FarCry 6 (2021)
FarCry is a weird series for me. I remember when the original game came out on PC and it was the one everyone was using to show off how amazing games could look, but when it veered into weird monsters on an island, I lost interest. When the second came out, I was so turned away from what seemed like a baffling chore to monitor your health and not get malaria all the time. But when FarCry 3 came out, it changed the series into a different type of game, one with a crazy cool antagonist named Vaas and climbing radio towers to unlock new objectives and parts of the math… and then we got 6 more games with the same exact formula… and it’s gotten old.
Just for the uninitiated, the full list of modern FarCry games with this formula are: FarCry 3, FarCry 3: Blood Dragon, FarCry 4, FarCry Primal, FarCry 5, FarCry: New Dawn & FarCry 6.
All these games are set up in a way that features the same set of bullet points that you could list on the back of a game’s box. An uninteresting main character that is pretty bland and boring, a charismatic main antagonist that talks to the player throughout the game and you love to hate them, A large sprawling map with multiple locations that need to be uncovered by climbing tall towers and unlocking more objectives. NPC’s with “wacky” personalities, and even crazier combat companions that will give certain buffs and help you take out enemies, and checkpoints and bases that need to be overtaken to change the tide of whatever Revolution you are fighting.
I know I haven’t really even talked about this newest game that much, and it’s because I really don’t need to. It’s basically just another FarCry game with all those features, just in a new location, fighting a new main dictator type of character. Your location has changed, but your objective remains the same; take out all the bases and bad guys in your way and fight for a revolution you stumbled into and now are the main guy behind all the operations and are leading the charge because all the new characters you meet along the way love you unconditionally without knowing you at all.
I don’t hate the game at all, in fact I was really looking forward to it just being another FarCry experience, but the setting and characters really soured it for me. In the last game, I didn’t care about the characters, but so far, I’d rather have anyone from FarCry 5 by my side taking down Anton Casstillo than the annoying Revolucion in 6. I will say, just like all the other games, the villain is the best character in the game and having Giancarlo Esposito (Gus Fring from Breaking Bad) be the evil dictator of a knock-off Cuba is great. Everything he does seems to be both borderline understandable, but also evil and terrifying. He’s willing to do anything to keep his country from becoming something different than what he wants and is also training his young son, Diego, to become leader of their country one day.
The main story sees Danni Rojas as an orphan who stumbles into becoming the main helper of the leader of the revolution and basically is at everyone’s beck and call. Sometimes questioning the methods but never doing anything other than what he’s told. Near the middle of the game’s real story some more characters are introduced who can either be fairly interesting or completely annoying and feel like pandering to a certain community and it’s extremely obvious. Luckily they don’t stick around for long and in something I really didn’t see coming, a few of those people get killed off and while it felt odd that they died off screen, I liked that they weren't afraid to kill off certain characters.
Spoiler Alert, because the rest of the game’s story focuses on you blindly following orders to take down the dictator, and they end up dead on the ground after an interesting confrontation and Danni is left as the new “leader” of the revolution. Going as far as leading a really bad speech to try to inspire the revolution on last time as they fight to finally storm the gates of the dictator’s locked down city.
In the end, Danni trudges up the large tower and finally comes face to face with the dictator and his son yet again (it’s like the fourth or fifth time in the game this happens). However, instead of some big dramatic battle with the bad guy or crazy cutscene with explosions and a large firefight, the dictator murder’s his son so he doesn’t grow up as a captive, and then commits suicide by slitting his own throat… a cowards way out not only in the game, but the story’s ending as well.
Danni’s sorrowful because the son, Diego, was a child and showing signs of remorse for what his father was doing to the country and didn’t want to see bloodshed. But this leaves a big hole in who will fill the role of “El Presidente” and lead the country with an iron fist. Some back and forth, but all the characters start bickering to see who will take up the role ultimately as Danni walks out not wanting any part of it.
So the entire game’s story line ends up being a random guy murder’s thousands of people and ends up leading a coup d'etat and forces the leader to kill his son and commit suicide and then walks away. “Unsatisfying” doesn’t even come close to how disappointing this full story ended up being. I would have much preferred something like Danni even becoming the monster he was fighting against, and having a second half of the game be you dealing with the same thing happening years later, but on the other side of the war and having a new antagonist wage war against you… showing that War really doesn’t change.
While the game’s mechanics were still really enjoyable; capturing bases and flying around finding all sorts of little hidden collectables and side stories was fun, I’d much prefer a game where the story is not just some run of the mill type of story that we have seen done better countless of times before.
Yara should have been a really interesting and fun location to play around in, but sadly, it was the least impressive and borderline generic to any shanty town that have been in so many other games before it. Each location on the island doesn’t feel special except for the side stories that are scattered around the map. Just like FarCry 5’s prepper stashes, small icons showcase a special location that has a story attached to it. Letting you explore and solve very light puzzles to unlock a new weapon or gain more parts to build up a base’s resources.
I would have loved it if the game focused more on these more intricately scripted narratives that would somehow all link together creating a secondary plot. Sure the evil dictator could still be the big bad, but letting a secondary plot about the history of Yara show that the country has always been a mess, even before the reign of the current regime was in place could make for a much more compelling story as well. There is no reason they couldn’t stray from the formula at this point.
Ultimately, FarCry 6 ends up being some of the most bland gameplay in the entire series, with it feeling really like a halfhearted attempt to just put out another numbered game sequel. Everything you do in the game has been done in previous games, with much more interesting locales and characters along your side. It’s time for FarCry to change it up and I’d welcome a new style or direction for the series.