Well, hijack my helicopters, I can’t believe there’s been six Far Cry games already. Surely the concept of liberating an open world sandbox from a charismatic fuckface by clearing out base after base with a silenced sniper rifle and occasionally having to shake a mountain lion off your todger is still as fresh and exciting as a dissipating fart in a locked sauna. So what original new setting is the premise being airdropped into now, Ubisoft? Liberating a chain of remote Scottish islands from charismatic football hooligans? Liberating an antarctic research station from a charismatic penguin? No! This time you’re liberating… a tropical island! Erm. You mean like in Far Cry 3? And Far Cry 1? No of course not. You’re in the Caribbean for a start. That’s slightly more equatorial than the last two tropical islands. Probably. And anyway, this time you’re liberating the tropical island from a charismatic totalitarian dictator. Like the one in Far Cry 4? Look, if you like freshness so much, why don’t you piss off to your local Whole Foods and stick your head under the intermittent broccoli misting device? I mean, this game was made by a multicultural team of various religious faiths and –
Did anyone else get a five off of Far Cry vibe – I mean, a vibe off of Far Cry 5 that the series was feeling kinda done? Based on the fact that it was set close to home in the US rather than some comfortably distant hypothetical foreign clime, and not really much else oh unless you count a little thing like IT ENDED WITH A FUCKING NUCLEAR APOCALYPSE? Spoiler alert? D’you think that could’ve ever so subtly hinted at finality as a theme? As such, Far Cry 6 has this air of tired obligation even before you get into the recycled setting and concepts. Even the box art looks like it’s gonna go back to bed as soon as the cameras are off. Whatever. On the fictional tropical probably slightly more equatorial island of Yara, a charismatic totalitarian dictator with the emphasis on DICK is oppressing the people, and you are a generic ex-military type with ties to the resistance and a mysterious tendency to go on violent rampages as favours for people you’ve just met. You’re planning to get on a refugee boat and escape to America, where you will happily live out your days getting blamed for all the nation’s problems by chronically obese people in motorized wheelchairs, but moot point because you’re going to escape about as surely as the annoying fly in my kitchen when I’m holding the back door wide fucking open,
so of course your boat gets shot up and all your friends die and you wash up on the beach. Interestingly though, this doesn’t change your motive. You only sign up with the rebels so they’ll give you another, less shot up boat to escape to Disneyworld in. Which they do, also interestingly, at the end of the first chapter. Wishing you the best of luck with your Burger King application. So I’m looking at this boat thinking “Hang on, this smacks of that ‘joke ending’ thing the last couple of Far Crys have done where you can make your character flat out not start the game and piss off home instead.” And I was buggered if I was gonna play the whole first chapter again, so I just meekly went back to the rebels and magically became a die hard dedicated revolutionary because the premise demanded it. This annoyed me because in previous games – well, mainly just 3 – I enjoyed the way the main character and his motives developed organically over the course of the plot, but this feels like they’re asking me to do all the work. What, do I just invent my own reason for why my dude abandons his escape plan and joins the rebels? Fine. I’m also going to invent that he secretly draws Gummi Bears porn and has a model 19th century sailboat instead of a cock. Whee, this is fun.
So having been peeled off the beach like a used condom in Brighton about an hour ago the badass resistance lady now tells us that we’re the best guerilla ever and we must now leave her to travel all around the country showing everyone how good we are at guerilla-ing. Which is the tactic I always used to get rid of the annoying girl in middle school. And so begins our quest to find just one fucking character who isn’t “stock badass violence liking person” or “stock wacky violence liking person.” Neither of which will trust us until we go to the one enemy base that’s the specific stray pube in their own personal zipper and silenced sniper rifle our way through all the available heads like a superpowered worm in a bowl of apples. As is the standard template for Far Cry now they’ve put all the characterisation eggs in the main villain basket, so every few missions we get to see charismatic psycho du jour do a little speech as we sit watching like little doggies at the dining table trying to catch a few crumbs of emotional investment before getting back to the daily grind. But little doggie cannot live on crumb alone, and it’s the lack of character development that’s the main thing failing to spark my engagement, here, in both the story and gameplay department. Ooh, segue.
There’s no upgrade tree, really, at least not for your dude – you can upgrade your bases with a thing that lets you do the fishing minigame or the read three pages of a choose your own adventure book minigame, none of which allows you to parachute onto enemy bases more efficiently or makes bullets come out of my silenced sniper rifle any faster. One thing that has mixed up the formula is that enemies have specific weaknesses, so you can’t instakill headshot dudes unless you’re using the right bullets, armour piercing rounds on soft regular heads just ghosts right through their skull apparently, pausing only to do a little tidying up and leave a business card in the hypothalamus, so what that meant in the long run was that I had to bring TWO silenced sniper rifles to every base assault. Finding better weapons and weapon attachments is the main way to upgrade your violence capacity and that falls by the wayside once you have picked out a decent enough arsenal and then it’s just airdrops and skullshots over and over again like the two least popular brands of Halloween candy. Sorry if I sound tired, but you know how it is. If a game sits yawning at me over and over again it’s only a matter of time before I start yawning back.
And to reiterate, Far Cry 6 really seems like it wants to go back to bed. There was one car chase plot mission I had to retry like seventeen times because I was stuck in the back of a speeding truck with no fucking cover while enemy trucks just freely drove right up and riddled me with lead because I couldn’t control where my car went ‘cos my driver kept getting distracted by lollipop ladies. And the whole mission just felt very carelessly slapped-together as far as game design goes. As for whether the overarching story is worth it, well, you’d have to ask someone who finished the game. The abovementioned mission was strike one but even after I finally beat it by waiting for a few lucky breaks in a row with the enemy pursuers’ AI fucking up and failing to outwit the deceptive cunning of several passing stationary objects, the rest of the game just wasn’t keeping my interest alive. Reused setting, none of that interesting magical realism element that 5 leant into a lot where reality keeps breaking down because you’re on so many drugs you’ve forgotten how to tell your arms from your legs and keep picking your nose with your big toe. So, sorry, but I don’t see why I should put the effort in if the game won’t. Tug o’war with only one player is just some twat holding a rope.