Far Cry 6 (Xbox Series X/S) Review

By Justin Prinsloo 10.10.2021

Review for Far Cry 6 on Xbox Series X/S

As one of Ubisoft's flagship franchises, the Far Cry series is iconic in modern gaming. Love it or hate it, it's tough to deny the leave-your-brain-at-the-door penchant for thrills and blood spills that the shoot-em-up offers. Far Cry 6 presents itself as an evolved version of that tried-and-tested formula by offering a new location, new gameplay enhancements, next-gen ready graphics and an iconic big bad to overthrow.

In Far Cry 6 you play Dani Rojas, a reluctant revolutionary thrown into the midst of a war for an island nation's freedom. Continuing Ubisoft's recent commitment to inclusion, Dani can be either male or female - and for the first time in a Ubisoft title, the voice overs for both genders are of equal quality, justifying the existence of the character choice at the beginning. Your chosen version of Dani is also fully viewable in cinematic cutscenes for the first time, which is a nice change of pace even if they're only rendered at 30fps compared to the stable 60fps during gameplay.

Dani is a native of Yara, a sprawling island nation in the grips of a ruthless dictator, Anton Castillo. Castillo is brilliantly portrayed by the charming and chilling Giancarlo Esposito, whose excellent villainous performance is one of the series' strongest to date. Even if his motion-captured likeness looks a little off, his iconic acting is certainly not. Dani himself/herself is a fairly likeable protagonist as well. Likeable by Far Cry standards, that is; there's always been a healthy debate over how "good" FC protagonists actually are.

This penchant for philosophical musing offers an additional layer to the experience for those who aren't satisfied by the bloody, over-the-top action alone. The nature of good and evil is here explored through Castillo's grand vision, which is to produce a cure for cancer made from Yara's unique tobacco. The caveat is that slave labour is used to procure this tobacco, and the chemicals from it are slowly killing Yara's population. It's a neat little narrative catch - is creating a cure for one of humanity's greatest enemies worth the cost in lives?

Screenshot for Far Cry 6 on Xbox Series X/S

Yara is a beautiful sprawl of a setting, which while not as bio-diverse as past Far Cry entries, is the most believable and immersive to date. There's so much to see and do in Far Cry 6, with the familiar base-clearing fun being as addictive as ever. That familiar Far Cry mayhem is so compelling on this new generation of consoles - even if the equally familiar repetition rears its head after a while, as well. It's the trade-off that is always expected in a title of this type, and thankfully, there's enough new features, as well as things to see and do, to keep players sated during the roughly 25-hour runtime.

The enemy AI is as delightfully dumb as ever, making Far Cry 6 an addictive power fantasy of being a one-man or one-woman army as you deftly scythe through the many bases and checkpoints controlled by Castillo's militia. The gunplay here is simply brilliant - each weapon feels distinct and solid, backed by fantastic sound design that brings them to life. The sickening wet crunch of a headshot or a machete meeting bone is not for the squeamish, though, so be warned!

Gameplay-wise, Far Cry 6's systems all feed into each other quite well. Crafting components found in the world are used to level up your arsenal, while animal skins and caught fish can be traded for either these same components or entirely new gear (depending on your plunder's rarity). There's also a new gear system with "armour" pieces available to loot throughout the world. Instead of an upgrade tree, the gear grants various perks and stat bonuses depending on the set - not unlike the latest Assassin's Creed titles.

It's fairly rudimentary on its own without the presence of a skill tree, but dressing Dani up in some alternative threads is still pretty fun. Dani is rendered in third-person when in guerrilla camps, too, offering a break from the first-person perspective from time to time.

Screenshot for Far Cry 6 on Xbox Series X/S

Of course, the lack of a skill tree means all the familiar Far Cry abilities are unlocked from the get-go. Chained melee kills, death from above and et cetera can be used from the start, which is both a pro and a con. For those unfamiliar with these features, it's possible to miss them entirely thanks to the lack of an in-game tutorial menu to show you what's what.

The best component of Far Cry 6's gameplay is the new features; namely the unique, guerrilla-themed Resolver weapons and the backpacks of doom known as Supremos. Supremos act as "Ultimate" abilities, which recharge as you blow things up and mow through enemies. They all have unique abilities such as firing homing rockets, granting the ability to see enemies through walls and setting off an EMP pulse to disable enemy vehicles. A personal favourite is the Furioso, which sets ablaze the area surrounding Dani and has a bonus perk of being able to perform a forward thrust in midair, like a horizontal double jump.

The Supremos make for an engaging addition, and alongside the unique Resolver weapons, they help to set Far Cry 6 apart from the series' other entries. The gameplay loop of collecting materials to level up your Resolver weapons - from ballista-like giant crossbows to a crudely assembled canon that fires sharpened CDs - is pretty addictive.

However, it's clearly obvious why you'd actually want to play Far Cry 6, and that's for the Amigos - or one Amigo in particular. Chorizo is the true hero of the game: a paraplegic puppy who gleefully frolics around the battlefield, trailing his hind-wheels without a care in the world. And yes, you can pet him, so this might as well be a 10/10 experience.

Screenshot for Far Cry 6 on Xbox Series X/S

Elsewhere, the wealth of side activities and mini games grants some variety between stealthily or obnoxiously thinning out Castillo's forces. The familiar, flexibly approachable outpost liberations return, alongside vehicle races, treasure hunting, Bandido Operations (which task you with sending recruited leaders on missions to acquire resources and gear), and a very silly cockfighting mini-game. This last one - the cockfighting - styles itself as a simple fighting game, which sees you select your chosen gamecock and face off against another. It's perhaps in poor taste, but still just silly enough to not take too seriously. Still, it's apparently sufficiently foul (or fowl, if you will) to have drawn the ire of PETA, who are demanding its removal from the title.

Controversy aside, Far Cry 6 puts in a solid performance on the Xbox Series X, with 4K rendering at a near-perfectly stable 60fps. No need for multiple graphics modes, here!

The trade-off is some muddy textures that rear their ugly heads when you get too close to some surfaces, but in a title of this class, this is preferred over unstable performance. As announced before launch, there's no ray tracing on either of the new consoles, with the feature instead being reserved for the PC version. It's disappointing for "next-gen" platforms to not get this feature at launch but fingers crossed that it appears in a future update.

All in all, Far Cry 6 certainly justifies its existence as a new instalment in a long-running series. It introduces some refreshing additions to its iconic formula, and while not an experience designed purely for the new generation of consoles, it nevertheless looks decent, performs well and offers up something for those looking for some dumb, fun action. And, of course, Giancarlo Esposito. That is all.

Screenshot for Far Cry 6 on Xbox Series X/S

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Far Cry 6 is a fun return to the series that feels both familiar and fresh. The new gear and weapons systems are compellingly fun, and the setting of Yara is a joy to get lost in. It doesn't quite escape the series' trademark foibles, but the interlocking gameplay systems and mechanics mesh satisfyingly to create a compelling open-world adventure. Far Cry 6 does enough to push the franchise's issues to the background most of the time, offering up an enjoyable experience that looks good, plays well and succeeds in capturing the essence of the series.

Developer

Ubisoft

Publisher

Ubisoft

Genre

First Person Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
jesusraz

There are 1 members online at the moment.