creed games. Far Cry feels more like an RPG than ever, with a bunch more customisation than in previous games. For instance, every bit of equipment that you have, from your headgear down to your wrist gear will affect your character’s abilities. For instance, one gear set might increase your speed when your weapon is holstered, whilst another will improve your weapon damage whilst flying vehicles.
I applaud the team for making Far Cry 6 feel more like a sandbox, with the ability to craft your own character in these unique ways, but I don’t necessarily know if that’s what I was after in a Far Cry game. You’ll be able to ignore it for the most part if it’s not for you, but there do seem to be missions where you’ll need to equip mission-specific equipment to become fire resistant or the like.
This isn’t where the customisation stops though. You can unlock new rides in Far Cry 6 which are basically special vehicles. These can also be upgraded both from a cosmetic point of view, but also in the offense and defense department. Similarly, resource management feels more important than ever in Far Cry 6. The game now has auto loop pickup, which is a good thing, as you’ll be needing to pick up animal meat and many types of parts and scraps in order to improve your weapons by unlocking new mods.
To be totally honest, from a gameplay point of view it doesn’t really feel like a lot has changed in Far Cry 6. The gun handling and over-the-top gunplay feel exactly like Far Cry of the last few games. What genuinely changes the game though are Supremo and Resolver weapons as well as the new Amigo sidekicks.
Chorizo took the spotlight when the game was revealed earlier this year and that’s for good reason. The game focuses heavily on Amigos, which are animals such as Chorizo the Sausage Dog as well as Guapo the Crocodile. This was one of the highlights of the demo for me. Chorizo uses his charm to disrupt enemies (something I know all too well with my Sausage Dogs) to distract enemies so that you can distract them whilst Guapo just goes all-out-attack and can also passively health and self-revive himself (a pretty magical crocodile). You might have already guessed it, but Amigos also have abilities that can be unlocked over time.
Supremo weapons are backpacks that you unlock as you progress through the story. For instance, the Furioso emits an explosive ring that roasts enemies, whilst the Zona Medicina self-revives and rapidly heals yourself and your allies over time. My favourite without a doubt though was the Exterminador which launches a series of rockets into the air and bring down a whole bunch of pain on your enemies. Resolver weapons on the other hand are essentially guns that are pulled together in the weirdest ways. Expect to wield revolvers with a shield, electric guns that feel like a plasma rifle straight out of Halo, and devastating nail guns.
From a mission point of view, Far Cry 6 feels as crazy as ever but familiar (for better or for worse). One of my favourites from the demo was needing to use the Tostador (a flame-thrower-like Resolver weapon) to burn down a bunch of crops and tanks, with Guapo by my side. Again, the missions didn’t feel like they really reinvented the wheel, but it was that same old Far Cry fun.
When you’re not in missions, you’ll be back at your base, which feels like another element that has been pulled over from the more recent Assassin’s Creeds games. Within your base, you can construct new buildings as you go and also play minigames such as Dominos between missions. The game puts you in a third-person view whilst in the hub, which felt a little bit odd, but I’m keen to see how it plays out over time.
You can level up your character by completing missions, capturing the many Military Targets that are placed around the map, and destroying military targets. Levelling up in Far Cry 6 doesn’t give you access to skill points, but instead grants you better weapons, which will allow you to take on more difficult targets.
Outside of the main missions, you can expect to be doing similar things to previous Far Cry games. You can take to the world in an airplane, helicopter, or just straight up wingsuit off the side of a cliff, but you’ll be constantly coming across checkpoints that will stop you in your tracks until you take them over, and you’ll need to continually be clearing airspaces in order to fly over new areas. There’s also still little side missions such as treasure hunts that will lead you to the most random locations and side-track you from the task at hand,
All-in-all, this feels like a more mature Far Cry game. It feels like the team has genuinely tried to look at how they can push the series forward, and I definitely had a really great time with the game. My only concern is that some of the RPG elements won’t be for everyone, and the combat might still get a little bit repetitive, but I like that the team is changing it up and can’t wait to jump back into Yara come October.