Let me make this clear: I’m one of those who feel the Far Cry series has been in a downward trajectory, or at least stagnated, since Far Cry 3. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve still enjoyed my time with Far Cry 4, 5, Blood Dragon, Primal and New Dawn and even platinumed all off them, but that’s mostly because they’ve been simple fun thanks to the series’ core pillars. The problem is that Vaas Montenegro kind of gave us a warning when he reminded us what the definition of insanity is in Far Cry 3. Because the Far Cry games have basically been doing the same… let’s say stuff over and over again expecting different results due to new settings. That didn’t stop me from being excited when Ubisoft asked if I wanted to attend a presentation of Far Cry 6, and seeing the game in action has made me realise that I’m still insane.
That’s right. I’ll be buying Far Cry 6 when it launches on October 7. One of the reasons for this is that the game seems to be truly embracing the fact that this franchise is all about making a cool setting your own personal playground. Having improvised weapons like an automatic nail gun, a CD-shooting gun that plays Los Del Rio’s Macarena and what’s basically a fireworks launcher is nice and all, but the star of the show might just be what’s called the Supremo Backpack. This isn’t to store the hundreds of plants and other resources we’ll need to craft stuff. Instead, it’s an ultimate attack. Depending on your playstyle, it can clear the area around you by spewing fire on the ground, blowing up a tank or checkpoints with an artillery of rockets or other yet to be revealed stuff. Oh, and did I mention that the tanks can be hijacked?
All of this in a world that gives me some real Far Cry 3-vibes with its mix of beautiful, exotic nature and urban, mostly decaying, environments. Heck, it’s wearing the inspiration on its sleeve with a Vaas bobblehead inside a car for Pete’s sake. The presentation highlighted some breath-taking scenery with glimmering waterfalls and dense jungles where God rays create an astounding atmosphere as they make their way through the tree tops, while also giving glimpses of rebel bases both above and below ground. These can be reached either by foot, a wide variety of vehicles that can both deal and take some serious damage thanks to modifications and even horses. You can as always just walk around and watch what we’re as usual promised are realistic characters living their everyday lives, taking part in activities such as dominoes, or instead sabotage equipment, neutralise enemy bases, search for collectibles and all the other stuff every Far Cry game offers, which brings me to my concern: Far Cry 6 is “just” another Far Cry.
Pretty much all of this is stuff we’ve played around with before, just in another setting. I just can’t shake the feeling that Ubisoft once again has chosen to just add upon the existing systems instead of focusing on the best parts. Having 49 different customisable weapons to choose from, more cute (and some not so cute with apologies to those of you find a crocodile wearing vest adorable) animals to partner up with and introducing a gear system meant to make our character (male or female) even more suited for our playstyle in a first-person shooter where we rarely see our character seems unnecessary in. Talking so much about quantity makes me fear for the quality.
With that being said, I’m definitely, as mentioned earlier, diving into Far Cry 6 straight away on October 7. Why? Because my main concern is that it won’t reinvent the wheel, and I still have hope that there’s more to the game after talking with its world director, Benjamin Hall. This is the same guy responsible for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s remarkable world, and having him say the game puts a bigger focus on exploration with more diversity and giving us more freedom to explore without being hassled by enemies every second by holstering our weapons (guessing I’m not the only one who got annoyed when an enemy patrol showed up two seconds after eliminating another one in Far Cry 5?) makes me think there’s more to Far Cry 6 than meets the eye in its first blowout since last year’s unveiling. Even without some secret new sauce, I’m going to have a fun learning more about Giancarlo Esposito’s role as Antón Castillo and just blow stuff up in great-looking world…Did I ever tell you what the definition of insanity is?