It’s time for another Gamejunkie chats, a fairly regular series where I chat about a game I’ve been playing with a fellow gamer colleague and see what each of us thinks of it.
My co-reviewer this time is writer and reviewer Dylan Burns, who is no stranger to the site having written reviews for me before.
Our game of discussion this time was Far Cry 6, Ubisoft’s latest in the long-running open-world series. Read on to find out what we thought of it.
Gerard: I have to say I haven’t played a Far Cry game for some time, perhaps since Far Cry 3. I kind of bounced off the series’ “Do all the things” game play where it just seemed to overload you with things to do. I’ve found that with previous Ubisoft games, too, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect this time around.
This one, from what I’ve played at time of writing, seems to have all the hallmarks that a Far Cry game should: complete missions, collect items, clear out security posts/camps to earn rewards and gain resources, upgrade weapons via workbenches, climb towers to … survey locations for an assault. So far, so Far Cry, really.
Something different is that you do have a pet alligator called Gaupo, though, that you can order to specific points and harass people. That was quite neat. There also seem to be random events where rebels will be taking on republican troops and I really wasn’t sure what to do with those: Was I supposed to help the rebels or do I just carry on? I wasn’t sure whether there was any material reward for getting involved. What were your initial thoughts, Dylan?
Dylan: I couldn’t help but laugh at the over-the-top, crazy shit that happens as I just try to walk across the world. The player is constantly the moving eye of a storm around which rabid animals attack, factions battle metres away and all other manner of busy, distracting events. In a way, this is a signature, but it’s a rough one that is clearly modelled on the Rockstar open world.
However, Rockstar worlds have one fundamental difference in that they exist for the player to engage with, whereas Far Cry 6’s world engages with the player, whether they want it or not. It becomes a question of whether you are okay with engaging with action for action’s sake or if, like me, you realise that there is little meaning to all the mayhem. Without any discernible benefit to engaging with these fights, I simply ignored them. Loot comes in boxes and there’s no XP or skill tree, therefore there is no point beyond action itself.
I was initially confused by the new ammo system. Basically, enemies are vulnerable to certain types of ammo – soft rounds, armour-piercing rounds and so on – and you kill enemies faster if you shoot them with those rounds. This requires you to mod your guns so that you ideally have one of each type equipped. You also need to scan enemies in order to discern their weakness. What I found annoying about this is that I would often forget which gun had which type of ammo, although this does get easier the more you play. I still haven’t quite gelled with the system, though. It becomes almost not worth switching to a more powerful gun unless you have enough resources to create the mods at a workbench. The system should allow you to keep all mods and apply them to any weapon you want equipped.
What I did enjoy are the treasure hunts. They were my favourite part of 5 and they highlight how well Ubisoft can create lengthy environmental puzzles. I’d like just a whole game of these, to be honest. It doesn’t seem like there are too many of them in Far Cry 6, though, which is a shame, because otherwise everything feels almost exactly the same, mechanically, to what we have been playing for quite a few iterations now.
Gerard: I thought the new ammo system confused things a little, to be honest. I started equipping specific weapons with the specific ammo required but eventually just used whatever weapon I had available. It was almost putting a realistic bent on a game that is clearly reveling in its over-the-top, comic book action and not meant to be taken seriously. I mean, you can strap a weapon to your back called the Supremo that fires rockets & is great for clearing out large encampments (and burning drug fields). Far Cry 6 has those moments that make you think “Yeah, this is full of crazy!”
I agree with you on the feeling of the game: It felt like a Far Cry game, to be honest: Nothing less, nothing more. That will please fans who want more of the same but for those gamers who have perhaps left the series and are hoping for something new or innovative to draw them back in, I don’t think they’ll get it with this.
Dylan: It just feels to me like something without any direction. For instance, the game pushes you to try and scout places that you need to enter – look for alarms etc. Stealth is clearly meant to be an option. Then your pet or companion will just charge in, completely stuffing any plans up. That said, I probably had more fun just shooting the crap out of everything than trying for stealth, but the fact remains that the systems in place definitely feel like they’ve been collated from prior games and whacked into a Cuban-esque setting.
Were you confused when the game plonked you into some kind of base camp, in third person? I couldn’t work out which missions were main ones – I kept working through seemingly endless side missions that rewarded me with points to upgrade a camp I had no desire to invest in.
Gerard: I get it that stealth is supposed to be an option – I think that is why they get you to scope out enemy camps beforehand – but as you said, it was often just easier to go in guns blazing than try and Sam Fisher it. I actually found during one mission – and I’m not sure whether it glitched out or what – but I was picking off enemies from a high vantage point (including some particularly tough medics) and as approached the camp’s entrance I suddenly got a black screen – thinking I’d triggered a failed state – only to be greeted with a “Captured” on the screen, telling me I’d succeed. I wonder whether my pet companion had just gone in and dealt with the remaining two enemies? It was strange.
The third person seems to be used for wandering around larger camps and then when you use the Supremo but, yeah, it did kind of feel jarring, especially when the Supremo one kicks in and you suddenly see a crouched Dani as the rockets fly from the weapon. I would have preferred the third person view while on horseback, to be honest, as I got motion sickness riding a horse in first person – plus it seemed really hard to accurately steer the beast.
Dylan: Funnily enough, I preferred horses to vehicles as you can use them to go through tracks and trails, thus avoiding the checkpoint-riddled roads. It got to the point for me where it felt like I was mired moving to way points. I did not want to engage, I wanted to travel and enjoy the scenery and not be drawn into pointless conflict.
Overall, I just felt a bit overwhelmed by the size of the map and the knowledge that progression would repeat for each region. Far Cry 6 did not feel like a game for me, but one for someone with enough time to chew all of this content up without desiring depth. The story was okay and Giancarlo Esposito’s bad guy (Anton Castillo) is appropriately villainous. It was just not . . . my cup of tea. Maybe something for when I’ve got a couple weeks’ leave and just want to mess around without consequence …
Far Cry 6 is absolutely a decent modern Far Cry game that leans into its own pedigree. The map is massive, the action relentless, the loot ubiquitous. If you want more Far Cry, this delivers. But it is also very much the same as previous games, just with a Caribbean overlay. It will appeal to many, I just found it personally uninteresting. Given it’s tens of hours of content, however, I am certain that at some point I will crave some popcorn gaming and this is the kind of thing I will turn to.
Gerard: I think you hit the nail on the head, Dylan, when you said “If you want more Far Cry, this delivers” as it’s following the same foundations set out with the previous modern Far Crys. As someone who hasn’t played a Far Cry game in a long, long time, this edition didn’t do anything to convince me that I’m missing out on anything if I don’t embrace the series again.