Preview | Far Cry 6 celebrates the best moments of the series in a beautiful package

A red, poisonous mist engulfs a burning landscape as a field burns. Shots everywhere, explosions and, in front of us, a poster by Antón Castillo that cites the very origin of the toxic gas as a hope for the future for the island of Yara. Everything is happening simultaneously all the time, in just one of the chaotic moments we witnessed in Far Cry 6.

The new game from Ubisoft, which hits consoles and PC on October 7, puts the franchise once again carrying a passport between generations of consoles. It’s also a title that seems to represent the apogee of everything the series has done so far, with the most beautiful scenarios, the good old story of a protagonist and his allies fighting as they can against much larger forces and, above all, a plot full of personality.

This time, we are facing a dictatorial and militarist regime, in which the revolution takes place in the streets, in the jungle and on the beaches. Castillo’s eyes, played by Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad, The Mandalorian), seem to be everywhere, whether in the form of soldiers patrolling every corner in search of dissidents or as government propaganda posters that set the mood. paradisiacal look like such; outside of the eye-popping scenarios, however, we know that this is not the case, with misery and violence prevailing.

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As much as Ubisoft tries to move away from the game’s political circumstances, as it has done in the past, this aspect cannot be ignored, as it is everywhere. Mandatory recruitment means that the population is always at risk of being taken to the fields where the tobacco used to raise Viviro is grown, a medicine that Castillo swears is the path to cancer cure and Yara’s future. On the other side is an ill-armed resistance that wants to liberate the country or die in the attempt.

Which brings us back to the initial moment, when we are burning, precisely, one of the regime’s largest plantations. It is a turning point for the revolution, which deals a heavy blow against the government, which, by feeling this, will further intensify the ideological war that serves as the background for Far Cry 6. The narrative is seen from a protagonist of genre of the player’s choice, who just wanted to get away from recruiting and suddenly ends up seeing himself as a key player in the guerrilla.

Far Cry 6 brings back some of the most classic moments in the series, as it tells a story full of charismatic elements and characters (Image: Screenshot/Felipe Demartini/Canaltech)

They are also signs that, by delivering what it claims to be the biggest chapter in the franchise, Ubisoft has turned its eyes to the past. The third game in the series is an almost unanimous favorite and, now, the company wants to show in Far Cry 6 that everything will be different, even if the taste of the past serves as the fundamental basis for the new title.

Travel and elevations

At Ubisoft’s invitation, Canaltech spent a five-hour period testing the game, experiencing its early moments and co-op mode on a later mission. What can be seen with this relatively short experience for an open world game, but with enough immersion for us to understand the universe, is that, if on one hand Ubisoft weighed its nostalgia, on the other hand it carried a dose of immersiveness.

Far Cry 6’s revolution takes place on the back roads of Yara, while Antón Castillo’s iron hand is present everywhere (Image: Screenshot/Felipe Demartini/Canaltech)

We start with protagonist Dani Rojas fleeing from soldiers in the city, then we arrive at the rebel base in the middle of the forest, then passing through villages, beaches and enemy units. These are opportunities that make a single solution, in terms of combat, not serving everyone; there are regions full of hills that will delight fans of silencers and sniper rifles, while other, more open places will not be so friendly to stealth. If you want, it’s also possible to go up with a battle tank, but hope that enemies don’t do the same.

The passage of time influences the gameplay, with the addition of a dynamic climate element that also brings new aspects to the experience. Rain, for example, makes it difficult for the player to see, while the wind can carry smoke or fire from a fire to unpredictable places, turning a possible distraction into a threat. Thinking through the chaos of gunfire, explosions and Latin music in the last volume can be tricky, but relying on the brain, in addition to the trigger finger, can be the difference between victory or defeat in the rebellion.

“We want to create a visceral environment, with rain, lighting and other climatic elements always interacting. Fire, toxic gases and fog are affected by all of this,” explains Stephanie Brenham, 3D design leader for Far Cry 6, in a conversation with Canaltech. The idea, according to her, is to ensure that the game is realistic and, at the same time, has enough challenge and personality so that the player always feels impelled to move forward and try new tricks to advance.

Taking the back roads helps escape soldiers, but also lets the player give up better weapons or ammunition, while shooting from slopes provides hiding, but also exposes an attacker with little opportunity for escape and cover. If it starts to rain, everything can change for or against who is in control, while soldiers, more used to the region than Rojas, who has just arrived, seem to do better in combat even when they cannot see.

Far Cry 6 takes players from paradise beaches to cities and caves, with a new dynamic weather system that directly affects gameplay (Image: Screenshot/Felipe Demartini/Canaltech)

Chaos is a good word to describe a game that starts with a desperate escape through cities and suddenly puts the player in a moment of plantation burning that reminds one of the most classic missions of Far Cry 3, now with filling graphics the eyes and the sound of Bella Ciao. There is a bizarre aspect involved in using a crocodile to eat enemies or a sausage dog carrying explosives, while Macarena is playing with a weapon that fires CDs and can dismember opponents.

Personality is everywhere and, in addition to posters, the atmosphere of the environments and the characters themselves, weapons also gain special attention. All have player-apply skins, while others are crafted from scrap and garbage, fully available to a non-committal resistance group. A special attack is charged by killing soldiers and allows the use of a rocket pack, an electromagnetic pulse apparatus or a circle of fire.

There are several options, but nothing sounds out of place, even though certain elements seem exaggerated for a game that, until now, has maintained a certain level of realism and left the madness to the hallucinogenic trips always present. “The game elements have an artistic vision, but it’s very important that everything is coherent,” explains Brenham. “The goal is to create a spirit of immersion, in a chaotic world where the player is trying to survive.”

Another concern at Ubisoft is the myriad of platforms on the market today, with Far Cry 6 running both on devices released over seven years ago and on brand new next-gen consoles. According to the designer, this forced the team to work on new technologies and, at the same time, a “divide and conquer” approach, in which the power of GPUs aids in processing. “We want gamers, on older or newer consoles, to have a full experience. I believe the team is managing to make the best possible use of the hardware,” adds Brenham.

backstage of the fight

Dani Rojas stars in Far Cry 6, with a player-choice genre and a story that starts from survival to reach rebellion (Image: Screenshot/Felipe Demartini/Canaltech)

Our experience corresponds to the first hours of the game, so we don’t interact with Castillo as much as we’d like, even though his presence is everywhere in Far Cry 6. The villain is presented as he shrapnel and sinks a boat full of survivors trying to flee . Then, in a television statement, from a bunker that stores uranium, he talks about Yara’s glory and her contribution to humanity through the use of the Viviro medicine.

At the same time, echoes of Far Cry 3 pass through our heads, in which Vaas became one of the most beloved and underutilized villains in the series. The experience didn’t answer that question, but it introduced us to a new group of people who, between government and resistance circles, have enough personality to hope for their constant presence.

Cast of characters brings personality to the plot of Far Cry 6, but the villain’s overt presence still leaves doubts due to underutilization of the past (Image: Screenshot/Felipe Demartini/Canaltech)

Between a crocodile in a T-shirt and an elderly woman who mixes medicine and an almost mystical power to help fallen fighters, there are different focuses of revolution that, while they vary so much, also sound part of the same universe. They are all Yarenses, after all, with Rojas being the vector of the player’s immersion in this culture.

There are many bases to cover in Far Cry 6, with a result that seems surprising for a company that has been protagonist of the negative side of the games news. Among political parallels, charismatic characters and memories, there is a title that promises to take the saga to new heights and, who knows, even represent a slightly different posture from what we are used to seeing when it comes to Ubisoft.

It remains to be seen, however, whether that impression will remain in the final game. Far Cry 6 arrives on October 7th on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with free optimized versions for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Series S gamers.

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