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LONG BLOG

Ranking of Far Cry Part 3: Far Cry 6

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Like every other major Ubisoft IP, Far Cry continues to trudge along. As a (former) big fan of Far Cry, I used to believe that the more, the merrier. Maybe not anymore. As always, you can find the rank itself here or at the bottom of this blog.

Far Cry 6 travels back to the lands of palm trees and humid weather. Instead of fighting off pirates and mercenaries, however, this game chooses to fight a dictatorship on a fictionalized Cuba. Dani Rojas was planning on leaving the island while its tyrannical grip grew tighter on its people for the sake of making a cancer-curing plant, but the boat she was on was captured and her best friend died in the process. With vengeance in his/her heart, Dani charters a war path through the island of Yara to kill dictator Anton Castillo and liberate the island from its vicious cycle of dictatorships.

Like a Marvel movie, the Ubisoft game formula is one that works but can only work if it’s incredibly formulaic and is stripped of any substance. Where a Marvel movie gets butts in seats using cheap amusement park thrills and witty dialogue, Ubisoft gets butts in chairs by offering high hour counts and callbacks to their older games before they were horrendously commodified. Remember the weed-burning mission? Remember cool villains? Remember outposts? It doesn’t matter if you do or don’t, because Ubisoft will make sure you never forget. Not only is Far Cry 6 a drag to play through in comparison to other Far Cry games, but it also doesn’t stand great on its own merits.

In my opinion, the two biggest pillars of this series are the combat and world. In regard to combat, there is a core to it that I think is actually pretty solid, but that core is wrapped up in so many layers of crap that it’s impossible to enjoy on its own. At its core, everything is about the same, but there are some welcoming additions. The weapon wheel is better designed, the game gives the ability to call a car from most anywhere on the map and that car can be customized, there are more weapon options, more customization options, new enemy types, tanks, fun companions to call upon and even level up, and so on. One of the more notable combat additions are the Resolver backpacks, which are abilities on a recharge like a guided missile launcher, EMP device, and so on. I only found the missile backpack to be of any use, but I still think it’s neat nonetheless. If this was the end of the story on combat, then I’d be a happy man, but the story still continues.

There are some cool weapons in this game, like a pistol-shotgun with an arm shield.

With Ubisoft increasingly embracing RPG mechanics in combat (including the last Far Cry game), it’s hard to see Far Cry 6 offering the same combat progression as its older brethren. Well, it’s the unfortunate truth here. In this game, you and various regions around the map have levels, and those levels impact the damage and health of each other. This isn’t a looter shooter, though, as every weapon and armor pickup is permanent. Instead, you level up by completing missions and various world activities, and your weapons will follow along. Weapons do have a rarity system, but it took me awhile to figure out that it ultimately doesn’t matter.

Like every other game I’ve played that injects weapon, character, and enemy levels into the combat, the only thing it really does here is artificially bottlenecks world exploration and screws up the combat. It also allows Ubisoft to make their game grindy, which is exactly what they do here. Everything from leveling to material farming to main mission design is grindy, which leaves me wondering how we started with Far Cry 3 and are currently here. The worst part about this is that a lot of this feels half-assed, pointless and tact-on, making it feel like a required aspect from higher management rather than an integral part of the game. Both options suck, but whenever I play this game I can easily imagine it without the numbers and I believe it would benefit tremendously without them.

Progression further loses its meaning with its skill system. Where previous Far Cry games have you earn xp and unlock skills, the skills in this game are either tied to clothing items or are automatically available from the start. What this means is that rather than learn new skills and evolve through experience, the game already starts you off as a killing machine who only gets better through wearing a wacky crocodile hat that just so happens to be one of the best hats in the game. There is a narrative explanation for starting out as a killing machine, but that lack of evolution just makes Dani feel like a Mary Sue.

The addition that impressed me the most with its sheer size is the amount of customization offered here. There are a ton of customization options available, ranging from ammo types and attachments for weapons to cosmetic and weapon options for vehicles to even customization options for your fishing rod. It’s almost overwhelming how many options there are here, and I not only enjoyed how many options are here but also how they unlocked (buying an attachment for one assault rifle unlocks said attachment for all assault rifles). This system isn’t perfect though. Ammo types such as flame rounds, poison rounds, and so on seem neat at first, but it eventually becomes a hassle and I found that only armor-piercing rounds are really needed. Attaching perks to clothing items means only being able to choose a few perks to have (and it also doesn’t help that again, one of the best hats in the game is a tourist crocodile hat). Special weapons, while cool-looking, can’t be customized, so using basic weapons and customizing those is far better than special weapons.

Even though fishing and hunting are worthless in this game, it’s still cool that the fishing rod can be customized.

True to Ubisoft form, Far Cry 6’s map is the largest Far Cry map to-date. Many open-world games have taken this philosophy over the past 5-10 years, but not all of them are right. Bigger isn’t better when bigger isn’t expanded upon with more both in terms of quality and quantity, and Far Cry 6 doesn’t understand this.

With the older games, progression through the world was more naturally gated by surrounding enemy outposts with enemies, essentially requiring players to clear outposts to make the area safer to traverse. This game, however, isn’t the case. instead, the world is filled with restricted areas big and small, and those areas stay restricted regardless of clearing out enemies. Whose restricting these areas if I kill them all? The other thing I noticed while exploring this world is how little of it I actually ended up exploring or wanted to explore. I started Elden Ring at around this time, and it didn’t take long for me to notice that I don’t really wander or explore this world. I go to where I need to go, and the size of the world only really makes travel times longer.

Now in terms of the world itself, I like the theme. The not-Cuba is a cool place as it’s lush, full of history, and has plenty of personality to it. One of my favorite world features in regards to this point are the guerrilla trails. They are a bit obvious with how blue they are, but they play into the theme and history of guerrillas fighting an endless cycle of dictators. It does also lead into one of the new world features of this game: a network of hideouts. There are three main hideouts and a bunch of smaller hideouts hidden either deep in the mountains or in plain sight. The three main hideouts each house one of the three guerrilla factions. When inside the hideout, you walk around in third-person which is neat but rather pointless, and the area is filled with various interactions. Shops, vehicle spawn points, a few structures to unlock and upgrade that offer various services, and more. The hideouts are a neat way of showing off the different factions and upgrades, but I wouldn’t say they are game changer or in any way really needed.

The two biggest features of the hideouts are the Bandidos Operations and cockfighting ring. The Bandidos Operations are passive missions in which you send named characters to complete missions for rewards. Ubisoft has featured similar modes in various other games with varying degrees of success (the early Assassin Creed games are of note here), but the missions aren’t all that great here because the resource requirements to complete missions often outweighed the reward. Cockfighting, on the other hand, caught me by surprise. This mini-game actually involves you playing as the rooster and competing in a 2.5D fighting game. The mini-game is rather basic, but I found it to be a nice break from the rest of the game from time-to-time.

This is the most out-of-left-field thing this series has done since the nuke from Far Cry 5.

As for the rest of the world in terms of what to do in it, expect the expected. The best way I can describe the world activities is that it seems like people were complaining about the checkbox world design of the previous games, so they tried to hide the checkboxes without actually evolving the world design. There are some new activities and slight redesigns to old ones, but anyone whose played the previous games knows almost exactly what to expect here.

The big world activity for Far Cry games are the outposts. The outposts (called FND Bases in this game) are pretty much exactly the same, though I do think some of the bases like an offshore oil refinery and city cathedral are pretty cool. This game changes things up a bit by adding a few smaller outpost-like activities such as military checkpoints and AA guns. Both of these activities do serve a purpose in the world (checkpoints add road spikes to the roads, AA guns restrict air space), but both also just feel like lesser activities meant to add a few more hours of playtime. The AA guns in particular are extraordinarily boring as all you need to do is just destroy the gun to complete it, which takes about three seconds to do.

Outside of the outposts and outpost-like activities, there’s a bunch of other activities to partake in. Treasure hunts will be familiar to Far Cry 5 players, side quests offer some esoteric glimpses into the world and people of Yara, vehicle races are pretty self-explanatory, collectibles are waiting to be picked up, and so on. Some of the new activities I found include ambushes which involves you and other guerilla fighters ambushing a supply crate, interceptions which involves racing to a supply drop and taking it before the enemy does, and criptograma chests which are little puzzles to solve. The new and old world activities are about par for what to expect from a Ubisoft open-world game, but one thing I appreciate about these world activities is how they reward the player. Just about everything I do in this world feels either useful to liberating Yara or has a visible effect on the experience. For example, one of the collectibles are USB sticks that add more songs to the radio playlist, AA guns allow for greater air space travel, destroying billboards recruits people for Bandido Operations, and so on. Everything here is pretty much par for the course, but since these are smaller world activities I didn’t really mind the lack of evolution or change.

Speaking of pretty much being par for the course, navigating this world is about the same as Far Cry 5. Cars, boats, planes, helicopters, a wing suit, and a parachute can all still be found here. This game does add two new methods of travel, though: tanks and horses. The horses are neat for faster off-road travel and not popping tires at occupied checkpoints, but at some point I just stopped riding horses altogether. As for tanks, they are a good deal of fun to ride around and mow down enemies in, but they aren’t perfect. For starters, the only way to enter an occupied tank is with an EMP device which is nonsensical, and there is an article of clothing that auto-repairs vehicles you are driving, and wearing that in a tank means you are unstoppable which is a bit dumb. One last thing I’ll say about vehicles is that helicopters and planes feel super stiff to fly on keyboard and mouse, though I can’t remember if this issue plagued Far Cry 5. All-in-all, navigation is about the same, but I do like having the horse and tank additions.

One last thing I want to talk about in regards to the open world is Esparanza. Esparanza, which is a large urban area at the top of the map, was something I was looking forward to. Being able to play a Far Cry game in a dense urban environment sounded super cool, and this game certainly hypes it up. After working my way through the game and finally reaching the city in the distance, I found the place to be…incredibly disappointing. Most of the city is walled off even after beating the game, the streets are empty, and there’s nothing to do in the city. Not only is Esparanza a huge let down, but it’s also a perfect representation of the game as a whole: something that could be great when viewed at a distance, but is disappointing and conservative in change when close.

The city that shines like a beacon to the rest of the island only ends up being a beacon of disappointment.

I know some people like to make a big deal about the story and politics and whatnot of Far Cry games, but outside of the characters (particularly the antagonist) I couldn’t really care less. Still, there’s a story to talk about, so I’m gonna talk about it. Believe it or not, the story of this game involves liberating an island from the enemy until you kill the main baddie in a final confrontation and walk away in the sunset. This story follows particularly close with Far Cry 5’s story in that the island is divided into three districts with their own sets of heroes and villains to help and destroy. This story does feel like the most creatively free and with the most personality, but it only really acts like a nice wrapping on a mediocre present.

The prologue starts off somewhat promising. The story adds a bit more of an emotional catch to Dani, and the prologue island simultaneously sees Dani fight for vengeance and the guerrillas fight to gain more control. As soon as the game hits the mainland, however, all of that emotional weight is thrown out the window in favor of committing wacky violence. I’m fine with the idea of this game playing light with its tone, but trying to transition from a more emotional and grounded prologue to this doesn’t work. Once Dani and the guerrillas hit the mainland, it’s pretty standard Far Cry affair. You complete missions for smaller guerilla factions to gain their trust, you take on different facets of Castillo’s regime headed by villains of various levels of depravity, and so on until you defeat Castillo himself (in this game, his death feels particularly lame). The only neat aspect of the story that I can think of is that the story touches on the cycle of dictators on the island. In terms of story, if you’ve played Far Cry 5, then you pretty much know what you are getting into here.

You guys remember burning the plants from Far Cry 3? What about those secret little bonus endings? If you do, then you’ll love it again, right?

Characters are usually the most notable part of a Far Cry story, and I think that’s still true here. My favorite characters are the different guerilla factions that each represent different types of guerillas. One group consists of a farming family dynasty who has had favorable influence over others for many years, one group consists of revolutionary musicians who are fast and loose, the final faction consists of a combination of old revolutionaries from a previous Yara revolution and a new age of college-aged revolutionaries. I’m not the biggest fan of the musician faction, but the other two factions have their own dynamics, methods for fighting Castillo, and set of characters I mostly enjoyed being around. I also think Juan Cortez is a blast to be around as he feels like the embodiment of the good and bad aspects of revolutions.

Interestingly enough, I think the two weakest characters in this game are the main character and main antagonist. Dani Rojas has practically zero development as a character as he/she starts out as a killing machine and his/her role in the revolution doesn’t really change until the very end. Castillo seems like a cool villain living in the interesting conundrum of creating a cure for cancer at the cost of the Yaran people (which the game pulls the rug out from under at the 11th hour to ensure he is in-fact the villain), but little time is spent with him, resulting in the character not having enough time to really shine.

Once the story is complete, there are a few more activities to partake in if you so desire to keep playing the game. Spec Ops missions are available at any time, but I played them at the end. These are missions on separate maps with the goal of stealing PG-240X and delivering to an extract. One neat part of these missions is that you have to stay in the shade or hose PG-240X down with water to keep it from overheating, but otherwise these missions are a side distraction that didn’t keep my attention for all that long. Insurgencies are where the actual post-game can be found. Every week, a different territory is taken over and you have to do a series of activities to reclaim it such as outposts, checkpoints, and so on. It’s a decent way of engaging players in the world after the credits roll, but the problem with it is I don’t think it’s worth seeing credits roll in the first place.

Throughout this whole experience, there are two underlying themes weaving everything together: exhaustion and grind. There are some neat things this game is doing, and it is my favorite location of all the games, but I just couldn’t care less because I’m tired. I used to love this series, but now the only feeling I have towards it is apathy. Everything about this game just feels braindead to me, and the deja vu I get from this series now makes this game incredibly boring and mind-numbing. Even if this game was created in a vacuum, however, it still wouldn’t be great because of how grindy every aspect of this game feels. Filler missions, artificial world bottlenecking, exorbitant upgrade prices, and more stretches a 10-hour experience into a 30-hour one. Whether you are a longtime fan of the series or a newcomer, Far Cry 6 is just not a good Far Cry game for anyone.

There is a great Far Cry game here, but it is so bogged down in muck that it ultimately ends up being the worst one.

In the end, Far Cry 6 is just like any other late-stage major Ubisoft title: it’s a functional game, but it’s so beyond its prime that it’s hard to enjoy for even hardcore fans. For as much as I dislike Far Cry 2, it at least tried for something and is a rather influential open-world title. The only thing this game tries to do is shoot for mediocrity for the sake of appealing to the lowest common denominator and selling microtransactions. I really wanted this game to succeed because of my interest in the setting and love for the series, but this game is inexcusable. Even though my frustrations with Far Cry 2 far outweigh most other games in general, I’d rather give that a second chance than endure the grind, boredom, and disappointment of this one. Because of that, I’m ranking this game dead last.

9. Far Cry 6

8. Far Cry 2

7. Far Cry Primal

6. Far Cry 1

5. Far Cry New Dawn

4. Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon

3. Far Cry 4

2. Far Cry 5

1. Far Cry 3

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About Black Red Gamingone of us since 9:35 PM on 01.08.2020

My name is Ben, and I started writing blogs back in 2016. A few years later, I changed my name to what it is now, and started my own website. Now, I mostly do game reviews, a little bit of news recap, and Twitch streaming. You can find this content and more at blackredgaming.com.